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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Ceithir Bliadhna Deug

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

Tha an t-oifigear foghlam againn le Gàidhlig Mairead NicEacharna gu bhith a’ leigeil dhi a dreuchd a dh’aithghearr. San artaigil seo, tha i a’ coimhead air cuid de na h-àiteachan a chunnaic i tron obair aice. Ma tha Gàidhlig agad agus tu airson a bhith nad oifigear foghlaim còmhla ruinn, faic am fiosrachadh seo. Às … Leugh an corr de Ceithir Bliadhna Deug

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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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2022 an Cèitean: Moch Madainn Chèitein/ Early One May Morning

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Tha òran snog ainmeil tradaiseanta ann air a bheil Dh’èirich mi moch madainn Chèitein. ‘S e òran-luaidh a th’ ann, luath, beòthail, aighearach, làn molaidh air na h-eòin ‘s an ceilearadh, air a’ bhradan a’ leum, agus air àilleachd nàdair. Ann an cuid de na tionndaidhean, tha nuallan a’ chruidh a’ nochdadh, is banarach bhòidheach a’ dol dhan bhleoghan. ‘S e dealbh eireachdail a th’ ann, agus nuair a chluinneas tu an t-òran, no gu h-àraid ma ghabhas tu thu fhèin e, bidh thu a’ faireachdainn toilichte, dòchasach, sìtheil, fada air falbh bhon t-sluagh agus saor o dhraghan an t-saoghail.

Ach san darna leth den 19. linn, aig àm na strì airson còraichean nan croiteirean, nochd faclan eile air an aon fhonn – faclan politeagach. An turas seo ‘s e moladh air duine a th’ ann seach air nàdar, is esan Teàrlach Friseal Mac an Tòisich, neach-lagha a sheas airson nan croiteirean,  sgrìobhaiche is òraidiche gun sgìos, ball den Choimisean Napier – agus neach-iomairt sgairteil airson cleachdadh na Gàidhlig anns na sgoiltean (toirmisgte aig an àm sin), mar chànan co-ionnan ri Beurla. ‘S e seo a tha ga chomharrachadh san tionndadh ùr den òran.

B‘ e duine comasach buadhach a bh’ ann, agus araidh air òran le cinnt. Agus nochd e gu dearbh ann am fear eile, le Màiri Mhòr nan Òran fhèin, a chuidich e, a rèir coltais, nuair a bha i fo chasaid mèirle breugaich. ‘S ann a thaing aigesan cuideachd a chaidh Leabharlann Saor Poblach ann an Inbhir Nis a a stèidheachadh ann an 1883, gus cothrom a thoirt do gach neach foghlam is fiosrachadh fhaighinn gus nach biodh iad tuilleadh ann am muinghinn breugan an luchd-politigs no nan uachdaran.

Mar sin, nuair a chomharraicheas sinn Là nan Còraichean Luchd-Obrach a’ chiad latha den Chèitean am bliadhna, bu choir dhuinn a bhith a’ smaoineachadh cuideachd air na gaisgich againn fhèin air a’ Ghàidhealtachd, a dh’oibrich airson nan còraichean againne – agus tha gu leòr ann dhiubh!

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

There’s a lovely traditional song called Dh’èirich mi moch madainn Chèitein (I arose early on a May morning). It’s a waulking song, fast, lively, joyful, full of praise for the birds and their singing, the salmon leaping, and the beauty of nature. In some versions there are also cattle lowing and a pretty milkmaid. It’s an idyllic picture, and when you hear the song, or particularly if you sing it yourself, you can’t help but feel happy, optimistic, peaceful, far away from the crowds and free of the worries of the world.

But in the second half of the 19th century, at the time of the struggle for crofters’ rights, another set of words appeared to the same tune – political words. This time it was praising a man instead of nature, and that man was Charles Frazer Mackintosh, a lawyer who stood up for the crofters, a tireless writer and speaker, a member of the Napier Commission – and a vigorous campaigner for the use of Gaelic in the schools (at that time forbidden), on an equal basis to English. This is what is being celebrated in the new version of the song.

