Page:Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge vol 1 no 1.djvu/25

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Erris. We speak from the experience of similar districts to these, and we need only refer in confirmation of the above statements to the recorded opinion of Sir P. J. Keenan.

For those who study Irish as a non-vernacular (we would not say a foreign) language, the methods would suit which are now employed in teaching other modern languages. In adapting these to Irish, we must first obtain good elementary works. The three books published under the name of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language are excellent, as far as they go, but they do not go far enough. A fourth, fifth, sixth, and succeeding books are required on the same plan, taking pupils through the declensions and conjugations and the other portions of the grammar and idioms, as also books supplementary to the first three, containing more extended exercises on the contents of these latter. A modification of the methods of Ahn, Ollendorff, and Arnold combined would, we think, be the most suitable for these works. They should contain no unnecessary, diffuse, or scientific disquisitions; no visionary theories or philological hypotheses; no doubtful etymologies or strained explanations; but should be clear, concise, and, above all, correct and idiomatic in orthography and phraseology. Such works should be carefully written and revised, and not issued till well examined and corrected by persons possessing a practical knowledge of the spoken language and of its grammatical construction. Another series of elementary treatises, with fuller notes and explanations, should be prepared for those who aim at self-instruction in the language.

A person who does not possess a good knowledge of a subject cannot teach it efficiently. On the other hand, there is many a man knowing a subject thoroughly, and yet unable to communicate his knowledge easily and clearly to a pupil. Knowledge and the power of communicating it are two entirely distinct things, and the present state of Irish teaching is a very good example of the truth of this principle. Of the many thousands who speak Irish fluently and correctly, how few there are able to communicate their knowledge of the language to others, or even capable of rationally explaining the construction and meaning of a simple idiomatic phrase in their native tongue. Even most of those who can read and write as well as speak Irish, seem to be almost as helpless in this respect as the mass of illiterate persons. The remedies for this defect must be—1st, a careful study of the rules of Irish grammar and orthography; and 2nd, the acquiring of an acquaintance with school methods, particularly those used in the teaching of other modern languages. Our aim at present must therefore be two-fold—to produce good elementary books and trained teachers of the language. Anyone who can speak Irish, read English, and knows something of general grammar and of another modern language, will require very little effort to become an efficient teacher of Irish, if possessed of the ordinary mental qualifications necessary for every person who aims at teaching any subject whatever. Such a man can train himself by acting on the lines indicated above.


“Erin Gu Brath;” i.e., “Ireland for Ever!”
“Vive à jamais l’lrlande!”

Traduction du chant national Irlandais.

Par John Sullivan.

Sur une rive étrangère, rêveur et mélancolique, un Barde proscrit chantait avec cette ardeur, cette âme qui caractérise à un si haut degré les fils de l’antique, de la malheureuse Erin, de ce berceau des Bardes où naquit la sublime Poésie. Sa tunique légère était saturée d’une rosée lourde et glacée qui détendait ses nerfs engourdis. Il soupirait après son Erin, sa brillante Emeraude, sa patrie aux monts verts et riants, qui avaient donné de l’essor à sa verve, à son âme, à sa lyre dès sa plus tendre enfance.

Un soir, à l’heure où nait le crépuscule, seul, exposé au fort de la tempête, des éclairs, de la foudre, entre la crainte et