Scottish Gaelic today
History of Scottish Gaelic
Features of Scottish Gaelic
Eru from Wellington New Zealand
Thanks Aiden but I'm already well informed of what languages are spoken by some of the people in Scotland. I disagree with your comments that the Maori language has been forced onto New Zealand children. In most schools here its either optional, or it isn't available. I'm sure you're aware Aiden that the English language was forced upon people like my grandparents, similar to what happened with the Welsh people who were forbidden to speak their own tongue. Its wonderful to see the renaissance of indigenous languages, and I hope one day to learn some Scots Gaelic.
Amanda McKinnon, New zealand
Like some of the others who have commented, I am a New Zealander with a scottish background. I feel it is wise to teach children their countries original language in schools as it gives them an insight to the original culture and will find it easier to understand other cultures later on. I certainly approve of Maori being taught in schools here, along with traditional folklore and art. Not only is it a shame to lose a language, but you also lose a way of life. No two languages think the same.
Donna McNeill from East Lothian
Having spent the last 15 years in London and only recently having moved back to the homeland. I have met so many Irish people that actually have to learn their countries language as part of the curiculum it makes me wonder what is wrong with my country why dont we have it as part of the schooling and why is it so difficult to find somewhere to learn it??????
Aidan Work from Wellington,New Zealand.
Eru,the Scots people actually speak 3 main languages - Scots-Gaelic,Scots-English,& English itself. If someone wants to learn some basic Scots-Gaelic,then they should be free to do so,not have it foisted on them.There has been an attempt to force children over here in New Zealand to learn the Maori languages.I am hoping that Scotland doesn't make the same mistake that New Zealand has.
Eru from Wellington, New Zealand
As a Maori person of New Zealand with Scottish ancestry, I can understand how important it is to keep the language alive. The Maori language, like Welsh and Gaelic has struggled to survive because of the dominance of English. I hope the support of the language continues, and with the new Scottish language bill in place it will now have official recognition, and get the proper status it deserves as the language of Scotland.
Steaphan MacRisnidh, Japan
I really enjoy speaking in Gaelic because it`s very rare that I get the chance to do so. I`m teaching a young Japanese man the language at the moment, and he enjoys it too. There are many turns of phrase that Scots employ in English which I believe come from Gaelic... such as "to wait on someone" as opposed to "to wait for someone". In gaelic it`s "fuireach air cuideigin" which literally means "wait on someone" and I`m convinced that`s why we say that when speaking in Scots English.
I belive welsh some day will become a majority language in wales and not a minority diolch yn fawr am eich darlleniad cead de mile la ochinot.
Calum from London
Gaidhlig is the Scottish language. The Scottish people were defined as such by their Gaelic language (the Romans referred to the Gaelic speaking Celts as 'Scotti' ) and without the Gaelic speaking Scots there would be no such thing as 'Scotland' or a 'Scottish' people. That the Anglo-Saxons of the Lothians and their language - Inglis, though they usurped the title of 'Scottis'or 'Scots' from Gaelic some 5-6 centuries or so ago - came to dominate the Lowlands and the Monarchy/Government (though we must remember that by the Reformation about half the population of Scotland was still Gaelic speaking, which is to say ethnically Scottish, and towards the end of the 18th century the proportion still stood at a considerable 25% or so )does nothing to change the status of Gaelic as the Scottish language. It is the founding pillar of our distinct culture and identity and without it we are simply English in denial.
Chris Dun Eideann
I am constantly amazed at how ignorant many Scots are about the Gàidhlig language - thinking that it is "dead" or if spoken in an area - that it is only used a little bit and on its last legs. Any of them should get the ferry from Oban to Lochboisdale in South Uist - where they will be hit by a wall of Gàidhlig - and the only English being spoken is the visitors - and then tell me that they still believe it is a dead language or not spoken much!! Ideally it would be good if all Scottish kids could learn some Gàidhlig at school so they had some connection with it. It would also be good if they could also be taught Scots as it has even less status in Education than Gàidhlig - though spoken by more people.
