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Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?

Aodh 15 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,sorfingers 15 Feb 03 - 02:59 PM
Felipa 15 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,mexican 15 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM
Nemesis 15 Feb 03 - 08:51 PM
bfolkemer 15 Feb 03 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 15 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM
Strupag 16 Feb 03 - 10:05 AM
Felipa 16 Feb 03 - 10:35 AM
Kaleea 16 Feb 03 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Guest Scotch 16 Feb 03 - 03:03 PM
Nigel Parsons 16 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM
Nigel Parsons 16 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM
waterdragon 20 Feb 03 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Big Jock 20 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM
Frankham 20 Feb 03 - 06:32 PM
pict 20 Feb 03 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 20 Feb 03 - 07:44 PM
daithi 21 Feb 03 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Tommy 21 Feb 03 - 07:53 AM
Strupag 21 Feb 03 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Wordless Woman 21 Feb 03 - 02:25 PM
Strupag 21 Feb 03 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Heely 21 Feb 03 - 10:59 PM
Felipa 22 Feb 03 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Tommy 24 Feb 03 - 05:15 AM
Felipa 24 Feb 03 - 11:38 AM
Felipa 24 Feb 03 - 07:09 PM
Felipa 24 Feb 03 - 07:31 PM
Felipa 24 Feb 03 - 07:55 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM
Strupag 25 Feb 03 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Trix 26 Feb 03 - 02:58 AM
Aodh 26 Feb 03 - 11:37 AM
Felipa 06 Mar 03 - 02:53 PM
Felipa 06 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM
Felipa 06 Mar 03 - 03:22 PM
Felipa 30 Mar 03 - 09:11 AM
Felipa 12 Apr 03 - 01:49 PM
Felipa 12 Apr 03 - 02:48 PM
Felipa 12 Apr 03 - 02:50 PM
Felipa 16 Apr 03 - 10:54 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 16 Apr 03 - 11:14 AM
Felipa 16 Apr 03 - 05:08 PM
Jim McLean 16 Apr 03 - 06:09 PM
GUEST 16 Apr 03 - 08:12 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 16 Apr 03 - 08:14 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 16 Apr 03 - 08:38 PM
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Subject: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Aodh
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM

The results are in from the national census of the UK 2001, and its not good reading for Scots Gaels. There are now only 60,000 Gaelic speakers in the UK, if it drops to 50,000 then it offically becomes "dead". If the Gaelic does die then so to does Gaeldom, we could no longer call ourselves Gaels (or celts) and Scotland would lose any link to a celtic origin (yes folks you do have one!) Any hoo I would like to hear any views on this subject,

Mile Moran Taing
Aodh


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,sorfingers
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 02:59 PM

That is a pity - but I wonder how accurate the stats are? I recall one so called poll of Welsh speakers and it was lower than the real figure because of migration.

The other thing that occurs to me, the number of Books and other litrature in Gaelic, what is to become of that? Indeed Books in Cwmraig, Welsh, are so numerous that is would be unthinkable to allow it to further reduce.

Wondering also why cannot the numbers be calculated over the entire British Isles thus to include all the Islands and the Gaelteachts in
Ireland as well.


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM

I think the question about whether one speaks Gaelic is only asked in Scotland* so Gaelic speakers - even native speakers like Aodh - living elsewhere in the UK aren't counted.

Within Scotland which is more likely - that people who speak Gaelic wouldn't admit it, or that people with very little Gaelic would claim to be Gaelic speakers? I fear it would be the latter.

I have a tee shirt about the black-footed ferret with the slogan "being endangered means there's still time"; don't give up!


*[in the N Ireland census we were asked whether we could speak, read and/or write Irish].

By the way, Aodh, did you see Strupag's thread "What is a Gael"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,mexican
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM

SCOTCH not scots!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Nemesis
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 08:51 PM

The Cornish are reviving their language fast .. and that hadn't been spoken for, what, 150 years?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: bfolkemer
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:15 PM

What are some of the best, and/or accessible ways a native of U.S. (with some Scots heritage) can learn Scots Gaelic, at least well enough to sing some tradtional songs?

Beth


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM

Pokin me nose here, Beth the twa are the same - ie Irish and Scots - for the a student, it only gets 'local' at the advanced level...

So any Gaelic school is fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Strupag
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:05 AM

Probably the amount of Scots, who would like to learn Gaelic to a level of fluency has never been higher. That, of course, costs money.
Some people have that gift of quickly learning a language but it's a hard slog for most of us.
Whilst we have a healthy take up in Gaelic medium education for our youngsters, there is very little provision for adults to learn fluent Gaelic. Sure, there are very worthwhile courses being held around the country but most people really need to go through an immersion course to obtain fluency. There is no legal provision for someone to take a month out of work etc. to undergo such.
If you see my thread: BS: Gaelic Language Bill, I think it demonstrated the uphill struggle that we have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:35 AM

an even more uphill struggle if the census shows such low numbers of speakers
I am just taking your word for these numbers, Aodh. But who said 50,000 means dead? Also a lot depends on the age profile; the language is healthier if there is a good number of young speakers. So the new Gaelic-medium units in schools are important, even if for many of the children Gaelic is not the main language at home. I think Breton has more speakers than Scots Gaelic (?), but is in poorer shape because most of the speakers are elderly.

