An London Tillsbury and Southend – an rathad-iarainn dhan mhuir

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Eil thu deidheil air Billy Bragg? Ma tha, bidh thu eòlach air an òran ainmeil aige: A13 – the trunk road to the sea – tionndadh Sasannach de Route 66.

Tha e a’ tòiseachadh leis na faclan:

If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness / Take the A road, the okay road that’s the best / Go motorin’ on the A13.

Nis, cha robh AGAM ri dhol gu Shoeburyness – ach bha mi ag iarraidh a dhol ann co-dhiù! Bha mi ag iarraidh a dhol air an loidhne seo air iomadh adhbhar – cha robh mi riamh ann am Fenchurch Street – fear de na ceithir stèiseanan ann am Mononopoly, agus bha mi airson fhaicinn. Agus bha mi ag iarraidh dhol gu Cidhe Southend cuideachd.

Seo na bh’ agam ri ràdh:

If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness / Take the railroad, the OK road that’s the best / Go rail-roading on the C2C!

‘S e C2C an t-ainm air a’ chompanaidh rèile a tha a’ ruith trèanaichean eadar Lunnainn Fenchurch Street agus Southend/Shouburyness. Nuair a thagh iad an t-ainm an tòiseach bho chionn fada, bha daoine a’ sìor ghearran a chionn ‘s nach robh ciall sam bith aige is gun robh e caran pretentious. – seo aig àm nuair a bha daoine a’ cur ainmean gòrach air a h-uile rud bho 02 gu Three gu Cordia.

Thathar ag ràdh gur dòcha gu bheil C2C e a’ ciallachadh Coast to Coast – a tha cuideachd na ainm aig deagh òran leis na Scorpions. Nis, tha na Scorps agus Billy Bragg gu math eadar-dhealaichte, ach chunnaic mi an dà chuid beò – na Scorpions anns an Academy agus Billy Bragg ann an Sabhal Mòr Ostaig!! 

Ach sin cuspair eile!

Mus robh an t-ainm C2C air an loidhne, bha the London, Tillbury and Southend Railway oirre, ach bha far-ainm nach robh buileach cho snog oirre cuideachd: The Misery Line. A rèir coltais, bha i ro shlaodach, ro làn agus ro mhì-earbsach. Ach tha piseach air tighinn air cùisean bhon uair sin.

Ghlac mi an trèana agam ann am Barking agus rinn mi air Rioghachd nan Sasannach an Ear – no Essex mar a tha muinntir an àite oirre. Chan eil mi ro eòlach air Essex – cha robh mi ann ach aon turas roimhe agus bha mi aig iomall na sgìre ann an Chipping Ongar. Bha mi riamh a’ coimhead air Essex mar phàirt de mòr-sgìre Lunnainn – suburbs an àird-bhaile ach dh’ionnsaich mi gun robh mo bheachd fada ceàrr.

Às dèidh dhomh Lunnainn fhàgail, cha b’ fhada gus an robh sinn a-mach air an dùthaich le craobhan mòra, talamh torrach còmhnard agus toglaichean àlainn. Bha coltas an àite nas fhaisg air East Anglia na Lunnainn.

Chunnaic mi tòrr de na h-àiteachan a tha air ainmeachadh ann an òrain Billy Bragg air an t-slighe a’ gabhail a-steach Barking, Dagenham, Grays Thurrock, Pilsea, Chalkwell, Thundersley agus Leigh-On-Sea.

Agus leis a sin, bha mi ann an Southend-on-Sea. Tha am baile ainmeil airson a chidhe – an cidhe as fhaide san t-saoghail aig 1.33 mìle – agus airson rathad-iarainn a’ chidhe.

Cidhe Southend-on-Sea

Choisich mi bhon stèisean – Southend Central – dhan chidhe. Tha am baile brèagha le tràigh mhòr àlainn agus àrd-shràid mhath ach cha robh cus tìde agam agus mar sin, rinn mi air a’ chidhe gun dàil.

Leis gur e 27 Dùbhlachd a bh’ ann, eadar an Nollaig agus a’ Bhliadhna Ùr, shaoil mi nach biodh mòran daoine ann – ach ’s ann a bha mi ceàrr. Bha e gu math trang le muinntir an àite agus le luchd-turais a diofar dhùthchannan.