He was an able, influential figure and most certainly worthy of a song. And indeed he appears in another one too, by Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (“Big Mary of the Songs”) herself, the poet and land-campaigner whom he apparently helped defend when she was wrongly accused of theft. It’s thanks to him too that a Free Public Library was founded in Inverness in 1883, to enable everyone to access education and information, so that they would no longer be at the mercy of lying politicians or landlords.

So when we celebrate International Workers’ Rights Day on the 1st of May this year, we should also spare a thought for our own Highland heroes who worked for our rights – and there are plenty of them!

DH‘ÈIRICH MI MOCH MADAINN CHÈITEIN

Tionndadh tradiseanta:
Dh’éirich mi moch madainn Chéitein,
Fail ill é hill ù hill ó, Hiuraibh ó na hó ro éile
Fail ill é hill ù hill ó.

Mas moch an-diugh bu mhuich’ an dé e.
‘S binn a’ chòisir rinn mi éisdeachd.
Smeòraichean air bhàrr nan geugan,
Uiseagan os cionn an t-sléibhe.   
‘S bòidhche fhiamh ‘s a’ ghrian ag éirigh,
Madainn chiùin fo dhriùchd nan speuran,
Bric air linneachan a’ leumraich.
Leannaidh slàinte agus éibhneas
Riùthasan a bhios moch ag éirigh.  


Traditional version:
I arose early on a May morning.   
If early today it was earlier yesterday.   
Sweet was the choir I listened to,
thrushes on the tops of the branches,
larks above the moor.   
Beautiful is the prospect, with the sun rising,
a calm morning under the dew of the heavens,
trout leaping in the pools.   
There will follow health and happiness
for those who rise early
 
Tionndadh ùr:
Dh’èirich mi moch madainn Chèitein
Faill il o hill u ill o,
Hiùraibh o ‘s na hòro èile
Faill il o hill u ill o

Chuala mise sgeul bha èibhinn
Gun robh gaisgich dheas air èirigh
A chur beatha ‘n cainnt na Fèinne

Chaidh iad cruinn a ceann a chèile
Thuirt iad gu robh chànan feumail
Anns an sgoil cho math ri Beurla
Siud an duine a rinn feum dhuinn

Friseal Mac an Tòisich gleusta
Togaibh luinneag agus sèist dha
Àrdaichear e gus na speuran
Leis na Gàidheil ‘s gach àite ‘n tèid e.  


New version:
I arose early one May morning
I heard news which gladdened me
That the able heroes had risen
To put spirit in the language of the Feinne

They had gathered together
Declaring the language of use
In the schools as well as English
Now there was a man…

Wise Fraser MacIntosh
Sing songs and tunes for him
Let him be praised to the heavens
By the Gaels wherever he goes
.  

Kathleen MacInnes (new version of lyrics):

New York Public Library


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Pàrlamaid na h-Alba a’ comharrachadh #SeachdainNaGaidhlig

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

A bheil thu a’ coimhead air adhart ri Seachdain na Gàidhlig? Tha sinne! Bidh “tanc-smaoineachaidh” Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, Fòram Alba air Thòiseach no Scotland’s Futures Forum a’ gabhail pàirt le sreath de bhlogaichean Gàidhlig a choimisean iad a dh’aona-ghothach.   A’ sealltainn nas fhaide na cuairt nan taghaidhean a h-uile còig bliadhna agus air falbh … Leugh an corr de Pàrlamaid na h-Alba a’ comharrachadh #SeachdainNaGaidhlig

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Cànan Soidhnidh Bhreatainn ann an Alba

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

Tha fios againn uile gur e Seachdain na Gàidhlig – ach an robh fios agad gur e Seachdain Cànain Soidhnidh a th’ ann an t-seachdain seo? Seo tionndadh Gàidhlig de bhloga a rinn ar co-obraichean ann an SPICe – Ionad Fiosraichidh na Pàrlamaid. Tar-shealladh Thathar a’ meas gu bheil 151,000 neach san RA a’ cleachdadh … Leugh an corr de Cànan Soidhnidh Bhreatainn ann an Alba