We've mudchatted in the past about cultural ambassadors. Gaelic Scotland made a good showing this month in my town in Ireland. We had two concerts with songs in Gaelic and presentation done bi-lingually (Gaelic and English). Maighread Stiubhart, Alan McDonald, Anne Martin and Ingrid Henderson, all Gaelic speakers from different areas in the west of Scotland. Ingrid is about to get married ... will she raise Gaelic-speaking children? I don't think she's a native speaker (? - the other performers mentioned certainly are) but I've met a brother and sister who also speak Gaelic.

-----
Beth,
Irish and Scots Gaelic are closely related, but far more different than sorefingers message would indicate. And for singing songs, the difference in pronunciation would matter quite a bit.
-
Cl, Comunn Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, is a good source of information for learners. Sabhail Mr Ostaig Gaelic college offers correspondence course. Also at that website, see "Gidhlig air an Lon" for many useful links.
The Cumunn Gaidhealach / Gaelic Society of America (ACGA) has a webpage with information on other distance learning facilities, mostly North American based. Or go to the ACGA homepage and click on "learn Gaelic"
list of learning resources from ACGA, Virginia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Kaleea
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 01:09 PM

There is a Scottish lady who comes to a local "Irish" session just to hear the music, although it is quite midwestern-ish American & Bluegrass-ized compared to my standards. (yeah, I know, it's all part of the folk process) I asked her to sing for us, despite the fact that the local folks were unaccustomed to people singing a song or air at a session. Now when she comes, she always sings for us only in Scots Gaelic--at the request of everyone. This is particularly important to me, as my own ethnic roots were stamped out by the maurading gangs of circuit preachers who sought to rid the "new world" of all things evil back in the days of my ancestors. Ancestors like my grandparents & aunts & uncles! Even in the early & mid 1900's they were on a mission to save us from the evils of song & dance--which were activities found in "dance halls" aka saloons, and evil by association with alcohol. Of course, it was not popular to exhibit ethnic cultural differences in those times. That way we could all be equally lacking in culture. So it seems around the world, even with "Democracy," there are always those people who are more equal than others, and therefore superior. So the inferior must be eradicated by the superior, or so they think. Take away the language, the music, the dance, the cultural customs & activities, and you have people who are nobody.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Guest Scotch
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 03:03 PM

Good on ye, Guest Mexican! There is one Scot and two Scots but the adjective is Scotch. Who ever heard of 'Auld Scots (sic) Mither mine'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM

The national census of 2001 also identified the first increase in the percentage of those living in Wales who claim to be Welsh speakers, approximately 100 years after the first census to show the percentage dropping below 50%.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM

News article on Welsh resurgance


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: waterdragon
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:00 PM

If you're looking for songs in Gaelic,you can't do better than listen to RUNRIG.They have written some fine songs both in English and Scots Gaelic.

An introduction to Gaelic can also be found via Scottish Internet Radio,the website can be reached at scottish.internetradio.co.uk/

Hope these help.

waterdragon


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Big Jock
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:02 PM

'Fairwell'? How about learning English?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Frankham
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:32 PM

What about in Cape Breton? I know that St. Ann's College teaches it.
I bought a huge dictionary from them.

Same problem was suggested some time back about Yiddish but there has been a resurgence. Maybe Scot's Gaelic will have a comeback.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: pict
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 07:28 PM

Guestscotch,

in Scotland the only time Scotch is used to describe anything is when referring to whisky and Scotch eggs.No Scot would ever call themselves Scotch they would use either Scots or Scottish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 07:44 PM

Ok, let the experts have their say, but I bet speaking in Gaelic no matter where you learned it would be understood all over the Gaelteachts, even if local dialects differ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: daithi
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 07:04 AM

I visit the Donegal Gaeltacht every year for a summer school in Irish, and last year there was a Scots Gaelic speaker from Harris there. Whilst we were able to find many words in common, the spelling, pronunciation and sentence construction were so diffeent that the the spoken languages were not really mutually intelligible - although it was easier to work out the meaning form the written word.
Dith


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 07:53 AM

I believe that some people in Scotland are actually relieved with the census results as they show that the decrease in the number of Gaelgeoiri is not as sharp as it was a number of years ago.
I can't remember the figures exactly but the decline of speakers in the ten years between 1981-1991 was a good few thousand higher than the difference between the 1991 and 2001 figures.
This shows that the tide might be turning. Alot of this is probably due to the increase of non-native speakers in other parts of the country, such as Glasgow.
The same thing is happening here in Ireland, (parts of Belfast almost a sort of Gaeltacht) and i say that it's all going to continue.