Tha an cidhe gu math fada agus bha mi airson coiseachd ann gus beagan eacarsaich fhaighinn às dèidh turas fada à Glaschu agus mar sin fhuair mi tiocaid airson coiseachd ann agus tighinn air ais air an trèana.

‘S e cidhe fiodha a th’ ann agus chithear a’ mhuir eadar na plangaichean – rud a tha caran eagalach!

Bha a’ mhuir gu math àrd agus chunnaic mi gu leòr ròin air an t-slighe agus cha b’ fhada gus an do ràining mi ceann na cidhe far a bheil cafè is bùitean agus ionad an RNLI. Tha seallaidhean sgoinneil rim faighinn de Khent air taobh eile an uisge agus de bhaile Southend.

Baby Leopard aig Ceann a’ Chidhe

An uair sin, bha an t-àm ann a dhol air an trèana bheag. Tha trèanaichean dealanach ùra gu bhith ann a dh’aithghearr agus gu dearbha, chunnaic mi iad, ach chan eil ann an seirbheis fhathast. Mar sin, tha na trèanaichean dioseal bho 1986 fhathast a-ruith.

Cidhe is rathad-iarainn Southend on Sea, Essex
Trèana air cidhd Southend-on-Sea

Bha an turas seo air an liosta-bhucaid agam fad iomadh bliadhna agus bha e cho math ’s a bha mi an dùil – trèana bheag sgoinneil le seallaidhean air leth den bhaile agus den mhuir.

Aig an stèisean

An uair sin, bha an t-àm ann a dhol air ais a Lunnainn – le turas goirid gu Shoeburyness an an t-slighe air ais. Bha mi sgìth agus bha fìor dhroch chnatan orm ach chòrd an turas rium glan agus bha mi air mo dhòigh glan a bhith ann an Stèisean Fenchurch Street.

Ri leanntainn…

Alasdair


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

Powered by WPeMatico

Bidh Glaschu coltach ri seo an ceann 10 bliadhna! Turas dhan Chuimrigh 1

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Mar as trice, chan e ruith ach leum dhomh a dhol dhan Chuimrigh ach an turas seo, bha mi a’ dol gu Caerdydd air adhbhar gu math brònach.

Chaochail Adey Neilly, sàr einnseineir sòlais (lighting engineer), agus bràthair mo dheagh chàraid is co-obraiche Mark Mac an Fhìlidh bho chionn ghoirid aig aois fada ro òg agus bha mi air an t-slighe gu Tìr nam Beann, nan Gleann is nan Gaisgeach (eile!) airson cuirm comharrachaidh dha.

Ach bha beagan tìde gu bhith saor agam san dàrna dùthaich as fheàrr leam agus shaoil mi gum biodh e math beagan trèanachais a dhèanamh fhad ’s a bha mi ann. Bha an tachartas air an Dòmhnaich agus dh’fhaodainn a bhith air a dhol ann air an latha fhèin, agus dhachaigh tràth an ath latha, ach leis an fhìrinn innse, tha na rathaidean-iarainn cho mì-earbsach aig an àm seo is gun deach mi ann tràth an latha roimhe is gun deach mi dhachaigh aig meadhan latha an ath latha dìreach airson a bhith cinnteach!

Agus gu dearbha, bha mi glic – ged a bha na trèanaichean agam uile a’ ruith is air an uair, bha gu leòr ann nach robh is a chaidh a chur dheth buileach glan. Gu dearbha, chaill cuideigin an cuirm-cuimhneachaidh fhèin a chionn ’s gun robh na trèanaichean uile dheth air an loidhne aige.

Nis, thòisich mi am bloga seo gus a h-uile rathad-iarainn ann an Alba a dhèanamh, ach às dèidh dhomh sin a dhèanamh, chuir mi romham gun robh mi airson a h-uile rathad-iarainn anns a’ Chuimrigh a dhèanamh cuideachd. Ged a rinn mi iomadh loidhne sa cheann a tuath – agus Loidhne nan Crìochan eadar taobh agus deas na dùthcha, cha d’ rinn mi mòran de na loidhnichean sna glinn.

Seo na loidhnichean a rinn mi sa Chuimrigh gu ruige seo.

