Linguistic experiences of the TE13: Slovene and Irish

During my trip, I visited countries I had never stepped a foot in and where people spoke languages unknown to me—still now. Slovenia and the Republic of Ireland were two of them.

A panoramic flag

A panoramic flag [source]

Slovene is a Slavic language—just like Slovak, but that’s a different one—with more than 2 million speakers. Not knowing any language of the same family, I was unable to grasp the meaning of a single word; which applied for Irish as well. However, my host taught me the basics to identify the food in menus. What stroke me the most was the resemblance of its musicality with Italian’s (a neighbouring language); which was disturbing since I can understand almost anything in Italian and that felt like I had lost a sort of special ability. Fortunately, Slovene people speak very good English for they are not Spanish.

Another wallpaper

Another wallpaper [source]

Moving on to Irish, I can’t say much. I visited my Catalan friend and her boyfriend from Valencia, therefore I stuck to my mother tongue. We shared some moments with their workmates, most of them Spanish, and it’s not very common to hear the Celtic language in the street despite it being the first official language of the Republic of Ireland. It seems that the favouring of English at school and in administration by the British government in the 18th century caused a still perceptible imbalance. Personally, I rarely heard Irish people speaking their language, which makes me sad.

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