Gaeilge (an d chinel, r ndoigh) ab!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Strupag
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 11:24 AM

There's no getting away from it, Irish and Scottish gaelic share identical roots but have developed into two distinct languages as disimilar as Swedish and Norwegian.
It's not all doom and gloom though.
In the last ten years we have seen the setting up of dozens of Gaelic medium education units for primary school kids.
There,s also an all Gaelic school in Glasgow. We are getting (although painfully slowly) bylingual road signs.
One of the things that surprises me is that there are a few very vocal lowland Scots who opose and mock all things Gaelic. I think we have seen a bit of that in Guest, Big Jock's highly intelectual posting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Wordless Woman
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 02:25 PM

I've listened to my How to Speak... tapes over and over. I still can't remember my slender consonants and my non-slender (chubby) consonants. I can say slender consonants in Scots Gaelic, though. It's a tiny step but a step nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Strupag
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 07:26 PM

Gle mhath a graidh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Heely
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 10:59 PM

From an American whose grandparents spoke welsh and scots gaelic. (in Australia), I will share that there are Scots Gaelic classes locally in Va, and in Washington DC. I am trying my best to learn the Scots, yet my American side is Irish.(Heely) I struggle to determine if the songs that I sing are Irish or Scottish. but I insist on being sure. Viva La differance!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:02 PM

in fact I think there's an immersion weekend in Virginia (or somewhere near there!) commencing 28 Feb. See ACGA link above.

There are two main dialects of Norwegian. Yet Norwegians and Swedes can and do speak to each other, each using their own language. I think their languages are probably closer than present day Irish/Scottish Gaelic are to each other but it also has to do with how much contact we have with each other so it is good to see more people like the Harris islander in Ireland learning their neighbour's tongue. We can offer mutual support.

Manx Gaelic is quite similar to Scots Gaelic, but uses "Gaylick" orthography (spelling more like English). But the Manx speakers I've met could understand Irish more than Scottish Gaelic, because they'd studied/had more contact with Irish. - Manx lost its last native speaker during the 20th century, but there are now some native-speaking children raised by Manx learners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:15 AM

From the census results i've seen, things are looking better for Manx too. There are 1,000 and something people who now claim to speak the language, not bad for a tongue that was on its way out a wee while ago.
From what i've heard of it, i could make a good lot out but it does have quite a few Norse influences.
Overall, i think that the three Gaelic languages (brn orm go ndearna m dearmad ar Ghaeilge Mhanann sa teachtaireacht a sheol m n ba luaithe) are all going to pull through but we need to keep up the great efforts. Government funding for language schemes is essential, for example.
On the point, does anybody know what type of official recognition Manx has, from the island's parliament and from the british government?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:38 AM

The following excerpt has been posted at Gaidhlig-B, so I expect we will see further discussion at that site.

"From The Guardian Weekly:

'Ancient Tongue Falling Silent

'The [2001] census has also brought gloomy news for the dwindling band
of Scottish Gaelic speakers, now down to fewer than 60,000. That is
perilously close to 50,000, the level at which the ancient tongue would be officially considered dead, and a 15,000 drop on the 1991 figure. The language is more geographically restricted than ever before, with a high concentration in the Hebrides, and only a tiny minority in the central region of Strathclyde. Nationalists in the Scottish parliament want legislation to give Gaelic equal status with English, but that is being resisted by the Labour-dominated executive.' "

Gaidhlig-B, bi-lingual discussion about the Gaelic language and related matters; and Gaidhlig-A discussion, about anything, only in Gaelic, can be accessed via http:/www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/liosta
(as you might expect with a virtual community, a lot of the correspondents are Gaelic speakers and learners who don't reside in Scotland)

obviously this short report in the Guardian Weekly doesn't fully explain the issues(politics of secure status for Gaelic, etc), and it doesn't answer my query about why 50,00 = "officially considered dead"


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Subject: RE: Scotsman articles about Gaelic
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:09 PM

See "Reports of Gaelic's demise are premature" article by Jim McBeth in the Scotsman 20 Jan 2003
says, in much more detail, what I suggested about the decline being offset by the numbers of young people who are learning Gaelic in Scotland. REcommended reading!

McBeth also has an article
Parents' shame over their 'secret' language
about one family in Skye where the language skipped a generation; the woman whose Gaelic-speaking parents brought her up with English only, sends her children to a Gaelic-medium school.

22 Jan 2003 article in Gaelic by Aonghas Pdraig Caimbeul about members of the new Gaelic language board

I haven't looked to see what's in "the Scotsman" this month


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Subject: RE: Farewell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:31 PM

I missed out the link for the article I most recommended above:"Reports of Gaelic's demise are premature" http://www.news.scotsman.com/gaelic.cfm?id=72922003

More (current) Gaelic language articles: http://www.news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=64

Feb. 14 "Call to reverse Gaelic decline" by J Ross.

Feb 14:article about census begins:
"The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland has plummeted by more than 7,000 over the past ten years, according to results from the Scottish census, published yesterday.

