Discussion:
Leodhasach & Hearasch - Gaelic help please
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Karen McDonald
2007-07-19 14:22:49 UTC
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I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.

1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?

2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.

3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.

I shall be most grateful for any assistance.

Karen
cudbright
2007-07-19 16:22:01 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.

Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
The Highlander
2007-07-20 04:14:08 UTC
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Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections - A person from
Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")

and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).

Here is a pronunciation for you:

http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx

Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
cudbright
2007-07-20 16:07:57 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
cc
Cory Bhreckan
2007-07-20 18:13:39 UTC
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Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Or in Mike's case, the horse's....
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
cc
--
"For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed." - William Topaz McGonagall
The Highlander
2007-07-20 23:22:22 UTC
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On Fri, 20 Jul 2007 18:13:39 GMT, Cory Bhreckan
Post by Cory Bhreckan
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Or in Mike's case, the horse's....
I knew that you would be unable to resist!
How does it feel to have someone understand you so well?
Post by Cory Bhreckan
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
cc
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Cory Bhreckan
2007-07-21 21:17:28 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
On Fri, 20 Jul 2007 18:13:39 GMT, Cory Bhreckan
Post by Cory Bhreckan
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Or in Mike's case, the horse's....
I knew that you would be unable to resist!
How does it feel to have someone understand you so well?
Next thing you know we'll be completing each other's sentences.
Post by The Highlander
Post by Cory Bhreckan
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
cc
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
--
"For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed." - William Topaz McGonagall
The Highlander
2007-07-20 21:39:29 UTC
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Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
It is - mea culpa - I was concentrating on the singular form and
misunderstood that you were giving both forms....

Leòdhasaich is the plural and genitive form of Leòdhasach.

Similarly, Hearaich is the plural and genitive form of Hearach..

The word Tearach (and Tearaich) is also heard for Hearach.

-aich is a common genitive and plural ending, thus:
Sgitheanach (person from Skye)
a Eilean Sgitheanach - from Skye
Sgiathanach (-aich, aich) a local spelling variation.

Hiortach is someone from St, Kilda and is also called Tiortach,
Hirteach and Tirteach.

an t-Eilean Rùm - the Isle of Rum
a Eilean Rùim - from the Isle of Rum
a Rùma - from Rum
Rùmach - a person from Rum
Rùmaich - people from Rum

Somewhat irregular because Rum is a pre-Gaelic name.

Eigg (masc.) is also irregular -
Eigeach - someone from Eigg
Eigich - people from or pertaining to Eigg.
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Better than from the horse's other end, that's for sure!
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
cc
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
cudbright
2007-07-20 22:06:40 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
It is - mea culpa - I was concentrating on the singular form and
misunderstood that you were giving both forms....
Leòdhasaich is the plural and genitive form of Leòdhasach.
Similarly, Hearaich is the plural and genitive form of Hearach..
The word Tearach (and Tearaich) is also heard for Hearach.
Sgitheanach (person from Skye)
a Eilean Sgitheanach - from Skye
Sgiathanach (-aich, aich) a local spelling variation.
Hiortach is someone from St, Kilda and is also called Tiortach,
Hirteach and Tirteach.
an t-Eilean Rùm - the Isle of Rum
a Eilean Rùim - from the Isle of Rum
a Rùma - from Rum
Rùmach - a person from Rum
Rùmaich - people from Rum
Somewhat irregular because Rum is a pre-Gaelic name.
Eigg (masc.) is also irregular -
Eigeach - someone from Eigg
Eigich - people from or pertaining to Eigg.
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Better than from the horse's other end, that's for sure!
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
Any idea what the names of these islands mean?
Rum
Egg
Lewis
Harris
Skye
Jura

cc
Robert Peffers.
2007-07-27 22:02:15 UTC
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Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Post by cudbright
Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
Hi Karen, while you wait for an answer from somebody who knows this
better, I can tell you that a person from Harris is a Hearrach.
Post by Karen McDonald
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
Yup
Post by Karen McDonald
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
The plural forms are Leòdhasaich and Hearraich.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
Hard to indicate pronounciation here. Hearrach is easy enough, say it
like Harrach (I presume you know how to pronounce the ch sound as in
Loch). For Leòdhasaich try Lee-o-ass-ach and put the stress on the o.
Subject to correction by people less rusty than me.
cc
I hope you don't mind me adding two small corrections
Not at all, I was wondering when a native speaker would respond. I
tried to learn Gaelic over forty years ago, in my revolutionary
nationalist days.
Post by The Highlander
A person from Harris is a Hearach (with one "r")
That shows the danger of using Google and finding things like
'Clò Hearrach'.
Post by The Highlander
and from Lewis, Leòdhasach (not saich).
I thought the one ending in -ich was plural, sorry.
It is - mea culpa - I was concentrating on the singular form and
misunderstood that you were giving both forms....
Leòdhasaich is the plural and genitive form of Leòdhasach.
Similarly, Hearaich is the plural and genitive form of Hearach..
The word Tearach (and Tearaich) is also heard for Hearach.
Sgitheanach (person from Skye)
a Eilean Sgitheanach - from Skye
Sgiathanach (-aich, aich) a local spelling variation.
Hiortach is someone from St, Kilda and is also called Tiortach,
Hirteach and Tirteach.
an t-Eilean Rùm - the Isle of Rum
a Eilean Rùim - from the Isle of Rum
a Rùma - from Rum
Rùmach - a person from Rum
Rùmaich - people from Rum
Somewhat irregular because Rum is a pre-Gaelic name.
Eigg (masc.) is also irregular -
Eigeach - someone from Eigg
Eigich - people from or pertaining to Eigg.
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Better than from the horse's other end, that's for sure!
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
Mìcheal a Eilean Rùim - Rùmach.
Any idea what the names of these islands mean?
Rum
Egg
Lewis
Harris
Skye
Jura
cc
Aiblins it means they are surrounded by water, (I'll get my coat).
--
Robert Peffers,
Kelty,
Fife,
Scotland, (UK).
The Highlander
2007-07-28 01:46:13 UTC
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On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 23:02:15 +0100, "Robert Peffers."
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Any idea what the names of these islands mean?
Rum
Rum is a pre-Gaelic name - it means room or space in Gaelic, but its
original name comes from an unknown language; possibly Pictish;
possibly much earlier.
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Egg
When seen from certain directions, a peak called An Sgurr (peak or
pinnacle) at one end gives the impression that the island has had a
notch cut out of it. Thus it's called Eilean Eige, in Gaelic, meaning
Island of the Notch.
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Lewis
Leódhas is almost certainly a Norse name. One explanation is that this
name came from Norse Ljódhhús; "song house", which was gradually
applied to the entire island.
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Harris
Na Hearadh means "division" or "portion". There are two other parts of
the Hebrides which have "na Hearadh" districts; namely Islay and Rum.
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Skye
An t-Eilean Sgitheanach. Opinion is divided on the name origin. Some
believe it may mean "the indented island" because of all its sea lochs
and coves. An alternative form of the name is an t-Eilean
Sgiathanach, which points to sgiath, "wing", as the root of the name,
while others favour sgiath, "shield, the same word; with two
meanings...

The usual explanation for "The Winged Isle" is that clouds get caught
by the Cuillin (Cuilinn Mountains) and stream from the peak, giving
the impression of wings.
Post by Robert Peffers.
Post by cudbright
Jura
Diùra. means "Deer island" in Norse.

One has to remember that the Hebrides were part of the Viking Empire
for 400 years, so many place names are Norse in origin, rather than
Gaelic - as indeed are the people; partly Norse and partly Irish, as
are our cousins in Ireland - but Hebrideans have no confusion about
their allegiance - they're Scottish to the core!

The Hebrides themselves are called Innse Gall, Isles of Foreigners
(the Vikings), or more often these days, nan Eileanan, but the people
call themselves in general Innse-Gallaich or simply Eileanaich -
Islanders.

In general they call themselves by the name of their island of birth.

The Mainland is Mòr-thìr or Tìr Mòr, there being no particular
preference as to which is used as far as I know, except that "air tir"
(on land) is a way of saying "on the Mainland".

You may remember from a previous post that when "mòr" is used as an
adjective before a noun, it lenites the following noun if possible.

I should also point out an irregular usage with nouns and adjectives.

When a noun ends in an "n", it does NOT lenite the following
adjective.

Thus, sgian dubh, (skee-un doo - black knife - a stocking knife) NOT
shgian dubh.

In the same way, one says "cailin bàn" (cahleen bahn) and NOT cailin
bhàn, (pretty or fair-haired girl). even though both nouns are
feminine and should therefore lenite the adjective.

Although it is irregular; the lack of lenition (an inserted h which
would change the pronunciation) is a rule!
Post by Robert Peffers.
Aiblins it means they are surrounded by water, (I'll get my coat).
Never mind - we'll do the Kingdom of Fife some day soon!

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Karen McDonald
2007-07-21 12:04:11 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
It is - mea culpa - I was concentrating on the singular form and
misunderstood that you were giving both forms....
Leòdhasaich is the plural and genitive form of Leòdhasach.
Similarly, Hearaich is the plural and genitive form of Hearach..
The word Tearach (and Tearaich) is also heard for Hearach.
Sgitheanach (person from Skye)
a Eilean Sgitheanach - from Skye
Sgiathanach (-aich, aich) a local spelling variation.
Hiortach is someone from St, Kilda and is also called Tiortach,
Hirteach and Tirteach.
an t-Eilean Rùm - the Isle of Rum
a Eilean Rùim - from the Isle of Rum
a Rùma - from Rum
Rùmach - a person from Rum
Rùmaich - people from Rum
Somewhat irregular because Rum is a pre-Gaelic name.
Eigg (masc.) is also irregular -
Eigeach - someone from Eigg
Eigich - people from or pertaining to Eigg.
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Better than from the horse's other end, that's for sure!
Thank you very much gentlemen for your invaluable help.

I need this information because I am writing a brief account of a
meeting I had in April 1970 with a friend who had just spent the
Easter holidays with her granny in Stornoway. She was comparing life
on Lewis and Harris with that in Glasgow. So, one of my sentences
might read,

'It was interesting to note how, at this time, the lives of (LEWISERS)
and (HARRISERS) compared to those of us domiciled on the mainland.'

This is why I wanted to know the correct plural formats and whether
they could be used when referring to everyone - males and females. I
should also like to indicate in the text how the words Leòdhasaich and
Hearaich are pronounced phonetically in English. The quoted URL gives
fine indications for the singular forms, but now I am wondering about
the plurals. I am obliged to be accurate, because how annoying must it
be to native Gaelic speakers when writers in English don't take proper
care of the language.

I am also keen to verify the accuracy of specific comments my friend
made that afternoon about life on Lewis and Harris circa 1970. Thus I
should very much welcome your expert opinions on this too.

I have started another thread entitled: 'Lewis and Harris in 1970'.

Once again I am extremely obliged for your input. Many thanks indeed.

Karen
The Highlander
2007-07-21 17:44:17 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
Post by The Highlander
It is - mea culpa - I was concentrating on the singular form and
misunderstood that you were giving both forms....
Leòdhasaich is the plural and genitive form of Leòdhasach.
Similarly, Hearaich is the plural and genitive form of Hearach..
The word Tearach (and Tearaich) is also heard for Hearach.
Sgitheanach (person from Skye)
a Eilean Sgitheanach - from Skye
Sgiathanach (-aich, aich) a local spelling variation.
Hiortach is someone from St, Kilda and is also called Tiortach,
Hirteach and Tirteach.
an t-Eilean Rùm - the Isle of Rum
a Eilean Rùim - from the Isle of Rum
a Rùma - from Rum
Rùmach - a person from Rum
Rùmaich - people from Rum
Somewhat irregular because Rum is a pre-Gaelic name.
Eigg (masc.) is also irregular -
Eigeach - someone from Eigg
Eigich - people from or pertaining to Eigg.
Post by cudbright
Post by The Highlander
http://tinyurl.com/2suhdx
Great to hear it from the horse's mouth
Better than from the horse's other end, that's for sure!
Thank you very much gentlemen for your invaluable help.
I need this information because I am writing a brief account of a
meeting I had in April 1970 with a friend who had just spent the
Easter holidays with her granny in Stornoway. She was comparing life
on Lewis and Harris with that in Glasgow. So, one of my sentences
might read,
'It was interesting to note how, at this time, the lives of (LEWISERS)
and (HARRISERS) compared to those of us domiciled on the mainland.'
This is why I wanted to know the correct plural formats and whether
they could be used when referring to everyone - males and females. I
should also like to indicate in the text how the words Leòdhasaich and
Hearaich are pronounced phonetically in English. The quoted URL gives
fine indications for the singular forms, but now I am wondering about
the plurals. I am obliged to be accurate, because how annoying must it
be to native Gaelic speakers when writers in English don't take proper
care of the language.
Just change the last sound to - eech (ch as in och) and you have it.

