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Tuairim 'Táim ag súil go mbeidh na hiarrthóirí rathúil ag labhairt Gaeilge i bParlaimint na hEorpa'

I mí an Mhárta, ghlac FPEs le leasúchán go dtí a gcuid rialacha féin a chuir síneadh leis an maolú ar feadh cúig bhliain eile, mar gheall ar easpa acmhainní.

The following article is translated to English below. 

AN RAIBH FHIOS agat gur teanga oibre oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh í an Ghaeilge? Ach nach bhfuil cothrom na féinne aici ann go fóill. Anois, leis na toghcháin Eorpacha ag druidim linn, tá deis againne é sin a athrú.

I 1973, bliain aontaicheas na hÉirinn, bhí an Ghaeilge ina teanga chonartha, a chiall nach raibh gá ach conarthaí an aontais a aistriú go Gaeilge. D’athraigh seo i 2007, nuair a thugadh stádas iomlán don Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil agus oibre de chuid an Aontais, ar iarratas ó Éirinn.

Ach fós faoi chlásal darbh ainm maolú – a chiall nach raibh gá le gach cáipéis oifigiúil a aistriú go Gaeilge, cé gur cé gur riachtanas é do na teangacha oifigiúla eile. Dheonaíonn an Comhairle na hÁirí an clásal seo nuair a dheirtear nach bhfuil na hacmhainní ann – ie nach raibh a dhóithean “foireann líofa” nó “áiseanna teicneolaíochta” leis na riachtanais a bhaint amach.

Rinneadh rud mór as an maolú seo a bheith bainte ag deireadh 2022 le rá ag an Aontas:

“Léiríonn sé sin an tábhacht a leagann an tAontas ar an ilteangachas, agus ar rochtain chomhionann ar fhaisnéis do chách. Tá institiúidí an Aontais réidh chun freastal ar an éileamh ar aistriúchán go Gaeilge, díreach cosúil le haon teanga oifigiúil eile de chuid an Aontais.”

ACH…

Tá cuma ar an scéal nach mbeidh an Ghaeilge ar chomhchéim leis na teangacha oifigiúla eile go dtí 2029. In áit an maolú, tá riail teiciniúl i bhfeidhm a chiallaíonn nach bhfuil na riachtainais atheangaireacht le baint amach fós. Conas gur féidir linn iad a bhaint amach muna bhfuil gá iad a bhaint amach? Is cineál cás den “sicín agus ubh” é.

Tá 80,000 duine in Éirinn a úsáideann an Ghaeilge go laethúil lasmuigh den chóras oideachas. Ní dóigh liom gur fadhb sholáthar atá ann.

I mí an Mhárta, ghlac FPEs le leasúchán go dtí a gcuid rialacha féin a chuir síneadh leis an maolú ar feadh cúig bhliain eile, mar gheall ar easpa acmhainní. Dúirt an Pharliamint mar gheall ar an easpa “aistritheoirí cáilithe”, agus go mbeidh na hacmhainní teoranta amach anseo, go raibh sé dodhéanta don Pharliamint stadas na Gaeilge a chuir i láthair i slí cothrom.

Dá bhrí sinn, bhí an leasúcháin reachtaithe agus d’aontaigh an Pharlimint nach mbeidh gá le haistriúcháin na gcáipéis oifigiúl a dhéanamh, go riachtanach, go dtí 2029.

Gan an riail teicniúil seo, bheadh gá le tuilleadh aistritheoirí, a chruthóidh tuilleadh poist, a spreagfadh tuilleadh daoine le staidéar a dhéanamh ar an nGaeilge agus gairm trí Ghaeilge a roghnú. Spreagadh sé infheistiú sa teanga. Neartóidh sé seo an teanga, anseo agus go hidirnáisiúnta.

Beidh mise ag lorg ó aon iarrthóir a thagann ag mo dhoras gealltannas go dtacóidh siad leis an éileamh go ndéanfar ath-vótáil ar an gceist go luath, le go gcuirfear deireadh leis an maolú go buan. Ní chóir dúinn glacadh le stádas den dara-grád dár dteanga náisiúnta.

Tá 24 teangacha oifigiúla oibre aitheanta ag an Aontas. Ach is í an Ghaeilge ceann de na cinn is lú labhartha sa pharliamant – tá géarghá seo a athrú. Tá caighdeán éigin Gaeilge ag 2.2 milliúin duine ar an oiléan seo, de réir na daonáirimh is déanaí. Ó thaobh chéatadáin de, níl sé beag.

Ba mhaith linn go mbeadh ionadaíocht ceart déanta orainn ag leibhéal idirnáisiúnta, agus go mbeadh ár gnó déanta trí Ghaeilge áit is gur féidir. Tuigim nach bhfuil Gaeilge líofa ag gach duine sa tír, nó gach iarrthóir inár nDáilcheantar – ní phléifimid mo chuid tuairimí ar an gcóras oideachas inniu – ach bhéinn ag súil go mbeadh na hiarrthóirí ar a laghad tiomanta leis an nGaeilge a fhoghlaim agus pé Gaeilge atá acu a úsáid chomh minic agus gur féidir leo, agus iad ag labhairt ar ár son.

Agus i mo thuairimse (conspóideach b’fhéidir) ní leor cúpla focal san intreoir agus deireadh. Beidh mise ag labhairt leis na hiarrthóirí a thagann ag mo dhoras mar gheall ar theideal de bhillí a úsáid as Gaeilge, aon uimhreacha tagartha ó thaobh artacail de a rá as Gaeilge, agus a chinntiú go bhfuil siad leanúnach leis.