Only 58,652 people aged three or over spoke the language in 2001, compared with 65,978 in 1991.

However, more than 92,000 people said that they could speak, read, write or understand Gaelic."

Feb 16 >strategies for future of Gaelic languageDreach 58,650: Leighis nan Lborach ra a nis a dhth? by Murchadh MacLeid - Gaelic article with full translation to English.


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Subject: RE: more articles about Scots Gaelic
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:55 PM

21 Feb West Highland Free Press (WHFP)West Highland Free Press editorial about census

WHFP article about Gaelic-medium education

a message at Gaelic-B advises people who want to keep up with what the various newspapers say about Gaelic to join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gaelic-News/ (members only, averages about 50 items a month)

I think Aodh wants to hear our own thoughts/feelings on this topic, but we might as well get the background information so we can have a more knowledgeable discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM

I was recently at Feis Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen, Scotland) and I was among the oldest there (apart from the tutors!) I'm 17 and i'd say the majority of the kids there were under 12. There is a gaelic school in Aberdeen, even though it isnt common to speak gaelic over here. The kids are well aware of the facts and figures, and have even decided to teach friends and family some gaelic, which i think is very encouraging. I certainly know that over here, in the north east of Scotland, we are trying our best to revive the gaelic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Strupag
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:44 PM

Wow Felipa,
I only wish that our MSP would do the same research and reading up as you do.
A heart fealt thanks for you valuable input

Mor an Thaing

Andy


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST,Trix
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 02:58 AM

Can anybody tell me what "sgeir mhaol" means?
It was written on a sign attached to a house in Oban, Scotland.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Aodh
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 11:37 AM

Thank you to every one who has left a message,
Why the hell should I learn English?


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Subject: RE: Farewell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 02:53 PM

I took my own advice and signed up for the Gaelic-News Yahoo groups. Now I can let others trawl the WHFP, Scotsman, Herald, Press & Journal, etc for articles about Gaelic. Recommended, but only if you have quite a strong interest in the topic, as there's a lot of reading.

I read a few articles which addressed my question of Who says 50,000 means dead.
Here is an extract from Vitaliev's Scotland
http://www.theherald.co.uk
The Herald. 3rd March, 2003.
"'He who loses his language loses his land,' runs an old Cornish proverb. If
so, Scotland must be in real danger of shrinking to the size of Monaco or
San Marino in the near future. According to the recent census, the number of
Gaelic speakers fell by 7000 during the past 10 years and has reached the
critical mark of 58,652.

"Why critical? Because all Scottish newspapers in their coverage of the
census quoted (with no source revealed) the figure of 50,000 language
speakers, below which, allegedly, the tongue was considered 'officially
dead'. As a multi-linguist, who wrote a lot about so-called minority
languages, I had reasons to doubt it.

"One sign of proof was the Faroe Islands, which I visited some time ago. With
just 40,000 people in total, this small semi-independent nation boasted
eight daily newspapers and 150 titles of books a year in Faroese - its
much-treasured indigenous language.

"The purity of Faroese was fiercely defended by the committee for the
protection of the language - a government-supported watchdog, making sure
that every child born on the islands was given a Faroese name and that as
few foreign borrowings as possible could sneak into the mother tongue. This
might sound too harsh, but the Faroese had to resort to extreme measures to
revive their language after five centuries of Danish domination."
I can't see the Scottish Gaels using such extreme measures. If anything, the native speakers are too reticent to use their language outside the home, and too ready to switch into English whenever a stranger or a known non-Gaelic speaker is present. But in the areas where large numbers still speak Gaelic as a first language, I would like to see a stronger push to use the language, in tandem with economic and social measures to keep the islands vibrant
. I think, for instance, that all nursery and primary schools in these areas should have Gaelic-medium teaching and that there should be every encouragement given to incomers and other adult non-Gaelic speakers to have intensive language training. There are immersion courses in Scotland, 16-20 hours a week for a school year; it is easier to find the numbers willing and able to make this commitment in centres of population such as Inverness and Glasgow than in more remote areas. I think Strupag's suggestion of a very intensive 1 month course, followed by distance learning and day-schools, might work better in less populated areas. The question still remains how to increase the demand? In Scotland as in Ireland, no one can get by without English but people can live for decades in an area where the main language is Gaelic and never learn to speak the language.
It looks like the language will survive as a second-language, spoken by sub-groups in the community and as a hobby by dispersed language learners. But will we also have some strong Gaelic-speaking communities?
There are some encouraging signs in the increased use of Gaelic in areas where the language was weak, but where there were some remaining native speakers. The third-level Gaelic-medium institution Sabhal Mr Ostaig in Sleat has brought a number of younger Gaelic-speakers into the area, and while the college not fully integrated with the community, staff members have joined the local community association (which does a small portion of its activities through Gaelic) and enrolled their children in Gaelic-medium classes in the local school. And I visited an area in Sutherland where old people could speak Gaelic, but hardly any one else. Gaelic-medium nursery and primary classes and an immersion course for adults were being started while there was still a chance for the learners to mix with the older native speakers. My reason for being in the area was to partake in a week-long community project making an animation video based on a local folk-tale. Three native Gaelic speakers from Lewis worked on this peripatetic project and most of the rest of us were learners - both children and adults - speaking the language as best we could as we did our art work. A couple of the children were being raised with Gaelic - and Greek, their father's native tongue.

