Carson nach eil barrachd rathaidean-iarainn glèidhte ann an Èirinn? #Gàidhlig #gaelic #cleachdi

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Gach bliadhna eadar an Nollaig agus a’ bhliadhna ùr bidh mi a’ dol air turas rèile sònraichte. Am-bliadhna, bidh mi a’ dol gu Rathad-iarainn Dhún Phádraig agus Chontae an Dúin (the Downpatrick and County Down Railway) ann an Èirinn.

Tha mi uamhasach dèidheil air Èirinn agus rathaidean-iarainn na h-Èireann agus tha mi air a bhith air gach rathad-iarainn ann an lìonra Northern Ireland Railways agus air beagan ann an Lìonra Iarnród Éireann. A-nis, tha mi airson a dhol air an aon rathad-iarainn gèidse-choitcheann (standard gauge) ann an Èirinn air fad.

80 Class Thumper – tha fear aca glèidhte ann an Dún Pádraig a-nis

Tha e caran iongantach nach eil ach aon dhiubh ann an Èirinn. Rinn mi beagan rannsachaidh air àireamh nan rathaidean-iarainn gèidse-chotcheann glèidhte ann am Breatainn is Èirinn agus seo  mar a tha an suidheachadh:

1024px-Flag_of_England.svg Sasainn 68
A;ba bratach Alba

 

7
1200px-Flag_of_Wales_(1959–present).svg A’ Chuimrigh

 

5
800px-Flag_of_Cornwall.svg A’ Chòrn

 

2

Tha sluagh tòrr nas motha ann an Sasainn agus mar sin, bhiodh tu an dùil gum biodh tòrr a bharrachd ann an Sasainn ach tha e daonnan a’ cur iongnadh orm gu bheil nas lugha ann an Èirinn na ann an Alba,  a’ Chuimrigh no fiù ’s a’ Chòrn.

Seo cuid de na h-adhbharan airson seo nam bheachd:

Chaidh tòrr de na rathaidean-iarainn a dhùnadh na bu thràithe ann an Èirinn na ann am Breatainn. Chaidh an sgrios as miosa air rathaidean-iarainn Bhreatainn a dhèanamh eadar meadhan agus deireadh nan 1960an ach chaidh tòrr de na gearraidhean ann an Èirinn a dhèanamh na bu thràithe, gu sònraichte ann an Èirinn a Tuath far nach robh riaghaltas Stormont idir taiceil ris na rathaidean-iarainn. Thachair seo mus robh eisimpleir ann de rathaidean-iarainn glèidhte agus aig àm nuair nach robh cus airgead saor aig daoine ann an Èirinn no Breatainn.

Cha b’ ann gus na 1950an a chaidh a’ chiad rathad-iarainn glèidhte ann am Breatainn ath-fhosgladh – an Talyllyn sa Chuimrigh – agus b’ e loidhne phrìobhaideach chaol-ghèidse bheag a bha sin. Cha b’ ann gus na 1960an a chaidh a’ chiad rathad-iarainn gèidse-choitcheann a ghlèidheadh ann am Breatainn. B’ e seo am Bluebell Railway, ann an Sussex, Sasainn. Dh’fhosgail e ann an 1960 – a’ chiad rathad-iarainn gèidse-choiteann glèidhte san t-saoghal!

Gèidse – tha gèidse-choitcheann na h-Èireann (5’3”) eadar-dhealaichte ri gèidse-coitcheann sa chòrr den t-saoghal (4’8 ½“). Bha sin a’ fàgail nach gabhadh trèanaichean a cheannach bho dhùthchannan eile airson loidhnichean ann an Èirinn.

Cha robh Dai Woodman Èirinneach ann – Nuair a chaidh tòrr de na h-einnseanan smùid san RA a chur a-mach à seirbheis, chaidh tòrr aca a cheannach le gàradh-scrap Dai Woodman anns Y Barri anns a’ Chuimrigh. Cheannaich e na ceudan de locothan agus an uair sin, an àite a bhith gam briseadh sìos, chùm e iad agus dh’fhàg e iad sa ghàrradh aige fad iomadh, iomadh bliadhna. Cheannaich luchd-glèidhteachais iad uile thar nam bliadhnaichean. Bha seo uamhasach cudromach ann am fàs nan rathaidean-iarainn glèidhte ann am Breatainn.

