Should More People Learn Gàidhlig?

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chris-1961
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Should More People Learn Gàidhlig?

Unread postby chris-1961 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:34 pm

Halò a h-uile a duine. :D

Ciamar a tha thu an-diugh?

Hello Everyone. How are you today?

I wanted to post a new topic on here and find out what people think and get their opinions.

I got to thinking that Gàidhlig is a dying language and hopefully it will not die out altogether. I was thinking that more people could be encouraged to learn Gàidhlig and so keep the language alive for a good number of years to come.

Gàidhlig has been around for a few hundred years, so hopefully people will learn Gàidhlig and keep the Scottish heritage alive forever.

So come on people, let me know what you think and hopefully start a discussion as I think it is important that Gàidhlig remain alive.

Mar sin leat an-dràsta agus mòran taing.
:D



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Unread postby faoileag » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:34 am

Well, I presume you realise that you are preaching to the converted here, so what you must mean is how can we actually achieve this?

Bottom line: keep Gaelic constantly visible , but don't ram it down the unconverted's throat, use it as frequently and naturally as possible, i.e. gradually erode the stereoptypes, normalise it.

Use it FOR things, as the medium, not the message. (Or not only.)

And involve older speakers sensitively wherever possible. The passing on of songs as tradition-bearers is already an acceptable role to many - we need to enable a similar role as language-bearers, a much more difficult job, with more hang-ups, more to lose for many.


Bi ga cleachdadh an seo, cuideachd! Fiù 's nach eil ach beagan agad an-dràsta.
Bi mise airson chleachd nas fharsainge den Ghàidhlig, mar mheadhan air conaltradh àbhaisteach seach mar an cuspair fhèin.

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Unread postby Gràisg » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:12 am

Hi Chris, an trioblaid as motha a th' againn? The biggest problem we have?

Getting all learners to fluency. We are starting from a base where only about one in a hundred achieve that. Not their fault, the support system and lack of coordinated approach have been rubbish up to now. But things are changing a wee bit.

A real good informative read for you Tim's 'How to learn Gaelic', he goes straight to the heart of many of the important issues.

http://abairthusa.ning.com/profiles/blo ... arn-gaelic

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Unread postby akerbeltz » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:43 pm

Actually, I disagree. The biggest problem we have is the appalling rate of intergenerational transmission. As in, what percentage of children with one or two Gaelic speaking children grow up speaking Gaelic. It's widely accepted in RLS circles as one of the main targets in any effort to save a language. Way before learners, since children are about a million times better at it :naire:

That doesn NOT mean that learners are not important! But loosing our native speaker base is... very bad news.

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Unread postby Seonaidh » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:14 pm

I must confess that, at present, my child (11 aois) has no Gaelic-speaking children...

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Unread postby faoileag » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:32 pm

That's why we need to pay more attention to the older native-speakers too.

I am a great believer in 'generation jump' transmission too. Grandparents can actually often get through to the young ones better, and the kids accept that Gaelic is natural for the grandparents and have fewer reservations about using it. I believe, for example, that it was singer James Graham's grandmother who was behind his learning and using the language and the songs, not his parents.

Such Gaelic as I was exposed to as a child (and have built on) was also from my grandparents' generation, not my parents, who barely used it.

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Unread postby horogheallaidh » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:21 pm

too true akerbeltz - the dying out of native speakers is and will have an incredible impact to the gaelic language - i am a learner myself but I know only too well the importance that native speakers play in the survival of gaelic. but to some extent it seems that the money being ploughed into gaelic is maybe being more directed at learners and the modernisation of gaelic - facebook anyone? - and not focusing on the development of gaelic speaking communties and areas of the western isles. all i see is a group of native people split on thinking that gaelic "wont get you very far in this world" so dont pass it on to kids and those who are keen to pass it on.

is the reason why it is the grandparents passing it on to grandchildren because the parents generation felt it was uncool to speak it?

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Unread postby faoileag » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:39 am

Not necessarily 'uncool', just seen as irrelevant.
My parents didn't know the world 'cool', weren't actively anti-Gaelic at all (my mother is delighted to see me revive it, in fact), but didn't use it. Didn't need to, and didn't think it would help us at all in life. Passive, not active, repression of the language.

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Unread postby Níall Beag » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:28 pm

There's too many learners anyway, and the language being taught is sneered at by many natives, too. (And quite rightly. If you want to teach Gaelic, you should be teaching what people say, and that means "ann a' sheo" and variants thereof; and saying "Tioraidh" to calques like "Madainn mhath".)

Intergenerational transmission is the thing. No number of learners will ever be enough if there are no native speakers -- it'll end up as a different language, and I want to learn Gaelic, dagnabbit -- not some weird anglo-Gaelic creole!

