Stòras Beò: Coinneach & Maighread

Le Gordon Wells

CandMmontageHere’s a new departure with some well-known and well-loved faces. Comann Eachdraidh Sgìre a’ Bhac (Back historical society) have been producing home-grown videos for YouTube for a while now, many of them fronted by Coinneach MacÌomhair, recently retired after decades of sterling service with BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. In the video below, he’s joined by renowned singer Maighread Stiùbhart as they take viewers on a walking tour of Col Uarach.

It’s a remarkable film, in which the presenters’ deep knowledge and love of their home turf shine through, beautifully expressed in Gàidhlig Sgìre a’ Bhac. The video has been online for a few months now, but there’s been a new development – the addition of CC subtitles (which you can switch on or off, according to taste). This has been made possible following meticulous extra work by Maighread to transcribe the entire video so that it can be added to the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal collection. And as followers of Guthan nan Eilean know, once the Gaelic subtitles are up, YouTube settings will also offer you auto-translation into many other languages – English included!

Plus, the “Stòras Beò” treatment means you can also access the full wordlinked transcript online through this Clilstore unit: https://clilstore.eu/cs/10540

Naturally, we’re delighted at Island Voices to be able to work with another local history society in the Western Isles. We hope such partnerships will continue to blossom and grow!


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Taisce Bheo: Aodán Ó Cearbhaill

Le Gordon Wells

AodanAodán Ó Cearbhaill from Gaoth Dobhair speaks to Colm Mac Giolla Easpaig.

In the first part Aodán describes his family background and his teaching career to date.

He goes on to detail the career break he took to teach Irish in Nova Scotia. In preparation for this role, Aodán describes how he learnt Scottish Gàidhlig and this leads him and Colm to discuss the similarities and differences between the Donegal dialect and Gàidhlig.

Finally, Aodán describes his affinity with Tory Island, the birthplace of his father, and recites a famous folklore story about how Colm Cille came to bring Christianity to the Island.

A wordlinked transcript alongside the embedded video is available here: http://multidict.net/cs/10578

In the second part of the conversation, Aodán describes some customs and superstitions from Tory Island, most notably the story behind the Tory soil that keeps rats at bay. They discuss the musical heritage of the island before Aodán sings “An Buachaill Deas Óg”, and they chat about how Aodán is newly married and living in the area.

This leads them to discuss the fate of this rural area. Aodán explains his fear about the future of the language but also his hopes for tourism in the area. Planning issues are discussed before Aodán details the polytunnel he had installed in his new home. They end the conversation with Aodán describing the unique manner in which he would spend a win on the National Lottery, and he finishes with a rendition of the renowned Tory Island song “Amhrán na Scadán”.

A wordlinked transcript alongside the embedded video is available here: http://multidict.net/cs/10580

This is the third set of Irish recordings in the Taisce Bheo na nGael project in which the UHI Language Sciences Institute with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Soillse, together with Irish partners, record the natural speech of Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers in their own communities with user-friendly equipment and techniques. We are again indebted to Dr Gearóid Ó Domagáin of Ulster University for his meticulous work on the transcriptions.


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Siubhal gun siucair ann an Siorrachd Bhearaig?

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Dh’fhosgail stèisean ùr ann an Alba aig deireadh a’ Chèitein, rud nach tachair to thric! ’S e seo Renton ann an Siorrachd Bhearaig anns na Crìochan. Mar sin, chuir mi romham a dhol air splaoid ann gus faicinn cò ris a tha e coltach.

A bharrachd air sin, tha seirbheis bus ùr – seirbheis bus-air-iarrtais ann an Schd Bhearaig: Pingo far am faod thu meanbh-bus iarraidh gu àite sam bith ann an t-siorrachd air prìs gu math reusanta.

Chuir mi tiocaidean air dòigh eadar Glaschu agus Reston air prìs gu math ìosal agus bha mi am beachd am bus Pingo fhaighinn eadar Reston agus Ayton, far a bheil rathad-iarainn beag ùr ann ann an Caisteal Ayton.