Ann an Èirinn, chaidh cur às do locothan smùid na bu thràithe na ann am Breatainn cuideachd, a’ fàgail nach robh cus locothan smùid rim faighinn airson pròiseactan glèidhteachais.

An NCB – bha tòrr einnseanan smùid aig Bùird Nàiseanta a’ Ghuail ann am Breatainn a bha a’ fàgail gun robh tòrr locothan beaga smùid is diosail rim faighinn air deagh phrìs – cha robh sinn fìor ann an Èirinn far nach eil gual ri lorg.

Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gur e sin as adhbhar nach eil barrachd loidhnichean glèidhte ann an Èirinn. Tha beagan loidhnichean caol-ghèidse (narrow gauge) ann, ach a-rithist, tha tòrr nas lugha ann na bhiodh tu an dùil bhon lìonra mòr chaol-ghèidse a bh’ ann an Èirinn uair.

A bheil adhbhar eile ann? A bheil mi ceàrr? Dè ur beachd?

Alasdair

 

 


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

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2019 an t-Samhain: Abairtean Gàidhlig /Nov. Gaelic expressions

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Gaelic phrases in Seaboard English

I’ve been looking at the Seaboard use of individual Gaelic
words when speaking English in different contexts up to now – fishing,
describing people, and there are plenty more of these to come. But there are
also a lot of complete Gaelic phrases and expressions that have been
used within living memory, and even today – conversational exchanges,
exclamations, commands etc.  Quite a
number of Seaboard folk have contributed to this particular list, some
anonymously – mòran taing, as usual!

I’ll write the Gaelic first in this case, then the meaning,
and then the Seaboard pronunciations I’ve been given or heard myself, which are
often compressed, and clearly local variations.

Questions and answers

Ciamar a tha thu? How are you? Kimmer a ha oo?

Ciamar a tha sibh? How are you? (polite or plural form)
Kimmer a ha shoo/shio?

Tha gu math – fine.  Ha
gih ma

Tha gu brèagha – great, lovely. Ha gih bree-a

Chan eil ach meadhanach – only middling.  Han yell ach may-nach

Tha mi sgìth – I’m tired. 
Ha mi skee

Tha mi marbh – I’m dead (e.g. exhausted after lifting
taties) Ha mi mar-oo

Tha mi fann – I’m feeling feeble.  Ha mi fyoun

Tha creath-fuachd orm – I’m shivering with the cold (“There’s
a shiver of cold on me”)  Ha creh-foo-achk
orrum..

Cò tha ann? Who’s there? (“Who’s in it?”)   Co ha oun?

Am beil thu staigh? Are you in/inside? Am bil oo sty? (Said
when a fisherman was knocking on the window of a crew-mate’s house in the
morning, to make sure he was up)

Càite bheil X? Where’s X? Caatcha vil X?

Dè an uair a th’ ann? 
What’s the time? (“What’s the hour that’s in it?”) Jay an oo-ar
a houn?

Gu dè tha siud? What’s that? Kih-day a shoot?

Chan eil fhios agams’. 
I don’t know. (“There’s no knowledge at me.”) Han yell iss a-mus.

Exclamations and commands

O Thighearn’! Oh Lord, Good God, Oh my God – seen as very
strong, rather blasphemous.  O hi-urn!

Thighearn’ fhèin! Even stronger – Oh Lord yourself!  Hi-urn hayn!

O Thì! Oh dear! (literally Oh Jesus, but for some reason not
as frowned upon as O Thighearn’).  O hi!

Mo thruaghan mise! Woe is me!  Mo roo-an meesh!

Smaoinich! Just think! Imagine! Smih-neech

Coimhead air a sin! 
Look at that!  Ket er a sheen!

An seall thu air/e! Will you look at it/him/that!  (An) sholl oo a!

Greas ort! Get a move on! (“Hurry on you!”)  Gress orsht!

Dèan suidhe! Sit down, take a seat! Jen soo-ie

Cuir stad air! Stop that! Coor stat er!  (My grandfather would say that to
misbehaving children)

Cuir dheth e ! Turn it off!  Coor yeh eh!  (My mother remembered a neighbour would shout
it when the prized new radio, played in a house with several deaf people, was
too loud for him)

Bi sàmhach! Be quiet! 
Bi so-ach!  (very
local pronunciation, instead of the more common saa-vach). “Dòmhnull Sàmhach”
was an imaginary figure who came to send children to sleep, and here that was
pronounced Dole So-ach.