Go here http://www.ambaile.com/en/search/subject_id?id=428 and you can
listen to traditional story tellers. My favourites are "A' Ghobhar
Ghlas agus na Trì Minn" (The Grey Goat and the Three Kids) and
"Pàdraig na Beinne" (Peter of the Hill.) Both speakers have beautiful
voices and speak with the accents of the Isle of Lewis.

If you follow the written English version, you will find that the
endings are missing. I can supply them.

You might also go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/

where you can listen to Gaelic live (Click "Èisd beò" (Listen live) or
select from past programs by clicking on "Èisd a-rithist (Listen
again).

I'm a great fan of "A' mire ri Mòir" (Merriment with Mòrag) who is a
dear elderly lady from the Isle of Barra and plays traditional Gaelic
music on her show and is, as they say in Hollywood; a legend in her
own lifetime!

You might also check out "An Litir Bheag" (the little letter) and
"Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh" (Letter to learners) by Ruairidh
MacIlleathain (Roddy Maclean) who writes a weekly series of
stories and observations, along with detailed explanations of the
Gaelic used in each letter.

It's actually a very large site and includes a long list of Gaelic
words and their translations. There are/were audio pronunciations, but
I was unable to find them today. The site is being fixed for some
major problem, so hopefully they will reappear soon.

Use the A-U index to navigate and examine what the site offers.
Post by Karen McDonald
I am also keen to verify the accuracy of specific comments my friend
made that afternoon about life on Lewis and Harris circa 1970. Thus I
should very much welcome your expert opinions on this too.
I should tell you that I'm no expert - I've been living in Canada for
nearly forty years and so my memories are from WW2. Sad to say, there
are only seven or eight of us still alive here who can speak Gaelic.
However, there are many Gaelic sites on line and here is a listing of
some of them, courtesy of Rampant Scotland.

http://www.rampantscotland.com/gaelic.htm

If you are thinking seriously abour learning Gaelic, here are (in my
opinion) the two best sites on the Net.

http://www.akerbeltz.org/

and

http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/
Post by Karen McDonald
I have started another thread entitled: 'Lewis and Harris in 1970'.
Once again I am extremely obliged for your input. Many thanks indeed.
Karen
Is e do bheatha - You're welcome! (lit. He is thy life - a reference
to God.)

As Jock Thomson said to his bairns, "Aye keep cawin' awa!"

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Karen McDonald
2007-07-22 23:17:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Highlander
Post by Karen McDonald
This is why I wanted to know the correct plural formats and whether
they could be used when referring to everyone - males and females. I
should also like to indicate in the text how the words Leòdhasaich and
Hearaich are pronounced phonetically in English. The quoted URL gives
fine indications for the singular forms, but now I am wondering about
the plurals. I am obliged to be accurate, because how annoying must it
be to native Gaelic speakers when writers in English don't take proper
care of the language.
Just change the last sound to - eech (ch as in och) and you have it.
Go here http://www.ambaile.com/en/search/subject_id?id=428 and you can
listen to traditional story tellers. My favourites are "A' Ghobhar
Ghlas agus na Trì Minn" (The Grey Goat and the Three Kids) and
"Pàdraig na Beinne" (Peter of the Hill.) Both speakers have beautiful
voices and speak with the accents of the Isle of Lewis.
If you follow the written English version, you will find that the
endings are missing. I can supply them.
You might also go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/
where you can listen to Gaelic live (Click "Èisd beò" (Listen live) or
select from past programs by clicking on "Èisd a-rithist (Listen
again).
I'm a great fan of "A' mire ri Mòir" (Merriment with Mòrag) who is a
dear elderly lady from the Isle of Barra and plays traditional Gaelic
music on her show and is, as they say in Hollywood; a legend in her
own lifetime!
You might also check out "An Litir Bheag" (the little letter) and
"Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh" (Letter to learners) by Ruairidh
MacIlleathain (Roddy Maclean) who writes a weekly series of
stories and observations, along with detailed explanations of the
Gaelic used in each letter.
It's actually a very large site and includes a long list of Gaelic
words and their translations. There are/were audio pronunciations, but
I was unable to find them today. The site is being fixed for some
major problem, so hopefully they will reappear soon.
Use the A-U index to navigate and examine what the site offers.
Post by Karen McDonald
I am also keen to verify the accuracy of specific comments my friend
made that afternoon about life on Lewis and Harris circa 1970. Thus I
should very much welcome your expert opinions on this too.
I should tell you that I'm no expert - I've been living in Canada for
nearly forty years and so my memories are from WW2. Sad to say, there
are only seven or eight of us still alive here who can speak Gaelic.
However, there are many Gaelic sites on line and here is a listing of
some of them, courtesy of Rampant Scotland.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/gaelic.htm
If you are thinking seriously abour learning Gaelic, here are (in my
opinion) the two best sites on the Net.
http://www.akerbeltz.org/
and
http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/
Post by Karen McDonald
I have started another thread entitled: 'Lewis and Harris in 1970'.
Once again I am extremely obliged for your input. Many thanks indeed.
Karen
Is e do bheatha - You're welcome! (lit. He is thy life - a reference
to God.)
As Jock Thomson said to his bairns, "Aye keep cawin' awa!"
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Again I am most grateful for your time and trouble. All the above
noted and filed for future reference. As mentioned before, your
expertise is extremely rare. Thus how fortunate that we are able to
benefit from it so freely.

With regard to learning Gaelic I have been advised to enroll on a
course at Clydebank College where I understand they do Gaelic classes
intensively five mornings per week. I am seriously considering this
for the start of the new session in August.

Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland. Not of much use to me granted, but
a great way of perpetuating the language indefinitely. Wee ones learn
so much more easily than do middle-aged wifies like I.

Mar sin leat an-dràsda.

Karen
Ruiseart agus Ceit
2007-07-23 00:34:31 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Karen McDonald
With regard to learning Gaelic I have been advised to enroll on a
course at Clydebank College where I understand they do Gaelic classes
intensively five mornings per week. I am seriously considering this
for the start of the new session in August.
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland. Not of much use to me granted, but
a great way of perpetuating the language indefinitely. Wee ones learn
so much more easily than do middle-aged wifies like I.
As a matter of interest, "Clì" in Inverness are providing classes using the
Ulpan method of teaching. It has been very successful in Israel (where it
was designed) and in Wales. It basically teaches one to use the brain like a
child would when learning a language and fluency is achieved in much less
time than conventional methods.

Have a look at:

http://www.cli.org.uk/

Le beannachdan,

Ruiseart.
--
Ruiseart Alcorn - Celtic folk/rock music
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ravenswingmusic/index.html

Gaelic Druid Order
http://www.geocities.com/gdosc/
The Highlander
2007-07-24 00:06:09 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 08:34:31 +0800, "Ruiseart agus Ceit"
Post by Ruiseart agus Ceit
Post by Karen McDonald
With regard to learning Gaelic I have been advised to enroll on a
course at Clydebank College where I understand they do Gaelic classes
intensively five mornings per week. I am seriously considering this
for the start of the new session in August.
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland. Not of much use to me granted, but
a great way of perpetuating the language indefinitely. Wee ones learn
so much more easily than do middle-aged wifies like I.
As a matter of interest, "Clì" in Inverness are providing classes using the
Ulpan method of teaching. It has been very successful in Israel (where it
was designed) and in Wales. It basically teaches one to use the brain like a
child would when learning a language and fluency is achieved in much less
time than conventional methods.
http://www.cli.org.uk/
Le beannachdan,
Ruiseart.
That's very interesting and I thank you for the URL. As it happens,
Roddy Maclean of Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh - Letter to Learners -
whom I mentioned earlier is the editor of Cothrom, Clì's bilingual
quarterly magazine.

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
S Viemeister
2007-07-23 01:26:53 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland.
Finding qualified teachers can be a problem.
allan connochie
2007-07-24 06:09:13 UTC
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Post by S Viemeister
Post by Karen McDonald
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland.
Finding qualified teachers can be a problem.
Not only a practical nightmare but a complete waste of time and money too.
The money and energy would be far better used targeted to primary schooling
within the Highlands and Islands. As well as that there could be perhaps
increased numbers of specialised schools offering real choice in the larger
cities where there may be enough of a call for it. The idea that every
primary school throughout Lowland Scotland should have a Gaelic teacher is
silly. It would be a massive cost for something hardly anyone needs or
wants.

Allan
Karen McDonald
2007-07-25 07:12:18 UTC
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On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 06:09:13 GMT, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
Post by S Viemeister
Post by Karen McDonald
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland.
Finding qualified teachers can be a problem.
Not only a practical nightmare but a complete waste of time and money too.
The money and energy would be far better used targeted to primary schooling
within the Highlands and Islands. As well as that there could be perhaps
increased numbers of specialised schools offering real choice in the larger
cities where there may be enough of a call for it. The idea that every
primary school throughout Lowland Scotland should have a Gaelic teacher is
silly. It would be a massive cost for something hardly anyone needs or
wants.
Allan
In one sense I can see where you are coming from here.

Perhaps the answer would be to make Gaelic a compulsory 'option' for
new primary teachers doing the four-year B.Ed course. This way, over
time, the prevalence of Gaelic teaching would increase without
prejudicing other, more immediately relevant, subjects like maths,
English and science etc.

This plan would fit well with the current ethos that requires teachers
to be fully multi-tasking. And, in an age when new teachers are
finding it increasingly hard to get permanent jobs - never mind good
ones - having a Gaelic string to one's bow would, I am sure, be a
definite advantage. Besides - there is such a wealth of fine Gaelic
culture that could be used to great effect in primary schools as a
matter of course: music, poetry, stories etc.

Just a personal view based upon what I see happening around these
days.
allan connochie
2007-07-25 14:25:39 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 06:09:13 GMT, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
Post by S Viemeister
Post by Karen McDonald
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland.
Finding qualified teachers can be a problem.
Not only a practical nightmare but a complete waste of time and money too.
The money and energy would be far better used targeted to primary schooling
within the Highlands and Islands. As well as that there could be perhaps
increased numbers of specialised schools offering real choice in the larger
cities where there may be enough of a call for it. The idea that every
primary school throughout Lowland Scotland should have a Gaelic teacher is
silly. It would be a massive cost for something hardly anyone needs or
wants.
Allan
In one sense I can see where you are coming from here.
Perhaps the answer would be to make Gaelic a compulsory 'option' for
new primary teachers doing the four-year B.Ed course. This way, over
time, the prevalence of Gaelic teaching would increase without
prejudicing other, more immediately relevant, subjects like maths,
English and science etc.
This plan would fit well with the current ethos that requires teachers
to be fully multi-tasking. And, in an age when new teachers are
finding it increasingly hard to get permanent jobs - never mind good
ones - having a Gaelic string to one's bow would, I am sure, be a
definite advantage. Besides - there is such a wealth of fine Gaelic
culture that could be used to great effect in primary schools as a
matter of course: music, poetry, stories etc.
Just a personal view based upon what I see happening around these
days.
I didn't mean to sound off-hand and apologise if it came across like that. I
think it is important to boost Gaelic as well, but just disagree on how that
can be best done. I just believe that the limited resources would best be
targeted to the traditional Highland Gaelic areas and the larger Lowland
cities where there may well be enough call for more Gaelic teaching because
of the population. That way £ for £ the Executive could get the best value.
Far more so than trying to push Gaelic onto a the rural Lowlands where of
course our own traditional language is even more neglected than Gaelic is.
Many of the primary teachers here struggle with the annual Burns
competitions etc never mind introducing Gaelic too. Of course all of
Scotland's history should be taught everywhere and there is no harm in
introducing some music and song of the Gael. However it would be absurd to
recruit Gaelic speaking teachers in for instance Jedburgh just to teach the
kids a waulking song or two when the Border Ballads themselves are
completely ignored at the present.