Thòisich rudan a dhol ceàrr nuair a chaidh ainmeachadh gum biodh stailcean ann air latha an turais agam. Às dèidh beagan rannsachaidh, ge-tà, fhuair mi a-mach gun robh trèanaichean eadar Glaschu agus Dùn Èideann fhathast a’ ruith agus gun robh an trèana agam eadar Dùn Èideann is Reston Transpennine Express fhathast a’ dol air adhart. Bhiodh agam ri trèana na bu thràithe fhaighinn dhachaigh, ach bha mi gu bhith ceart gu leòr.

Glè mhath, shaoil mi.

Oidhche ron trèana, thug mi sùil air app Pingo agus gu mì-fhortanach, cha robh slot sam bith ann aig an àm a bha mi ag iarraidh; bha mi ro slaodach is mar sin bhiodh agam ri coiseachd ann bho Reston no ri bus àbhaisteach fhaighinn.

Cha robh sin ro dhona. Dhùisg mi tràth madainn Disathairne agus fhuair mi an Subway gu meadhan a’ bhaile is ghabh mi an trèana gu Dùn Èideann. Ghaibh mi trèana a’ bhainne eadar Glaschu Mheadhain agus Dùn Èideann taobh Shotts a bhios a’ stad aig a h-uile stèisean agus rinn mi tòrr mòr eadar-theangachaidh san uair gu leth a thug e.

Is math gun do rinn mi an obair sin oir nuair a ràinig mi D.È, chunnaic mi gun deach mo thrèana gu deas a chur dheth airson adhbhar nach robh co-cheangailte ris an stailc. Bha agam ri plana ùr a dhèanamh agus tiocaid fhaighinn air trèana LNER gu Bearaig. Às dèidh suil a thoirt air Traveline Scotland, chunnaic mi nach biodh cothrom agam a dhol gu Reston tuilleadh, ach b’ urrainn dhomh bus fhaighinn bho Bhearaig gu Ayton agus coiseachd dhan chaisteal is dhan trèana bhig.

Bha cothrom agam barrachd eadar-theangachaidh a dhèanamh – is barrachd cofaidh a ghabhail – ann an Stèisean Waverley fhad’s a bha mi a’ feitheimh ris an trèana agus a-rithist, is math sin oir chosg an trèana gu Bearaig is air ais £30.

A chionn ’s gun robh stailc ann, bha mi draghail gum biodh an trèana loma-làn – trèana LNER gu Lunnainn aig 10:30. Ach cha robh – fhuair mi bòrd dhomh fhèin gun dragh sam bith agus chòrd an turas rium glan, gu h-àraid na seallaidhean mìorbhaileach ri taobh a’ chosta faisg air a’ chrìch.

Stèisean Bhearaig

Ann am Bearaig, bha tìde ann airson cofaidh is rud beag eadar-theangachaidh eile. Is fìor thoil leam Bearaig agus ged nach d’ fhuair mi cothrom a dhol a-steach gu meadhan a’ bhaile, chòrd na seallaidhean bhon bhus is bhon trèana rium gu mòr. Chòrd e rium blas muinntir an àite a chluinntinn – measgachadh de dh’Alba agus den Chaisteal Nuadh. Is toil leam mar a tha am baile cho Albannach is cho Sasannach aig an aon àm! Is dòcha gum bu chòir inbhe shònraichte a bhith aig Bearaig mar saor-stàit?! Tha daoine air a bhith a’ bruidhinn air seirbheis ionadail aig ScotRail eadar Dùn Èideann agus Bearaig taobh Dùn Bàrr a bhiodh a’ stad aig an an stèisean ùr aig Linton an Eara tha ga thogail an-dràsta. Bhiodh sin gu math feumail is goireasach – saoil am faigheamaid soidhne dà-chànanach ann am Bearaig an uair sin?!

