An tOllamh Kevin Scannell

The One Millionth Tweet in the Irish Language

The one millionth tweet in the Irish language was sent this week, reports

Oideas Gael, which runs Irish language holidays and courses for adults in Gleann Colmcille, Co. Donegal, sent the tweet above, cross-posted from Facebook, wishing their 1434 followers a Happy Easter.

An tOllamh Kevin ScannellThe counting of tweets in Irish and other minority languages is based on analysis by Kevin Scannell, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at St Louis University in the United States, who led the original open source Irish localisation of Mozilla and who has been instrumental in many other pioneering linguistic projects.

With the advent of social media, and Twitter in particular, Professor Scannell sees the opportunity for research and analysis on the use of languages online, such as his recent idea for a linguistic atlas of Irish using Twitter and Google Maps.

He explained to that his identification of the millionth Irish tweet is based on an analysis of over 8000 Twitter accounts which regularly tweet in Irish. His algorithm uses unique characteristics of the Irish language to identify which tweets are in Irish and publishes the results at Indigenous Tweets.

“Is scéal casta é. Bailím na tweetanna go léir ó thart ar 8,000 cuntas Twitter agus déanaim anailís staitisticiúil orthu chun na cinn i nGaeilge a aimsiú. Tá an anailís seo bunaithe ar ghnéithe éagsúla; fianaise inmheánach, mar shampla na focail agus na litreacha sa tweet féin, chomh maith le fianaise faoin úsáideoir; céatadán na tweetanna i nGaeilge atá aige go stairiúil, na teangacha eile a úsáideann sé agus araile”

Of course it’s not a comprehensive analysis. Professor Scannell acknowledges that the actual millionth tweet was likely sent some time ago, but it’s fun to celebrate the millionth tweet in Irish, and the fact that the language is alive and well online.

Dála an scéil, tá an cheád ghiolc i nGaeilge sonraithe ag Indigenous Tweets chomh maith. Is mise a sheol é! 🙂

(The first tweet in Irish – sent by me!)

Bonus: check out Blacknight’s latest promotional video in Irish and English!

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