Community Playlists

Le Gordon Wells

Community Projects ImageA sharpening of focus on the vernacular Hebridean communities has become evident in some Gaelic sociolinguistic research in recent years. In this period, Island Voices has partnered with various related projects, and helped to spread news and discussion of findings and issues.

At the same time, a parallel interest in wider international comparators for the Gaelic context has also been broadcast through Island Voices channels.

Projects with close community links will be on display at the Stornoway conference on Rooting Minority Language Policy in the Speaker Community at the end of August. Series of videos will be viewable in Island Voices playlists, including “Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal”, “Saoghal Thormoid”, “Island Voices Series 1&2” and “International MOOT”.

And the playlists can be viewed remotely as well, with live links embedded in this PDF poster. This also includes additional information about the links between Soillse and Island Voices, and other collaborative research work with other universities in Scotland and internationally.


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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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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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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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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Island Voices & Aire Air Sunnd

Le Gordon Wells

The Island Voices project has collaborated with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath (The North Uist Historical Society) on joint work in the past, and we’re delighted to renew the link in the new Wellbeing initiative, “Aire Air Sunnd”, led by the Comann Eachdraidh in a partnership which brings in the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews, as well the Highlands and Islands (UHI). It’s funded by the Ideas Fund, with each partner contributing from some of its own strengths and specialisms. This leaflet gives an outline of the overall shape of the project, with an explanation of what the different components are.

The project was launched on Friday 6th May in a hybrid format event, with the various academic partners giving online presentations to a North Uist audience either “Zooming in” from their own homes, or gathering at the Carinish School society headquarters, with the St Andrews “Smart Heritage” team taking care to record the contributions from the various presenters. The Island Voices role will be primarily linguistic, focussing on Gaelic in particular as a key element of local cultural heritage. You can see Gordon Wells’s short (15 minute) presentation here on initial thoughts and plans for the Guthan nan Eilean component of the project.

The eagle-eyed may spot that most of the images after the second slide contain embedded links. If you wish to explore these further, please open this PDF version of the presentation. You can then click/tap any picture or graphic to explore the webpage to which it links.

Cò MiseOrdinarily, Gordon probably wouldn’t start a presentation with the level of personal detail offered here. But the CEUT connection is a close one, as his first picture shows!

The story of a rooted Hebridean family with close connections around the globe, through Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and elsewhere, as well as India (if we were also to go through the histories of Ann’s eight brothers and sisters…) is probably one that many other Hebridean family albums could tell just as well. When it comes to reflection on the links between heritage and wellbeing, and the value of transcending imagined boundaries, bilingual Island Voices may offer special insights!

North Uist residents and relatives! If aspects of this project are of interest to you and you’d like to learn more about it or are interested in taking part, contact details and further information are on the project leaflet. Siuthadaibh!


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Sgeama “Ar Guthan”

Le Gordon Wells

The Gaelic Books Council has announced a support scheme for new authors, and wants to spread the word!

While the Island Voices emphasis is on spoken language, we’re more than happy to help get the message out about a project titled “Ar Guthan”, even if the voices here will be written ones, especially when island communities are listed among the under-represented groups from whom applications are particularly welcomed.

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, talks about the scheme here:

You can read more about the scheme in Gaelic or English in this press release, which also gives details of how to apply.


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Karaoke sa Ghàidhlig

Le Gordon Wells

Roll over, Beethoven!

Irish-speaker Seán Ó Muiris has announced a new voluntary and non-profit initiative to replicate his work in producing an Irish language karaoke repertoire with a parallel Scottish Gaelic stream. First fruits can be tasted in the YouTube link above, with his rendition of Runrig’s classic “Alba”.

Scottish Gaelic enthusiasts “of a certain age” may recall a previous venture in the karaoke genre, spearheaded by Comann an Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, nach maireann, in collaboration with Clydebank College (also no longer with us in the shape pictured here).

IMG_3421

 

As Gordon Wells’s notes to that pioneering production point out, “Scottish Gaels had of course … developed their own (pre-electronic) means of musical entertainment without instrumental backing, in the shape of puirt-à-beul…”. He also remarked that “Singing can be very helpful for the language learner. It allows you to concentrate on your pronunciation, and helps to fix unfamiliar vocabulary in your memory.” So, given that the original cassette-based package may not have fully withstood the test of time, this new venture in the world of Gaelic karaoke could well be overdue!

Seán makes the point strongly that his innovative approach is undertaken in a completely voluntary capacity, without any institutional backing, for the benefit of the Gaelic languages. You can hear him talking about it in detail in this interview in Irish for RTE. With over 100 karaoke versions of Irish songs on his YouTube channel he now wishes to start something similar for Scottish Gaelic and is offering to run free training seminars for anyone who might be interested in helping out.

His graphic below gives more detail:

karaokesaGhaidhlig

 

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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