সমুদ্রপথে সেইন্ট কিলডা – Seatrek to St Kilda (Bangla version)

Le Gordon Wells

এই তথ্যচিত্রের মাধ্যমে সেইন্ট কিলডার সংক্ষিপ্ত বিবরণ তুলে ধরা হয়েছে। ল্যোওসের একটি পর্যটন সংস্থার সঙ্গে এই অভিযানটি সম্পন্ন হয়েছে। ভ্রমণের তালিকায় রয়েছে মূলদ্বীপের প্রাকৃতিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক পর্যটন। আটলান্টিক মহাসাগরের বুক চিরে এই অভিযানে দীর্ঘ সমুদ্রযাত্রার ক্লান্তি তো নেইই বরং আছে মন ভালো করা সব অসাধারণ দৃশ্য। নির্জন সমুদ্রসৈকত, অজস্র পাখিদের কোলাহল, প্রকৃতির নিবিড় ছোঁওয়া ও প্রাচীন মানব সভ্যতার ঐতিহাসিক উপাদান সব মিলিয়ে এক রোমাঞ্চকর অভিজ্ঞতা।

Bangla (Bengali) is the latest addition to Island Voices’ Other Tongues initiative, thanks to independent researcher Animesh Biswas, who can now add “film narrator” to his list of other talents! The language has hundreds of millions of speakers, yet the question may well be asked if any of them have previously had any access to information about the St Kilda dual natural and cultural heritage site in documentary format in their own language?!

On a linguistic note, it’s worth listening out for the pronunciation of placenames in the film. Animesh opted to go for Gaelic rather than English models, a process greatly assisted by the regular phonetic nature of Indian writing systems. Nach math a rinn e!

A Clilstore version with full wordlinked transcript and embedded video is available here: Unit 8568.

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Stòras Beò: Christine

Le Gordon Wells

Christine Primrose will need little or no introduction for the Gaelic enthusiasts who follow Island Voices. A stellar singer, she has long a been a leading light in the promotion of Gaelic music and the tradition which nurtures it. If, by chance, you are coming to acquaintance with her for the first time, this interview in English (with further useful embedded links) for Folk Radio will give you an indication of her central position in the world of Gaelic music.

In the clips below, she talks freely in Gaelic to Pàdruig Moireach – who also has Carloway roots – for the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal project. A feast for the ears for anyone with a taste for good Lewis Gaelic!

In the first part, Christine first recalls her early childhood in Carloway, Lewis – a close community in which every house had a loom. She started school very young, but always remembers singing – whether to neighbours in their homes, or at community concerts when still a young girl. She talks about the pressure of performance and how to look after your voice. Choral singing is also discussed. Her early career through school, college, and work in Glasgow was marked by singing, culminating with the prize for “seann nòs” (a term which she questions) at the Mòd. (You can get a Clilstore transcript here: Unit 8434.)

In the second part, Christine talks about touring Ireland and the novel experience of presenting her songs outside her community, emphasising the importance of feeling to maintain authenticity. She is disciplined in her approach, while also bringing her own interpretation to a song. Care for the rhythm of the words enhances the story. Moving to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig enabled her to maintain her singing career, while helping to promote the Gaelic college. She enjoys teaching, and listening to singers from other traditions. She stresses the importance of giving young performers time to learn their craft before pressurising them to perform. Return visits to Carloway underline for her the importance of acknowledging change. (You can get a Clilstore transcript here: Unit 8435.)

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Locks, Links, and Languages

Le Gordon Wells

It’s April 2020 and the global lockdown continues, whether you’re on the West coast of Scotland or in West Bengal. We’re largely “confined to quarters” in the international bids to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet has many faults, but now offers the potential to afford mental release in times of physical restriction, at least to those fortunate to have access to it. Here’s an example.

Animesh Biswas is from Nadia, West Bengal, India. Graduating from the Department of English at the University of Kalyani, he is an independent reasearcher working on Bangla folk songs. He has no training in music, but is learning from the folk singers he meets during his research work.

Attending the North-Eastern Hill University International Language Fest in October 2019, he made acquaintance with Gordon Wells (who was speaking about Island Voices, and its potential as a model for other language communities) and they’ve maintained contact through Facebook since. Having heard him sing in Shillong, Gordon was delighted just a few days ago to receive a recording from Animesh over Facebook Messenger, made in his home in Nadia. Followed by snaps from his camera, and some toing and froing over recording revisions, the ingredients were quickly all present for a new video and Clilstore unit, presenting a Bengali song in the Baul tradition with wordlinked transcript. Ta da!

