Prank Letter to Minister for Gaeltacht
Here’s a prank letter that I sent to Eamon Ó Cuiv, Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs, a while ago. It is a proposal for promoting the Irish language among young people by developing an Irish Texting Dictionary. >>>
Dear Minister Ó Cuiv,
I help to run a youth club. Last weekend we discussed why so few young people speak Irish. The most common complaint was: ‘You can’t text in Irish’ (today’s youth being more likely to send a text message on their mobile phone than actually speak to someone). ‘Well now, I bet you can,’ I challenged. So we spent the next few hours working on an Irish Texting Dictionary.
We started with basic phonetics and minimizing of vowels. For example:
- ‘an bhfuil tú’ becomes ‘nwlt’
Where numbers (aon dó, trí) are found within a word, you use the numeral itself:
- ‘is dócha’ becomes ‘s2ca’ (is dó-cha)
- ‘cáirde’ becomes ‘410’ (ceathar–deich)
- ‘séipéal’ becomes ‘6pl’ (sé-péal)
- seachtain’ becomes ‘7n’ (seacht-ain)
Then we moved on to real-life situations. For example, I asked the lads and girls how they would reply if a dangerous stranger sent them this text:
- ‘nwlt tr8 ccl 2yl a4a?’ (‘an bhfuil tú tóraíocht cócaon dóighiúil, a chara?’ = ‘are you seeking lovely cocaine, my friend?’)
One outspoken lad came up with:
- ‘mgsdl cccpl’ (‘imig sa diabhal, cac capail’ = ‘go to hell, horse d*ng’)!
This all shows the benefits of developing a complete Irish Texting Dictionary. Irish would ‘leap-frog’ over other tongues as a modern, relevant youth language. It would also strengthen the case for Irish as an official EU language. Anyway, we’re going to run with the idea, and we would welcome any advice or support.
Mr Joseph Phillips
cc Trevor Sargent TD, Leader Green Party
I’ll post the reply that I got from the Minister on Wednesday.