Bha am bus eadar Stèisean Bhearaig agus Reston air an uair agus bha e ùr, glan agus goireasach le rùm airson baidseagalan agus le dràibhear a bha uamhasach cuideachail. Bha an t-slighe brèagha le cothrom a dhol tro bhaile àlainn Eyemouth. Feumaidh mi a dhol air ais latha de na làithean.

Ann an Ayton, choisich mi suas an cnoc dhan chaisteal, taigh-mòr Baronial Albannaich a chaidh a thogail sna 1850an. A-nis, tha an Caisteal air a chleachdadh mar àite do bhainnsean agus tachartasan eile agus tha sealbhadairean a’ Chaisteil air rathad-iarainn a thogail ann.

Rathad-iarainn Caisteal Ayton

Bha cothrom agam bruidhinn ris na daoine leis a bheil an caisteal, Richard agus Brian agus mhothaich iad gun robh mi deidheil air trèanaichean agus bhruidhinn iad rium mun trèana agus thug iad cothrom dhomh sùil a thoirt air an t-seada einnsein.

Tha an loidhne bheag ann an cruth balùn air sreang – a’ toiseachadh bho stèisean, a’ dol air loidhne dìreach gu lùb a tha a’ tionndadh na trèana, a-steach gu stèisean a’ chaisteil agus an uair sin air ais dhan chiad stèisean agus gu clàr-tionndaidh. Tha an loidhne a’ ruith tro choille snog agus an uair sin a-steach gu gàraidhean a’ chaisteil le sealladh sgoinneil den chaisteil.

Rathad-iarainn Caisteal Ayton

Tha seilbheadairean a’ chaisteil gu math deidheil air trèanaichean agus tha seo ri fhaicinn bho chafaidh a’ chaisteil – The Station Buffet a tha loma-làn railwayana – dealbhan is mapaichean is siognailean is eile.

Seo bhidio den loidhne.

Nis, chan e seo a’ chiad turas a bha rathad-iarainn san sgìre – bha stèisean ann an Aymouth air Prìomh Loidhne a’ Chosta an Ear gus an deach a dhùnadh ann an 1962. Agus bha meur-loidhne ann gu Eyemouth cuideachd – loidhne mu 3 mìle a dh’fhaid a dhùin ann an 1962 cuideachd.

Gu fortanach, tha Ayton agus Eyemouth meadhanach faisg air an stèisean ùr ann an Reston.

A thaobh Stèisean Reston fhèin, chaidh an stèisean tùsail a dhùnadh ann an 1964. Bha e na cheann-rèile airson loidhne a bha a’ dol gu na Dùin (Duns) agus Cille Bhoiseil (St Boswells) sna Crìochan far an robh ceangail ann ri grunn rathaidean-iarainn eile. Dhùn an loidhne eadar na Dùin agus Cille Bhoiseil ann an 1948 às dèidh tùil a rinn sgrios air an loidhne. Dhùn an loidhne eadar Reston agus na Dùin do luchd-siubhail ann an 1951 agus dhùin i do bhathar cuideachd ann an 1965.

Seo mapa de na rathaidean-iarainn mar a bha iad uair.

Rathad-iarainn Siorrachd Bhearaig
Rathad-iarainn Eyemough

Mar sin, ged eil na rathaidean iarainn ann an Siorrachd Bhearaig cho pailt sa bha iad uair, tha co-dhiù aon stèisean san sgìre a-rithist – Reston – agus tha meanbh-rathad iarainn ùr ann cuideachd. Agus ged nach d’ fhuar mi cothrom Pingo no Stèisean Reston a chleachdadh, chan e siubhal gun siucair a bh’ ann.

Alasdair


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

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Rathaidean-iarainn Arainn!