Dùin an doras!  Shut
the door!  Usually said without the “an”
Dooon doras!  Or one informant
told me they remembered “Doon the doras!”

Fosgail an doras! Open the door! Again, usually said without
the “an”. Fuskal doras!

Other Gaelic expressions

Ithidh an t-acras rud sam bith – hunger will eat anything,
if you’re hungry you’ll not be choosy. Eek a dacaris root
sa bi

Gu dearbh! Indeed! 
Goo jerra!

Tha mi loisgt’.  I’m
burnt, I’ve burnt myself.  Ha mi looshk.

Tha i coma co-dhiù. She’s easy going, couldn’t care less.  Ha i co-ma co-yoo.

Mas fhìor!  allegedly,
“Aye right!” (expressing scepticism). Ma-sheer.  Also used as an adjective meaning
superficial, not genuine: That’s all masheer! (just showing off),  or even fake: 
That’s masheer jewellery.

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! Happy New Year!  Blionna va oor!

Baile a‘ Chnuic. Hilton (“Town of the hill”). Balla-chrink

Seannduaig . Shandwick. 
Shoun-dwik

Baile an Todhair. Balintore.  Bal an Dore (with Gaelic initial
D, almost a TH)

And as usual, if you have any more, or variations on these
listed, please get in touch, e.g. via the Hall. All gratefully received!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

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Tàidh

Le Alistair Paul

Ged a tha an saoghal air fàs nas neo-fhoirmeile agus is tric a chithear fir gnìomhachais is poilitigs às aonas tàidh orra san latha th’ann, tha fhathast cuid a shuidheachaidhean ann far a bheilear a’ sùileachadh gun cosg na fir tàidh. Ach nach e rud caran neònach a th’ann an tàidh nuair a smaoineachas sinn mu dheidhinn?

Taidh

Faigh deagh-phìos anairt
Fear le dath a thig riut
Nam faighear a leithid ann
An taobhsa den chruinne

Geàrr dheth stiall dìreach
Leud a h-aon no dà òirleach
Stiall a thèid barra-chaol
Bho earball gu earball

Cha bu mhiste thu goban a chur ann
Fear dhiubh aig gach ceann
Mus tèid mu do mhuineal an stiallsa
Snaimh air a ceangail innte gu finealta

Teannaich an t-snaidhm mu d’amhaich
Gus am bi thu an impis do thachdadh
Gun stad a chur gu h-iomlan
Air fuil fhaighinn gu d ‘eanchainn

Feuch am fàg thu fad fada gu leòr
Fear a ghabhas greimeachadh air
Mas ann ann an sabaid thu
No air do shlaodadh mar chù

‘S tus’ san urrainnear suim a chur a-nis
Ge duine ìosal no uasal thus’
Na dìochuimhnich; mus fhalbh thu robhad
A’ chòrr de d’ aodach a chuir umad

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Toil-inntinn ann an Saoghal gun Dòchas: Teachdaireachdan nam Anam Dorcha

Le Liam.Alastair

“Bha fhios a’m gun robh còir agam stad a bhith a’ cluiche Dark Souls nuair a thòisich mi miannachadh crìoch a chur air a’ gheama.” Aithris mun gheama-choimpiutair Dark Souls, le ceithir pìosan comhairleachaidh don neach leis am bu mhiann buannachadh, le Robbie MacLeòid.

Bha fhios a’m gun robh còir agam stad a bhith a’ cluiche Dark Souls nuair a thòisich mi miannachadh crìoch a chur air a’ gheama.

Beachd àraid a tha sin ri leughadh, tha fhios, ach tha e fìor. Beagan fiosrachaidh airson toiseach tòiseachaidh:

‘S e geama-coimpiutair bho 2011 a th’ ann an Dark Souls, a chaidh a dhèanamh le FromSoftware fo stiùir lèirsinneach Hidetaka Miyazaki. ‘S e a’ chiad geama Dark Souls a bh’ ann, agus an dàrna anns an sreath Souls. Choisinn an geama cliù mar gheama diabhalta doirbh, peanasachail, le bossaichean mòra fuathmhor a chuireadh às dhut ann am priobadh. Geama a nochdadh annad fearg, a bharrachd air sìon sam bith eile. Mar a thuirt Miyazaki fhèin ann an agallamh le Wired, ‘Tha mi air cur romham geamaichean a dhèanamh a bheireas deagh fhaireachdainn do chluicheadairean tro iad a bhith a’ dèanamh a’ chùis air èiginn.’