MacIonmhuinn, Gart Cos
Gaidhlig is the original language of the nation of Scotland. Official status is long over-due and availability must be made throughout the Scottish nation. Saor Alba a-Nis!
SD Welsh exile in England
Harpal Singh - well done you! Gaelic has had it rougher than Welsh it seems. Would Gaelic benefit if Scots saw the language as being an integral part of their identity? Like socialism, football, the highland games, tartan, "heavy" and deep fried mars bars! (just pulling your leg on some of these!) But still, a valid question, yes?
Sara MacDougall, Canada
Harpal Singh from Glasgow: I love you! What a wonderful way to praise your country than to learn its language. I am in Canada, learning the Gaelic with my kids. Suas leis a' Ghàidhlig!!!!
Jack McNeill from Britain
Gaelic will die out over thenext 50 years, unless it is made economically relevant to the lives of those in primary school right now. It's all very well continually babbling on about its subjective "beauty" and about the history persecution and "preserving" it in aspic like a museum exhibit, but this kind of attitude is very negative and rather insular and should be strongly discouraged. The focus should be on creating a modern image, and jobs and a viable economy in which the language can prosper without being propped up. The Gaelic-speaking Highlands & Islands region must focus on developing an online economy.
Tha mi à Ceap Breatainn. Tha mi sgìth ach chan eil mi buileach dona. Tha i blàth an diugh, ach bha i fuar an raoir. Cha dean cas thioram iasgach. Beannachd leibh Dennis.
Aidan Work from Wellington,New Zealand.
There has been a revival of the Scots-Gaelic language in Nova Scotia among those of Scots descent.Here in New Zealand,few people of Scots descent have an interest in the Scots-Gaelic language,which is really sad.
Harpal Singh from Glasgow
Coming from an ethnic minority group and having face racism in my everyday life, I does not surprise me that Gaelic has had such a hard time from the rest of British Society, if this country can't treat its own languages with anyrespect, nowonder it fonds it hard to accept newer languages like Punjabi. I am currently trying to learn the language, I was inspired by the example of the late Ali Abbasi, travel reporter on Radio Scotland, who was learning the language before he died. Learning Gaelic makes me feel more Scottish and I recommend that everybody at least tries to pick up a few words. Tapadh leibh!
Andrew from London
I spent several weeks learning Gaelic in the excellent Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye when I was younger. I don't use it much now, but the language is beautiful, especially its songs, and it would be a great tragedy if it was lost. We should be doing more to appreciate this crucial part of our heritage.
Steve from Cumbria
Gáidhlig a great language to be proud of. The language should be preserved for future generations. There is support for Gáidhlig all over the world but lets hope the Gaelic Bill will do much for the preservation and ensure a bright future for the language in Scotland it's self.
Ray Bell from Edinburgh
Gaidhlig is part of Scottish culture, and belongs to everyone that wants it. It isn't something to be ashamed of, it's part of our heritage, whether we speak it or not.
Elizabeth MacDonald from Arisaig
Gaelic is often condemned as a "dead" language or "not relevant in today's world. What people ignore, is the fact that, it is our language, the most important part of an ancient culture which has somehow survived despite many persecutions over the centurys. It is a culture rich in story, song and poetry, beloved of those familiar with it. Gaelic is the native language of the Highlander who had no wish to depart from it. Classed as the language of savages, it was supressed in many ways, often brutally. Without its language, no culture can survive. Thankfully, Gaelic still survives and the Gael is fighting to restore it to its rightful place. Suas leis a Ghaidhlig!
Alasdair Bauld from Invergordon
For centuries, the Lowland Scots and the English have tried to banish this rich language and culture, e.g. banning it in schools. There is (understandably) much resentment against the level of financial support currently being given to Gaelic, but I feel it is payback time, at long last. I just hope it's not too late.