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Tha ùidh mhòr agam ann an rathaidean-iarann eileanach agus tha mi air sùil a thoirt air tramaichean ann an Eilean Bhòid agus air meanbh-rathaidean iarainn ann am Bòd agus Cumaradh. Cha robh leisgeul agam coimhead air Eilean Arainn gu ruige seo, ge-tà,  oir cha robh rathad-iarainn riamh ann.

Ach tha mi air làithean-saora ann an Traigh a’ Chaisteil agus lorg mi leabhar san taigh sa bheil mi a’ fuireach– the Arran Bus Book (1983) – a tha ag aithris air plana a bh’ ann uair gus rathad-iarainn a thogail ann an taobh a deas an eilein.

Mapa den mholadh airson rathad-iarainn ann an Arainn

Bha na molaidhean seo mar phàirt de dh’aithisg Phàrlamaideach Report of the Rural Transport (Scotland) Committee 1919. Chaidh seo a mholadh gus piseach a thoirt air eaconomaidh agus còmhdhail taobh a deas an eilein agus mar phàirt de dh’iomairt gus còmhdhail nas fheàrr a chur air dòigh eadar Àird Rosain, Arainn, Ceann Tìre agus Ìle.

Cha tàinig na planaichean gu buil mar ach tha e fìor inntinneach gun robhar fiù ’s a bruidhinn air an leithid.

Agus chuir seo uile nam chuimhne gun robh pròiseact ann uair gus Taigh-tasgaidh Còmhdhail fhosgladh ann an Cladach, ann an Arainn sna 80an. Chan eil mi cinnteach an do dh’fhosgail an taigh-tasgaidh riamh. Leugh mi gun deagh seann trèana subway à Glaschu a thoirt dhan eilean mar phàirt de seo ach gun deach fhàgail taobh a-muigh sabhal ann an Coire Ghoill (Corriegills) gus an do thuit e às a’ chèile. Cha d’ fhuair mi riamh greim air dealbh den charbad ann an Arainn gu mì-fhortanach.

Fear de na carbadan tusail aig Subway Ghlaschu (ann an seirbheis 1896-1977). Chaidh fear dhiubh gu Eilean Arainn a rèir coltais – saoil a bheil dealbh sam bith aig duine sam bith?

A rèir coltais, b’ e ùghdar an Arran Bus Book, fear Berni Mitchell-Luker, a bha air cùl nam planaichean gus taigh-tasgaidh a stèidheachadh san eilean. Rinn mi beagan rannsachadh air-loidhne agus lorg mi iomradh-bàs Mhgr Mitchell-Luker san Arran Banner (10/3/2018)

Bha seo ann:

B’ e seo an càr subway. Agus a rèir an aon artagail, ’s ann ann an Taigh nam Bàtaichean ann an Cladach a bha an Taigh-tasgaidh agus bha e ann goirid às dèidh dhan leabhar tighinn a-mach.

A bheil barrachd fiosrachaidh aig duine sam bith mun chàr subway ann an Arainn? Bhiodh e uamhasach math dealbh fhaicinn dheth!

Alasdair


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

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Monster Gaelic Video Playlist

Le Gordon Wells

Series1and2

With all 75 Gaelic videos having been CC subtitled in Series 1 and Series 2 Outdoors, Generations, and Enterprise, they have now been collected into a single playlist on YouTube. Set aside some time, a chàirdean, for the ultimate box set binge! (And remember you can use the settings wheel to get automatic translations into multiple other languages…)

Here’s the new Series 1 and 2 playlist.

If you like that, bear in mind we also have other Gaelic playlists of varying durations on our YouTube channel!

Sgeulachdan Thormoid

Saoghal Thormoid

Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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2022 an t-Iuchar: Pearù 1 / July: Peru 1

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Àiteachas is iasgach an am Pearù

Beagan seachdainean air ais bha mi cho fortanach is choilean mi bruadar nan làithean-sgole agam, nuair a thachair mi air dealbhan Machu Picchu: chaidh mi a Phearù! Is e an turas as iongantaiche a rinn mi riamh, ann an iomadh dòigh – caochladh nan seallaidhean-tìre, eachdraidh nan cultaran eadar-dhealaichte tro na linntean, am biadh, na bailtean, na daoine, an fhìor-mheudachd dheth… tha mo cheann làn dealbhan, fhuaimean is fhàilidhean fhathast!