There was a study done recently in Selkirk High School where their attitude
to Scotland's languages was examined. In general most pupils seemed to agree
that supporting Gaelic was important, however hardly any of them had any
interest in learning the language themselves. They realised that Gaelic was
an important aspect of Scotland but of course they also realised it wasn't
very relavent to their own existing long standing culture from this part of
Scotland. Trying to force Gaelic onto children outwith the perceived
traditional Gaelic areas would probably be counter-productive in two ways.
Firstly it risks damaging the existing goodwill towards the language which
many have, this is especially true if we're talking spending on education
where resources are already stretched. Secondly it risks marginalising even
further the real traditional language/dialects of Scots speaking areas.

There has been real vitriolic correspondence in the Southern Reporter
recently concerning the signs and information boards on Carter Bar. One
writer defending the new Gaelic signs made absurd claims that
Brittonic/Cymric was never spoken in Southern Scotland/Northern England and
that Gaelic is the original indiginous language, and that it was here long
before Northumbrian/Scots arrived. Anyone who disgreed was anti-Gaelic!
Others who were more factually correct denied that and stated Gaelic only
had a relatively fleeting and thin existence in the Borders. None of that is
relevent of course as Carter Bar is an entrance to Scotland and not just to
The Borders hence of course there should be a Gaelic sign as well as the
existing English one. That doesn't change the fact though that some people
feel strongly that the real culture of this area is being further sidelined
as it is ignored in the information boards etc, leaving tourists especially
with a completely false impression. Hence we shouldn't pretend Scotland is
something it isn't just to please relatively small pressure groups. Prior to
the take over by Standard English the country had dual cultures (Gaelic and
Scots in tandem) and of course it still has both of these. We shouldn't
promote one side of Scotland over the other.


Allan
Karen McDonald
2007-07-26 00:58:22 UTC
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:25:39 +0100, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
Post by Karen McDonald
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 06:09:13 GMT, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
Post by S Viemeister
Post by Karen McDonald
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland.
Finding qualified teachers can be a problem.
Not only a practical nightmare but a complete waste of time and money too.
The money and energy would be far better used targeted to primary schooling
within the Highlands and Islands. As well as that there could be perhaps
increased numbers of specialised schools offering real choice in the larger
cities where there may be enough of a call for it. The idea that every
primary school throughout Lowland Scotland should have a Gaelic teacher is
silly. It would be a massive cost for something hardly anyone needs or
wants.
Allan
In one sense I can see where you are coming from here.
Perhaps the answer would be to make Gaelic a compulsory 'option' for
new primary teachers doing the four-year B.Ed course. This way, over
time, the prevalence of Gaelic teaching would increase without
prejudicing other, more immediately relevant, subjects like maths,
English and science etc.
This plan would fit well with the current ethos that requires teachers
to be fully multi-tasking. And, in an age when new teachers are
finding it increasingly hard to get permanent jobs - never mind good
ones - having a Gaelic string to one's bow would, I am sure, be a
definite advantage. Besides - there is such a wealth of fine Gaelic
culture that could be used to great effect in primary schools as a
matter of course: music, poetry, stories etc.
Just a personal view based upon what I see happening around these
days.
I didn't mean to sound off-hand and apologise if it came across like that.
No worries. But you didn't come over as offhand. You were just
expressing a view.
Post by allan connochie
I think it is important to boost Gaelic as well, but just disagree on how that
can be best done. I just believe that the limited resources would best be
targeted to the traditional Highland Gaelic areas and the larger Lowland
cities where there may well be enough call for more Gaelic teaching because
of the population. That way £ for £ the Executive could get the best value.
Far more so than trying to push Gaelic onto a the rural Lowlands where of
course our own traditional language is even more neglected than Gaelic is.
Fair enough. But would I be correct in assuming that by 'our own
traditional language' you really mean ' a localised version of
English'? Here in Glasgow there is 'the patter'. Yet, most foreigners
who speak English soon get the gist of it. Not so Gaelic, which
meseems is quite obscure to English speakers.
Post by allan connochie
Many of the primary teachers here struggle with the annual Burns
competitions etc
Is this not a fault of the education system - especially at B.Ed/PGCE
level? Then again - Burns wrote in a localised version of English,
which does not take as long to get the hang of as does Gaelic. For
instance - using existing knowledge I can make sense of Spanish,
German, Portuguese, French and Italian newspapers. But, up until
recently, not a thing could I make sense of in Gaelic - written or
spoken.
Post by allan connochie
never mind introducing Gaelic too. Of course all of
Scotland's history should be taught everywhere and there is no harm in
introducing some music and song of the Gael. However it would be absurd to
recruit Gaelic speaking teachers in for instance Jedburgh just to teach the
kids a waulking song or two when the Border Ballads themselves are
completely ignored at the present.
Well, these should not be ignored of course. They are an intrinsic
part of your heritage. The answer to promoting local cultures might be
to call on the services of the many old folk in the area who would be
more than happy to pass their knowledge on to youngsters.
Post by allan connochie
There was a study done recently in Selkirk High School where their attitude
to Scotland's languages was examined. In general most pupils seemed to agree
that supporting Gaelic was important, however hardly any of them had any
interest in learning the language themselves.
There are many subjects that children do not like learning at school.
I had no interest in learning netball or hockey. But I had to play
these games because it was decreed that I should. Furthermore, in my
view, there is too much emphasis these days on what children 'want'
rather than on what they 'need' or what is best for them. You just
have to visit your local supermarket to see proof of this. Today's
parents pander to youngsters ower much.
Post by allan connochie
They realised that Gaelic was an important aspect of Scotland but of course they also realised it wasn't
very relavent to their own existing long standing culture from this part of
Scotland.
Sport had no relevance to me. I hated it. Neither did I enjoy sewing
or cookery classes. But that was tough. I had to apply myself to them
all - or else! I was educated in the bad old days when every Scottish
secondary school had a female teacher who specialised in belting
rebellious girls. I am not advocating the return of such teachers. But
they did focus one's mind considerably.
Post by allan connochie
Trying to force Gaelic onto children outwith the perceived
traditional Gaelic areas would probably be counter-productive in two ways.
Firstly it risks damaging the existing goodwill towards the language which
many have, this is especially true if we're talking spending on education
where resources are already stretched. Secondly it risks marginalising even
further the real traditional language/dialects of Scots speaking areas.
If I may extend my analogy cited above... Sport has always been rammed
down the throat of every child in school irrespective of whether
he/she is the 'sporty' type or not. But I am nane the waur o' it. And
I am certainly not against sport just because I didn't/don't like it.
Moreover, I have many friends in a similar position. We were all as
thin as rakes too. So in our cases there was no excuse for sport on
grounds of obesity. Sport was just one of those things you had to do
and be cheerful about. It was a discipline.

However, at the end of the day what is perceived as 'good public
policy' will always prevail over reason and common sense. And this
tenet extends to all walks of life - even the law. Justice is a fine
principle - but only insofar as it never breaches the codes of what is
good public policy. Sport has always been pushed hard in schools
because it is seen as an excellent control surface for managing the
population. If Gaelic or Border Ballads or Doric or whatever were seen
to serve the same or a similar purpose the money required for
promoting these areas would be found in jig time and henceforth there
would be no need for you or I to have a conversation like this one.
Post by allan connochie
There has been real vitriolic correspondence in the Southern Reporter
recently concerning the signs and information boards on Carter Bar. One
writer defending the new Gaelic signs made absurd claims that
Brittonic/Cymric was never spoken in Southern Scotland/Northern England and
that Gaelic is the original indiginous language, and that it was here long
before Northumbrian/Scots arrived. Anyone who disgreed was anti-Gaelic!
Nowadays this is a stance typical of those with an 'agenda' - no
matter what its nature. The Global Warming peeps keep harping on about
how we must all cut down our carbon emissions to save the planet, when
REALLY what they mean is: 'cut down your use of fossil fuels cos
they're running out quicker than we expected and (we) the Americans
don't want to alter (our) their lifestyles one single bit'.

The Global Warming thingy and all these foreign wars are principally
designed to serve the interests of the USA. Common sense, reason and
actual fact don't come into it. Look at the wheen o' fibs Blair told
to get us into Iraq? Scandalous.

Mind - if you keep repeating something often enough, most people will
believe you. So maybe we should start doing the same a propos Gaelic
and local cultures generally.
Post by allan connochie
Others who were more factually correct denied that and stated Gaelic only
had a relatively fleeting and thin existence in the Borders. None of that is
relevent of course as Carter Bar is an entrance to Scotland and not just to
The Borders hence of course there should be a Gaelic sign as well as the
existing English one.
Quite.
Post by allan connochie
That doesn't change the fact though that some people
feel strongly that the real culture of this area is being further sidelined
as it is ignored in the information boards etc, leaving tourists especially
with a completely false impression. Hence we shouldn't pretend Scotland is
something it isn't just to please relatively small pressure groups.
I agree. But because Gaelic is so unique I think it would be a
galvanising force that would lend a clear 'Scottishness' to Scotland.
This is why I think it should be taught in every primary school
alongside the many local variations of English that have prevailed in
Scotland for ages. I am not agin what you say. I just think that
Gaelic, owing to its unique properties, should aye take precedence.
Post by allan connochie
Prior to the take over by Standard English the country had dual cultures (Gaelic and
Scots in tandem) and of course it still has both of these. We shouldn't
promote one side of Scotland over the other.
Again I agree. But surely 'Scots' is just a variation of English and
thus a lot easier to understand and pass on than a special,
independent language like Gaelic? Indeed some might aver that 'Scots'
is merely 'slang' English. Whereas no such description could ever be
applied to Gaelic, which is a language completely different from
English altogether.

In summary, I think Gaelic should be taught at a preferential level in
every Scottish primary school because:

1. It would be a galvanising force for Scotland.
2. It would challenge the developing minds of youngsters far more so
than would learning a particular local variation of 'Scots'.
3. It would uncover an entire heritage that is always deeply hidden
from English speakers who can usually make some sense of mainstream
European languages, but not the Celtic ones - which have entirely
different roots and are thus obscure.
4. If Gaelic eventually became the official Scottish tongue, both the
Scottish people and 'the language' would be advanced in consequence. A
genuine symbiotic relationship would accrue.
5. A Gaelic-speaking Scotland would be well in tune with our nearest
neighbour across the water - Ireland. A friend of mine from County
Cork understands Scots Gaelic perfectly.
6. It would create more jobs in education.