Tha tòrr loidhnichean anns na glinn agus mòr-sgìre Caerdydd (Cardiff)/Casnewydd (Newport) mar a chithear sa mhapa gu h-ìosal – sgirean far a bheil sluagh mòr a’ fuireach. Chaidh tòrr dhiubh ath-fhosgladh às dèidh Beeching – loidhne Aberdare ann an 1988, Maesteg ann an 1992, Loidhne Vale of Glamorgan ann an 2005, loidhne Ebbw Vale ann an 2008 agus chaidh stèiseanan a chur air loidhne bathair Cardiff City airson a’ chiad turas riamh ann an 1987.

Bha mi air cuid de na loidhnichean mar-thà – Cardiff City, Coryton, Cardiff Bay, Penarth, Barry Island agus Vale of Glamorgan ach bha gu leòr ann nach d’ rinn mi.

Cho-dhùin mi gun robh mi a dhol a dhol air an loidhne ùr eadar Casnewydd agus loidhne Ebbw Vale an tòiseach. Ged is e Casnewydd am baile mòr as fhaisg air a’ ghleann, cha robh e practaigeach a dhol ann air an trèana roimhe oir bha na trèanaichean uile a’ dol gu Caerdydd agus a’ seachnadh Casnewydd buileach glan. Bho chionn ghiorid, chaidh seo a chur ceart le ath-fhosgladh na loidhne eadar Casnewdd agus loidhe Ebbw Vale.

Chithear an loidhne ùr ann an uaine gu h-ìosal.

Mar sin, an àite a bhith a’ dol fad na slighe gu Caerdydd, chaidh mi far na trèana ann an Casnewydd – agus is math sin, oir bha an trèana loma-làn de dhaoine às Y Fenni (Abergavenny) air an robh deoch mhòr a bha a’ dol a-mach airson splaoid mhòr na Nollaig! (Agus a bha air tòiseachadh air an deoch mar-thà, saoilidh mi!)

B’ e am plana agam a dhol gu Ebbw Vale air an trèana agus an uair sin, a’ dol air a’ bhus air rathad ceann nan gleann gu Rhymni agus an trèana a ghlacadh eadar sin agus Caerdydd.

Cha robh sgeul air an trèana agam ge-tà! Agus gu dearbha, fhuair mi a-mach gun robh na trèanaichean eadar Casnewydd agus loidhne Ebbw Vale uile dheth fad an latha. Mar sin, bha plana ùr a dhìth. Cho-dhùin mi gun robh mi a’ dol a dhol gu Maesteg, ann an sgìre Bridgend/Pen-y-Bont. Mar sin, chan b’ e ruith ach leum dhomh an ath-thrèana fhaighinn gu Maestag taobh Caerdydd Canalog – Cardiff Central.

Soidhne sgoinneil ann an Casnewydd!

Nis, tha trèanaichean Maesteg caran neònach. Ged is e meur-loidhne shuburbach a th’ ann, a tha na loidhne shingilte airson tòrr den t-slighe, tha na trèanaichean uile nan seirbheisean eadar-chatharach a tha a’ dol fad na slighe bho Mhaesteg gu Cheltenham Spa. Ann an dòigh tha e coltach ri trèanaichean bho Mhanchester a bhith a’ tighinn gu crìch ann an Cille Bhrìghde an Ear no trèanaichean bhon Chaisteal Nuadh a’ crìochnachadh ann an Springburn! Saoilidh mi gum bi sin a’ tachairt seach ’s gur e “stèiseanan dhol troimhe” (through stations) seach termini a th’ anns na stèiseanan mòra ann an Caerdydd – (’s e Queen Street agus Central a th’ orra coltach ri Glaschu) – agus nach eil rùm gu lèor ann airson mòran thrèanaichean a bhith a’ stad ann airson tionndadh air ais.

Bha loidhne Maesteg sgoinneil – bha e fìor mhath a bhith a’ sreap air loidhne rud beag cas gu ceann a’ ghlinne agus a’ faicinn nam beann agus nan taighean uile.

