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EUROPE: Saving Scotland’s Gaelic language – Kate Parkinson

October 3, 2017

Europe

The Big Picture: Saving Scotland’s Gaelic language

Scotland’s Gaelic language has been disappearing at an alarming rate for years.

With only 60,000 speakers left, the language has been categorized as “endangered” by UNESCO.

But Gaelic is fighting back and the Isle of Skye is at the center of the resurgence.

As we drove through the Scottish Highlands, one of the first things I noticed was that all of the road signs were in Gaelic as well as in English.

Gaelic is thriving in the art scene as well and the Isle of Skye provides a stunning backdrop for the UK’s first Gaelic language drama “Bannan.”

We joined the “Bannan” crew on set as they were filming before sitting down for an interview with one of the actors, Alasdair MacKay.

MacKay is a passionate advocate for the Gaelic language who, when he’s not acting, works at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, which is the only college in the world to offer all of its degrees and diplomas in Gaelic.

Filming at the college was like stepping into another world — a Gaelic world.

We didn’t hear Gaelic being spoken on the streets or in the shops, bars or restaurants around the Isle of Skye but at the college it was all we heard.

In the classrooms, in the hallways, in the cafes — everyone was speaking Gaelic.

Across Scotland, increasing numbers of parents — even those who don’t speak the language — are opting to put their children in Gaelic education, where all subjects are taught in the language.

GAELIC2

The next generation of Gaelic speakers. /CGTN Photo

Headteacher of Portree Primary School, Flora Guidi, told me when she started teaching 28 years ago there were only nine children in the Gaelic unit but now around half of the children at the school are being taught only in the Gaelic language.

Next year a new school is opening in Portree which will only teach in Gaelic to keep up with demand.

Over the past few decades there has been major political support for the Gaelic language, and a big boost in spending on Gaelic education.

It’s controversial — for some in Scotland, Gaelic is not just a minority language but an irrelevant remnant of Scottish history.

But for the people I spoke to on the Isle of Skye there is a real hope that the young Gaels will revitalize a language that is intricately tied up with their country’s identity.

SOURCE: China Global Television Network

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https://emotanafricana.com/2015/12/12/if-i-could-do-it-again-id-speak-yoruba-to-them-right-from-birth-folakemi-odoaje/

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017.  7:38 P.M. [GMT]

 

 

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6 Comments on “EUROPE: Saving Scotland’s Gaelic language – Kate Parkinson”

  1. Remi Omodele Says:

    Thanks for sharing this tale of hope, and hope Africans and other marginalized peoples of the world will learn from this.

    On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 12:32 PM, emotanafricana.com wrote:

    > emotan77 posted: “The Big Picture: Saving Scotland’s Gaelic language > Scotland’s Gaelic language has been disappearing at an alarming rate for > years. With only 60,000 speakers left, the language has been categorized as > “endangered” by UNESCO. But Gaelic is fighting back a” >

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Remi,

      Thanks, too, for the feedback.

      It is a subject that Africans, especially Southwestern Nigeria’s Yorubas must take seriously. Once a
      Angusge or its core is so diluted with foreign words as Yoruba is becoming these days, an important part of the culture is gone.

      When you have the time, please revisit the site and read the story of a language that had a single speaker left some years ago. You can reach it by inputting DISAPPEARING LANGUAGE. IT’s one of the many tpoics on the subject.

      THIS is your area of interest, and I’m happy you received this post.

      Fond regars,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

  2. mr.johnsons.snapshots Says:

    Having had my head “bitten off” earlier when responding to the lost of a people’s ‘native’ tongue (albeit in Nigeria) I shall hold my thoughts on the subject discussed herein – not that my opinion would matter, mnd you – that said, good post!

    Like

    Reply

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