Karen
allan connochie
2007-07-26 09:57:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Karen McDonald
On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:25:39 +0100, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
I didn't mean to sound off-hand and apologise if it came across like that.
No worries. But you didn't come over as offhand. You were just
expressing a view.
Post by allan connochie
I think it is important to boost Gaelic as well, but just disagree on how that
can be best done. I just believe that the limited resources would best be
targeted to the traditional Highland Gaelic areas and the larger Lowland
cities where there may well be enough call for more Gaelic teaching because
of the population. That way £ for £ the Executive could get the best value.
Far more so than trying to push Gaelic onto a the rural Lowlands where of
course our own traditional language is even more neglected than Gaelic is.
Fair enough. But would I be correct in assuming that by 'our own
traditional language' you really mean ' a localised version of
English'? Here in Glasgow there is 'the patter'. Yet, most foreigners
who speak English soon get the gist of it. Not so Gaelic, which
meseems is quite obscure to English speakers.
It would be absurd, and thouroughly anglocentric to define what is and what
isn't a language purely by whether it is related to English or not.
Linguistically there is no real argument as all modes of speech are both
language and dialects. Of course Scots is closely related to English as it
stems from the old Northumbrian dialect of Anglo-Saxon. In other words it is
like Gaelic as Gaelic has a similar relationship with Irish. What we choose
to put in the language basket or dialect basket has as much to do with
identity and politics as it has to do with linguistics. There are for
instance seemingly dialects of Chinese which are basically unintelligable to
those speaking other dialects of Chinese - whilst some national lanaguages
are as closely related to other lanagages as Scots is to Standard English.
Scots was at one time regarded as the national language of government; its
vocab can differ greatly from standard English; it has its own grammatical
features from standard English; it has a wide range of living dialects (
ranging from the much maligned and quite anglicised Glaswegian through more
conservative dialects like Shetlandic, Border Scots and the Doric); it has a
literary canon which is far larger than any other supposed dialect of
English within England; and of course lastly despite your protestations it
is legally regarded as a language in its own right by all the authorities
who matter.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Many of the primary teachers here struggle with the annual Burns
competitions etc
Is this not a fault of the education system - especially at B.Ed/PGCE
level? Then again - Burns wrote in a localised version of English,
which does not take as long to get the hang of as does Gaelic.
Burns wrote in various ways. He wrote some poems in Standard English; he
wrote some in the semi-standard Scots of his day which was based on the
Lothian dialect; and he wrote some in his own Ayrshire dialect of the Scots
language. Very often he chopped and changed, mixed and matched, even within
the same poem.
Post by Karen McDonald
For
instance - using existing knowledge I can make sense of Spanish,
German, Portuguese, French and Italian newspapers. But, up until
recently, not a thing could I make sense of in Gaelic - written or
spoken.
Makes a lot of sense. Whatever one is talking about there is no-one more
prone to extremism than the recent convert. You should try speaking to
Highlander a bit more. As well as being steeped in his Gaelic tradition he
has a fine knowldege of Border Scots. He had family connections in the area
and poor soul, by accident of birth, he was actually born in Galashiels. He
is someone who truly appreciates Scottish culture in that you won't find
anyone more in love with Gaeldom yet he also truly appreciates Lowland
Culture. You don't need to dismiss one in order to support the other.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
never mind introducing Gaelic too. Of course all of
Scotland's history should be taught everywhere and there is no harm in
introducing some music and song of the Gael. However it would be absurd to
recruit Gaelic speaking teachers in for instance Jedburgh just to teach the
kids a waulking song or two when the Border Ballads themselves are
completely ignored at the present.
Well, these should not be ignored of course. They are an intrinsic
part of your heritage. The answer to promoting local cultures might be
to call on the services of the many old folk in the area who would be
more than happy to pass their knowledge on to youngsters.
A so Gaelic culture is a national culture which needs to be a compulsory
part of the curriculum, whilst Scots culture is just of local interest so we
could just get some old worthie in off the street to deal with that?

Despite past histories the vast majority of people who are supporters of the
Scots language also support Gaelic and vice versa. In other words they are
interested in Scottish culture and not just one aspect of Scottish culture.
There is no need to promote one over the other.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
There was a study done recently in Selkirk High School where their attitude
to Scotland's languages was examined. In general most pupils seemed to agree
that supporting Gaelic was important, however hardly any of them had any
interest in learning the language themselves.
There are many subjects that children do not like learning at school.
I had no interest in learning netball or hockey. But I had to play
these games because it was decreed that I should. Furthermore, in my
view, there is too much emphasis these days on what children 'want'
rather than on what they 'need' or what is best for them. You just
have to visit your local supermarket to see proof of this. Today's
parents pander to youngsters ower much.
It is an absurd comparison though. Sport is a universal subject whilst
hockey or netball are only parts of that subject. Languages is a universal
subject. Gaelic isn't! It is only part of languages. I can see no good
logical or practical reason for forcing everyone in Scotland to speak
Gaelic.



Sport has always been pushed hard in schools
Post by Karen McDonald
because it is seen as an excellent control surface for managing the
population. If Gaelic or Border Ballads or Doric or whatever were seen
to serve the same or a similar purpose the money required for
promoting these areas would be found in jig time and henceforth there
would be no need for you or I to have a conversation like this one.
Sport is a universal subject. The fact that some kids don't like it is by
the by. I agree that all the above are important but as well as being part
of the national culture they are all, including Gaelic, part of more
localised cultures too. Education should take regard of everyone's more
local or regional culture. That is true for someone from Oban, Hawick or
London or wherever.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
There has been real vitriolic correspondence in the Southern Reporter
recently concerning the signs and information boards on Carter Bar. One
writer defending the new Gaelic signs made absurd claims that
Brittonic/Cymric was never spoken in Southern Scotland/Northern England and
that Gaelic is the original indiginous language, and that it was here long
before Northumbrian/Scots arrived. Anyone who disgreed was anti-Gaelic!
Nowadays this is a stance typical of those with an 'agenda' - no
matter what its nature.
It was clear to me from your first post that there was an agenda!
Post by Karen McDonald
The Global Warming thingy and all these foreign wars are principally
designed to serve the interests of the USA. Common sense, reason and
actual fact don't come into it. Look at the wheen o' fibs Blair told
to get us into Iraq? Scandalous.
Common sense and actual fact don't come into your argument either though.
Again take the Borders which just happens to be where I live so it is easy
to use. 99.7% of the population don't speak Gaelic. Of the 0.3% who do well
some will only know it to a certain level, possibly some no more than a few
words. Hence somewhere short of (actual number unknown) 300 souls out of
100,000 people - in the entire eastern side of southern Scotland speak good
Gaelic. Most of those will either be adult Gaels who have moved to the
Borders or children of Gaels who have moved. There are two families in my
own street who have both been here for a while. One couple both speak Gaelic
but they haven't passed the lanaguage on to their two children. The other
family has a Gaelic speaking father only. the wife is a Glaswegian who has
never learned the language whilst the three daughters only speak a
smattering. We have family friends where the mother is French. All her three
children are fluent in French as well as English. Basically she ensures she
speaks to them in French much of the time. The way the decline of Gaelic can
be best halted is by encouraging Gaels to pass the language on to the next
generations. That kind of loss can never be replaced by reluctant school
kids being force fed an alien language. Obviously the easiest place for
people to pass on their language is in the Gaelic speaking areas, or
arguably large urban centres, where kids can converse with other Gaelic
speaking kids in their own environment.
Post by Karen McDonald
Mind - if you keep repeating something often enough, most people will
believe you. So maybe we should start doing the same a propos Gaelic
and local cultures generally.
People were repeatedly told that Scots was just a dialect of English and
many people, seemingly including yourself, do believe it. Again your
differentiation between Gaelic, perceived by you as a national culture; and
Scots culture, perceived by you as a number of local cultures; is I believe
totally incorrect.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Others who were more factually correct denied that and stated Gaelic only
had a relatively fleeting and thin existence in the Borders. None of that is
relevent of course as Carter Bar is an entrance to Scotland and not just to
The Borders hence of course there should be a Gaelic sign as well as the
existing English one.
Quite.
Post by allan connochie
That doesn't change the fact though that some people
feel strongly that the real culture of this area is being further sidelined
as it is ignored in the information boards etc, leaving tourists especially
with a completely false impression. Hence we shouldn't pretend Scotland is
something it isn't just to please relatively small pressure groups.
I agree. But because Gaelic is so unique I think it would be a
galvanising force that would lend a clear 'Scottishness' to Scotland.
Scots culture is just as Scottish as Gaelic culture is. It is absurd to
claim otherwise. Scottishness defines itself and doesn't need to be defined
by how different it is from English culture! What you are suggesting seems
to be that we should pretend the culture of certain parts of Scotland are
Gaelic just to appear less like the English.
Post by Karen McDonald
This is why I think it should be taught in every primary school
alongside the many local variations of English that have prevailed in
Scotland for ages. I am not agin what you say. I just think that
Gaelic, owing to its unique properties, should aye take precedence.
What 'unique' properties does Gaelic have that Scots doesn't? The only thing
I can think of is a standard written form which is in itself always an
atrificial construct. Scots has its sister language in English whilst Gaelic
has its sister languages of Irish and Manx. I wouldn't expect the teaching
of Scots culture to take precedence in Stornoway anymore than the idea that
Gaelic culture should take precedence in Kelso! Both would be ridiculous
ideas. The country has had too much linguistic bigotry in the past to start
on those kinds of ideas now. It is a pipe dream anyway. You can't force your
own personal linguistic vision on the real world anymore than I could.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Prior to the take over by Standard English the country had dual cultures (Gaelic and
Scots in tandem) and of course it still has both of these. We shouldn't
promote one side of Scotland over the other.
Again I agree. But surely 'Scots' is just a variation of English and
thus a lot easier to understand and pass on than a special,
independent language like Gaelic?
The upturn in Gaelic has been brought around by clever campaigning by the
Gaelic lobby which included working for recognition under the European
Charter. Despite your own views regarding the status of Scots that said
language is also recognised as such under the charter by the European,
Westminster and Scottish Parliaments. So no you can't simply dismiss Scots
as a variation of English whilst claiming Gaelic is unique.
Post by Karen McDonald
Indeed some might aver that 'Scots'
is merely 'slang' English. Whereas no such description could ever be
applied to Gaelic, which is a language completely different from
English altogether.
This is absurd though. The definition of what is and isn't a language isn't
purely based on whether it is related to English or not. Then again of
course as you said if you're told something often enough!
Post by Karen McDonald
In summary, I think Gaelic should be taught at a preferential level in
1. It would be a galvanising force for Scotland.
The support of both of Scotland's homegrown minority languages would be a
galvanising force as long as neither were forced upon English speaking
monoglots. The forcing of every school child to speak Gaelic, which is in
essence not the native culture of vast numbers of Scots, could only be
divisive.
Post by Karen McDonald
2. It would challenge the developing minds of youngsters far more so
than would learning a particular local variation of 'Scots'.
Learning any language develops the mind. Considering how bad we are at
modern languages developing our skills in those would be far more useful and
realistic.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. It would uncover an entire heritage that is always deeply hidden
from English speakers who can usually make some sense of mainstream
European languages, but not the Celtic ones - which have entirely
different roots and are thus obscure.
The teaching of Scotland's history and culture is of course important but of
course that is completely different from forcing everyone to learn Gaelic.
As previously said we should be done with any kind of cultural imperialism.
Post by Karen McDonald
4. If Gaelic eventually became the official Scottish tongue, both the
Scottish people and 'the language' would be advanced in consequence. A
genuine symbiotic relationship would accrue.
Not based on any kind of reality. There is nothing wrong with having Gaelic
as an official language of Scotland, in fact I would support that, but to
have it as 'the official language' of Scotland is plain silly. At a stroke
you would have around 98% of the population of Scotland not able to speak
their own country's official langauge - and in areas like mine that would
rise to around 99.7% of the population.
Post by Karen McDonald
5. A Gaelic-speaking Scotland would be well in tune with our nearest
neighbour across the water - Ireland.
Remembering of course that Ireland isn't actually our nearest neighbour. We
have a land border with England!
Post by Karen McDonald
A friend of mine from County
Cork understands Scots Gaelic perfectly.
Yet earlier in this post you claimed that Scottish Gaelic was unique whilst
Scots was related to English?
Post by Karen McDonald
6. It would create more jobs in education.
I can think of many more useful and needed subjects for the pupils of the
likes of Kelso and Jedburgh to have or be improved. We can't base our
education system on the narrow views of a tiny minority, which would even be
a tiny minority of Gaels never mind Scots in general.


