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Posted: 14-Apr-2005, 10:13 PM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,142
Joined: 12-Mar-2004

Realm: Wytheville, Virginia


April 6, 2005
1. 'No panic' over Eisteddfod 2007 (Welsh)

April 9, 2005
2. Gaelic Organisation Takes on Two New Staff Members (Scottish Gaelic)
3. Eyes down (Cornish)

April 11, 2005
4. only one week left to sign this petition (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Minority languages on the Internet: ongoing UNESCO-sponsored study (General Language)

April 13, 2005
6. Group to find ways to recruit and retain Gaelic teachers meets today. (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Give Gaelic More Bread (Scottish Gaelic)
8. The Scottish Parliament is holding a meeting (Scottish Gaelic)
9. Funding for Gaelic projects (Scottish Gaelic)

April 6, 2005

1. 'No panic' over Eisteddfod 2007 (Welsh)

BBC NEWS | Wales | 'No panic' over Eisteddfod 2007

National Eisteddfod organisers say they are "not hitting the panic button" about a site for the 2007 festival.

But they admit they face a dilemma in finalising the location for the event.

Liverpool's Welsh community have raised fears over their ability to organise the event, although the city council has re-stated its commitment.

Meanwhile, the National Eisteddfod Council is set to hear that Flintshire Council has said it cannot afford to host the festival.

The news comes as the Archdruid of Wales, Dr Robyn Lewis, is to call on the national council, the ruling body, to hold all future eisteddfodau in Wales.

A question mark over the siting of the 2007 event was raised after Roderick Owen, President of Cymdeithas Cymry Lerpwl (Liverpool Welsh Society), confirmed he had sent a letter to eisteddfod director Elfed Roberts.

In the letter, sent 10 days ago, he claimed members of the society had rejected the idea of holding the eisteddfod in Liverpool because they felt there were not enough Welsh speakers to organise the event.
The eisteddfod, an annual celebration of music, dance, poetry, and art, has been held in Liverpool three times before - in 1884, 1900, and 1929.

Traditionally, the festival moves around Wales each year and this August it will be hosted by Faenol in Gwynedd.

Eisteddfod director Elfed Roberts said the national council meeting in Aberystwyth would consider the archdruid's proposal as well as the options for the 2007 venue.

He said: "The Liverpool bid is still on the table. We will discuss the pros and cons of that and come to a decision. It does not necessary mean that we will make a final decision."

He said Flintshire council had told him last month that it was facing financial problems over its bid to host the event.

"It leaves us with a bit of dilemma but we're not hitting the panic button as yet. We haven't held the 2005 eisteddfod yet, and were still organising the 2006. We have got some time."

Liverpool Council Chief Executive Sir David Henshaw said the invitation to host the eisteddfod coincided with the city's 800th anniversary.

He added that he expected the eisteddfod council members to consider all points of view fairly.

Flintshire Council said it was preparing a statement on its position on the 2007 National Eisteddfod.


April 9, 2005


Press and Journal. 09:00 - 09 April 2005

Bord na Gidhlig has appointed two new members of staff, bringing the total number of recruits at the new body to nine.

Annchris MacLean, from Tarbert in Harris, will shortly join the brd as a receptionist and secretary. She is currently in her final year at the University of Aberdeen studying for an honours degree in Gaelic.

Josie Forman has been appointed as administration secretary and will work part-time at the brd. She spent 10 years in the civil service in England but is currently a student on the Gaelic and Related Studies degree scheme at Inverness College UHI.

Originally from Staffin in the Isle of Skye, she now lives in Inverness.

Chief executive of the organisation, Allan Campbell, said: "It is a great pleasure to welcome Annchris and Josie to Brd na Gidhlig at such an interesting and busy time in the brd's development. It is particularly encouraging to welcome two young members to the team and I wish them every success in their new posts."

3. EYES DOWN(Cornish)

This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 05 April 2005

Dydh da dhy'hwi oll. Yma treylyans bras ow hwarva dhe'n dowlenn apposyans settys gans Kesva an Taves Kernewek. Yma an gansrann rag apposyans war anow owth ynkressya dhiworth ugens kansrann dhe hanter an merk, mes saw rag kynsa gradh rag an vlydhen ma.

