is olc an ghaoth...

Monday, December 7, 2009

names in Irish

When children start gaelscoil, most gaelscoil teachers will 'gaelicise' their names if they are not already in Irish, e.g. 'Jennifer' to 'Sinéad', 'Daniel' to 'Dónall' etc. Names are an integral part of our identity and some children can get quite upset at this change. We can help children and teachers by preparing them for this, by introducing the child to the Irish version of their name and using play, roleplay and games to get them to accept it as part of their identity.
It can also be useful to establish a preferred Irish 'version' of the name. My children had a friend Jonathan. The school named him 'Seanachán'. He was only referred to as 'Jon', and 'Seán' would have been more apt in this case. He hated 'Seanachán'!! If you establish an Irish version this can be noted somewhere on the application form when filling it out. This will have the added advantage of showing active interest in the child's development and progress in a bilingual world.

1 comment:

  1. Hey sis, had to comment on this one. As rightly stated our names are who we are. So, bearing this in mind, surely names should remain unchanged. I only mention this as I know how irritated [to put it mildly] I and mine get when their names are not spelt nor pronounced correctly.
    I don't think they would be accepting of anyone changing their names to another language, I certainly wouldn't be a happy bunny.
    I think this is a really tricky one and if the name to be change is anyting other than an 'english' one then problems could arise.
    Love B