What is it about the resurgence in “minority” languages around the world? Probably the inevitable backlash against the spread of globalization in general and English in particular.
Now it is Gaelic that is gaining momentum. According to this article, “only Gaelic will be used on road signs in the country’s designated ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish language) areas, which encompass more than 2,300 towns.”
A 2002 census showed 1.4 million of Ireland’s population of four million claimed to “have an ability” to speak Gaelic, and over a quarter of those said they spoke it on a daily basis.
Globalization is a funny, bipolar thing. The more it pulls us all together, the more we push back in an effort to remain unique. Just as it enables us to shop globally, new business opportunities arise for the “local” entrepeneur. And just when global business executives get hopeful for an English-speaking planet, local languages get popular again.