I hope Gaelic will Fare Well in future!


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM

More excerpts gleaned from the Gaelic-News digest:

Similar to Vitaliev, Am Peursa in The Inverness Courier. 28 February 2003 asked who "under the sun" said that a language is dead if less than 50 thousand people speak it. He cites tribal languages which are are only spoken by a few thousand people.

"Agus c fon ghrin a chruthaich am figear seo de leth-cheud mle - fom bi cnan sam bith gu h-oifigeil "marbh"?

"Ma tha 49,000 duine a' bruidhinn cnan, chan urrainn gu bheil i marbh, agus shaoilinn gum biodh sin follaiseach do dhuine sam bith aig a bheil leth-eanchainne. Ann an Astrilia, mar eisimpleir, tha eadar 80 is 90 cnan dthchasach ga bruidhinn. Chan eil ach 50,000 duine uile gu lir anns a' bhuidhinn sin! Is, ged a tha cuid de na cnanan gun teagamh a' bsachadh, tha feadhainn eile a tha gu math fallainn le eadar 3000 is 5000 neach-labhairt.

"Tha a' Ghidhlig tinn is feumach air leigheas. Ach chan eil i aig uchd a' bis, is cha bu chir do dhaoine a bhith a' bruidhinn tuilleadh air bs fo 50,000. Chan eil sgot aig an argamaid sin."

As Vitaliev wrote "all Scottish newspapers in their coverage of the
census quoted (with no source revealed) the figure of 50,000 language
speakers, below which, allegedly, the tongue was considered 'officially
dead'." - I finally did see an article which attributed this demarcation figure: "The registrar-general, John Randall, believes that if the number of speakers
falls below 50,000, the language will have reached the point of no return."

John Randall is named in "Scotland will lose out in a war of words" by Brian Meek in
The Herald 4th March, 2003. Meek takes a middle line on the issues of support for Gaelic language and he thinks the language-bill goes too far in requiring councils all over Scotland to draw up language plans for Gaelic, regardless of whether or not Gaelic was ever a community language in those areas.

While I have expressed my particular concern that Gaelic be conserved where it is still spoken, I note that there has been a valuable contribution to this thread from a young Gaelic learner in Aberdeen. Aberdeen is not a traditionally Gaelic area, but it has a strong Celtic dept. in its university, native-Gaelic speaking workers from the west coast and islands (once in the fishing industry, now in the oil industry) and there is apparently now a keen group of Gaelic speakers and learners in Aberdeen.


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Subject: RE: Farewell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 03:22 PM

Strupag, see Gaelic Scotland as others see us, thread started by Aodh

Aodh see Gaelic Language Bill thread started by Strupag


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Subject: RE: Scots Gaelic and the 2001 Census
From: Felipa
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 09:11 AM

The Scottish census included a few questions about Gaelic, so while less than 60,000 respondents said they were fluent Gaelic speakers, some observers are saying that the figure of 95,672 people over the age of 3 who have some knowledge of Gaelic is more important. There are people who understand Gaelic well but don't feel confident of their speaking ability (over 27,000 respondents!), people who are fluent speakers but not literate (included in the figure of 58,652 speakers), people who read Gaelic well but don't speak it fluently, etc. They could be encouraged to build on their skills.

Caoimhin Donghaile has made detailed summaries of the census results for Gaelic available at http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/suil/cunntas-sluaigh-2001/. If you click on the blue links on that page, you will get breakdowns of distribution of Gaelic speakers by age, location and even accommodation type. If you aren't a Gaelic reader but are interested, don't be put off because the links titles such as "Luchd-labhairt a rir aois " (speakers according to age) lead you to pages with information tables in English

Census figures for previous years can be found at http://www.scottishhistory.com/articles/highlands/gaelic/gaelic.htm

General census information for Scotland is at >http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/
or http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/grosweb/grosweb.nsf/pages/censushm
I should find the URL for pages with similar information for Northern Ireland and for the Irish republic, and I see there are others here who might like to study the Welsh census returns.


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Subject: Lyric Add: SUAS LEIS A' GHÀIDHLIG
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 01:49 PM

reports of her demise are highly exagerated; meanwhile lets get some songs and poetry into the thread, togaidh sinn fonn:

SUAS LEIS A' GHÀIDHLIG
Donnchadh Raoideach (Duncan Reid)

seisd/chorus:
Togaibh i, togaibh i, cànain ar dùthcha
Togaibh a suas i gu h-inbhe ro-chliùitich:
Togaibh gu daingeann i 's bithibh rith bàigheil,
Hi ho-ro togaibh i, suas leis a' Ghàidhlig.