Bidh mi a’ sgrìobhadh turas eile mun eachdraidh, ach am mìos seo bha mi airson rudeigin a ràdh mu na chunnaic mi de thuathanasachd is de dh’iasgach, is iad cuspairean ceangailte ris an sgìre againne.

Thòisich sinn air an raonach ri taobh cladach a’ Chuain Sèimh tuath air Lima, is e fàsach a th’ ann gu nàdarrach. Ach b’ urrainn do na treubhan tùsanach tràtha den sgìre, gu h-àraidh na Moche is na Chimù (ro na h-Incas is na Spainntich, am fàsach uisgeachadh le sruthan as na h-Andes, siostam a bhios ga chleachadh an-diugh fhèin fhathast airson nam plantachasan-siùcair mòra, cruithneachd Innseanaich, buntàta, agus ann an àitichean cofaidh. Chleachdadh iad cuideachd am pailteas de dh’èisg a thug na làin-mhara àrda aig El Nino gus lagùnaichean daonna-dhèante a lìonadh. Chì thu seo anns an obair-shnaidhidh  agus na dealbhan air am bathar-criadha aca. Agus bidh muinntir a’ chladaich a’ cleachdadh an aon seòrsa bàta-iasgaich bhig dèanta à cuilc chun an latha an-diugh. Ghabh sin ceviche, biadh-mara sònraichte le iasg ùr is mòran liomaideige, ann am baile beag iasgaich (is surfaidh), Huancacho.

Às dèidh an raonaich dhìrich sin suas is suas a-steach dha na h-Andes, seachad air dàm dealan-uisgeach mòr – cleachdaidh iad uisge gu math ann am Pearù – agus chuir e iongnadh oirnn dè bhios a’ fàs cho àrd.  Aig 2000-4000 meatair os cionn na mara, fada nas àirde na Beinn Neibhis, tha srathan torrach le bailtean meudmhor mar Cajamarca, tuathanasan beaga, agus coilltean, air an uisgeachadh le lochan is aibhnichean, agus a-rithist le canàlan simplidh ach èifeachdach. Thadail sinn air fear drùidhteach aig Cume Mayo bho 1500-1000 ro Chrìosda. Chunnaic sinn cuideachd loin-eisg airson an tilapia bhlasda.

Anns an 20. linn chaidh craobhan eucalyptus a chur sna beanntan gus cuideachadh an aghaidh bleith-thalmhainn, gu soirbheachail, is tha iad glè fheumail a-nis airson connaidh is stuth-togalach. Tha an tuathanasachd gu math simplidh, seann-fhasanta shuas an seo – chunnaic sinn treabhadh le daimh, agus bha cearcan, gobhair is mucan a’ ruith ri taobh na rathaidean air an dùthaich.  Agus bha mi toilichte buntàta fhaicinn cho àrd – tha Pearù ainmeal airson nan 6000 seòrsachan eadar-dhealaichte! Tha na margaidean ionadail dìreach mìorbhaileach.

Às dèidh sin bha sinn ann an sgìre nas àirde timcheall air Chachapoyas, Andes a‘ Choille-Sgòtha, far a chùmas adhar blàth bhon Amazon an fhàs-bheatha mèath agus leth-thropaigeach, agus na craobhan ri taobh na h-aibhne làn bromeliads. Tha flùraichean mar hibiscus air feadh an àite.