Tá reachtaíocht nua ag Rialtas na hÉirieann a deir gur gá go mbeadh 20% de nua-earcaithe sa seirbhís poiblí líofa sa Ghaeilge faoi 2030. Idir seo agus an éileamh a bheadh ann d’aistritheoirí agus ateangairí dá mbeadh an maolú bainte, samhlaigh an neartú a ndéanfadh sé don teanga.

Cé go bhfuil an-dul chun chinn déanta aici le blianta fada anuas, bhí roinnt cinntí a bhuail go dona í chomh maith. Idir fhás na ndíolúintí sa dara-leibhéal, méid teangacha ag teastáil ó Ghardaí anois laghdaithe agus an chaint (sheafóideach) ar fad faoin nGaeilge mar theanga éigeantach don ardteist, ba chóir go mbeadh muid ag lorg agus ag brú tuilleadh géaga thacaíochta don teanga, in áit a mhalairt.

Sna toghcháin seo, ba chóir go mbeadh muid ag caitheamh vóta ar iarrthóirí atá polasaithe s’acu ag teacht le do chuid tuairimí fhéin. Is mó daoine a lorgaíonn gealltanais uathu, is mó luach a bhfeicfidh siad sa cheist sin.

Muna raibh an deis agat labhairt le hiarrthóirí go fóill, is féidir teacht ar pholasaithe na n-iarrthóirí i do Dháilcheantar anseo. Usáid do vóta nó déanfar an cinneadh ar do shon.

Hailing from Baile Átha Cliath, bilingual presenter and broadcaster Síomha Ní Ruairc, 31, can be seen every weekend presenting on Ireland AM. 

***

English translation: 

Did you know that Gaeilge is an official and working language of the European Union? But that it doesn’t have fully parity yet. Now, with the European elections approaching, we have a chance to change that.

In 1973, the year Ireland joined the EU, Gaeilge was only a treaty language, which meant only the union’s treaties had to be translated into Gaeilge. This changed in 2007, upon Ireland’s request, when full working and official statues was given to the language.

However, a derogation was granted by the Council of the EU at the time which meant not every official document had to be translated into Gaeilge, even though it’s a requirement for all the official languages.

There was a big deal made of this derogation ending at the end of 2022 with the Union saying: 

“This shows the importance the Union places on multilingualism, and on equal access to information for all. The institutions of the Union are ready to meet the demand for translation into Irish, just like any other official language of the Union.”

BUT…

It appears Gaeilge still won’t be equal to the other official languages until 2029. Instead of derogation, there’s a technical rule in place which means the interpretation requirements still don’t need to be fulfilled. How can we aim to fulfill them if it’s not required? It’s like a case bit of the chicken and the egg. 

There are 80,000 people who use Gaeilge on a daily basis outside of the Education system so I don’t think it’s an issue of supply – although that is part of the reason given. 

In March, MEPs adopted an amendment to its internal rules that extended an internal rule for another five years, due to a lack of resources. The Parliament said that due to a lack of “qualified translators”, and limited resources continuing into the “foreseeable future”, it was not possible for the Parliament to equally uphold Gaeilge’s status. Therefore, the amendment was adopted by a majority and the Parliament agreed it was not required to translate any documents into Gaeilge until 2029. 

Without this technical rule, there would be demand for more translators, which would create more jobs, which would encourage more people to study Gaeilge and choose a career through Gaeilge. It would encourage investment in the language. This would strengthen the language, at home and internationally. I’ll be asking any of the winning candidates in my constituency to commit to supporting the demand of a swift re-vote on this issue, to end the derogation permanently. We shouldn’t accept a second-grade status for our national language. 

There are 24 official working language in the Union. But Gaeilge is one of the least spoken languages in the parliament – this needs to change. 2.2 million people on this island have some level of Gaeilge, per the most recent Census. In terms of a percentage, it’s not to be laughed at. We want to be represented correctly at an international level, and that any speaking be done through Gaeilge where possible.

I understand not everyone in the country is fluent, nor is every candidate – we won’t discuss my opinion on the education system today – but I would expect that the candidates be committed to learning Gaeilge, and using however much of the language they have when speaking on our behalf.

And in my (controversial perhaps) opinion, a cúpla focal in an intro or outro is not sufficient. I’ll be speaking to the candidates in my constituency about commiting to only using the Irish language version of bill titles, or when referring to articles that they only use the numbers as Gaeilge. If they were consistent with this, it would normalise the frequent use of the language in the Parliament. 

The Irish government has new legislation that says that 20% of all new recruits to the public service be fluent by 2030. Between this and the demand that would be created for translators and interpreters if the derogation was completely lifted, imagine the reinforcement that would give the language.

While it’s come a long way since the beginning of the revival, it’s taken a few blows in recent years. Between the rise of exemptions at second-level, Gardaí reducing the language requirement from one to two and the (ridiculous) talk of removing Irish as a compulsory subject for the Leaving Cert, we should be pushing for and demanding any new pillars of support we can for the language.

In these elections, we should be voting for candidates whose policies align with our own views. The more people who seek their commitment for an issue, the more valuable the issue is. If you haven’t had a chance to speak to the candidates in your constituency yet, you can see information on their policies and views here. Use your vote, or others will decide for you.

Hailing from Baile Átha Cliath, bilingual presenter and broadcaster Síomha Ní Ruairc, 31, can be seen every weekend presenting on Ireland AM. 

Faigheann an obair seo cómhaoiniú ó Journal Media agus ó chlár deontais ó Pharlaimint na hEorpa. Is le húdar an tsaothair seo aon tuairim nó conclúid a chuirtear in iúl ann. Níl baint ar bith ag Parlaimint na hEorpa leis an ábhar eagarthóireachta arna fhoilsiú ag an tionscadal agus níl sí freagrach as. Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais, féach anseo.

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Síomha Ní Ruairc
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