Stèisean Maesteg

Air an t-slighe air ais, mhothaich mi ceann-rèile Tondu. ‘S ann às a seo a biodh an loidhne a’ dol gu Pontycymer. Tha an loidhne dùinte aig an àm seo ach thathar ga h-ath fhosgladh ceum air cheum mar rathad-iarainn glèidhte – Garw Valley Railway – Rheilffordd Cwm Garw – agus bu toil leam a dhol ann latha de na làithean.

An uair sin, chaidh mi air ais gu Caerdydd agus air loidhne Ebbw Vale. Bha mi air mo dhòigh glan a bhith a’ dol ann oir bha ùidh riamh agam ann an Ebbw Vale mar thoradh air …. yoghurt, seadh, yoghurt! Nuair a bha mi beag, cha robh mi deònach mòran ithe ach a-mhàin yoghurt teoclaid, rud a bhiodh a’ cur mo phàrantan droil.

B’ e Ebbw Vale an t-ainm air a’ chompanaidh yoghurt agus bha mi a’ smaoineachadh gur e àite sgoinneil, draoidheil, sònraichte a bhiodh ann. Uill, sin na shaoil mi co-dhiù – fhuair mi a-mach nuair a bha mi a’ rannsachadh na cùis gur e Eden Vale an t-ainm a bh’ air is nach robh ceangal sam bith ann ris a’ Chuimrigh. Ach bi mi measail air Ebbw Vale gu brath siorraidh tuilleadh, yoghurt ann no às!

Ged nach fhaca mi yoghurt sam bith – seoclaid no eile – bha an turas sgoinneil agus ged a bha e a’ fàs dorcha nuair a ruig mi am baile, fhuair mi dealbh no dhà mus deach mi gu deas a-rithist.

Clas 170, Tref Glyn Ebwy
Stèisean Ebbw Vale ann an ciaradh an fheasgair

Nuair a ràining mi Caerdydd, bha e air fàs dorcha agus rinn mi air an taigh-òsta agam. Bha am baile a’ cur thairis le daoine a bha a-muigh airson deochag na Nollaig ach bha mi toilichte a dhol dhan leabaidh tràth le leabhar mu sheanadh na Cuimrigh!

Nuair a bhios mi sa Chuimrigh, bi farmad cànain daonnan orm gu bheil Cuimris sa h-uile àite, bho na clàran-fiosrachaidh sna stèiseanan gu soidhnichean rathaid gu clàran-bìdh. B’ àbhaist dhomh a bhith brònach mu dheidhinn seo – ach a-nis, bidh mi dìreach a’ smaoineachadh “bidh Glaschu coltach ri seo ann an 10 bliadhna.” Agus bidh!

“Great Western Railway” – Caerdydd Canalog – prìomh stèisean na Cuimrigh

Ri leanntainn…

Alasdair

Air m’ fòn: Hawkwind, Levitation1980, 10/10 (Chunnaic mo charaid Mark cluicheadair-giotàr Hawkwind beò ann an Ebbw Vale nuair a bha e na dheugaire agus thug sin orm èisteachd ris a’ chlàr sgoinneil seo airson a’ chiad turas ann am bliadhnaichean!).

A’ leughadh: Wales Says Yes: Devolution and the 2011 Welsh Referendum; Richard Wyn Jones.


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

Powered by WPeMatico

Còmhradh air Blàr Chàirinis

Le Gordon Wells

AntamagadcroppedProbably most people in North Uist recognise the importance of the Gaelic language to the local culture, even if not all speak it themselves. But in the interests of “inclusion” there is an often-felt pressure on Gaelic-speakers to use English more and more, and Gaelic less and less. This can be true, perhaps even particularly so, in community groups with a mission to bring people together around a common interest – such as local history, for example.

This is one of the issues that Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath are attempting to address in new ways through the Ideas Fund “Aire air Sunnd” project, in which the Universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews, and the Highlands and Islands team up to provide research support for well-being initiatives on the island.

Part of the Island Voices contribution is to enable the viewing of selected extracts from the Guthan nan Eilean collection in order to stimulate Gaelic discussion, reminiscence, and ideas, and perhaps the airing of questions and concerns, so creating a contemporary and accessible record of speakers’ thoughts, memories, and opinions. Recordings of these discussions can then be transcribed for wider dissemination to enable any and all interested community members to gain increased knowledge and understanding of local stories, customs, practices, and issues, without first requiring them to be voiced in English.