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Athchuinge mun Ghàidhlig a’ tighinn air beulaibh na Pàrlamaid #gàidhlig #cleachdi

Le Oifigear Gàidhlig

Tha coimhearsnachd na Gàidhlig air ùidh mhòr a nochdadh air na meadhanan sòisealta mu athchuinge co-cheangailte ris a’ Ghàidhlig a chaidh a chur a-steach gu Comataidh Com-pàirteachaidh nan Saoranach agus nan Athchuingean Poblach na bu thràithe am-bliadhna. Seo PE1922: Cancel all Local Authority expenditure on Gaelic expansion – Petitions (parliament.scot) Tha teacsa na h-athchuingean ri … Leugh an corr de Athchuinge mun Ghàidhlig a’ tighinn air beulaibh na Pàrlamaid #gàidhlig #cleachdi

Tadhail air Blog Pàrlamaid na h-Alba

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Crashing through the boundries, lunacy has found me, cannot stop the battery! – Trèanaichean bataraidh

Le alasdairmaccaluim

Tha a’ chiad seirbheis rèile le trèana bataraidh san RA gu bhith a’ tòiseachadh ann an Lunnainn a dh’aithghearr.

Bidh trèanaichean bataraidh a’ ruith air meur-loidhne ghoirid Greenford ann an Lunainn an Iar a tha a’ dol bho West Ealing gu Greenford. ’S e pròiseact pìleat a tha seo ach ma bhios e soirbheachail, thèid fheuchainn ann an àiteachan eile.

‘S e naidheachd mhath dha-rìribh a tha seo.

Trèana Bataraidh Clas 230 ann an Glaschu rè COP26.

Tha an t-àm ann cùl a chur ri trèanaichean dìosail air adhbharan àrainneachd ach tha e uamhasach daor dealanachadh os-cionn (overhead line electrification) a chur air dòigh agus tha e a’ toirt ùine mhòr cuideachd. Agus ged a bu chòir dhan mhòr-chuid den lìonra a bhith air a dhealanachadh, tha cuid de loidhnichean ann far nach tachair e gu bràth – mar eisimpleir loidhnichean dùthchail fada gun mòran luchd-cleachdaidh.

Mar sin, bidh pàirt chudromach aig trèanaichean bataraidh agus haidridein ann a bhith a’ dì-chàrbonachadh rathaidean-iarainn.

Ged a tha deuchainnean air a bhith ann, a’ gabhail a-staigh deuchainnean ann am Bo’ ness agus ann an Glaschu rè COP26, seo a’ chiad turas a bhios trèanaichean bataraidh a ruith ann an seirbheisean àbhaisteach le luchd-siubhail.

Chaidh meur-loidhne Greenford a thaghadh airson a’ phìleit seo a chionn’s gu bheil i goirid agus a chionn ’s gur e seotal (shuttle) a th’ ann le trèanaichean a’ dol suas agus sìos an loidhne fad an latha is gun a bhith a’ dèanamh ceangal ris a’ chòrr den lionra. Bidh an trèana a’ tèarrdseadh aig an stèisean eadar seirbheisean.

Meur-loidhne Greenford – West Ealing gu Greenford

‘S e trèana clas 230 a bhios ann – trèana London Underground bhon District Line a chaidh suas-chuairteachadh (upcycled) agus a tha a-nis a’ ruith air bataraidhean.  

Agus a rèir artagal san Scotsman bho chionn ghoirid, thathar an dùil gun òrdaich ScotRail trèanaichean bataraidh ùra ann an ùine nach bi fada.

Alasdair

Mur eil thu a’ tuigsinn cò às a thàinig tiotail a’ bhlog seo, tha e bhon òran Battery le Metallica (anns na làithean nuair a bha iad fhathast math!)


Tadhail air Trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean

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