Irish English, Anglo-Irish, or Hiberno-English

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Kilkenny castle park from the southeast
English is the principal language in
Ireland. Centuries of British political-military influence and concommitant growth of English as lingua franca have driven the Gaelic Irish language to near-extinction.

Schools teach Irish. Much official paperwork is bi-lingual. There are some television shows* in Irish (subtitled;) and any good newspaper has an article or two in the old language.

In practice, Gaelic Irish is generally disused, and its day-to-day speech is restricted to small areas mostly along the western seaboard.

The Irish, in reality, speak English — but it's Irish English.

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Irish-English terms and expressions, from "after" to "zonks" ...

• (Gaelic) Irish words in common use...

• Talking about the weather starts the Irish day....

• "Didn't do a tap" — how to talk about work...

Cursing in Ireland — the congenial Irish foul mouth...

Tá mé ar meisce — states of drunkenness...

• There are some standard English words that are used differently in Ireland....

Tirty-tree and a toord — the Irish-English "th" sound...

The rogue Irish comma ...


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* The Irish-language television station TG4 shows excellent documentaries. They're subtitled in English.

When the interviewee is speaking in English, the dialogue is never subtitled into Irish.

If there were anybody within the Gaeltacht, the Irish-speaking regions along the west coast, who did not understand English, TG4 would surely subtitle those portions in Irish.

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