That’s the theory, at least. Now for the practice! Here’s a first attempt. What do you think?

Members and supporters of Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, the North Uist Historical Society, view and discuss Norman Maclean’s telling of the Battle of Carinish. YouTube CC subtitles offer multilingual automatic translation options from the original Gaelic.

The full transcript is also available as a Wordlinked Clilstore unit here – http://multidict.net/cs/11204 – and here – https://clilstore.eu/cs/11204.


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

Powered by WPeMatico

Jamiekan Vorzhan

Le Gordon Wells

Kadeyne Marshall“Norman luk api pan fiim tuu piej . Di nyuuz bou di wok dem ina Lochboisdale riili gud, an elp buus op kanfidens ina wan komyuuniti we a chrai aksep se nyuu teknaliji a kom bout. Di regila advataisment dem an komyuuniti fiicha mek evribadi memba di sorvis dem we de bout an mek dem tankful se dem liv de.” (Jamiekan)

“Gu dearbh, tha coltas toilichte air Tormod air an dà dhuilleag aige. ’S e naidheachd air leth a th’ ann cuideachd mu na h-obraichean ann an Loch Baghasdail, agus cuiridh sin ri misneachd ann an coimhearsnachd a tha airson buannachd fhaighinn a-mach às an teicneòlas ùr. Bidh sanasan agus sgeulachdan bhon choimhearsnachd a’ toirt gu aire a h-uile duine na seirbheisean a tha ri fhaighinn, agus na h-adhbharan eile a th’ aca airson fuireach an seo.” (Gàidhlig)

“Norman is indeed looking happy in his two-page spread. The news about the jobs in Lochboisdale is excellent, and helps to boost confidence in a community wishing to embrace the potential of new technology. Regular advertisements and community features remind everyone of the services that are available and why they appreciate living here.” (English)

Kadeyne Marshall’s narration last year of Di Nyuuzpiepa was the third Jamaican version of an Island Voices film, and complements Hugh Campbell’s Gaelic Jorni and Dijitaizieshan Senta, all provided through the Jamaican Language Unit of the University of the West Indies, thanks to Audrey West‘s inspired introduction. Following the 2022 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the Highlands and Islands, we hope to see further collaborative work developing out of these small but concrete initial steps with the Jamaican Language Unit and their media channel Braadkyaas Jamiekan.

Followers of Island Voices who have sampled our Talking Points page will also be familiar with the voice of Dr Joseph Farquharson, the Jamaican Language Unit co-ordinator, discussing – in English – various sociolinguistic points arising from the Normal Maclean Saoghal Thormoid recordings with academic and community partners. As part of the JLU 20th anniversary celebrations, you can hear him here – in Jamaican – explain more about the work of the unit. It’s a fascinating story of language study and linguistically-informed language activism from another island context.

Island Voices co-ordinator Gordon Wells was particularly interested to hear to the name of Robert Le Page mentioned – a relatively unsung but key sociolinguistic pioneer who headed the department at York University where Gordon’s own linguistic career began. Saoghal beag…

 


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

Powered by WPeMatico

2022 an Dùbhlachd Sneachd / Dec. Snow

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Bha sneachda na chuibhrig

Bha sneachda na chuibhrig air ìosal is àrd,

Am broinn an taigh-òsda na seòmraichean làn.

Bha Màiri is Eòsaph air toir àite-tàimh,

Am Betlehem fhuadain ‘s an uair ann mu thràth.

.

Oh càit’ an robh fàsgadh bhon chas-shileadh fhuar

Dhan òigh a bha giùlan Fear-Saoraidh an t-sluaigh?

Ach threòraicheadh dìreach is cinnteach an ceum

Dhan fhàrdaich a b’ ìsle san tìr ud gu lèir.

O seall E na shìneadh gum riomhadh na chòir,

O seall air a Mhàthair ga thàladh le deòin,

‘S na h-ainglean a’ fàilteachadh pàisde na h-òigh!

Bidh ‘n oidhche seo àraid an cànan ‘s an ceòl.

.

Bha ceòl air a’ ghaoith agus shoillsich an reul,

Mun cuairt air na cìobairean, ‘s shìn iad an ceum,

‘S an uamha nan ainmhidhean thairg iad an gaol,

Dhan naoidhean aig Màiri, Rìgh-pàisde chlann-daoin.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The snow was a coverlet

The snow was a coverlet, on low and high ground,

Inside the guest-house the rooms were all full.

