Archive for the ‘Scottish Gaelic (gla)’ Category

Just two printed Gaelic words stop helicopters from operating

2 December 2015

Well, that’s the claim that Paul Kavanagh says that he found on Twitter.

He writes that the current government in the United Kingdom does not want to fund Scottish Gaelic (gla) broadcasting in Scotland. The article is here with further details.

Soillse researcher seeks Gaelic speakers

26 April 2013

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (wiki) is a university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees using Scottish Gaelic (gla) as the language of instruction. Located on the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was founded in 1971 and hosts Soillse, a research network for the maintenance and revitalization of Gaelic.

As a Soillse researcher, Cassie Smith-Christmas is tracing the path of the language as it developed during the 1940s and 50s, when migration occurred due to evacuation and boarding-out. She is seeking people who can speak with her about the language aspects of that period. To find out more about her project and for her contact information, see “Global Gaelic explored through evacuee experiences.”

Video making the case to revitalize

13 April 2011

Last autumn, the BBC had an article titled “Are dying languages worth saving?” that includes a video.

The article provides pros and cons for revitalization, but the video is on the side of revitalization. Speaking in seven languages, people make the case with English subtitles to assist those people who are not septaglots (speaking seven languages).

The languages used are:

Scottish Languages in the Census

28 March 2011

Scotland is a country within another country: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Tied to England through the monarchy four centuries ago, Scotland has a rich linguistic history involving English and French for hundreds of years before that.

And of course it has its own language as well, Scottish Gaelic (gla). Scottish Gaelic is a branch of the Celtic language family, while English is a branch of the Germanic family. (The Celtic and Germanic language families are sister families under Indo-European (family).) According to the Ethnologue, Scottish Gaelic had over 58,000 speakers as of 2003. This has experienced a boost through the devolution process, which gave Scotland a parliament that, while primarily using English, uses Scottish Gaelic as well.

Another language used by the Scottish Parliament is Scots (sco), said by the Ethnologue to have 100,000 speakers as of 1999. Scots sounds a lot like English with a strong accent, but the meaning cannot be discerned by people not familiar with it. In contrast, non-Scottish speakers of English can understand Scottish Standard English much more easily. Scots and Scottish Standard English may be considered as a linguistic continuum, where Scots is quite different from English and Scottish Standard English is quite close to English, and most people use speech patterns somewhere in between.

Because most people speak somewhere in between Scots and Scottish Standard English, it is not always clear to speakers which one they are speaking. (It is a fuzzy area for linguists as well, who consider “dialect” and “language” to be relative terms.)

In the census underway in Scotland right now, question 16 asks whether individuals can understand, speak, read and write English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots. To aid people in determining the answer, the census has set up a site that provides speech samples in 10 varieties of Scots speech and reading samples as well.

This is the first time Scots will be included on the census. The results of the census should help language planning, including revitalization for Scottish Gaelic and Scots.

XIV Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages

19 July 2010

The fourteenth conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, titled Reversing Language Shift: How to Re-awaken a Language Tradition, will be held at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, from September 13 to 15, 2010.

A range of topics are scheduled on the provisional program, including

  • the balance of prescriptionism and descriptionism in revitalization,
  • empowering young people
  • language planning, and
  • the accommodation of out-group people

In addition to Welsh and nearby Scottish Gaelic, languages whose situations will be discussed include Sioux (the Spirit Lake Tribe), Guernseyan languages, and tongues from Australia.

The early bird registration deadline is August 16.

The Fifth Celtic Language

11 June 2007

According to Wikipedia, Charles Leland referred to the language Shelta (sth) as the fifth Celtic language (family), though with at least Irish Gaelic (gle), Scottish Gaelic (gla), Manx (glv); Breton (bre), Cornish (cor) and Welsh (cym), there are certainly more than five.

The speakers of Shelta are known as Travellers, a people also commonly known by the derogatory term “Tinker” because of the tin work they are known for.

Richard Waters has a Website dedicated to the Travellers in the US, called Travellers’ Rest. This site includes English > US Shelta and US Shelta > English dictionaries as well as links, music, essays and notes about some of the controversies surrounding the Travellers.

Although related to Gaeilge, the syntax is largely based on English.

Parts of R. A. Stewart Macalister’s 1937 The Secret Languages of Ireland can be found at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and Kobo Books, the vocabulary starting on page 174. Some of the other parts can be found on those sites as well.

Two other nomadic groups are the Romani (or Roma) and Sanka.