EU gives Irish language full official and working status

The Irish language has a bright future ahead of it as it acquires full official and working status in European Union institutions. 

The derogation of the Irish language’s status in European institutions expires on 31 December 2021, and its status will be restored to that of other EU official languages. On January 1, 2007, the Irish language was designated as an official and working language. However, due to a dearth of translation labor, a derogation arrangement has been in place since then, limiting the amount of material translated into Irish. 

Irish is now on par with other official and working EU languages, which will help citizens and European administrative systems communicate more effectively. 

When Ireland became a Member State in 1973, it was a treaty language, which meant that only EU treaties were translated into Irish. Irish was designated as an official and working language by the Irish government in 2005, and it was awarded this status on January 1, 2007. The scope of the status was derogated, and the quantity of documents to be translated into Irish was limited, due to a paucity of translation staff and Irish language technological resources at the time. 

To close this gap, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, in collaboration with European institutions, has launched a number of initiatives, including the Advanced Irish Language Skills Initiative, an Internship Scheme, the LEX / IATE terminology project, and digital and technological initiatives, as part of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language. As a result, over 170 Irish language staff work in European institutions today, translating all texts into Irish utilising terminology databases, machine translation aids, and computer-aided translation software. Early in 2022, the number of staff will be increased to around 200. 

NUI Galway is now providing support material in Irish for anyone looking for language jobs with the EU in the future. This is in relation to the European Union’s EPSO recruitment tests. 

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