San t-seachdain mu dheireadh (à trì), bha mi sìos san taobh a deas gus tadhail air Srath Naomh nan Incas, agus a-rithist chuir an torrachd aig àirdean anabarrach iongnadh orm.  Air an raonach àrd aig Moray (Phearù!), mu 3500 m, bha achaidhean farsaing ann le coirce, cruithneachd agus eòrna, sìol mar quinua, agus a-rithist buntàta – tha seòrsachan ann a dh’fhàsas aig 5000 meatair! Sìos air an raonach tha achaidhean-uisge ris ann cuideachd – pàirt chudromach den bhun-bhiadh. Ach nuair a dh’fhaighnich mi dè rinn iad leis an eòrna, cha robh mi an dùil seo a chluinntinn – an àite uisge-beatha a dhèanamh (nì iad deoch à cruithneachd Innseanach), bidh iad a’ beathachadh nan gearra-mhucan leis! Thèid a ghearradh buileach sìos fhad ‘s a tha e uaine fhathast, agus a thoirt gu lèir dhaibh. Bidh iadsan gan cumail mar chearcan anns a’ ghàrradh, agus gan ithe do dh’fhèilltean sònraichte, mar an Nollaig no co-làithean-breith.

Anns gach àite ann am Pearù tha measan ann – dearcan mar an fheadhainn againne, agus cuideachd papayas, mangos, tomàtothan-craoibh, measan-dràgain, measan-siotrachais, fìon-dhearcan, cnòthan-chòco, agus gach seòrsa tiùbair. Bidh tòrr mheasan gan ithe dhan bhracaist no gan òl mar shugh, agus tha deòch ùrachail ann dèanta le cruithneachd Innseanach purpaidh, chicha morada. Tha iad measail cuideachd air pisco, spiorad làidir dèanta à fìon-dhearcan, gu h-àraidh san cocktail pisco sour. Tha Pearù aimeil airson a thioclaid cuideachd, agus tha a ghnìomhacas fìona, ged a tha e òg fhathast, gu math gealltanach.

‘S e dùthaich bheartach chaochlaideach a th’ innte, agus anabarrach inntinneach a thaobh fàs-bheatha leis an dualchas fada de shaochrachadh-bìdh aig àirde. Is fhiach e a thadhail do chroitear no thuathanach sam bith!

Farming and fishing in Peru

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to fulfil a dream from my schooldays, when I first came across pictures of Machu Picchu – I went to Peru! It’s the most amazing trip I’ve ever done, in many ways – the variety of landscapes, the history of the different cultures through the centuries, the food, the towns, the people, and the sheer scale of it … my head is still full of the sights, sounds and smells!

I’ll write about the history another time, but this month I wanted to say something about what I saw of farming and fishing there, subjects close to our own area.

We started off in the coastal plain north of Lima, which is naturally a desert. But the early peoples of the area, especially the Moche and the Chimù (pre-Inca and pre-Spanish),  learned how to irrigate the desert with water from the Andes – a system still in use today, mainly to allow vast sugar plantations, maize, potatoes, and in some areas coffee beans. They also exploited the fairly regular El Nino high tides to store the glut of fish they brought in man-made lagoons. This is all recorded in their carvings, ceramics etc. The type of little reed fishing boat still in use today is the same as on ancient carvings. We enjoyed the coastal speciality ceviche, made with fresh fish and lots of lime, in a small fishing (and surfing) town, Huancacho.

After the plains we went up and up into the Andes, past a huge hydro-electric dam – water is well used in Peru – and were amazed at how much still grows so high up. At heights well above Ben Nevis, 2000 to 4000 metres above sea level, there are fertile valleys with sizeable towns like Cajamarca, croft-like farms, and woods, all watered by lakes and rivers, and again with simple but effective irrigation canals. One impressive one we visited at Cume Mayo goes back to 1500-1000 BC. We also saw what looked like trout ponds, used for their tasty tilapia.

In the 20th C. eucalyptus trees were introduced to help stop soil erosion, and they have flourished, providing fuel and building materials. Farming is fairly unsophisticated up there – we saw ox-ploughs in use, and hens, goats and pigs run around by the wayside. And I was happy to see some of the taties that Peru is famous for – it has over 6000 varieties! The local markets are just wonderful.