Allan
The Highlander
2007-07-26 18:11:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:57:17 +0100, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
Post by Karen McDonald
On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:25:39 +0100, "allan connochie"
Post by allan connochie
I didn't mean to sound off-hand and apologise if it came across like that.
No worries. But you didn't come over as offhand. You were just
expressing a view.
Post by allan connochie
I think it is important to boost Gaelic as well, but just disagree on how that
can be best done. I just believe that the limited resources would best be
targeted to the traditional Highland Gaelic areas and the larger Lowland
cities where there may well be enough call for more Gaelic teaching because
of the population. That way £ for £ the Executive could get the best value.
Far more so than trying to push Gaelic onto a the rural Lowlands where of
course our own traditional language is even more neglected than Gaelic is.
Fair enough. But would I be correct in assuming that by 'our own
traditional language' you really mean ' a localised version of
English'? Here in Glasgow there is 'the patter'. Yet, most foreigners
who speak English soon get the gist of it. Not so Gaelic, which
meseems is quite obscure to English speakers.
It would be absurd, and thouroughly anglocentric to define what is and what
isn't a language purely by whether it is related to English or not.
Linguistically there is no real argument as all modes of speech are both
language and dialects. Of course Scots is closely related to English as it
stems from the old Northumbrian dialect of Anglo-Saxon. In other words it is
like Gaelic as Gaelic has a similar relationship with Irish. What we choose
to put in the language basket or dialect basket has as much to do with
identity and politics as it has to do with linguistics. There are for
instance seemingly dialects of Chinese which are basically unintelligable to
those speaking other dialects of Chinese - whilst some national lanaguages
are as closely related to other lanagages as Scots is to Standard English.
Scots was at one time regarded as the national language of government; its
vocab can differ greatly from standard English; it has its own grammatical
features from standard English; it has a wide range of living dialects (
ranging from the much maligned and quite anglicised Glaswegian through more
conservative dialects like Shetlandic, Border Scots and the Doric); it has a
literary canon which is far larger than any other supposed dialect of
English within England; and of course lastly despite your protestations it
is legally regarded as a language in its own right by all the authorities
who matter.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Many of the primary teachers here struggle with the annual Burns
competitions etc
Is this not a fault of the education system - especially at B.Ed/PGCE
level? Then again - Burns wrote in a localised version of English,
which does not take as long to get the hang of as does Gaelic.
Burns wrote in various ways. He wrote some poems in Standard English; he
wrote some in the semi-standard Scots of his day which was based on the
Lothian dialect; and he wrote some in his own Ayrshire dialect of the Scots
language. Very often he chopped and changed, mixed and matched, even within
the same poem.
Post by Karen McDonald
For
instance - using existing knowledge I can make sense of Spanish,
German, Portuguese, French and Italian newspapers. But, up until
recently, not a thing could I make sense of in Gaelic - written or
spoken.
Makes a lot of sense. Whatever one is talking about there is no-one more
prone to extremism than the recent convert. You should try speaking to
Highlander a bit more. As well as being steeped in his Gaelic tradition he
has a fine knowldege of Border Scots. He had family connections in the area
and poor soul, by accident of birth, he was actually born in Galashiels. He
is someone who truly appreciates Scottish culture in that you won't find
anyone more in love with Gaeldom yet he also truly appreciates Lowland
Culture. You don't need to dismiss one in order to support the other.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
never mind introducing Gaelic too. Of course all of
Scotland's history should be taught everywhere and there is no harm in
introducing some music and song of the Gael. However it would be absurd to
recruit Gaelic speaking teachers in for instance Jedburgh just to teach the
kids a waulking song or two when the Border Ballads themselves are
completely ignored at the present.
Well, these should not be ignored of course. They are an intrinsic
part of your heritage. The answer to promoting local cultures might be
to call on the services of the many old folk in the area who would be
more than happy to pass their knowledge on to youngsters.
A so Gaelic culture is a national culture which needs to be a compulsory
part of the curriculum, whilst Scots culture is just of local interest so we
could just get some old worthie in off the street to deal with that?
Despite past histories the vast majority of people who are supporters of the
Scots language also support Gaelic and vice versa. In other words they are
interested in Scottish culture and not just one aspect of Scottish culture.
There is no need to promote one over the other.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
There was a study done recently in Selkirk High School where their attitude
to Scotland's languages was examined. In general most pupils seemed to agree
that supporting Gaelic was important, however hardly any of them had any
interest in learning the language themselves.
There are many subjects that children do not like learning at school.
I had no interest in learning netball or hockey. But I had to play
these games because it was decreed that I should. Furthermore, in my
view, there is too much emphasis these days on what children 'want'
rather than on what they 'need' or what is best for them. You just
have to visit your local supermarket to see proof of this. Today's
parents pander to youngsters ower much.
It is an absurd comparison though. Sport is a universal subject whilst
hockey or netball are only parts of that subject. Languages is a universal
subject. Gaelic isn't! It is only part of languages. I can see no good
logical or practical reason for forcing everyone in Scotland to speak
Gaelic.
Sport has always been pushed hard in schools
Post by Karen McDonald
because it is seen as an excellent control surface for managing the
population. If Gaelic or Border Ballads or Doric or whatever were seen
to serve the same or a similar purpose the money required for
promoting these areas would be found in jig time and henceforth there
would be no need for you or I to have a conversation like this one.
Sport is a universal subject. The fact that some kids don't like it is by
the by. I agree that all the above are important but as well as being part
of the national culture they are all, including Gaelic, part of more
localised cultures too. Education should take regard of everyone's more
local or regional culture. That is true for someone from Oban, Hawick or
London or wherever.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
There has been real vitriolic correspondence in the Southern Reporter
recently concerning the signs and information boards on Carter Bar. One
writer defending the new Gaelic signs made absurd claims that
Brittonic/Cymric was never spoken in Southern Scotland/Northern England and
that Gaelic is the original indiginous language, and that it was here long
before Northumbrian/Scots arrived. Anyone who disgreed was anti-Gaelic!
Nowadays this is a stance typical of those with an 'agenda' - no
matter what its nature.
It was clear to me from your first post that there was an agenda!
Post by Karen McDonald
The Global Warming thingy and all these foreign wars are principally
designed to serve the interests of the USA. Common sense, reason and
actual fact don't come into it. Look at the wheen o' fibs Blair told
to get us into Iraq? Scandalous.
Common sense and actual fact don't come into your argument either though.
Again take the Borders which just happens to be where I live so it is easy
to use. 99.7% of the population don't speak Gaelic. Of the 0.3% who do well
some will only know it to a certain level, possibly some no more than a few
words. Hence somewhere short of (actual number unknown) 300 souls out of
100,000 people - in the entire eastern side of southern Scotland speak good
Gaelic. Most of those will either be adult Gaels who have moved to the
Borders or children of Gaels who have moved. There are two families in my
own street who have both been here for a while. One couple both speak Gaelic
but they haven't passed the lanaguage on to their two children. The other
family has a Gaelic speaking father only. the wife is a Glaswegian who has
never learned the language whilst the three daughters only speak a
smattering. We have family friends where the mother is French. All her three
children are fluent in French as well as English. Basically she ensures she
speaks to them in French much of the time. The way the decline of Gaelic can
be best halted is by encouraging Gaels to pass the language on to the next
generations. That kind of loss can never be replaced by reluctant school
kids being force fed an alien language. Obviously the easiest place for
people to pass on their language is in the Gaelic speaking areas, or
arguably large urban centres, where kids can converse with other Gaelic
speaking kids in their own environment.
If I could interject another point of view. let me tell you about
where I live.

I'm in a district called Richmond, an island connected to the mainland
by several bridges which is about 60% Asian, the largest groups being
Chinese and Japanese.

The Japanese settled here around 100 years ago en masse from two
Japanese regions and took over the fishing trade.They held onto their
customs and traditions, partly because they were marginalized and
discriminated against, especially during WW2 when most had their
properties literally stolen from them by the racist government of the
time and were deported to the interior of Canada to prevent them from
"lending aid and comfort to the Japanese enemy".

Some chose to be repatriated to Japan and never returned, apart from
some of their English-speaking children who found Japan too alien to
endure, especially as they were discriminated against there too, and
they returned to Richmond after the war

Post-war commissions were unable to find one instance of local
Japanese collaboration with the enemy and eventually young Japanese
men were allowed to join the Canadian armed forces and take part in
the fighting, as also happened in the US. As in the US, they were
found to be brave, hardy young men who considered themselves to be
Canadians and spoke English first, with a smattering of childhood
Japanese.

Their properties were never restored, but they clung to what they had,
and being a hard-working, ingenious and proud people, they simply
pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and are now an established
community once again.

Their treatment by the provincial and federal governments is one of
the more disgraceful acts to blot Canada's otherwise vaguely tolerant
government of the time. Meanwhile, French Canada is still considered
beyond the pale by most westerners and only a few have ever made the
effort to learn French; while at least 30% of Canada uses French as a
mother tongue, compared to 52% who speak English and 18% who speak a
native or non-Canadian language.

Today most young people of Japanese descent speak little or no
Japanese, but like the Highlands, the outward signs of their culture
is still highly visible, with martial arts centres, a Buddhist temple,
sushi shops, etc. The area has become a popular stop for Japanese
tourists to visit as it represents a version of Japan overseas, like
Hawaii and California.

Intermarriage with the non-Japanese population is now commonplace and
as an avid admirer of women, I have to say that it has produced some
truly spectacular beauties! Like most of Canada, the people are highly
aware of their origins, but are determinedly English-speaking
Canadians.

The largest population is the Chinese, many of whose ancestors arrived
in North American to help build the transcontinental railways.

Most speak little or no Chinese and like the Japanese have integrated,
while hanging on to traditional customs. I speak better Cantonese
Chinese than most of this group; a source of wonder to those who hear
me in action!

In the meantime, following the "opening" of China after the handover
of Hong Kong, huge numbers of mostly well-educated and often very
wealthy Chinese have emigrated to western Canada and have essentially
taken over Richmond, transforming it with highrise buildings and
injecting billions of dollars into the economy. Parts of Richmond are
indistinguishable from Hong Kong, with Chinese-only signs, Chinese
stores and all the marks of a Chinese city.

They are much more determined that their children should speak Chinese
and there are several private Chinese-language schools, many of whose
students seem to be highly resentful of this additional imposition on
their attempts to become Canadians of Chinese descent. Again, there is
considerable intermarriage, to the horror of the parents and again
another source of spectacular beauties! The groups are mostly drawn
from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, especially Beijing and
sadly, they brought their gangster/triad problems with them.

The adult immigrant Chinese have made a determined effort to
integrate, but because of their own cultural leanings, tend not to mix
much with the Caucasian population, privately regarding them as an
inferior people. They have essentially created a parallel all-Chinese
society and tenbd to move within it, rather than reaching out to the
non-Chinese population, apart from matters of business.

As an example, I am highly aware that my ability to speak Chinese is
regarded by some as a classical example of one of the cleverer apes
having learned to stand on its hind legs and speak a smattering of bad
Chinese.

In fairness, I think it would be fair to say that that is the
extremist view, as I constantly find myself being questioned by
incoming Chinese about local matters which they don't quite
understand. They have taken to local and national politics like ducks
to water and are without doubt a powerful civilization, with very much
the same attitudes as the British Raj as far as the natives are
concerned. I have never been invited to a Chinese home on a social
basis, but as many Chinese remain in China to make money from the
current boom, while leaving their wives and children in Canada to get
citizenship as soon as possible, I have had two serious offers to
become the lover of the ladies concerned. In boith cases, I have
declined; in both cases the reaction was fury, as this is a class of
controlling, pampered women accustomed to getting their own way.

The hidden ace in the pack is that there is no chance that I will ever
meet their friends and inadvertently spill the beans about the ladies'
relationships.

The Chinese in particular are adept in using any part of western
culture that they like, such as tecnology, fast cars,. etc. - spme are
even experimenting with Christianity - but in effect it is a closed
society whose children are rapidly becoming Canadianized and Englosh
speaking.

So what does this all tell us? In my opoinion, it tells us that the
dominant culture will always win over the marginal culture. No clearer
example can be seen in Scotland than the wholesale adoption of
visible Highland culture by the Lowlands; pipebands, Highland dress,
the discovery of malt whisky, etc. but the linguistic culture and
customs will eventually be subsumed into the larger whole.