And don't get me started on Gaelic Medium Education in non-Gaelic-speaking areas. The accents, the idioms, the code-switching... it's all painfully unGaelic.

If you change something are you really "saving" it? Or are you actually destroying it and replacing it with something new?

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Unread postby Seonaidh » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:43 pm

Oops! I just killed English - I'm sure I've been using English words and idions my parents didn't know... Chan eil thu ceart an sin, a Nèill. Mo chreach, nuair a bha mi ag ionnsachadh Cuimris, bha na leabhraichean ag ràdh rudan mar "yr wyf" airson "tha mi" - chan eil duine sam bith sa Chuimrigh a chanas sin. Tha iad ag ràdh "rydw i", "rw i", "dw i" "w fi", "ndw" - mòran cuid - seo cainnt labhairt, cànan beò, cànan nach fhaigh a stiùireadh le dinosaurs sna tùran ìbhri aca.

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Unread postby horogheallaidh » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:51 pm

feumaidh mi radh gu bheil mi ag aontachadh gu mor leis am beachd aig niall - an gaidhlig a tha tighinn a-mach as na sgoiltean GM anns na sgirean mar central belt - chan e gaidhlig nadarra a th'ann idir agus tha e gu math pianail eisteachd ris nuair a tha cudeigin a bruidhinn sa ghaidhlig le blas glaschu

rud eile a tha off-cuspair ach bugbear mor a th'ann - ciamar a tha cuid albannaich ann a tha air a bhith fuireach an seo fad am beatha agus chan urrainn dhaibh 'loch' a chantainn ach chanas iad 'lock' - 's gann gun chreid mi sin idir - tha cuimhne am co dhiu nuair a bha mi aig sabhal mor, bha te ann a glaschu agus chanadh ise 'ck' an aite 'ch' - bha sinn aig ceilidh uaireigin agus choisich i seachad cudeigin agus thuirt i ris - oh tha mi duilich (duilick) - fhreagair an fhear a bha seo "you're a leaf!?" bha e car bragail...! ;)

nam bheachdsa, tha cunnart ann gu bheil an gaidhlig, a bhios clann ag ionnsachadh sa sgoiltean, air leth eadar dhealaichte bhon gaidhlig nadarra - ach s' beag an t-iognadh - tha iad fhathast a smaoineachadh sa beurla an uair sin a feuchainn airson gaidhig a chur air - ach chan e clann a-mhain a th'ann - chuala mi gu bheil no gun robh radio na gaidheal gu math dona airson seo cuideachd - bha fear-naidheachd ann a thuirt "eadar creag agus aite cruaidh" - carson nach robh abairt gaidhlig nas fhearr aige? cuideachd feadhainn a bha daonnan ag radh "tha poilis a rabhadh daoine" an aite "poilis a' toirt rabhadh dha daoine"

seo am priomh reusan carson a bha mise a caineadh air an coimhearsnachd gaidhlig a bha fionnlagh a moladh - mur eil gaidhlig nadarra ann, cha bhi ann ach beurlaig

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Unread postby GunChleoc » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:14 am

Nuair a dh'ionnsaich mi a' Bheurla aig an sgoil cha tug iag blas ceart dhuinn idir. Tha mi fortanach gun robh Beurla bho thùs aig cuid den luchd-teagaisg agam is gun d' fhuair mi cothrom fìor bhlas a chluinntinn bliadhna neo dhà air a char as lugha. Ach 's e Ameirigeanach a bh' ann an dàrna tidsear agam is nuair a shiubhail mi a' Bhreatainn a' chiad turas cha do thuig mi facal na bha na daoine ag ràdh air a' chiad dol-a-mach. Tha mi nam Beurla ionnsachadh gu bhidh fichead bliadhna a-nis is tha blas neònach agam fhathast - chan e dìreach fìor bhlas Gearmailtich a th' ann co-dhiù is bidh e ag atharrachadh rud beag a-rèir na tha mi a' cluinntinn mun chuairt. Thuirt caraid aig a tha Beurla bho thùs rium gum biodh mi nam neach-labhairt Beurla dha-rìribh, ach le mo dhual-chainnt fhèin :lol:

Chan eil fuaimean na Gàidhlig furasta ri ionnsachadh o chionn 's gu bheil tòrr dhaibh ann. Nam bheachd-sa, tha e fiù 's nas cudromaiche na fuaimean a thoirt nan daoine gu ceart nuair a bhios iad an cànan seo ionnsachadh ach an tèid seo a dhèanamh?
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

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Unread postby Seonaidh » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:35 am

Tha aig a' Ghàidhlig, mar a tha aig a Bheurla, aig a' Ghearmailtis, aig cànanan an t-saoghail uile, blasan diofar bho àite gu àite.

