Word of the day – Gaeilgeoir
A Gaeilgeoir is an Irish speaker or Irish language enthusiast. The plural is Gaeilgeoirí. So I could say Is Gaeilgeoir mé – I am a Gaeilgeoir (in both senses of the word). When Irish was the main language in Ireland, I doubt if there was a need for such a word, though I could be wrong.
There’s an interesting article about recent immigrants to Ireland learning Irish here. It also mentions that attitudes to the language are changing partially as a result of increased cultural and linguistic diversity in Ireland. The author, a Gaeilgeoir from Dublin, comments that she used to get stared at and whispered about when talking Irish to her children in public, but this doesn’t happen so much nowadays as there are quite a few other languages being spoken in Ireland.
In Welsh the equivalent terms are Cymro Cymraeg (Welsh-speaking Welshman), Cymraes Cymraeg (Welsh-speaking Welsh woman) and Cymry Cymraeg (Welsh-speaking Welsh people). Cymru-Cymraeg or y Fro Gymraeg are the areas of Wales where Welsh is the main language – the Welsh equivalent of Gaeltacht. There are also terms for non-Welsh-Speakers: Cyrmo/Cymraes/Cymry di-Gymraeg – e.g. Cymraes di-Gymraeg yw fy mam – my mum is a non-Welsh-speaking Welsh woman.
Are there equivalent terms in other languages?