This is obvious from studying the statistics of native Gaelic speakers
becoming fewer and fewer at each national census. For example, in that
bastion of Gaeldom, the Isle of Lewis, native speakers are decreasing
year by year. The lure of the dominant Scottish culture - English and
American culture with their glittering symbols of prestige and
fascinating toys - will eventually swamp the Gaels, and indeed are
already doing so, as can be seen from the national census. I have
little doubt that, as has alrerady happened in 1974 on the Isle of
Man, that we shall eventually witness the death of the last native
Gaelic speaker. What a lonely person that unlucky survivor will be.

Is there hope? Well, the State of Israel provides the only example
that I can think of offhand. Jews from a hundred cultures came to
settle there, to escape centuries of persecution in other lands, most
of whom have learned to speak Hebrew, some fluently, some poorly. But
is has been at a cost that I would never wish on Scotland; repression
and wholesale massacre over the previous centuries.

I once wrote here that what Scotland needs to become independent is
for the RAF to bomb Edinburgh and Glasgow and for Parliment to outlaw
the use of any language except standard English.

Dominant cultures; and English culture is certainly that; tend to look
down on native cultures and Lowland Scotland has been no exception in
changing step to that tune. Highland Scotland still tolerates Gaelic
because it is too close to the existing Highland-English culture to
marginalize successfully, but I am fairly sure that day will come.

Yet even the dominant cultures have their problems. The United States
has had several discussions about making English the official language
as Spanish threatens to overwhelm the Anglo-American culture of
several border states such as Texas, New Mexico and California. States
bordering Quebec have substantial French-speaking enclaves.

Many native tribes, and some are huge, like the Sioux and the
little-known Lummi of Washington State, the second largest tribe in
the US, still use their native languages as a means of daily
communication. Thousands of Americans are teaching themselves or are
being taught Scottish and Irish Gaelic. The coinpt of the soutjher
states for the northern states and vice versa is still alive and well,

The Chinese decided centuries ago that the natural unit for humans is
the village and the clan. The Chinese regard anyone who bears the same
family name as being related. The Wong or in northern China, Wang clan
is the largest of them all, comprising some 400 million people. To get
help from the Wongs/Wangs, all you need is to prove that you were born
a Wong or a Wang. In the case of a friend of mine, this meant her
stepmother being able to live in a lovely highrise apartment in
Vancouver at a nominal rent until she dies. Not a bad deal, eh?

The bottom line is that we are all becoming one people, thanks to the
magic of instant communication. The only question left is which
langauge will our descendants speak. The choices are English, Mandarin
Chinese, Spanish or Arabic. The rest will be cultural history.
Post by allan connochie
Post by Karen McDonald
Mind - if you keep repeating something often enough, most people will
believe you. So maybe we should start doing the same a propos Gaelic
and local cultures generally.
People were repeatedly told that Scots was just a dialect of English and
many people, seemingly including yourself, do believe it. Again your
differentiation between Gaelic, perceived by you as a national culture; and
Scots culture, perceived by you as a number of local cultures; is I believe
totally incorrect.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Others who were more factually correct denied that and stated Gaelic only
had a relatively fleeting and thin existence in the Borders. None of that is
relevent of course as Carter Bar is an entrance to Scotland and not just to
The Borders hence of course there should be a Gaelic sign as well as the
existing English one.
Quite.
Post by allan connochie
That doesn't change the fact though that some people
feel strongly that the real culture of this area is being further sidelined
as it is ignored in the information boards etc, leaving tourists especially
with a completely false impression. Hence we shouldn't pretend Scotland is
something it isn't just to please relatively small pressure groups.
I agree. But because Gaelic is so unique I think it would be a
galvanising force that would lend a clear 'Scottishness' to Scotland.
Scots culture is just as Scottish as Gaelic culture is. It is absurd to
claim otherwise. Scottishness defines itself and doesn't need to be defined
by how different it is from English culture! What you are suggesting seems
to be that we should pretend the culture of certain parts of Scotland are
Gaelic just to appear less like the English.
Post by Karen McDonald
This is why I think it should be taught in every primary school
alongside the many local variations of English that have prevailed in
Scotland for ages. I am not agin what you say. I just think that
Gaelic, owing to its unique properties, should aye take precedence.
What 'unique' properties does Gaelic have that Scots doesn't? The only thing
I can think of is a standard written form which is in itself always an
atrificial construct. Scots has its sister language in English whilst Gaelic
has its sister languages of Irish and Manx. I wouldn't expect the teaching
of Scots culture to take precedence in Stornoway anymore than the idea that
Gaelic culture should take precedence in Kelso! Both would be ridiculous
ideas. The country has had too much linguistic bigotry in the past to start
on those kinds of ideas now. It is a pipe dream anyway. You can't force your
own personal linguistic vision on the real world anymore than I could.
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by allan connochie
Prior to the take over by Standard English the country had dual cultures (Gaelic and
Scots in tandem) and of course it still has both of these. We shouldn't
promote one side of Scotland over the other.
Again I agree. But surely 'Scots' is just a variation of English and
thus a lot easier to understand and pass on than a special,
independent language like Gaelic?
The upturn in Gaelic has been brought around by clever campaigning by the
Gaelic lobby which included working for recognition under the European
Charter. Despite your own views regarding the status of Scots that said
language is also recognised as such under the charter by the European,
Westminster and Scottish Parliaments. So no you can't simply dismiss Scots
as a variation of English whilst claiming Gaelic is unique.
Post by Karen McDonald
Indeed some might aver that 'Scots'
is merely 'slang' English. Whereas no such description could ever be
applied to Gaelic, which is a language completely different from
English altogether.
This is absurd though. The definition of what is and isn't a language isn't
purely based on whether it is related to English or not. Then again of
course as you said if you're told something often enough!
Post by Karen McDonald
In summary, I think Gaelic should be taught at a preferential level in
1. It would be a galvanising force for Scotland.
The support of both of Scotland's homegrown minority languages would be a
galvanising force as long as neither were forced upon English speaking
monoglots. The forcing of every school child to speak Gaelic, which is in
essence not the native culture of vast numbers of Scots, could only be
divisive.
Post by Karen McDonald
2. It would challenge the developing minds of youngsters far more so
than would learning a particular local variation of 'Scots'.
Learning any language develops the mind. Considering how bad we are at
modern languages developing our skills in those would be far more useful and
realistic.
Post by Karen McDonald
3. It would uncover an entire heritage that is always deeply hidden
from English speakers who can usually make some sense of mainstream
European languages, but not the Celtic ones - which have entirely
different roots and are thus obscure.
The teaching of Scotland's history and culture is of course important but of
course that is completely different from forcing everyone to learn Gaelic.
As previously said we should be done with any kind of cultural imperialism.
Post by Karen McDonald
4. If Gaelic eventually became the official Scottish tongue, both the
Scottish people and 'the language' would be advanced in consequence. A
genuine symbiotic relationship would accrue.
Not based on any kind of reality. There is nothing wrong with having Gaelic
as an official language of Scotland, in fact I would support that, but to
have it as 'the official language' of Scotland is plain silly. At a stroke
you would have around 98% of the population of Scotland not able to speak
their own country's official langauge - and in areas like mine that would
rise to around 99.7% of the population.
Post by Karen McDonald
5. A Gaelic-speaking Scotland would be well in tune with our nearest
neighbour across the water - Ireland.
Remembering of course that Ireland isn't actually our nearest neighbour. We
have a land border with England!
Post by Karen McDonald
A friend of mine from County
Cork understands Scots Gaelic perfectly.
Yet earlier in this post you claimed that Scottish Gaelic was unique whilst
Scots was related to English?
Post by Karen McDonald
6. It would create more jobs in education.
I can think of many more useful and needed subjects for the pupils of the
likes of Kelso and Jedburgh to have or be improved. We can't base our
education system on the narrow views of a tiny minority, which would even be
a tiny minority of Gaels never mind Scots in general.
Allan
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Micheal T
2007-08-19 01:18:59 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
An Thu, 26 Jul 2007 00:58:22 GMT, sgrìobh Karen McDonald
Post by Karen McDonald
Again I agree. But surely 'Scots' is just a variation of English and
thus a lot easier to understand and pass on than a special,
independent language like Gaelic? Indeed some might aver that 'Scots'
is merely 'slang' English. Whereas no such description could ever be
applied to Gaelic, which is a language completely different from
English altogether.
Although I' in favour of promoting Gaelic as much as possible, and
agree with the idea that it should be made much more availoable in our
education system (Karen's suggestion that we should make Gaelic a
compulsory component of teacher training is an excellent idea) I have
to take exception to the arrant nonsense above.

I would as soon say Scottish Gaelic is merely "slang" Irish as say
that Scots is merley "slang" English. I don't understand the
difference between the two statements. My Gaelic allows me to handle
Irish reasonablty easily. Mu Scots allows me to handle English
reasonably easily (in fact to be honest, I've now lived in England and
used English as my main language for so long that I find English
easier than Scots - but words like glen and ben and muran and strath
and so on are no kind of English at all, and neither is leid).

So if I say "tha na sgriobh Karen na fhior sgudal, is cinnteach nach
'eil ach saobh-chiall ann" am I writing something that is merely slang
Gaeilge (or Gaoluinn) - in accord with Karen's sentiments about Scots
- and therefore completely false, or am I writing in a separate
language (Gaidhlig) which would make the statement true?

M
Post by Karen McDonald
In summary, I think Gaelic should be taught at a preferential level in
1. It would be a galvanising force for Scotland.
2. It would challenge the developing minds of youngsters far more so
than would learning a particular local variation of 'Scots'.
3. It would uncover an entire heritage that is always deeply hidden
from English speakers who can usually make some sense of mainstream
European languages, but not the Celtic ones - which have entirely
different roots and are thus obscure.
4. If Gaelic eventually became the official Scottish tongue, both the
Scottish people and 'the language' would be advanced in consequence. A
genuine symbiotic relationship would accrue.
5. A Gaelic-speaking Scotland would be well in tune with our nearest
neighbour across the water - Ireland. A friend of mine from County
Cork understands Scots Gaelic perfectly.
6. It would create more jobs in education.
Karen
[my real email address has no no in it]
The Highlander
2007-07-23 23:44:55 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
Post by The Highlander
Post by Karen McDonald
This is why I wanted to know the correct plural formats and whether
they could be used when referring to everyone - males and females. I
should also like to indicate in the text how the words Leòdhasaich and
Hearaich are pronounced phonetically in English. The quoted URL gives
fine indications for the singular forms, but now I am wondering about
the plurals. I am obliged to be accurate, because how annoying must it
be to native Gaelic speakers when writers in English don't take proper
care of the language.
Just change the last sound to - eech (ch as in och) and you have it.
Go here http://www.ambaile.com/en/search/subject_id?id=428 and you can
listen to traditional story tellers. My favourites are "A' Ghobhar
Ghlas agus na Trì Minn" (The Grey Goat and the Three Kids) and
"Pàdraig na Beinne" (Peter of the Hill.) Both speakers have beautiful
voices and speak with the accents of the Isle of Lewis.
If you follow the written English version, you will find that the
endings are missing. I can supply them.
You might also go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/
where you can listen to Gaelic live (Click "Èisd beò" (Listen live) or
select from past programs by clicking on "Èisd a-rithist (Listen
again).
I'm a great fan of "A' mire ri Mòir" (Merriment with Mòrag) who is a
dear elderly lady from the Isle of Barra and plays traditional Gaelic
music on her show and is, as they say in Hollywood; a legend in her
own lifetime!
You might also check out "An Litir Bheag" (the little letter) and
"Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh" (Letter to learners) by Ruairidh
MacIlleathain (Roddy Maclean) who writes a weekly series of
stories and observations, along with detailed explanations of the
Gaelic used in each letter.
It's actually a very large site and includes a long list of Gaelic
words and their translations. There are/were audio pronunciations, but
I was unable to find them today. The site is being fixed for some
major problem, so hopefully they will reappear soon.
Use the A-U index to navigate and examine what the site offers.
Post by Karen McDonald
I am also keen to verify the accuracy of specific comments my friend
made that afternoon about life on Lewis and Harris circa 1970. Thus I
should very much welcome your expert opinions on this too.
I should tell you that I'm no expert - I've been living in Canada for
nearly forty years and so my memories are from WW2. Sad to say, there
are only seven or eight of us still alive here who can speak Gaelic.
However, there are many Gaelic sites on line and here is a listing of
some of them, courtesy of Rampant Scotland.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/gaelic.htm
If you are thinking seriously abour learning Gaelic, here are (in my
opinion) the two best sites on the Net.
http://www.akerbeltz.org/
and
http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/
Post by Karen McDonald
I have started another thread entitled: 'Lewis and Harris in 1970'.
Once again I am extremely obliged for your input. Many thanks indeed.
Karen
Is e do bheatha - You're welcome! (lit. He is thy life - a reference
to God.)
As Jock Thomson said to his bairns, "Aye keep cawin' awa!"
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Again I am most grateful for your time and trouble. All the above
noted and filed for future reference. As mentioned before, your
expertise is extremely rare. Thus how fortunate that we are able to
benefit from it so freely.
With regard to learning Gaelic I have been advised to enroll on a
course at Clydebank College where I understand they do Gaelic classes
intensively five mornings per week. I am seriously considering this
for the start of the new session in August.
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland. Not of much use to me granted, but
a great way of perpetuating the language indefinitely. Wee ones learn
so much more easily than do middle-aged wifies like I.
That's true, but you have the advantage of already knowing one
language, so with a little thought, you can compare them and get a
"feel": for the way Gaels speak.

