No Béarla, is a four part series in which Manchán Magan attempts to live his life (eat, travel, socialise, find accommodation, shop, etc) through Irish. It is a journey to find out whether the 1.6 million people who claim they can speak Irish in the national census really can and whether one can survive in Ireland today without speaking a word of English.
In the course of his travels Manchán gets kicked out of bars, served the wrong food, given the wrong directions, the wrong clothes, the wrong haircut. He gets abused, insulted, treated as an imbecile. When his car breaks down he finds he can’t get a mechanic - directory enquiries simply laugh at him. Likewise, he gets jeered at trying to chat up girls in a nightclub in Donegal. On the Shankill rd, he is warned that he’ll end up in hospital if he continues speaking the language. In Galway he tries busking, singing the filthiest, most debauched lyrics he can think of to see if anyone will understand - old ladies smile and tap their feet merrily as he serenades them with filth. In Killarney he stands outside a bank, promising passers-by huge sums of money if they help him rob it, but again no one understands. He may as well be speaking Kling-on.
In short, No Béarla is a thousand mile road trip around Ireland involving a lot of pointing, miming and desperate gesticulation. It casts a cold eye on the state of Ireland’s first official language - watch it and weep, or laugh . . .
A Dearg Films production for RTÉ/TG4 January 2007
This website should, and would be in Irish except that it seems no one would understand it. Ba cheart go mbeadh an suíomh seo as Gaeilge ach . . .
2. No Béarla: Singing foul songs
Manchán sees if people on the street know the Irish words for simple things. He goes out busking, using the filthiest, most debauched lyrics he can think of to see if anyone will understand . . .
(For a translation of the lyrics click here BE WARNED they are offensive.)
Cá bhfuil na Gaeilgeoirí? by Manchán Magan, The Guardian, Fri 5th January 2007 (An edited version of this also appeared in the Irish Times on the same day, under the title 'Where are all the Irish Speakers?'
The Irish Times, Oct 24th 2006 Manchán Magan recalls his first attempts at filming in Irish for TG4 in 1996, at a time when he thought they might all be flogging a dead horse.
THREE EXCELLENT ARTICLES ON IRISH
Extract on Gaelscoileanna from David McWilliams’ The Pope’s Children
Gaelscoileanna were once seen as too Catholic, too nationalist and too old-fashioned. Today, they are the school of choice for the sophisticated elite . . . Read More
Interesting article on Irish Language by John Waters, Irish Times June 2006 . . . Read
'The Sound Within' an article by Kate Fennell. 'When I was uprooted from Conamara, the world of sounds that I knew vanished almost completely. I started to make new sounds . . .'Read More
NO BÉARLA 2 - 4 part series
First shown: March 2008, TG4
In No Béarla (2007) Manchán Magan journeyed round Ireland trying to survive through Irish alone, in No Béarla 2 (2008) he looks more deeply at why it was so difficult forhim.
NO BÉARLA 2
Sraith nua 4 clár
Tosú: Dé hAoine, 28ú Marta, 7.30pm TG4 (Athchraoladh Domhnach 8pm)
Anuraidh i No Béarla chuaigh Manchán Magan timpeall na tíre ag déanamh iarracht maireachtáil trí Gaeilge amháin. I mbliana i No Béarla 2 déanann sé iarracht fáil amach cén fáth a raibh sé chomh deacair air.
Féachann Manchán ar stáid na teanga agus ar an gcúis a bhfuil rudaí mar atá. Déanann sé iarracht freagra a fháil ar cad a tharlódh dá:
·gCuirfeá lucht na Gaeltachta faoi scrúdú polygraph le fáil amach conas a réitíonn siad le foghlaimeoirí Gaeilge.
·gCuirfeá daoine faoi hiopnóis leis an Gaeilge atá iontu a scaoileadh amach.
·gCuirfeá iachall ar Gaeilgeoirí Tír Chonaill éisteacht le canúint Corcha Dhuibhne gan stad ar feadh tréimhse fada. An rachadh sé i bhfeidhm ar a n-intleacht? A ndéanfadh sé maitheas nó olcas?
·Múinfeá an ceacht Gaeilge céanna chuig rang Polannaigh agus rang Éireannaigh (atá tar éis Gaeilge a dhéanamh ar scoil ar feadh deich mbliana). Cé acu a bheadh an bua i scrúdú?
·n-Iarrfá ar mic léinn ollscoile idirdhealú idir an Gaeilge agus Kling-on (an teanga a cumadh do Star Trek). An mbeadh siad in ann an difríochta eatarthu a mheas?
·Scrúdófá daltaí rang ardteiste faoi a n-eolais ar an Gaeilge i gcomparáid lena n-eolais ar na Simpsons. Cé acu a mbeidh breis eolais acu faoi?
·gCuirfeá scrúdú foclóra ar phobal na Gaeltachta le fáil amach an raibh téarmaí Gaeilge acu ar ghnáth rudaí ar nós: snot, batteries, dandelions, daddy-long-legs?
·nDéanfá iarracht amhrán popcheoil a chumadh, a bheadh chomh maith, nó níos fearr ná, aon rud atá ar fáil as Béarla. An éireodh leat?
·nDéanfá iarracht an meon réabhlóide a thabhairt ar ais chuig gluaiseacht na Gaeilge, agus feachtas a bhunú ag cur brú ar daoine mór le rá a síneadh fada a úsáid?
In a humorous exploration of the Irish language, Manchán sets out to find out WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF:
·You submitted the Gaeltacht people to a lie detector test to find out how they actually treated learners of Irish.
·You hypnotised people to find the hidden Irish inside.
·You subjected Donegal speakers to a sustainedassault of heavy Munster Irish for prolonged periods. Would it effect their IQ? Make them cleverer or dimmer?
·You taught the same Irish lesson to a group of Poles and a group of Irish people who had studied 10 years of Irish at school. Who would fair best in an exam?
·You challenged the students of an Irish University to differentiate between Irish and Kling-on (the alien language from Star Trek). Could they tell them apart?
·You examined Leaving Cert Honours Irish students on their knowledge of Irish versus the Simpsons. Which would they know more about?
·You submitted members of the Gaeltacht to a vocabulary test tofind words for basic things like snot, batteries, dandelions, daddy-long-legs.
·You set about writing a pop song in Irish that was as good, if not better, than English songs. Could it be done?
·You sought to bring revolutionary fervour back to the language struggle, mounting a series of campaigns, including getting celebrities to start using their síneadh fadas.
DOWNLOAD POP SONG - DÉAN DO ROGH/ B'FHÉIDIR FÉIDIR- Manchán sees can he write an Irish pop song as good if not better than anything in Engllish. CLICK THE ARROW below to hear it. (To download at MYSPSACE click here OR Else try INTERNET ARCHIVE. Music by Steve Lynch. Sung by Aoife Scott.
Déan Do Rogh. Amhrán popcheoil . . .Clic ar an saighead thios nó Download here