'S i cànain na h-òige, 's i cànain na h-aois;
B'i cànain ar sinnsir, b'i cànain an gaol;
Ged tha i nis aosd' tha i reachdmhòr is treun;
Cha do chaill i a clì, 's cha do strìochd i fo bheum.

Tha mòr-shruth na Beurla a' bagradh gu cruaidh
Ar cànain 's ar dùthchas a shlugadh a suas;
Ach seasaibh gu dìleas ri cànain ur gaoil
'S cha'n fhaigh i am bàs gu ruaig deireadh an t-saoghal

A dh'aindeoin gach ionnsuidh a thugadh le nàmh
A chòireachan priseil a spùinneadh o'n Ghaidheal,
Cha iasaich e chaoidh gus am faigh e a' bhuaigh
Thar gach mìorun is eucoir a dh'fhaodas a ruaig.

O, togaibh ur guth as leth cànain nam beann,
Is ciuinnteadh a fuaim air feadh mhonadh is ghleann;
Ard-sheinnibh a cliù ann am bàrdachd 's an ceòl
'S na leigibh le coimhich a masladh r'ar beò.

A chlanna nan Gaidheal! bithibh seasmhach is dlùth,
Ri guaillibh a chile a' cosnadh gach cliù
O. seasaibh gu gaisgeil ri cànain ur gràidh
'S na treigibh a' Ghàidhlig a-nis no gu bràth

O, togaibh a bratach gu h-àrd anns an tìr,
'S biodh litreachan maireannach sgrìobht' air gach crìdh':
Cha trèig sinn a' Ghàidhlig, 's cha chaill i an deò
Cànain mhùirneach ar dùthchas, cha trèig sin r' ar beò.

sources: Bruce Campbell, ed. Òrain nan Gaidheal Glasgow: Gairm, 1987
A' Coisir-Chiùil, The Saint Columba Collection of Gaelic Songs, London & Glasgow: Bailey & Ferguson, n.d.

chorus:
Praise it, praise it, language of our country,
Raise it up to an honoured rank,
Promote it firmly and treat it with affection,
Hi ho ro, raise it up, up with the Gaelic.

It is the language of youth, it is the language of old age,
It was the language of our ancestors, it was the language they loved;
Although it is now old it is strong and noble;
It has not lost its vigour, and it has not yielded to opposition.

[I would chose to interpret 'ar sinnsir', 'our ancestors', liberally as the ones who were here before us; it's part of our heritage whether or not our own blood relations spoke Gaelic]

The great stream of English threatens to overtake our language and heritage
But stand fast to our beloved language and the world will end e're she would die

Despite attack and plunder by enemies

Raise your voices for the language of the bens
And its sound will be heard throughout moorland and glen
Sing high its renown in poetry and music
Put the lie to the aspersion that Gaelic doesn't live

Gaels, be steadfast

Raise her banner over the land,
and living letters will be written on each heart
We won't desert the Gaelic; we will never lose it,
the precious language of our heritage, as long as we live.

X:1
T:Suas leis a' Ghidhlig
C:lyric Duncan Reid ~ Melody H. Whyte ("Fionn")
I:abc2nwc
M:6/4
L:1/8
K:F
    F3C C2F3C C2|F3A G2F4C2|D3E D2F3G A2|c3B A2G4F2|
w:To-gaibh i, to-gaibh i, c-nain ar dth-cha; To-gaibh a suas i gu hin-bhe ro-chlit-ich;
    c3d e2f3e d2|c3A F2F4G2|A3G A2c3d c2|c3B A2G4F2|
w:To-gaibh gu daing-eann i's bith-ibh rith bigh-eil. Hi Ho-ro, to-gaibh i; Suas leis a' Ghidh-lig
"^Verse:"z4z4z2C2|C3D E2F3G A2|c3d c2A4A2|c3d c2c3A F2|A3G G2G4A B|
w: 'Si cn-ain na h-oige; 'si cn-ain na h~aois; B'i cn-ain ar sinn-sir; B'i cn-ain an gaoil; Ged_
    c3d c2c3A F2|F3G A2B4A B|c3d c2c2A2F2|G3F F2F4z2
w:tha i nis aosd, tha i reachd-mhor is treun; Cha do chaill i a cl; 's-cha-do-striochd i fo bheum
(I don't have a sound recording of the above song and I sent MMario a page from A' Coisir-Chiùil, with all the choir parts included. I hope it's right; I have a headache and gave up trying to vet it.)

TOGAIBH FONN 'S BITHEAMAID SUNNDACH
Tormod MacGill-Eain

Togaibh fonn 's bitheamid sunndach
Togaibh fonn air tìr mo luaidh;
Seasaibh gu pròiseil onair ar dùthcha
Togaibh fonn 's cuiribh stòp mun cuairt.