In fact, if you have an opportunity to listen to Highland or Hebridean
English, try to remember any unusual phrases used, because they are
more than likely direct translation from Gaelic, even if the speakers
don't actually speak Gaelic.

For instance, you may someone say, Äye, it's a fine day that's in it!"

"that's in it" is pure Gaelic idiom - Tha latha math a th'ann. The
more stock phrases you can learn, the better, as it's easier to use
Gaelic phrases you know are correct before you start freelancing on
you own!

As a general rule, older Gaels speak better Gaelic than younger ones,
as they have usually not been exposed to English catch phrases early
enough in the lives to have adopted them as part of their daily
speech.

To give you a "leg-up" please go to the URL below and you can download
a sheet of 1,288 Gaelic idioms in HTML format that I compiled by
begging, borrowing and stealing until I had a good collection to be
able to give away to people like you who are making a serious effort
to learn the language.

http://members.shaw.ca/rumach/bardachd/media/Gaelic-Idioms.htm

They're not intended to be learned by heart as fast as you can go, but
simply to give a feeling for how the Gaelic mind works. That's why I
Gave you the URLs for Roddy Maclean, so you hear and start recognizing
words you know on paper and follow the spoken Gaelic as he supplies a
completye list of all he says and detailed explanations. You may be
interested to know that he is a self-taught Gaelic speaker and
probably the best known Gaelic broadcaster on the BBC!.

Both the "teach yourself Gaelic" URLs I gave you have audio files so
you can hear how to pronounce words correctly.

Gaelic is not the easiest language to learn, but once you start to
feel competent , you 'll also be able to listen to Irish and follow
it, so already you're getting a Scotswoman's bargain - two for the
price of one!

Once you begin to feel more secure, you should join a Gaelic forum for
learners, like http://31.freebb.com/gaidhlig/ where many of the
people are not even native English speakers, but people of Highland
descent from countries like France, or simply people who are
interested in Gaelic. There are a couple of native or near-native
speakers who are very helpful in the forum above, including a man who
writes a daily Gaelic blog, who was born, raised and lives in Alaska!
http://gaidheal.blogspot.com/

At one point there were some semi-native speakers from Cape Breton in
Canada, who were fascinating as their Gaelic reflected some dialect
pronunciations which can no long can be heard in Gaelic Scotland.

Even if you flee to Argentina, you can join a Gaelic class at the
University of Buenos Aires - South America is crawling with people of
Highland descent, with pipebands and Highland dancers all over the
continent.

There is also a monthly Gaelic podcast at http://www.gaelcast.com/
from which you can download backnumbers. I'm listening to one as I
type - he's an Irish-American who has learned Scots Gaelic - he and
his friends broadcast from Virginia, USA.

As for a Gaelic accent, I wouldn't get stressed out about it. The aim
of language is to communicate and just because you may not sound as if
you've spent your entire life gutting fish on Stornoway pier, so what?

There are so many Gaelic speakers from Lewis on-line - the BBC is
jammed with them - they're nicknamed "The Lewis Mafia", that you'll
probably end up with a Lewis accent anyway!


Mar sin leat an-dràsda

Mar sin leat cuideachd!
Post by Karen McDonald
Karen
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
The Highlander
2007-07-24 01:17:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Karen McDonald
Post by The Highlander
Post by Karen McDonald
This is why I wanted to know the correct plural formats and whether
they could be used when referring to everyone - males and females. I
should also like to indicate in the text how the words Leòdhasaich and
Hearaich are pronounced phonetically in English. The quoted URL gives
fine indications for the singular forms, but now I am wondering about
the plurals. I am obliged to be accurate, because how annoying must it
be to native Gaelic speakers when writers in English don't take proper
care of the language.
Just change the last sound to - eech (ch as in och) and you have it.
Go here http://www.ambaile.com/en/search/subject_id?id=428 and you can
listen to traditional story tellers. My favourites are "A' Ghobhar
Ghlas agus na Trì Minn" (The Grey Goat and the Three Kids) and
"Pàdraig na Beinne" (Peter of the Hill.) Both speakers have beautiful
voices and speak with the accents of the Isle of Lewis.
If you follow the written English version, you will find that the
endings are missing. I can supply them.
You might also go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/
where you can listen to Gaelic live (Click "Èisd beò" (Listen live) or
select from past programs by clicking on "Èisd a-rithist (Listen
again).
I'm a great fan of "A' mire ri Mòir" (Merriment with Mòrag) who is a
dear elderly lady from the Isle of Barra and plays traditional Gaelic
music on her show and is, as they say in Hollywood; a legend in her
own lifetime!
You might also check out "An Litir Bheag" (the little letter) and
"Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh" (Letter to learners) by Ruairidh
MacIlleathain (Roddy Maclean) who writes a weekly series of
stories and observations, along with detailed explanations of the
Gaelic used in each letter.
It's actually a very large site and includes a long list of Gaelic
words and their translations. There are/were audio pronunciations, but
I was unable to find them today. The site is being fixed for some
major problem, so hopefully they will reappear soon.
Use the A-U index to navigate and examine what the site offers.
Post by Karen McDonald
I am also keen to verify the accuracy of specific comments my friend
made that afternoon about life on Lewis and Harris circa 1970. Thus I
should very much welcome your expert opinions on this too.
I should tell you that I'm no expert - I've been living in Canada for
nearly forty years and so my memories are from WW2. Sad to say, there
are only seven or eight of us still alive here who can speak Gaelic.
However, there are many Gaelic sites on line and here is a listing of
some of them, courtesy of Rampant Scotland.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/gaelic.htm
If you are thinking seriously abour learning Gaelic, here are (in my
opinion) the two best sites on the Net.
http://www.akerbeltz.org/
and
http://www.taic.btinternet.co.uk/
Post by Karen McDonald
I have started another thread entitled: 'Lewis and Harris in 1970'.
Once again I am extremely obliged for your input. Many thanks indeed.
Karen
Is e do bheatha - You're welcome! (lit. He is thy life - a reference
to God.)
As Jock Thomson said to his bairns, "Aye keep cawin' awa!"
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Again I am most grateful for your time and trouble. All the above
noted and filed for future reference. As mentioned before, your
expertise is extremely rare. Thus how fortunate that we are able to
benefit from it so freely.
With regard to learning Gaelic I have been advised to enroll on a
course at Clydebank College where I understand they do Gaelic classes
intensively five mornings per week. I am seriously considering this
for the start of the new session in August.
Meanwhile I am hoping that soon our new Executive in Edinburgh will
come up with the money to permit the teaching of Gaelic in every
primary school throughout Scotland. Not of much use to me granted, but
a great way of perpetuating the language indefinitely. Wee ones learn
so much more easily than do middle-aged wifies like I.
Mar sin leat an-dràsda.
Karen
Look what I found on the Clì site!

Gaelic greetings

Happy Birthday Là-breith sona
With Good Wishes Le Dùrachd
Thank You (to an older person) Tapadh leibh
Thank You (to a younger person) Tapadh leat
Get Better Soon Faigh na's feàrr
Congratulations Meallagh Naidheachd
Happy Anniversary Ceann Bliadhna Sona
Happy Christmas Nollaig Chridheil

Happy New Year! Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!

To listen to the audio, click
http://members.shaw.ca/rumach/bardachd/media/Gaelic_greetings.mp3

Ceann - a head - is a very commonly used idiom in Gaelic - it means
the start of anything. A perfect English synonym would be "I was at
the head of the queue" - Bha mi aig ceann an ciudha Vah mee eck kyown
ahn kew-ah. the yown bit as in ceann as in Happy Anniversary above.

Once you get to know a bit more about Gaelic languages, you may well
meet the Gaelic of the Isle of Man. It is unique in not having its own
spelling; instead it uses English phonetics, as I just did above,
which looked so like Manx that for a moment I was confused!

This makes Manx very easy to read correctly if you can read English
and most Gaels have no trouble whatever in following it.

Not surprising, because it is a mixture of Galloway Gaelic (now
vanished) and Ulster Gaelic, with a bit of borrowed Welsh - they're
not far apart, Aylunn Vannin (Isle of Man) and Coomree (Wales).

Interestingly, the Gaelic speakers of the southern Hebrides still
include Galloway as part of their Gaidhealtachd, which is any region
where Gaelic is spoken, called Gaeltacht in Irish. Gale-Tacht.

In Scots Gaelic, the ending is pronounced like the ending of
Naidheachd in "Congratulations above; an "-achk" sound, thus
"Gale-tachk".

Well, that should give you plenty to panic about, so I'll leave you
alone for a while!

Le deagh dhùrachd! (with great sincerity!)

(Say "Lay joe goor-achk)



The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Karen McDonald
2007-07-25 06:42:24 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by The Highlander
Well, that should give you plenty to panic about, so I'll leave you
alone for a while!
Le deagh dhùrachd! (with great sincerity!)
(Say "Lay joe goor-achk)
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Thank you very much for all your time and trouble. This information is
invaluable and has been archived here for constant reference. I am
immediately grateful for your idioms and pronunciation advice because
I can use these straight away to enhance my account of what happened
in 1970 (my wee story), which was looking gye dull up until now.

I'm away to follow up all your links. But I'll be back...:-) Nothing
surer. When your door goes you'll be keeking out from behind the
curtains saying, 'Wheesht! It's that wumman again.'

Meanwhile I am much obliged to you.

Karen
Karen McDonald
2007-07-25 08:04:05 UTC
Reply
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Post by The Highlander
Ceann - a head - is a very commonly used idiom in Gaelic - it means
the start of anything. A perfect English synonym would be "I was at
the head of the queue" - Bha mi aig ceann an ciudha Vah mee eck kyown
ahn kew-ah. the yown bit as in ceann as in Happy Anniversary above.
This is most useful because of the pronunciation guidance. It helps me
to relate what I 'see' to specific 'sounds'. Talking of which...

I meant to ask how one pronounces:

Mar sin leat
Là na Sàbaid
Didòmhnaich

Is there a good dictionary I could buy that gives phonetic
pronunciations?

Karen
The Highlander
2007-07-25 21:10:36 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
Post by The Highlander
Ceann - a head - is a very commonly used idiom in Gaelic - it means
the start of anything. A perfect English synonym would be "I was at
the head of the queue" - Bha mi aig ceann an ciudha Vah mee eck kyown
ahn kew-ah. the yown bit as in ceann as in Happy Anniversary above.
This is most useful because of the pronunciation guidance. It helps me
to relate what I 'see' to specific 'sounds'. Talking of which...
Mar sin leat
Là na Sàbaid
Didòmhnaich
http://members.shaw.ca/rumach/bardachd/media/Gaelic-phrases.mp3
Post by Karen McDonald
Is there a good dictionary I could buy that gives phonetic
pronunciations?
Karen
I don't know of one offhand. It may sound like a lot of work, but in
fact Gaelic is phonetic and it doesn't take that long to learn how to
pronounce words correctly from reading them. Be aware that many
dialects vary, in some case, like the Isle of Lewis, quite
substantially from what might be perceived as the correct
pronunciation of Gaelic.

