Acknowledge the survival of Gaelic outwith the isles

Na tha a' tachairt ann an saoghal na Gàidhlig agus na pàipearan-naidheachd / What's happening in the Gaelic world and the newspapers
Gràisg
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Acknowledge the survival of Gaelic outwith the isles

Unread post by Gràisg » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:29 am

"Litir sa Herald
The Herald

Published on 24 Aug 2011
Acknowledge the survival of Gaelic outwith the isles

many will be surprised by the research findings released last week by the Scottish Government indicating general support for Gaelic (“Survey reveals degree of apathy among Scots toward Gaelic”, The Herald, August 19).

Few will be surprised that 9% of survey respondents were hostile to the language. It might have been appropriate to have asked this group if they were hostile to any other languages.

The Berlin Wall is now history, totalitarian regimes across the world are crumbling. Yet here in Scotland we are still fettered to outdated beliefs about language learning and a faith in standard school English as the only language of any value in the modern world.

A substantial number, 38%, had no opinion on Gaelic. That, alas, can hardly be described as surprising given the official secrecy that still surrounds the language.

Within living memory there were native speakers from areas of the Clyde close to Glasgow and from parts of Dunbartonshire, Perthshire and Stirlingshire just a bicycle ride from the main cities.

Evidence of the recent survival of Gaelic in these areas might help inform debate on the language. What’s the point of keeping it hidden away in archives in Edinburgh?

We must move beyond the illusion that Gaelic belongs exclusively to the Western Isles.

John Campbell"



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