Later we were in a higher region around Chachapoyas, the Cloud Forest Andes, where warm, humid air from the Amazon keeps vegetation lush and semi-tropical, and the trees along the rivers are full of bromeliads.  Flowers like hibiscus are everywhere.

In my last week (of three), I was down in the south of Peru, to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and again the fertility at high altitude was astonishing. On the high plains of (Peruvian) Moray (c. 3500 m) there are wide fields of grain – oats, wheat and barley, seeds like quinua, and again potatoes – some varieties grow as high as 5000 metres!  Down on the flatlands there are rice paddies too, an important part of their diet. But I got a surprise when I asked what the barley was used for – not for whisky, but to feed the guinea-pigs! It’s cut right down when still green and the whole thing fed to the many domesticated piggies. People keep them in their back gardens like hens, and eat them for special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays.

Everywhere in Peru there’s also fruit – berries like ours and also papayas, mangos, tree-tomatoes, dragon-fruit, citrus, grapes, coconuts and every kind of tuber. A lot of fruit is eaten at breakfast or drunk as juice, and a popular soft drink is a juice made from purple maize, chicha morada. The strong grape spirit pisco is also popular, especially as the pisco sour cocktail. Peru is also famous for its chocolate, and its still young wine industry is also promising.

It’s a rich and varied country, and exceptionally interesting as regards vegetation and the long tradition of food production at altitude. Well worth a visit for any crofters and farmers!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

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Aire Air Sunnd: Staing na Gàidhlig

Le Gordon Wells

Following on from the May launch of the Aire air Sunnd project with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, the first online session of the Gaelic-focussed strand was held on 17th June. As planned, the “hybrid” session was open to participation by Zoom as well as physical attendance at Sgoil Chàirinis, with Ùisdean Robertson taking the chair. The session started with a presentation by members of the research team behind the publication of “The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community“, principally Iain Caimbeul with support from Conchúr Ó Giollagáin. This presentation was recorded and has now been placed on the Island Voices YouTube channel. You can view it here:

The session was held entirely in Gaelic. YouTube subtitling will also allow viewers to read as they listen, and offers auto-translation into other languages, including English, using the settings wheel.

The presentation was followed by a lively and open discussion between CEUT members and the presenters about many of the points raised. This has laid a valuable foundation for further Gaelic activities as part of the Aire air Sunnd project, which will include walks and other events over the summer period, before returning to further online workshops planned for the autumn, which may take a closer look at selected Island Voices recordings.

Iain’s full Powerpoint presentation is available in PDF format here.

Taisbeanadh_CEUTSlide2


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Talking Points: The Teacher

Le Gordon Wells

JanepicThis is one of four linked blogposts, building on the Norman Maclean “Talking Points” series of discussions, which focus on specific contributions from the participants.

Jane NicLeòid was raised speaking Gaelic, and later English as well, on the Isle of Lewis. A trained teacher, she worked on the mainland for some years, before recently returning to her home island, where she continues to teach Gaelic, and is also closely involved in the new pressure group, Guth nan Siarach, to promote the interests of vernacular speakers.

Jane made a thoughtful and challenging early response to the 2020 “Gaelic Crisis” report by the Soillse team led by Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, on the influential Bella Caledonia website, in which she drew on her rooted teaching and community experience. You can read it here.

And in this final extract from the Norman Maclean Language Contact discussion Jane summarises key points of commonality identified in Norman’s thoughts, and underlines her own perception of the disconnect between institutional support for Gaelic, and a grassroots activism and egalitarian sensibility uniting the various interest groups.

Links to the three other blogposts in this short series are given below:

The Scholars (Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Udaya Narayana Singh, Joseph Farquharson)
The Interpreter (Kalyan Das Gupta)
The Poet (Audrey West)


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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