How do you say “The times they are a-changing” in Erse?

The new Irish foreign minister criticizes the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NY for excluding gay and lesbian groups.

The new Irish foreign minister criticized the organizers St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York for excluding gay and lesbian groups. “Exclusion is not an Irish thing,” he said.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

6 thoughts on “How do you say “The times they are a-changing” in Erse?”

  1. Expatriates tend to be more conservative than the mother country generally – French Canadians, overseas Irish, America versus the Brits, Boers versus Netherlanders. Swedes in US versus Swedes who stayed put.

  2. To which I’d add the Dutch in Michigan (check out voting results in Ottawa county sometime). I’d noticed the phenomenon (U.S. citizens of a particular ethnicity being way more socially conservative than those remaining in the mother country) before, but had always attributed it to selective emigration. Of course, I’m stuck in a mindset from maybe 30-40 years ago that views the priest-ridden Irish in Ireland (one grandmother was very Catholic from around Belfast, so I hope I can say that) as being irredeemably reactionary, so this statement was as surprising to me as to anyone.

    It’s funny how people whose grandparents/great-grandparents/whatever left a country for really good reasons 100-200 years ago can idealize a vision of the social relations in that country that’s frozen in amber.

  3. This has not been my experience, and I’m Irish-American. I view conservative Irish-Americans as the oddballs, at least on economics.
    On social issues like homophobia, there’s probably an argument. In fact, quite possibly. There can be a streak of uptightness about nookie in general.

  4. 1. At a guess, “tá na hamanna ag athrú”. But my Irish is piss-poor so take that with a grain of salt.

    2. “In Erse” really isn’t a good way to turn “as Gaeilge” into English. (Mind you, “in Irish” isn’t that much better; it is enormously tendentious and question-begging in a way that the original is not.) “Erse” can be forgiven in Americans who have no reason to know better, but among residents of the British Isles, it was always wrong and bad, and these days is outmoded and affected into the bargain.

  5. Any alternative to offer? “Irish” is ambiguous between Irish Gaelic and Irish English. “Gaelic” is ambiguous among Irish, Scots, and Manx. “Irish Gaelic” sounds redundant unless you know some Goidelic philology. “Gaelige” doesn’t mean anything to most readers of this blog. “Erse” may be archaic, but it conveys its meaning, which is mostly what I want my words to do.

  6. “Tá an saol ag athrú” or “Tá athrú tagtha ar an saol” is probably better.

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