Alba mo rùin, O 's tu mo shòlas,
Riamh chan fhacas na thug bàrr
Air do bheanntan 's grian gan òradh -
Bidh thu air thùs mo dhàin.

'S fhada gun chrìch tha Dùbhlachd na bliadhna,
'S buan an oidhche chuir dalladh air sùil:
Chan ann gu bràth a mhaireas na clar-neòil -
Thig fhathast là mòr ar dùil.

Boillsgidh an speur le ùr-theas na grèine,
Falbhaidh na deòir mar dhriùchd air lòn;
Mìle beannacchd air na dh'èisdeas
Ri fonn chuireas ruaig air bròn.

translation:
Let's sing and be cheery,
Lets sing a song in praise of my beloved land,
Stand proudly for the honour of our country,
Sing and pass round the bowl.

Beloved Scotland, Oh, you are my joy,
Never was seen anything to surpass
Your bens with the sun gilding them -
You will always be the top of my lay.

Long and endless is the year's Winter,
Long-lasting is the night that blinds the eye:
But not for ever will the dark clouds remain -
The great day of our hopes will come yet.

The heavens will sparkle in the new heat of the sun,
Tears will depart like dews on grass;
A thousand blessings on those who listen
To a song that puts sadness to flight.

source: Michael Davitt & Iain MacDhòmhnaill, ed. Sruth na Maoile: Modern Gaelic Poetry from Scotland and Ireland. Edinburgh and Dublin: Canongate Press/Coiscéim, 1993.


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Subject: Runrig wishes Gaelic to fare well
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 02:48 PM

verses of Runrig songs

from
SRÀIDEAN NA ROINN-EORPA

Tha na brataich a' snàmh
An cuan de dhathan
Do chànan binn an cluas na Roinn-Eorpa
Tha na sràidean beò le cainnt's togair
Sràidean am Babel ùr
'S thusa mo rùn, tha cothrom ma'd choinneamh
Tha do chliù air 'dhol tarsainn an cuan
Thusa tha meanbh, bi làidir, bi àlainn
Taisbean do chànan, bi buan

The flags are swimming
In a sea of colour
My language melodious in the ear of Europe
The streets are alive with conversation and purpose
Possibilities for a new Babel
And you my love have opportunity before you
Your renown has crosses the ocean
You that are small, be strong, be beautiful
Reveal your great langugage, be everlasting

from
TIR A' MHURAIN

Is ged a dh' fheuch iad ri cur as dhuinn
Chi mo theaghlach cnoc nan linn
Is ged tha ar cànan leòint le strì
'S an tir seo bidh i beo

Although they tried to destroy us
My children will see the landscape of generations
Although the language has been wounded in its struggle
In this land, she will live on


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Subject: Lyr Add: THA GÀIDHLIG BEÒ
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 02:50 PM

I don't have the original Scottish Gaelic for the following poem but rather a translation to Irish by Louis de Paor. Not inappropriate, as the poem is dedicated to an Irish author and sean-nós singer Caitlín Maude (1941-82). Her poems had modern themes; the ones published in Sruth na Maoile include one about office workers and another about lovers in war-torn Vietnam.

THA GÀIDHLIG BEÒ
Aonghas MacNeacail/Louis de Paor

cuirimis obair an lae inniu
i leataobh is déanaimis damhsa
le port-a-béil na gaoithe

'tha gàidhlig beò'
dh'ainneoin gach saighead
is í ag dreapadh na mbeann,
buinneán darach faoina hascaill,
a súile dúshlánacha
ag íneadh go híor spéir i gcéin
is í ag traíocht íor spéire i gcéin
lasair lonrach ina brollach go buan

seachain nach dtabharfaidh sí léim r243phras

ach déan damhsa, déan damhsa
obair is ea bheith ag damhsa.

source: innti#10, Dec. 1986

today let us put aside our work , and dance to the mouth-music of the wind

'Gaelic is alive'

despite every injury, she is climbing the mountains,
a sprout of oak under her arm
her challenging eyes searching the distant skies
a light forever shining in her bosom

beware that she doesn't leap too suddenly

but dance, dance; dancing is [also] work


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Felipa
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 10:54 AM

r243phras = róphras . rphras ~ too fast

There's been a new guide to test-messaging in Gaelic published!For example, Deireadh na seachdainn, for weekend, has been cut down to dn7n. And the Gaelic for thank you, tapadh leat, has been contracted to tap l@.


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 11:14 AM

Couple of things:

1 - Irish and Scottish varieties of Gaelic have been separated for over 800 years. While the Northern parts of Ireland and the southern areas of Scotland's Western Isles can "understand" each other to a certain extent due to the closeness of the area, the rest of the regions are not mutually intelligble easily.

2 - It IS Scottish and not Scotch Gaelic as mentioned above.

3 - Cape Breton is NOT the only place Immersions take place, but it is a spot that gets used. (Not sure why.... 8-))))

4 - Gaelic numbers ARE down, all over, but there IS still hope.

