Two shorten the road.
I have just spent a wonderful weekend in Dublin, and I am back in London recharged, restored, with new faith in some things, and with a fixed idea to fly away again soon, possibly to Brussels. This is the power of special people, but also of special places.
The first thing you see when you land in Dublin is that all the signs are bilingual, with the information first in Gaelic (Gaeilge, to be more precise), and then in English. Seeing them, I immediately had a good vibration, a feeling of pacific coexistence of both languages and cultures, and this because, apart from the fact that the Gaelic was written in Italics, there was no difference between the two languages, and everything was bilingual. On the contrary, what I remember from Catalonia is that the principle was not always the same for all the signs. Also on the Luas, the light rail tram, you could hear the stops being called in both languages.
Maybe, this feeling of peace and of a romantic atmosphere was due to my first conscious encounter with the Irish language when, already an adult, I fell in love with this Italian song that includes part of a traditional Irish one as an introduction:
These verses say:
Is è mo laoch, mo ghile mear
Is è mo shaesar ghile mear
Nì fhuaras fèin aon tsuan ar seàn
o chuaigh ì gcèin mo ghile mear
And come from the famous Mo Ghile Mear (My Darling Gallant), here followed by the English translation:
‘Sé mo laoch, mo Ghile Mear,
‘Sé mo Chaesar, Ghile Mear,
Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
Ó chuaigh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.
He is my hero, my dashing darling
He is my Caesar, dashing darling.
I’ve had no rest from forebodings
Since he went far away my darling.
For the full lyrics, you can visit this website: it is in Italian, but you can find the English translation of the song.
This trip left me with a huge desire to know more about the Gaeilge language, and the Irish culture in general, and I will leave you with a few examples of Irish messages. My friend says that the people there are sad, but I have to say that very few times I felt such a warm atmosphere like the one that you can find in Temple Bar, with its live music shows in every pub.