Tha buaidh nach gann air a bhith aig na geamaichean Souls; tha a h-uile neach a chluicheas geamaichean-coimpiutair san latha an-diugh eòlach air an ainm. Tha fiù ’s genre ùr air fàs às na geamaichean — ‘Soulslike’. (Ràmh eile: ann an aon de na geamaichean ‘Soulslike’, Nioh, tha aon de na caractairean Èireannach agus cha bhi i ach a’ bruidhinn na Gaeilge!)

 

Sgeulachd agus Spionnadh

A thaobh sgeulachd, tha Dark Souls stèidhichte ann an tìr den ainm Lordran. Tha thu fhèin neo-marbh, agus a’ feuchainn ri solas a’ tilleadh dhan tìr thìamhaidh seo, gun a bhith a’ fàs Falamh, no ‘Hollow’ — d’ inntinn a chall gu tur. Air feadh an t-saoghail tachraidh thu ri caractairean a tha air fàs Falamh, nach eil a-nis ach nan creutairean feirge, no ri daoine a tha air an spionnadh aca a chall gu tur.

’S ann mar seo — gun spionnadh — a tha aon de na ciad charactairean ris an coinnich thu sa gheama, seann ghaisgeach nach tèid a-mach a-rithist, fear a tha buileach gun dòchas. “Dè tha ceàrr?” canaidh e riut. “An do ghabh thu feagal? Na gabh dragh. Gabh suidhe is fàs comhfhurtail. Bidh an dithist againn Falamh a dh’aithghearr.” Tha an saoghal eu-dochasach, is làn feirg.

Ach fhuair mi fhèin lorg air nàdar de shìth am measg nam bàsan, agus toil-inntinn ann an saoghal a tha na dheann-ruith gu crìoch gach nì.

 

Teachdaireachd a h-Aon: Gabh air do Shocair

Anns a’ mhòr-chuid de gheamaichean, chan fheum thu gabhail air do shocair. Stiùiridh an geama thu gu ìre mhòr, agus fàsaidh thu cho cumhachdail is nach urrainn dha na nàmhaidean a nochd tràth anns a’ gheama cron a dhèanamh ort. ’S urrainn dhut ruith tromhpa.

’S urrainn dhut cuideachd feuchainn ri dhol nad dheann tro Dark Souls, a’ feuchainn ri ruith seachad air a h-uile càil.

Cha tèid gu math leat.

Feumar gabhail air socair ann an saoghal Dark Souls.  Ann an Dark Souls, fiù ’s às dèidh 20 uair de chluiche, thèid aig na sòmbaidhean bho thoiseach a’ gheama do mharbhadh mura gabh thu cùram. Tha gach neach cunnartach agus a dhìth air do làn aire.  Tha seo gu h-àiridh fìor a thaobh nam bossaichean. Tha agad ri bhith cùramach agus dàna ma tha thu airson a bhith soirbheachail. Feumaidh tu bhith, ma faod mi beagan Beurlachais a chleachdadh, beò anns a’ mhòmaid.

Ò, cuideachd, chan eil putan ‘pause’ idir ann an Dark Souls.

Mar sin, dhomh fhèin, ’s ann mar a bhith ri nàdar de mheditation a bha Dark Souls. Bha agam ri aire a chumail air gach nì: gach oisean anns am b’ urrainn nàmhaid falach; gach criomag còmhraidh anns am b’ urrainn fiosrachadh a bhith na falach; gach sabaid, gach tìr ùr, gach pìos uidheim. Le bhith a’ sealltainn air an t-saoghal le aire, ghabh mi luach ann barrachd na tha mi ann an iomadach gheam’ eile.

Nuair a chrìochnaichinn seisean Dark Souls, bhithinn a’ faireachdainn mar gun robh mi dìreach air suidhe làn-aire airson greis. Bha mi nas cùramaiche nam bheatha fhèin, nas puingeile, nas taingeile. Bhithinn beò anns a’ mhòmaid — ged nach robh dùil agam gun leumadh uilebheist air choreigin às a’ phreas.

