-mat- brandy * Introduction * Last modified: 4. May 1996

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The European languages, except for the Basque and a few others derive from a very ancient language which is called Indo-European. It is called so, because the idioms of the Indian subcontinent have the same root as the European languages.

This is due to tribal migrations which started about 4000 B.C. These migrations are now called Indo-Europeans according to the geographical locations where they settled down eventually. Sometimes, the physical apperance of the Indo- Europeans changed through intermarriage. The best example are the brown people in India. The originally fair migrants mixed with the dark-skinned aborigines of India, and forced their language on them.

That Europian, Persian and Indian languages are related to each other has been found out by making comparisions between them. The base of these comparisons were the archaic forms of our modern languages because the further one goes back the closer are these languages to each other. Thus, in Sanskrit, the root of the modern vernaculars of India, the third person of to be is asti; its Latin counterpart is est.

A formular was developed which is nearly always valid. The vocal a undergoes a change and becomes e in Latin. After this an infinite number of similarities between Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Celtic etc. was discovered. This led the linguists to believe that these anchient languages and therefore, also their modern versions must have a common root. By using Latin, Greek, Sanskrit and a few other archaic idioms as a base linguists started to re-construct the prime language of the European and Indian tribes.

This re-constructed language was called Indo-European. As the Celts were Indo- Europeans the present-day versions (i.e. Irish-Gaelic, Scottish-Gaelic, Manx, Cornish, Welsh, Breton) must have links with the rest of the modern European languages. In fact, many basic expressions that exist in the modern European languages have a Celtic root.

For instance, carrus (Celtic for chariot, car) was adopted by Latin carra. From there the originally Celtic word continued its journey which ended in the following present-day forms:

The same is true for lancia (Celtic) which appeared as lancea in Latin. Thus lancia is the root of lance (English), lance (Czechoslovacian), lanza (Spanish), Lanze (German).
That Irish-Gaelic has close links with other modern languages can be demonstrated easily by looking at

The list of similarities between Irish-Gaeilge and other languages is endless. Bearing the informations of the introduction in mind the learner will find it easy to get to grips with Irish-Gaeilge.

The learner should also note that, a few years ago, Irish was a dying language. This has changed recently. I personally teach irish in three different towns in the south of Germany. Since I have started to teach I have created at least 100 Irish speakers. Many of them are fluent at irish now. A colleaque of mine covers the northern area of Germany with Irish-Gaeilge. Apart from our private activities there are many univerisities in France, Germany, Spain, England etc. that offer Irish-Gaeilge. Irish has conquered its place in the world. It has started to coexist with the world languages where as formerly it led a marginal existence.

Yours, Thomas.

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