Nuair a bhios sgolairean ag ionnsachadh, canamaid, Frangais, tha fios aig na tidsearan nach bi blas ceart aig na sgoilearan mura faigh iad neach-oide às an Fhraing, "assistant/e". Agus, dhà-rìribh, bidh rudan coltach ceart mun Ghàidhlig mura faigh sgoilearan-ionnsaich neach aig Gàidhlig nàdarra.

Bha toil leam an stuth airson "lock" le Horo a leughadh! Tha sin cho ceart! Tha rudan coltach a' tachairt sa Chuimrigh, far a bheil CH cuideachd. Dè "beag" sa Chuimris ach "bach", agus am fuaim coltach ri "Bach" ann an "J.S Bach". Agus sin na Sasannaich - 's urrainn dhaibh "Bach" a ràdh gu ceart, ach "bach"? Tha iad ag ràdh "bark"!

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Unread postby akerbeltz » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:00 pm

Tha blas Nis caran cruaidh air mo chluasan cuideachd - carson nach biodh an dual-chainnte fhèin aig Gàidheil Ghlaschu? Chan eil na h-Ameireaganaich no na h-Astràileanaich a' bruidheann an dearbh Bheurla a thug an sinnsirean leotha a bharrachd...

Chan eil càil cearr air beagan calcadh a bharrachd... saoil cò às a fhuair Gàidheil Èireann "Dia dhuit"... Seadh, tha fhios agam nach can dà bhodach ri chèile air a' mhòinteach, ach, agus sin deuchainn gu math inntinneach - cuir ceist air seann ghàidheal dè chanadh iad ri cuideigin sa Ghàidhlig air nach eil iad eòlach mar greeting. Cha d'fhuair mise freagairt mhath gu ruige seo agus - mas ann mar seo a tha e - tha sinn ag innse dhuinn gu bheil a' Ghàidhlig "nàdarra" sin aig ìre "crìonaidh" far nach eil dùil ri G bho dhaoine coimheach. Agus mur eil seann dòigh againn, uell, feumaidh sinn dòigh ùr. Agus tha madainn agus feasgar air a bhith sa chànan bho chionn fhada, ged 's ann bhon Laideann a thànaig iad.

Ma tha G na cloinne fàs ro ghallda, uell, feumaidh iad barrachd exposure. Mar sin, leigeadh an fheadhainn a tha ag ràdh sin an gearan seachad agus fosgladh iad dorsan an dachaighean sna h-Eileanan gum b' urrainn dhan chlann ùine thoirt seachad leotha gus deagh G a thogail...

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Unread postby Níall Beag » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:57 pm

All languages change.
Yes.

All languages have different accents.
Yes.

But these are trivial arguments.

Latin changed. Now we call it French, Italian, Castillian/Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Valencian, Gallician, Asturian, Romansch, Romanian, Moldovan, Jeriais, Provencale, Occitain, Piedmontese, Sardinian, Maltese, etc etc etc.

At some point change can be too much to call it the same language.

Furthermore, is the change coming from within or outwith the core language community? Spanish is what happened to Latin when the majority of speakers were non-natives from Celtic or Basque backgrounds, who were later invaded by North-African Berbers. And from those mixed backgrounds it became a new language.

With so many speakers from a non-native background, the changes in Gaelic are not native-led, and as far as I can see, GME Gaelic is getting to be something of a creole between Scottish Gaelic and UK English -- there are various degrees of change in accent, vocabulary, grammar and idiom.

Yes, maybe Glasgow should have it's own accent, but so much of Gaelic grammar is pronunciation led.

An example I recently used elsewhere on the net was the "rule" where an attributive adjective is lenited if it follows a plural noun ending in a slender consonant. On paper/screen, that's a pretty weird/random/arbitrary/stupid/complicated rule -- take your pick -- but in the mouth, <i>in a Gaelic accent</i>, it is natural. If you lose the accent, the grammar will change beyond recognition.

And what of the example of "CH" (above)?
A lot of learners can't make a distinction between ACHD, ACH, AC and AG, which suddenly introduces quite a few problems in comprehension -- suddenly you've got a falling together of a verbal noun ending (-achd), a diminutive ending (-ag) and an adjectival ending (-ach). As each of these can conceivably be attached to a common root, there's a lot of detail obscured, and if the meaning is lost, the features will consequently disappear from the language.

Spelling will also suffer. If you can't pronounce the different consonant variations -- broad vs slender and double vs single -- how are you going to remember how to spell a word? Spelling will change beyond recognition.


So I'll say it again: change the language too much, too quickly and it becomes a new language.

Gaelic is in a state of schism, and Gàidhlig Nuadh is at risk of becoming the killer language that finishes off what English started with respect to Gàidhlig na h-Alba.