Mary and Joseph were seeking somewhere to stay,

Wandering in Bethlehem, and the hour already late.

.

Oh where was there shelter from the cold driving rain

For the maid who was carrying the Saviour of man?

But their step was guided, straight and sure,

To the lowliest lodgings in all that land.

Oh behold Him stretched out with no finery near,

Oh behold His Mother cradling him gladly,

And the angels welcoming the virgin’s child!

This night will be renowned in song and music.

.

There was music on the wind and the star shone down

Around the shepherds setting out on their way;

And in the animals’ den they offered their love

To Mary’s infant, the Child-king of mankind.

.

Faclan le Dòmhnall Iain Dòmhnallach, ceòl le Iseabail T. NicDhòmhnaill.

Words by Donald John Macdonald, music by Ishabel T. MacDonald.

.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!

.

Èist / Listen:

Jennifer Licko Band   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxUQwJtmHeo

.

Marit Falt and Rona Wilkie:https://maritandrona.bandcamp.com/track/bha-sneachda-na-chuibhrig

.


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

in-spreigeadh

Le lasairdhubh

Fhad ’s a bhios mi ag obair air an ath nobhail FS agam, bidh agam ri briathrachas a chruthachadh bho àm gu àm gus bun-bheachdan teicnigeach/saidheansail a chur an cèill, agus anns a’ bhlog seo, air uairibh, bu toil leam innse mu chuid dhe na taghaidhean a rinn mi, feuch dè tha sibhse a’ smaoineachadh umhpa.

Cha chreid mi gu bheil deagh fhacal againn anns a’ Ghàidhlig air instinct anns an t-seagh bhitheòlach, mhion-fhàsach. Tha Dwelly a’ moladh nàdar, agus tha sin a’ freagairt air instinct anns an t-seagh choitcheann, ach chan eil e a’ freagairt air a’ chiall theicnigeach, cha chreid mi, mar ghiùlan aig creutair a tha air a phrògramadh na eanchainn le mion-fhàs. Tha nàdar ro choitcheann anns an t-seagh seo. Chan eil anseotal.org.uk a’ moladh sìon, agus chan eil na Raghall MacLeòid agus Ruairidh MacThòmais anns an leabhar aca, Bith-Eòlas.

Mar sin, mholainn gun togar briathar air na freumhan Laidinn. Tha instinct a’ tighinn bho instinctus a tha a’ ciallachadh impulse, bho instinguere, na chothlamadh dhen ro-leasachan in- agus dhen ghnìomhair stinguere a tha a’ ciallachadh to prick. Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gu bheil in-spreigeadh a’ riochdachadh na cèille seo gu math, agus ann an co-theagsa, saoilidh mi gu bheil a chiall reusanta soilleir bho eileamaidean.

Dè tha sibhse a’ smaoineachadh. Leigibh fios!

T-Rex ScottRobertAnselmo CC BY-SA 3.0.


Tadhail air Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach

Powered by WPeMatico

Gaelic is genuinely popular in Scotland

Le lasairdhubh

And Gaelic is particularly popular amoung young adults in Scotland.

With so many trolls out there endlessly bashing on Gaelic, it is worth reminding ourselves from time to time that Gaelic is actually quite popular in Scotland. And while fluent speakers represent only a small percentage of the total Scottish population, in general, Scots are very supportive of the language, want to learn it, want their kids to learn it, want it to thrive in the future, and are happy to spend money to help it grow.

Below I have collected some statistics on public attitudes toward Gaelic and Gaelic development that demonstrate this support. Most of these statistics come from the most recent edition of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey published in 2022, but I have included some stats from the 2012 survey as well. These are large, reliable and independent surveys carried out each year on behalf of the Scottish Government, and from time to time questions about Gaelic are included.

As you will see below, I decided to highlight the opinions of young adults in Scotland. Young adults are particularly supportive of Gaelic, and for the future of language, this is extremely encouraging to see. Young adults, of course, are the folk that will shape Scottish culture and politics in the years to come, but also, many young adults are either currently raising young children or will be raising young children soon, and if they support Gaelic, they may decide to speak the language to their children in the home if they have it, and/or place their children in Gaelic-medium education when it comes time for school.

