One of the requirements of our Master of Arts in Hawaiian Language and Literature program is that students travel to a place where the native language faced perpetuation issues, such as those we face with Hawaiian. My original plan was that after acceptance into the MA program I would talk my way out of the requirement, and find some kind of research project to do. However, after thinking about it and doing a little online research on the state of the Irish language, and looking at it as a bit of a pilgrimage to the land of my own ancestors, I decided to go to Ireland. It was an amazing month, combining three weeks of Irish language study at Oideas Gael in Co. Donegal, interviewing Irish speakers, and spending a week just playing tourist. It was the best month of my life.
I vowed to continue my studies of Irish when I got back but between work (designing and teaching online Hawaiian language classes), finishing my MA classes, researching and writing my thesis, and of course the family, that vow went unfulfilled. Until now.
I managed to amass a nice little collection of Irish language tools in preparation for our trip, as well as a few after we got back, but all did little but collect dust. They’re being put back in play now, and I’ll make comments on them separately a bit later.