wyeuro wrote:dia dhuit, a bheith!
you mentioned stage irish and i'm very puzzled by that term. i listened to irish folk music for years before i finally began to learn irish - the clancy brothers, dubliners, john maccormack and more recently the furies. i first saw the phrase 'stage irish' in a note the dubliners wrote about the song 'finnegan's wake'. but i notice that there's a lot of very diverse irish english being used by these folk singers, even when they're using what must be their own accents and idioms. is it a particular kind that they're calling stage irish? has it anything to do with the stage? or is it just the kinds of exaggerated irish brogue stage-comedians and singers used to use that appealed immensely to the rest of the world but slightly misrepresented irish speech? i mean, surely ireland's own folksongs aren't in 'stage irish', or was 'finnegan's wake' (the song not the novel) written for the stage?
sorry if i'm asking difficult questions!
HI Wyverne, not difficult at all and your summary above is good!
"Stage Irish" is the term given commonly to the type of Irish one hears in old Hollywood movies ...think "Darby O Gill and the little people" and the "O Hara, the cop" personage often represented as comic characters in old movies. Even a bit of it is in Tom Cruise's "Far and Away" .
In Ireland, we by and large speak "Hiberno-english" - that is English but with the colour of speech in Irish (idioms, word use, special words that are not found in English -see dictionary link in threads below). Stage Irish is an extreme of this, usually used for comic effect in movies or to paint a picture of the "stereotypical Irishman" ...eg. the sort of "would it be a drink ye'd be wantin' sorr?" type of language, which is representative of a relatively bygone era in speech in rural Ireland and not generally indicative of hiberno-english as spoken today.
So yes, it's the type of speech used on stage - on film, in theatre, etc to convey a stereotype of (usually comic) "rural peasant-speak" to represent an Irish person.
In contrast and to answer the second part of your question, the traditional folk songs and narratives in story telling are not in "stage Irish". They are either in the main in Irish itself or translated into english - and in this latter context, of two sorts I guess:
(a) "hiberno english" where the turn of phrase is that representing the Irish idom, word use, allusion, phraseology, typical description, formulaic address or refrains and rhythm
(b) "stylized english" (my term rather than a definition" - which reflects "proper" English as spoken by Anglo-Irish and English people ofa certain class and era.
eg. if you read some of the myth stories as written down by Lady Augusta Gregory - they are in english but as translated from Irish and in the rhythm and turn of speech of rural Ireland of the past as compared to the "fairy" (as in the sidhe) stories as compiled by 19th C folklorists - eg. Willliam Carleton, Jerimiah Curtin, which is more stylized according to the "proper" english of the anglo-Irish and English readers and sometimes use a bit of "stage Irish" to represent rural peasant speech.
Have a look at some of the threads I posted below eg...the "Bluffer's Guide" is an excellent humorous reverse "Gaelicization of english into Irish" which I think you'll enjoy as it's v clever and funny (more so to an Irish person reading it admittedly but all the same...! ) and the link on the academic Hiberno-Irish dictionary by Prof Terry Dolan will be of interest to you also I think (have a look at the archive) as it compiles lists of words, gives their origin and context of use, all of these words are represented only in HibernoEnglish and not "The queen's English" as they are either native to Ireland or borrowed into Irish speech here.
Sorry for long post ..am unable to do anything concisely today!