Wacky tobacky

Bhuaigh sí! She won! Beidh an Ghaeilge an-fheiceálach anois!

RTÉ News: Tobacco warnings to be made bilingual: “From October, cigarette packets on sale here will have to carry warnings in Irish as well as English.”

Well at least Big Tobacco will be paying for it. Nobody can complain about it being a waste of taxpayers money.

In relation to that there was an interesting editorial from Lá today about The Examiner’s report and editorial about the cost of interpreting and translation services for the Irish Language in the EU. I actually wrote the following letter to the Examiner in response. I know it’s a little facetious but really it’s not always about the money.

A chara,

In your editorial today you comment that “the review, by EU officials in 2012, which will decide whether the “official working language” status can be sustained will be objective and without emotion.” This may be the case but it will not affect the official status of Irish in Ireland. According to the constitution Irish is the first official language of this state and its current status in the EU is partly in recognition of this. To amend it a constitutional referendum would be required. Although the financial cost seems to be the main concern of your editorial you can be certain that all politicians are acutely aware of the political cost of tinkering with the constitution.

On the subject of financial cost if we are to decide language use in the EU on cost alone, why bother offering any translation or interpretation service at all? The EU could run a competition – whichever language costs the least in interpretation/ translation costs becomes the official language of the EU. No doubt that would also energise us “language activists”.

Le dea-ghuí,
Roseanne Smith

I don’t read The Examiner but I don’t think they printed it. I don’t think they printed any correspondence on the subject.

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