5 - Ingrid Henderson is NOT a native speaker (neither is her brother in the Blazers), though they both have learned enough to understand what is being said. I'm not sure they can make themselves understood in Gaelic.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Dhan Ghaidhlig
From: Felipa
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 05:08 PM

the middle two verses from "Dhan Ghàidhlig", "For Gaelic", by Domhnall Ruadh Choruna (Domhnall Somhnallach) of North Uist:

Ged a tha craobh na Gàidhlig
Anns a' ghàradh lom,
Gun duilleach mar a b'abhaist,
Tha i slàn sa chom;
Is glanaidh sinn ma sàilean
Le càirdeas is le fonn -
Spìonadh sinn le'r làmhan
Na tha fàs ma bonn.
Hñro, gillean, èiribh.

Is na bheir sibh blàths dhi,
Fàsaidh i gun mhaill
Is sgaoilidh i cuid ghàirdean
Anns gach àird gun taing;
Is thig iad far an t-sàile
As gach ceàrn a-nall
Nuair gheibh iad an t-àileadh
Aic' air sràid nan Gall.
Hñro, gillean, èiribh.

translation (by Fred MacAmhlaidh?)

Although the Gaelic tree
lies exposed in the garden
leafless and not as it used to be,
the trunk is still healthy.
We will clean round its roots
with tenderness and goodwill,
pluck with our bare hands
the weeds round its base.
Horo, lads, stand up.

And if you give it warmth,
it will immediately grow
and spread its arms generously
in all directions;
and they will come from overseas
when they get the scent of it
on Lowland streets.
Horo, lads, stand up.

[Domhnall Ruadh's poems were published in Glasgow in 1969 by Gairm, and in a new edition edited by Fred MacAmhlaidh, by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a' Tuath, Loch nam Madadh (Lochmaddy), 1995.]


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 06:09 PM

I am 65 and was brought up in Paisley, near Glasgow, but with a highland Gaelic speaking background. In those days we were discouraged from speaking Gaelic. I now speak about seven european and Scandinavian languages and am more fluent in any one of them as I am in gaelic. I am, however, 'ag ionnsachadh a rithist' and believe ther are a lot like me and much younger in Scotland in the same position. I must agree and disagree with George in that both Scotch and Scottish gaelic are correct. Both Scotch and Scottish are adjectives. I hate the use of 'Scots' as an adjective as it represents the Victorian, Presbyterian 'mim mou'd' attitude in Scotland in that time. Before then the adjective 'Scotch' can be seen in print many times over. The ludicrous phrase 'Scotch is for whisky and not people' is actually quite sad.
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 08:12 PM

Jim,
Although my people have lived on Cape Breton for nearly two hundred years they called themselves Scotch and called their music Scotch music. The term Scottish has replaced it but I still feel that Scotch is every bit as correct.
Now some people seem to take offense at this term but I always wonder why?
       Sandy


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 08:14 PM

Sorry, lost that damn cookie again.
            Sandy


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Subject: RE: Fairwell to Scots Gaelic?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 08:38 PM

I wrote this song based on the old tradition that Gaelic was the original language.
          Slainte,
             Sandy
         
      
          THE STORY OF GAELIC
            
ONCE GAELIC WAS THE LANGUAGE OF THE LAND
SPOKEN HERE BY EVERY WOMAN, CHILD, AND MAN
FOR WHEN GOD CREATED ADAM, HE DECIDED HE WOULD HAVE HIM
SPEAK THE TONGUE IN WHICH THE ANGELS SANG


WHERE THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVERS FLOW
AT A TIME SO MANY THOUSAND YEARS AGO
THE PEOPLE DOWN IN BABEL BUILT A TOWER THAT WOULD TRAVEL
FROM THIS EARTH WAY UP TO HEAVEN, SO I'M TOLD


BUT THE LORD, HE WASN'T VERY PLEASED AT ALL
AND DECIDED THEIR CONSTRUCTION HE WOULD STALL
SO HE TOOK AWAY THEIR GAELIC, LEFT THEM ALL RANTING AND RAVING
SPEAKING LANGUAGES EACH OTHER DIDN'T KNOW


BUT THEN THE LORD SPOKE TO A CHOSEN FEW
SAYING GAELIC I WILL NOW GIVE BACK TO YOU
FOR I KNOW THAT YOU STILL LOVE ME AND WON'T PUT YOURSELVES ABOVE ME
THE GAELIC WILL BE JUST FOR ME AND YOU


FATHER JOHN ANGUS RANKIN USED TO TELL
HIS PEOPLE TO AVOID THE GATES OF HELL
BUT WHEN HEAVEN'S CALL YOU'RE HEEDING, THE GAELIC YOU'LL BE NEEDING
IT'S THE LANGUAGE OF THE GARDEN; LEARN IT WELL

      
                                 (c) 2002
                                  A.McLean
                              4 Oak Crescent
                      Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia               
                            Canada   B9A3H4
                        a.mclean@ns.sympatico.ca


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