 

Teachdaireachd a Dhà: Na dèan coimeasan ri faileasan

Fhad ’s a tha thu a’ gabhail air do shocair, bidh aire agad air dè cho luath is a tha daoin’ eile air dhol. Chì thu faileasan nan daoine seo anns a’ gheama fhèin. Cuimhnichidh tu gu bheil cuideigin ann a tha air crìoch a chur air na trì geamaichean Dark Souls ann an ochd uair a thìde uile gu lèir. Cuimhnichidh tu seo nuair a tha an aon sòmbaidh ud air do mharbhadh airson an treasamh turas ann an sreath.

A bharrachd air sin, bidh aire agad air dè cho luath ’s a bu mhiann leat dol. Cha bhi thu airson feuchainn ris an Deamhan-Tairbh a mharbhadh a-rithist. Bidh thu airson crìoch a chur air a’ phàirt seo, tiog a chur sa bhogsa, gluasad air adhart aig astar.

Cha ghabh Dark Souls truas riut.

Tha agad ri gabhail ris. Tha agad ri gabhail ris gu bheil daoin’ eile ann a tha nas comasaiche aig a’ gheama, no nas fortanaiche, na tha thu fhèin; tha agad ri gabhail ris nach eil thu buileach far a bheil thu ag iarraidh a bhith, nach eil thu air an adhartas a tha thu ag iarraidh dèanamh a dhèanamh fhathast.

Ach thig sin. Cuiridh thu às dhan Deamhan-Tairbh, agus, nas fhaide air adhart anns a’ gheama, nuair a tha agad ri dà no trì dhiubh a shabaid aig an aon àm, bidh e eagalach, gun teagamh sam bith, ach bidh earbsa agad annad fhèin. Bidh thu, uair agus a-rithist, air do chuid fhoighidinne a chleachdadh, agus bidh e mar fhèith a tha air fàs làidir le chleachdadh.

An-dràsta ge-tà, a’ faicinn nam faileasan a tha a’ ruith seachad ort, tha agad ri gabhail ris. Gabh earbsa gun dèan thu a’ chùis le foighidinn, agus nach toir coimeasan riut ach mì-thoileachas.

 

Teachdaireachd a Trì: Nàmhaid mu seach

Chan fhiach feuchainn ri barrachd na dà nàmhaid a-mhàin a shabaid aig aon uair ann an Dark Souls. Aon (uill, dà) de na bossaichean as doirbhe a tha ri lorg anns a’ gheama ’s iad Ornstein agus Smough, dithist seann ghaisgeach a th’ agad ri sabaid aig an aon àm. Leotha fhèin, chan eil iad mòran nas miosa na bossaichean eile a’ gheama; ach còmhla, ’s e sabaid dhuilich a tha romhad.

Ach tha seo fiù ’s fìor airson nàimhdean beaga a’ gheama cuideachd. Thèid aig creutair sam bith a’ chùis a dhèanamh ort ann an Dark Souls ma tha grunnan aca ann. Ma bhios tu a’ feuchainn ri cus a dhèanamh aig an aon àm, cuiridh e fodha thu.

Nàmhaid mu seach. Aon rud aig aon àm. Bidh dàna, seadh, agus dèan oidhirp; ach na feuch air cus a dhèanamh.

 

Teachdaireachd a Ceithir: Iarr air taic

Cuimhnich air a’ Ghaisgeach Ghruamach air an robh mi a-mach na bu thràithe? Fhad ’s a tha thusa a’ dol a-mach dhan t-saoghal agus a’ feuchainn, a’ strì, bidh esan na shuidhe ri taobh a’ ghealbhain, a’ gearan, a’ magadh, agus cha bhi e ri mòran eile a bharrachd air sin. Tha e air a mhisneachd a chall buileach; chan eil dòchas idir aige, agus tha e a’ magadh air daoin’ eile a tha a’ feuchainn ri cùisean atharrachadh.