For example, the word "sibh" pronounced "shiv" and used as the polite
and plural form of "you" is pronounced "Shoo" on Lewis. You should
also read my end comments for an understanding of why Gaelic spelling
is like it is.

Here's a written guide:

PHONETIC SCHEME
Below is a list of the Gaelic consonants, singly and in the
combinations which have a pronunciation of their own. The second
column contains the corresponding phonetic symbols, and the
descriptions are given as far as possible with reference to English
pronunciations.

Gaelic Phonetic Description
b b as in English
bh v as in van, but it is sometimes silent
c k always hard, as in cat
ch ch as in Scots Och with a broad vowel, or German
ich in contact with a slender vowel (see below)
ch as in church
chd chk as chk in Loch Katrine
d d as in English, but softer, with the tip of the
tongue starting behind the top front teeth
dh, gh, y like a voiced ch (represented g, when in
contact with a broad vowel (see Spelling Rule below):
like y as in you, yet, when in contact with a slender
. vowel (see Spelling Rule) except at the end of a word,
when it is usually silent
f f as in English
fh mainly silent, but in a few cases sounded like h
g g as in English

gh gh, y as for Gaelic dh above
h h as in English
j as in English
k as in English
l l as in silly
ll as lli in million, or ly in halyard
l the "back l", as in hall, wool, formed by raising the
. base of the tongue
m m as in English
mh v as in van, but sometimes silent
n n as in English
ng ngg as ng in finger
nn as ni in pinion, or the first n in Spanish cañon/canyon
p p as in English ph, f as in English
r r as in peril
r_ very nearly as in true, try
s s as in set
sh h as in hat
sh as in English
t t as in English, but softer (see d)
th usually silent, but sometimes has the sound of h or ch
y as in you, yet

Gaelic uses the same five vowels as English, but there is so wide a
range in their combination and pronunciation that it would be more
confusing than helpful to try to group them according to their sourd.
The phonetics given below should be studied so that they can be made
use of in the lessons.
There are nasalised sounds in Gaelic which are difficult to render
phonetically with complete accuracy. It is in this connection that the
native speaker could give help.

Short
a e i o u as in bat, bet, bit, bot, but
a e i o u as in gate, feet, fire, rote, cute
oo as in coop

Long
aa a long a as in the second syllable of barrage
eh a long e as in the second syllable of cortege
oeu a long i and very like French as in cceur, but
slightly nearer to oo
aw a long o as in lawn
au like a + oo; quite like English as in how, but more
like German au and slightly nasal
ay a long a as in strayed
e a long e as in agreed
oo a long oo as in wooed
a an indeterminate sound, as in the
second syllables of absent, infant

The only letters which may be doubled in spelling are l, n and r.
These same three letters cannot be aspirated (i.e. have "h" put after
them), nor can "s" except when followed by l, n, r, or a vowel.

Vowels cannot be aspirated.

In the phonetics, the syllables are divided by hyphens. The stress
should be put on the first syllable of each word, except where
otherwise indicated.

An accented letter means that it must be drawled, not clipped or
shortened

The Spelling Rule
"Broad to broad, and slender to slender" means that, in words of more
than one syllable, if the last vowel of a syllable is broad (a, o or
u) the first vowel of the next syllable will be broad also, e.g.:

fàg - leave fàgaidh - will leave
cuir - put cuiridh - will put

Similarly with slender vowels (e and i). It is, however, to be noted
that this rule is not adhered to in the formation of past participles
and, due to the introduction of new words, is not followed as rigidly
today as it was in the past.

Note
The accusative (or objective) case has the same form as the
nominative.

Also:
http://static.unilang.org/resources/pronscript/gaelicpron.php

Phew!

Gaelic spelling goes a great deal further than most languages in
helping you to say words correctly, as many of the internal letters
are instructions rather than phonetic sounds. The Irish system
abandoned the Gaelic-style spelling and now uses a simplified format.

Gaelic's most signal innovation is the use of the letter "h" to
indicate aspiration - the changing of a consonant's pronunciation.

This can be very subtle, as in "Màiri Bhàn Bheag". Note that accents
tell you to lenghthen the accented vowels. Thus MAAAH-ri VAAAN vake.

All Celtic languages use aspiration to indicate gender, address a
person face to face, or to conform with a rule generated by a
preposition.

In Gaelic, aspiration is indicated by inserting an "h" after the
consonant to be aspirated.

Thus, when talking to Màiri, I must change the format of the word to
indicate that I am addressing her, so I say "A Mhàiri - Oh Mary - Ah
VAAAH-ri.

Màiri would know me as Mìcheal (MEEEchel, but would address me as A
Mhìcheil AH VEEEH-ale. Note that the spelling changes to the vocative
(calling) case. Sìle (Sheila) would be addressed as A Shìle (AH
HEEL-eh.

If I was Little Michael, I would be known as Mìcheal Beag (MEECH-el
bake, indicating that I am a male. Little Màiri would be Màiri Bheag -
MAAAH-ri vake to indicate that she is a female..

Math (MAH) is the Gaelic word for good. If I precede it with "glè"
(CLAY) the Gaelic word for "very", a grammatical rules say that I
must say "glè mhath" (CLAY VAH.) and I would probably say mhath
through my nose, because MH is usually nasalized to sound not unlike
the French word vingt (meaning 20).

The subtlety of Gaelic can be seen in the following:

"Tha Màiri bhàn beag" - Lovely Mary is small. Note that beag is not
aspirated.
"Tha Màiri bheag bàn" Little Mary is lovely. Note that bàn is not
aspirated.

The great value of this is that no matter how much a word is mangled
by rule changes, you can always recognize the original word.

This seems very complicated, and it is. Take heart from the fact that
Irish used to put a dot over the aspirated vowel in written Irish, but
now uses the Scottish "h" method as a vowel with a dot over it is not
usually found on regular keyboards.

Manx Gaelic is spelled with English phonetics, so it changes
aspiration by changing the preceding letter to the required sound,
"like "B" to "V".

The Brythonic languages however don't have this trick, so that
you may spend hours trying to figure out what "Verch" means, until you
suddenly realise that it's the vocative case of "Merch" - a maiden.
It gets worse in Cornish and Breton - Cornish shares some 80% of its
vocabulary with Breton, as the Breton people originally lived next
door in Devon and Dorset, I believe, but moved to Brittany in France
after being pressured west by invading Anglo-Saxons. Thus both
laguages share about 70% of their vocabularies with Welsh, although
Welsh has its own unique spelling. Manx (Isle of Man) Gaelic also has
some Welsh input, as it is quite close to Wales geographically.

The ultimate point being that Irish is probably the easiest language
to learn, but Gaelic gives you far more help if you are reading it.

The other question that may be on your mind is how to reproduce
accents.

Many Gaels don't bother, because they can follow the sense of a
sentence without nneding to be guided, but for learners they obviously
serve a valuable function.

In fact, Gaelic only uses one accent, the "stràc (f. m) trom", or
grave - (À à È è Ì ì Ò ò Ù ù ,

while Irish uses only the acute accent (the Irish "fada" é accent).

This a deliberate differencing as some southern Hebridean dialects and
northern Irish dialects can be mistaken for each other.

This page tells you what to do to create accents on a keyboard.

http://dawn.thot.net/cd/3.html

Go to 3. Microsoft Word Shortcuts.

If you have problems with the instructions, ask.

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
S Viemeister
2007-07-25 21:22:07 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
For example, the word "sibh" pronounced "shiv" and used as the polite
and plural form of "you" is pronounced "Shoo" on Lewis.
"Shoo" is how I was taught to pronounce it.


Sheila
The Highlander
2007-07-26 01:24:06 UTC
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 17:22:07 -0400, S Viemeister
Post by S Viemeister
Post by The Highlander
For example, the word "sibh" pronounced "shiv" and used as the polite
and plural form of "you" is pronounced "Shoo" on Lewis.
"Shoo" is how I was taught to pronounce it.
Sheila
Ah but you're from Sutherland and the closest Gaelic to Sutherland's
is the Munster dialect of the south of Ireland, heard in Counties
Kerry, Cork and Waterford. Why this is, I have never been able to find
out. The only other thing I've read about Munster Gaeilge (the correct
name for Irish Gaelic) is that it seems to have absorbed some Norman
French grammatical differences, unlike other Gaeilge dialects. I can't
speak to that with authority, but that is what I understood.

Interestingly, the Gaeilge of Talamh an Éisc (Land of the Fish) is a
dialect of the Irish language specific to the island of Newfoundland
and widely spoken until the mid-20th century. It is very similar to
the language heard in the southeast of Ireland centuries ago, due to
mass immigration from the counties Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and
Cork.

Court records show that defendants often required Irish-speaking
interpreters, which indicates that the dominant language in many areas
of the Avalon Peninsula was Irish rather than English. Ecclesiastical
documents bolster this case; for example, in the mid-1760's a
Methodist missionary named Reverend Laurence Coughlan converted
virtually the whole North Shore to Methodism. Observers credited the
success of his evangelical revival at Carbonear and Harbour Grace to
the fact that he was fluently bilingual in both English and Irish.

Meanwhile the Roman Catholic bishops also realized the importance of
Irish-speaking priests. In letters to Dublin Bishop James Louis
O'Donel requested a Franciscan missionary for the parishes of St.
Mary's and Trepassey, indicating that it was absolutely necessary that
he should speak Irish.

On the Long Island (the Outer Hebrides), I understand that some local
people pronounce the name Mackay almost as MacKee, which is the Irish
version of Mackay.

The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Karen McDonald
2007-07-26 01:15:12 UTC
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Post by The Highlander
This page tells you what to do to create accents on a keyboard.
http://dawn.thot.net/cd/3.html
Go to 3. Microsoft Word Shortcuts.
If you have problems with the instructions, ask.
The Highlander
Tilgibh smucaid air do làmhan,
togaibh a' bhratach dhubh agus
toisichibh a' geàrradh na sgòrnanan!
Yet again I am much obliged for all the time and trouble you have
expended towards helping me. I have pasted each of your posts into
Word for reference and I am glad to be invited back if further
questions arise - as surely they will. Your pronunciation MP3 is
particularly relevant right now - but everything else will sink in
over the next few days.

If only I were five again. It would go in a lot quicker. But, as my
faither used to say, I shall have to do as things do with me.
Middle-age disny come itssel. That's for certain.

A thousand million thank yous from a very grateful wumman in Glasgow.

Karen
k***@gmail.com
2018-04-05 11:21:48 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
I shall be most grateful for any assistance.
Karen
k***@gmail.com
2018-04-05 11:24:44 UTC
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Post by Karen McDonald
I understand that the Gaelic noun for someone from Lewis is LEODHASACH
and the Gaelic noun for someone from Harris is HEARASCH.
1. Are these nouns spelled the same when applying to males and
females?
2. What is the plural form of each noun? I am looking for collective
Gaelic terms for 'people from Harris' and 'people from Lewis' in the
same way as one has 'Glaswegians' / 'Aberdonians' etc.
3. Phonetic pronunciations for: LEODHASACH, HEARASCH and their plural
forms would be much appreciated as I do not speak or write Gaelic
myself.
I shall be most grateful for any assistance.
Karen
What an overload of fake and wrong and sometimes correct advice. Like someone here said, "never rely of Google for the answers". I would recommend checking your question in the online and reliable Gaelic site http://www.faclair.com/
The Phantom Piper
2018-04-06 06:46:37 UTC
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Post by k***@gmail.com
What an overload of fake and wrong and sometimes correct advice.
Like someone here said, "never rely of Google for the answers".
You do realise that you just necroed a thread MORE THAN
TEN YEARS OLD, don't you? Indeed, several of the people
who posted in it - BACK IN 2007 - are _dead_ now.

Read The F'in Post Dates, Eh?


Trivially Amused,

The Phantom Piper

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