If you are aware of any other encouraging statistics about public support for Gaelic in Scotland, please let me know in the comments. Of course it is also important to recognize that Gaelic is struggling just now as a spoken language throughout Scotland, but focusing only on the bad news gives a lopsided picture of the opportunities we have to revitalize the language.

Unorganized public support—in and of itself—will not save Gaelic, but if we, as Gaelic activists, can come together and build a strong revival movement that is open and inclusive and harness this broad support, turning it into actual political power, then Gaelic really could have a bright future in Scotland.

The vast majority of Scots support Gaelic as an important part of Scotland’s cultural life. Overall, 79% of adults in Scotland think Gaelic is ‘very important’ (34%) or ‘fairly important’ (45%) to Scotland’s cultural heritage’, (ScotCen 2022: 43) while 90% of young adults aged 18-29 think the same (41% very important; 49% fairly important; ScotCen 2022: Annex Table 6.3). In our fractious and fragmented modern democracies, you almost never get 90% of folk agreeing on … well … anything at all, so it is pretty amazing that here in Scotland, such an overwhelming majority of young adults agree that Gaelic is important part of our shared culture.

And a surprisingly large minority of Scots consider Gaelic an important part of their own personal cultural heritage. Overall, 31% of adults in Scotland say that Gaelic is either ‘very important’ (9%) or ‘fairly important’ (22%) to their own cultural heritage, (ScotCen 2022: 39) while 43% of young adults aged 18-29 say the same. (16% very important; 27% fairly important; ScotCen 2022: Annex Table 6.1) This is a somewhat surprising statistic because it is much larger than the percentage of fluent young Gaelic speakers in Scotland (about 1% of the population). This means, of course, that most of these young adults who feel that Gaelic is an important part of their own heritage don’t actually speak much or any Gaelic themselves, but imagine if some significant fraction of these young adults were to decide to learn Gaelic and had access to high-quality, inexpensive or free Gaelic tuition to do so: what a difference that would make to the health of the language throughout the country. This single statistic represents a huge Gaelic development opportunity. Other countries have successfully brought large numbers of adults to fluency in threatened minority languages. There is no practical reason we couldn’t do the same here as well.

And as further support for this idea, the most recent survey found significant demand for more and better Gaelic learning opportunities in Scotland. Overall, 39% of non-fluent speakers report that they would like to speak Gaelic better than they currently do either ‘very much’ (17%) or ’somewhat’ (22%), while 59% of young adults aged 18-29 year olds report the same views. (ScotCen 2022: 13) Research has consistently shown that adult Gaelic learning provision in Scotland is piecemeal, underfunded and poorly organized. (MacCaluim 2007; McLeod et al. 2010) If we could convince the authorities to properly fund and organize the adult Gaelic learning sector, we could convert this unmet demand into literally thousands of new fluent Gaelic speakers.

There is also strong support for teaching all young Scots at least some Gaelic in school. 55% of adults in Scotland strongly agree (22) or agree (32) that all children in Scotland should be taught Gaelic as a school subject for an hour or two a week. 64% of young adults aged 18-29 think the same. (ScotCen 2022: 50-1)

And at the same time, there is significant interest in Gaelic-medium education (GME) amongst Scottish parents. While only about one percent of Scottish primary school children attend GME (Morgan 2020), in the 2012 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, 11% of Scottish adults said they would be very likely to send their children to GME if it was available in their area, and a further 17% said they would be fairly likely (reported and analysed in: O’Hanlon and Paterson 2017: 51). So why aren’t 27% of school children currently in GME? It’s not because there is a lack of teachers (there is, but that is a problem that can be solved); rather, it’s because councils across Scotland keep dragging their feet, decade after decade, refusing to set up new GME schools. Until parents have a clear statutory right to GME for their children, councils will continue to hold the Gaelic revival back.