Ach, aig cridhe Dark Souls, tha teachdaireachd làidir a’ dealradh mar lasair: chan eil thu nad aonar. A dh’aindeoin doilleireachd an t-saoghail, a dh’aindeoin bàis is feirg is eu-dòchais, ’s urrainn dhut iarraidh air taic. Aig amannan thig an taic seo bho chluicheadairean eile: ’s urrainn dhut tron eadar-lìon cluicheadairean eile a thoirt a-steach don gheama agad. Uaireannan eile, ’s urrainn dhut na caractairean ris an do thachair thu a thoirt còmhla riut airson greis, gu h-àraidh faisg air bossaichean doirbhe. Tha dìreach agad ri iarraidh air taic.

Agus beiridh an fheadhainn a tha cumail taic riut buaidh ort. Ma leughas tu sìon mu dheidhinn Dark Souls, chìthear iomraidhean air Solaire, caractar toilichte is dòchasach a bhios ag adhradh na grèine. Tha solas ann fiù ’s aig àm bàs an teine.

Dhomh fhèin ’s e an caractair Laurentius a tha glaiste nam chuimhne, fear a ionnsaicheas breò-dhraoidheachd dhut, .i. draoidheachd an teine. Bidh Laurentius a’ gabhail ùidh annad, gu h-àraidh an coimeas a’ Ghaisgich Ghruamaich. Nuair a chuireas tu crìoch air còmhradh le Laurentius, canaidh e san dealachadh, “Na fàs Falamh a charaid.”

Ann an saoghal Dark Souls, tha e nas fhasa fàs Falamh, no fàs eu-dòchasach, na cumail ort. Ach san uair sin, tha na dàimhean againn nas cudromaiche. Na fàs Falamh, a charaid.

 

Co-dhùnadh

An-dràsta ge-tà, tha mi airson ruith seachad air gach nàmhaid. Tha mi airson crìoch na sgeòil a ruigsinn, dìreach airson crìoch a chur air. Agus tha sin gu tur an aghaidh mo thuigse fhèin de Dhark Souls.

Is mar sin, às dèidh mo chiad 20 uair san t-saoghal, às dèidh diofar deamhain agus bossaichean (fiù ’s Ornstein is Smough!) tha mi ag ràdh soraidh ri Dark Souls, airson greis co-dhiù. Fàgaidh mi an saoghal ud an-dràsta, làn earbsa gum bi na Ceithir Tighearnan, agus taghadh mu dhàn na cruinne-cè, fhathast gam fheitheamh nuair a thilleas mi. Agus tha mi an dòchas nuair a thilleas mi gun gabh mi ris na tha an geama a’ toirt orm chur an cèill: foighidinn, fèin-mhathanas, càirdeas, agus aire.

– Robbie MacLeòid

 

Corra fhacal fheumail

Anman Dorcha — Dark Souls

Falamh — Hollow

Mol a’ Ghrian! — Praise the Sun!

Dh’eug thu. — You died.

An Gaisgeach Gruamach — The Crestfallen Warrior

Breò-dhraoidheachd — Pyromancy

‘Shin thu. Fanaidh mis’ an seo, airson sealltainn air a’ ghrèin. ’S e nèamhach àlainn a th’ anns a’ ghrèin. Mar athair mhiorbhailteach!  Ach gum bithinn fhèin cho mòr-dhealrach!’ —  ‘Oh, hello there. I will stay behind, to gaze at the sun. The sun is a wondrous body. Like a magnificent father! If only I could be so grossly incandescent!’ (Solaire)

‘Mar sin leat, ma-thà. Gabh cùram, a charaid. Na fàs Falamh.’ — ‘‘Goodbye then. Stay safe friend. Don’t you dare go hollow.’ (Laurentius)

 

Beagan Ghaeilge an Nioh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRLsyv8cEmk

Agallamh le Miyazaki: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/dark-souls-3-hidetaka-miyazaki-interview

 

 

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Stòras Beò: Hughena

Le Gordon Wells

Hughena MacDonald is the next interviewee in this series of conversations with Archie Campbell.

In Part 1, Hughena talks about her family background and her happy memories of growing up and going to various schools in Uist and Benbecula, including her experience of coming across computers for the first time when Sgoil Lìonacleit opened.

This was followed by a spell in Stornoway where she studied at the college and did part-time work, including with Radio nan Gàidheal. On returning to Uist she worked in various places, and raised a family. She describes how she enjoys working with people, and how she likes to relax afterwards.

