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May 24, 2012

AN SIONNACH FIONN

During the revival of the French language and culture in Québec in the 1970s and ‘80s it became noticeable that the stronger, and more widespread, the language became the stronger and more widespread the opposition from English-speakers. It’s was almost an inverse law of language revival in a bilingual context. As the minority community increases, and gains more social and political standing, so hostility to it from the majority community increases in direct proportion.

As long as the minority language remains that, and is publically seen as such, the majority seem content to simply ignore it (or if feeling fairly liberal, indulge it to a certain extent). But as soon as the minority threatens the absolute power of the majority, even if it is only a perception of a threat, then let loose the dogs of war.

That is certainly the case here in Ireland where the enormous…

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