And finally, most Scots are more than happy to spend money on Gaelic development. Overall, 70% of adults in Scotland feel that the amount the Scottish Government are currently spending on Gaelic is about right (48%) or too little (22%), and 79% of young adults aged 18-29 hold these views. Crucially, the respondents to the questionnaire were given an estimate of Scottish Government actual spending on Gaelic to inform their answer: “The Scottish Government currently spends £24 / £29m every year on promoting the use of Gaelic, for example in TV, education and publishing. This comes to around £4.80 / £5.20 for each person in Scotland. Do you think this is…?” (ScotCen 2022: 57-8) This means these answers are significantly better informed than many opinions you might find on twitter or in the comments below newspaper articles online.

Trolls will troll, and the anti-Gaelic voices are persistent and loud, but the silent majority in Scotland is actually very supportive of Gaelic. If we as activists can turn this inchoate support into a) organized political support for the language and b) active new speakers, Gaelic definitely can be developed into a much more widely-spoken language in Scotland.

Morgan, Peadar (2020) Dàta Foghlaim Ghàidhlig 2019-20. Inbhir Nis: Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

O’Hanlon, Fiona and Paterson, Lindsay (2017) “Factors influencing the likelihood of choice of Gaelic-medium primary education in Scotland: results from a national public survey.’ Language, Culture and Curriculum 30 (1): 48‒75.

MacCaluim, Alasdair. (2007). Reversing Language Shift: The Social Identity and Role of Adult Learners of Scottish Gaelic. Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.

McLeod, Wilson, Irene Pollock, and Alasdair MacCaluim. (2010) Adult Gaelic learning in Scotland: Opportunities, motivations and challenges. Inverness: Bòrd na Gàidhlig

ScotCen Social Research. 2022. Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2021: Public attitudes to Gaelic in Scotland – Main report. http://www.gaidhlig.scot/en/news/SSAS/


Tadhail air Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach

Powered by WPeMatico

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Le comanngaidhligghlaschu

Polaris. Bàrdachd is Òrain Ùr

Bidh sinn a’ cur fàilte bhlàth air Marcas Mac an Tuairneir oidhche Dhiardaoin sa tighinn aig Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, Sràid Berkeley, 7.30f. Tha sinn a’ dèanamh fiughar mhòr ri bhith cluinntinn o Mharcas agus an dòchas gun urrainn dhuibh a bhith còmhla ruinn.

https://www.marcasmac.scot/

Bidh sinn a’ sireadh £5 aig an doras – air no faodaidh sibh ballrachd bliadhnail a ghabhail (saor an asgaidh do dh’oileanaich is sgoilearan).  Tha sinn an dòchas ar faicinn ann an sin!

Àm: 7.30f, Diardaoin 24ᵐʰ dhan t-Samhain
Àite: Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, 147 Sràid Berkeley, Glaschu G3 7HP
Cànan: Gàidhlig
When: 7.30pm, Thursday 24th September
Where: Glasgow Gaelic School, 147 Berkeley St, Glasgow G3 7HP
Language: Gaelic

Tadhail air Comann Gàidhlig Ghlaschu

Powered by WPeMatico

An do chaill thu an deasbad air #Gàidhlig is #Scots an-dè?

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

Chaidh deasbad aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba a chumail an-dè mun Ghàidhlig agus mun Scots san àm ri teachd. Mur a robh thu ann an-dè, faodaidh tu an deasbad air fad a leughadh ann an Aithisg Oifigeil na Pàrlamaid. Seo an gluasad a chaidh aontachadh aig deireadh an deasbaid. Faodar coimhead air bhidio na Pàrlamaid air … Leugh an corr de An do chaill thu an deasbad air #Gàidhlig is #Scots an-dè?

Tadhail air Blog Pàrlamaid na h-Alba

Powered by WPeMatico

Deasbad mun Ghàidhlig is mun Scots san àm ri teachd

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

Thèid deasbad Riaghaltais a chumail sa Phàrlamaid an-diugh (Dimàirt 15 Samhain) mu Ghàidhlig agus Scots san àm ri teachd. ‘S e seo an gluasad: Chithear an gluasad agus na h-atharrachaidhean a chaidh a mholadh air làrach-lìn na Pàrlamaid. Tòisichidh an deasbad san t-Seòmar aig 2:25f. Faodar coimhead beò (agus às dèidh làimh) air Scottish Parliament … Leugh an corr de Deasbad mun Ghàidhlig is mun Scots san àm ri teachd

Tadhail air Blog Pàrlamaid na h-Alba

Powered by WPeMatico