http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/Opin ... 082011.htm
Agus sin mar seantans mu dheireadh:............Today Roddy Maclean, Gaelic broadcaster and columnist with The Inverness Courier makes an impassioned case for more signs in his native language but also, just as importantly, makes common cause with those who complain of inconsistency and errors.
Why, he asks, is there not a national standard for the use of Gaelic on signs? Sometimes it can be above the English, sometimes below. Often in the same size type, sometimes smaller. Without uniformity mixed messages are being sent about the acceptability of both languages, risking the wrath of Gaels and English-speakers.
Mr Maclean calls for a co-ordinated approach, embedding bilingualism in the culture and ensuring that signs are instantly recognisable. At the same time, he wants measures introduced to ensure Gaelic signs are correctly spelt.
In his newly-published pamphlet “Gaelic on Signs and Maps in Scotland” he lists a catalogue of errors which should leave sign writers hanging their heads in shame. They include a road sign near Contin pointing the way to “Inbhir Ness” (it should be “Inbhir Nis”) and signs at either end of the Lochaber village of Mingarry giving it two different names (“Min Ghearraidh” at one end and “Miogharraidh” at the other). By failing to check something as basic as the correct spelling — which is easily done by contacting the Ainmean Aite na h-Alba organisation — authorities are simply paying lip service to Gaelic. It is difficult to imagine the same slapdash approach being taken to English names................
We cannot be complacent. A study published last week found only 51 per cent of Scots polled as part of the Government survey support the usage of Gaelic north of the Border. Nine per cent are against it while 38 per cent offered no opinion, suggesting the case for Gaelic must continue to be made.
Agus sin freagairt bho Art ... abair gur esan tha trang, agus foighidneach! You've got to love him.
A lot of merit in this Leader piece. But the fact that 'only' 51% of Scots polled support Gaelic should not be seen as a negative outcome. The 38% who offered no opinion cannot be assumed to be against Gaelic - only 9% said they were. Given that less than 2% of the population speak Gaelic, 51% in favour of Gaelic use should be welcomed. Indeed, the case for Gaelic must continue to be made but, in three successive surveys, the majority of the Scottish public has supported the retention of Gaelic and support the learning of it for those who want to.