You can read the wordlinked transcript here on Clilstore: http://multidict.net/cs/7915

In Part 2, discussion of the importance of Hughena’s faith to her leads onto broader reminiscence over customs and traditions in the days of her childhood, when casual visits to and from neighbours would be more frequent, often related to crofting matters. Hughena describes early memories of collecting and eating shellfish from the shore, and of baking skills less often put to use these days now that so much is so easily available in the shops. The conversation finishes with some discussion of the strength of Gaelic use in her family, how she’s passed it on successfully to her children, and the value of now encouraging older community members to share their spoken skills, while acknowledging the challenges involved in recording them.

The Clilstore transcript is available here: http://multidict.net/cs/7916


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Scottish Gaelic in Scottish Courts

Le basedrones

I’m going to do that thing where I write in English about Gaelic. Three reasons might be offered for this transgression, such as it is, in no particular order.

  1. Gaelic coverage of the issue I am discussing is available elsewhere, notably on the BBC website here and here, on the radio programme Aithris na Maidne (for another 28 days), and (until 19.15 tonight!) on the BBC iPlayer for the BBC Alba programme An Là;
  2. For maximum reach, as there is no denying more people in the world understand English than Gaelic;
  3. For laziness, as my own written (and legal) English is much better than my Gaelic.

Moving to the substance of the blog post, as adverted to in the title and as those who clicked the BBC Naidheachdan link will have gleaned, this post is about usage of the Gaelic language in Scottish courts. The post follows on from a recent criminal court case (on Thursday 31 October), where someone tried to use Gaelic orally at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was bounced in his attempt to do so.

(For clarity, this case was not directly about Gaelic, but rather it came into play simply as a result of someone involved in the case wishing to speak in the language. As regards the case itself, I will let the person involved speak to that, by linking to his tweet.)

Scots Gaelic and its place in the Scottish legal system is something I have blogged about before (for example, see this post from 2015). This engaged a slightly new issue though: can a Scottish court force a participant to use English rather than Gaelic?

In short: yes, it can.

For this particular case, an interpreter was, it seems, lined up at one stage but for whatever reason was not available on the day. Given there are not many Gaelic speakers in contemporary Scotland who are not also fluent in English (a demographic that is basically only pre-school age children and elderly people who have reverted to their first language), a court can normally be clear that a Gaelic speaker will understand English, and in this case the sheriff was able to press on notwithstanding the lack of an interpreter (something that would surely have not been possible where a Polish or Lithuanian interpreter had not shown up).

This was described by Wilson MacLeod on Twitter as “Tàmailteach“, which might be translated as “a disaster”. I’ll be a bit more guarded here and note that this is all somewhat suboptimal.

Sure, we know that the person involved could have participated in English, but when language rights are involved that is at best an ancillary point. I also of course appreciate that court delays in a busy court system should be avoided wherever possible. The thing is, Gaelic is not exactly in rare health at the moment. Official opportunities to use the language should be provided. It’s all very nice to allow Gaelic to be used in sheriff court proceedings every once in a while, as happened in 2005 before Sheriff Sutherland in Stornoway, but I can’t help but feeling this episode has highlighted that language rights in Scotland are somewhat wanting when compared to somewhere else in the UK, namely Wales. It took Scotland a while to get legislation about Gaelic on the statute books (see for example this Hansard exchange about a proposed bill in the 1980s), but what we have now – the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 – does not enshrine the right to use Gaelic in legal proceedings. That can be contrasted with the right to use Welsh in legal proceedings in Wales (in terms of the Welsh Language Act 1993, and before that the Welsh Language Act 1967).

As Ruairidh Maciver (I declare an interest – he’s a first cousin) noted in his BBC Report, attempts were made to use Gaelic in court proceedings in the 1980s, in connection with the Ceartas campaign. (Anyone wishing to read up on this with access to a law library can find a discussion in this legal comment piece: A C Evans “Use of Gaelic in Court Proceedings” 1982 SLT (News) 286.) It was bounced then as well. Have we moved forward? Are we simply paying lip service to Gaelic?

It is right and proper the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has a plan in place for British Sign Language, but should it do more in relation to Scots Gaelic? Based on this particular episode, there seems a strong argument it should.

I’ll leave it at that, but in the meantime I should say a quick “tapadh leat” to Marcas Mac an Tuairneir for bringing this to the fore. I’ll be watching carefully to see what happens next. I confess I am not getting my hopes up.


Tadhail air Gaelic – basedrones

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