For the full wordlinked transcript, follow this Clilstore link: http://multidict.net/cs/8515

In addition, Animesh provided this English translation of the lyrics of the song:

You wish to chain my hands and my feet. How will you chain my mind?

You may shut my eyes and my mouth. How will you bind my spirit?

I couldn’t go to the banks of the Jamuna to fetch water. Nor, Sakhi, could I get a glimpse of him who stirs my passion.

You may refuse my wishes and deny my caress. How will you confine my passion?

I bring no shame to my family, nor stigma. What’s wrong with making him a garland round my body?

You may lock me in a room, block my way. How will you alter the cosmic design?

How?

Animesh describes the Baul tradition as being at the confluence of Vaishnavism, Sufism, and Tantric Buddhism. Devotion to the Almighty is the essential component, here expressed through the love of the devotee Radha for Krishna.

Speaking of this song, he says “I think in a way it conveys how pent-up we are in today’s world. Even though in literature we get to visit our dreamland vividly, in actual life it is a distant possibility.”

Perhaps we may also take inspiration from Radha’s spirit of defiance and determination to transcend earthly shackles in times of physical privation?


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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New Gaelic videos online!

Le Gordon Wells

The Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal project has successfully met its target of producing 15 hours of new online community-based recordings of Scottish Gaelic, all fully transcribed! The collection comprises 31 videos of Gaelic speakers from four different islands in the Outer Hebrides talking about a wide range of subjects, including their upbringing in the islands and how they perceive things have changed during their lifetime. This project is led by the Language Sciences Institute (LSI) of the University of the Highlands and Islands, with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Soilllse, and is supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge. Irish partners are in the process of gathering together a parallel collection of recordings from the Irish Gaeltacht areas.

You can read more about the project on the LSI website here, or you can use the table below to go directly to the videos (on YouTube), with accompanying Clilstore transcripts and summary descriptions (in “Unit Info”).

South Uist Benbecula North Uist Lewis
Tòmas MacDhòmhnaill (1) Eairdsidh Caimbeul Alasdair MacDhòmhnaill (1) Pàdruig Moireach
Tòmas MacDhòmhnaill (2) Ailig Mac a’ Phì (1) Alasdair MacDhòmhnaill (2) Iain Greumach (1)
Hughena NicDhòmhnaill (1) Ailig Mac a’ Phì (2) Dòmhnall MacDhòmhnaill (1) Iain Greumach (2)
Hughena NicDhòmhnaill (2) Màiri Robasdan (1) Dòmhnall MacDhòmhnaill (2) Seònaid Mhoireach (1)
Alasdair Mac Asgaill Màiri Robasdan (2) Dòmhnall MacDhòmhnaill (3) Seònaid Mhoireach (2)
Catrìona Nic an t-Saoir (1) Seonag Smith (1) Aonghas MacPhàil (1) Christine Primrose (1)
Catrìona Nic an t-Saoir (2) Seonag Smith (2) Aonghas MacPhàil (2) Christine Primrose (2)
Seonag Smith (3) Gina NicDhòmhnaill (1)
Gina NicDhòmhnaill (2)

If viewers see resemblances in style to the earlier Saoghal Thormoid project, these are by no means coincidental! Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal builds on previous Island Voices experience of bringing this kind of recording practice into the community, in a way that is maximally user-friendly, and feels as natural as possible. Not every recording has a fully professional polish in technical terms, and the editing has been deliberately light-touch, but arguably that gives viewers a closer picture of genuine interaction in actual practice. The project will now pause its recording work in order to review and evaluate its progress to this point. This is not an end, but hopefully a beginning…


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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“Scotland of the East”

Le Gordon Wells

Island Voices were heard in Shillong, India, (the “Scotland of the East”) in October last year as part of the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages celebrations at North-Eastern Hill University, where they held an “International Language Fest for Indigenous and Endangered Languages”. It was a two-day event with lectures and presentations at the university first, followed by a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity in the town, with food and clothing stalls and exhibitions, and music and dance performances in many different genres and languages.

Gordon Wells took his camera with him for the Soillse Gaelic research network, and recorded some highlights for the wider “Mediating Multilingualism” project which is being led by the UHI Languages Sciences Institute, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The resulting film, which references Island Voices in several places, has already been uploaded onto the LSI and Soillse websites, and can now also be viewed here. The film, presented in Gaelic and subtitled in English, is in fact multilingual, with the number of languages included well into double figures.

It starts with a two-minute introduction, giving some background and posing some questions as much for Gaelic interests as any other. Then comes the main film, “Dà Dhùthaich, Iomadh Cànan – दो देश, भाषाएं अनेक – Two Lands, Many Languages”, which is under 12 minutes long. This is followed by a brief 6-minute discussion, and a final very short postscript.

Here’s the film.

And here’s a PDF of Gordon’s presentation, in which he outlined the Island Voices project and some of its technical features (including Clilstore), and explored the potential for “sharing Gaelic voices” with other endangered or minority language interests. New techologies can greatly simplify the recording and film-making process, so enabling wider engagement with and by often marginalised communities.

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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“An Èisteachd nam Bàrd”

Le Gordon Wells

Maggie Smith has been quietly putting a series of fascinating poetry podcasts she’s made on her website over the past few months. With the recent addition of the fourth and final one, the series is now complete. The table below will give you quick links to this full series of poetic Lewis voices. Follow the “Blogpost” link to get to Maggie’s introduction, or go straight to the podcast via “Soundcloud”.

We’ve added it to our dedicated Magaidh Smith page too, where you can also find links to her collections of stories and dramas. Happy listening!

Podcast Links
1. Domhnall Greumach, Tolstadh Bho Thuath, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
2. Criosaidh NicIomhair, Breascleit, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
3. Tormod MacLeoid Siadar a’ Chladaich, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
4. Uilleam MacMhathain, Na Fleasarain, An Rubha, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud

 


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அந்த செய்தித்தாள் – Am Pàipear

Le Gordon Wells

ஊஸ்ட் சமுதாயத்திற்காக முதன்மையாக சேவை செய்யும் செய்தித்தாளை பற்றிய ஒரு குறும்படம் இது. இந்தப் படத்தில் எவ்வாறு செய்திகள் பல இடங்களிலிருந்து சேகரிக்கப்பட்டு, நன்கு வடிவமைக்கப்பட்டு, அவற்றின் உண்மைத்தன்மை சரிபார்க்கப்பட்டு பின் அச்சில் வெளியிடப்படுகிறது என்பதைப்பற்றிய விளக்கம் தெளிவாக படமாக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

The sharing of Gaelic voices extends to another new language today, thanks to the kind collaboration of Dr Dharani of the Government Arts and Science College in Avinashi. She has now recorded a Tamil voiceover for our documentary on the Uist community newspaper, Am Pàipear, first published eight years ago, with feature stories on Norman Maclean and Tobar an Dualchais.

This emerges as a welcome spin-off benefit from the “Mediating Multilingualism” project in which Gordon Wells is involved through UHI and Soillse. Dr Dharani had already taken Clilstore into new linguistic territory through her interview with Gordon at the International Language Fest in Shillong, available here. Complementing that later with this longer film was then a simple question of translating the script and recording the new narration – all done on a mobile phone and transferred instantaneously from India to Scotland via Facebook Messenger!

Here’s the film:

And you can follow it on Clilstore too (with wordlinked transcript) in Unit 8020: http://multidict.net/cs/8020

Watch this space for more contributions from India soon, and remember new voices and “other tongues” are always welcome on Island Voices from anywhere in the world!

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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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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Stòras Beò: Tommy

Le Gordon Wells

Tommy MacDonald is another figure well-known to Island Voices followers. He appeared in several videos in our Series 2 Outdoors theme, and was the central researcher and interviewer in the Bonnie Prince Charlie set of audio recordings.

With a wealth of local knowledge and stories from his home community in South Uist, he was a natural choice for Archie Campbell to approach for the new Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal project, and one of the first people to be recorded “in the field”.

So here he is again, back in front of the camera. The two of them found a lot to talk about as Tommy retraced his life story so far, including his involvement in Gaelic community life and events, so the conversation has been divided into two parts.

Here’s the Part One video.

The Clilstore transcript for Part 1 is available here.

Here’s the Part Two video.

The Clilstore transcript for Part 2 is available here.

 

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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