There are big changes happening to the examination curriculum as set by Kesva an Taves Kernewek (Cornish Language Board). The percentage for oral examination is being increased from twenty per cent to half the total mark, but only for the First Grade for this year.

Ytho pyth yw oll an flows ma dhe wul gans bingo? Wel, my a dhadhlas gans an klass Kelliwik a- dro dhe'n edhomm dhe dhyski oll an kynsa kans niverenn yn unn tro.

Mes i a waynyas an dadhel awos bos Chichi, ytho hemm yw rag Maurine Pierce ha'n klass Kelliwik.

So what is all this rubbish to do with bingo? Well, I argued with the Callington class about the need to learn all the first hundred numbers in one go. But they won the argument because of Bingo, so this is for Maurine Pierce and the Callington class.

Lagas Kelly, niver onan

Kelly's eye, number one

Den yn fyw, niver pymp

Man alive, number five

Orderyow medhek, niver naw

Doctor's orders, number nine
Onan, mann, hansel marins

One, zero, marine's breakfast

Diwarr, unnek

Legs, eleven

Anfeusik rag nebes, niver tredhek

Unlucky for some, number thirteen

Onan ha hweg, hwetek hweg

One and six, sweet sixteen

Alhwedh an daras, onan war'n ugens

Key of the door, twenty-one

Dew hos byghan, dew war'n ugens

Two little ducks, twenty-two

Pymp ha seyth, Heinz

Five and seven, Heinz

Pymp ha naw, an linenn Brighton

Five and nine the Brighton line

Oll an hweghow, Klykkyti-klykk

All the sixes, clickety-click

Eth hag eth, diw venyn dew

Eight and eight, two fat ladies

Bann an shoppa, deg ha peswar ugens

Top of the shop, ninety

No wonder Kernow's bingoing mad.
For Cornish language classes in East Cornwall, call Maureen Pierce on 01579 382511
or e-mail: . freeserve.co.uk;
in Mid Cornwall, call Pol Hodge on 01726 882681 or e-mail: ;
and in West Cornwall call Jori Ansell on 01736 850878 or e-mail:

April 11, 2005

4. only one week left to sign this petition (Scottish Gaelic)

A (bh)charaidean,

Chan eil ach seachdain air fhgail airson do lmh a chur ris an athchuinge seo. Gheibh thu e aig:


Tapadh leibh airson bhur taic!

Cuideachd, tha na BBC a' lorg bhur beachdan air:
Seall duilleag 42 gu h-raidh.

There is only one more week left for you to sign this petition on-line.


Thank you for your support!

PS, the BBC are looking for your views:
See page 42 in particular.

To: Riaghaltas Bhreatainn / UK Government
Tha mi airson fios a chur gu Ofcom gu bheil mi a' ln-chreidsinn gu bheil e deatamach a thaobh a bhith a' cur cnan Gidhlig na h-Alba san m ri teachd air bunait tharainte shoirbheachail, agus ann a bhith a' coileanadh dhleastanasan Riaghaltas na RA a thaobh Craoladh Gidhlig fo Artaigeal 11 de Chmhnant Erpach nam Mion-Chnanan: a) gun tid sianal telebhisean digiteach Gidhlig snraichte agus seasmhach a stidheachadh cho luath's a ghabhas, le goireasan agus maoineachadh iomchaidh, agus a' craoladh raon beartach de dhagh phrgraman, air an craoladh aig amannan amhairc iomchaidh, cool.gif gus an tid an leithid de shianal a stidheachadh, agus mus tid gluasad gu tur thairis gu seirbheis digiteach, nach bu chir lghdachadh sam bith a bhith ann an ireamh agus deasachd phrgraman Gidhlig air sianalan analogue, agus c) gun cumar a' craoladh phrgraman a tha air am maoineachadh le Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gidhlig taobh a-staigh bhernan amhairc promh-ama.
I want Ofcom to know that I strongly believe it is essential in order to secure a successful future for the Scottish Gaelic language, and in fulfillment of the UK Government's obligations on Gaelic Broadcasting under Article 11 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: a) that a dedicated, sustainable digital Gaelic television service be established at the earliest possible opportunity, adequately resourced and funded, and broadcasting a rich range of quality programmes, to be scheduled at appropriate viewing times, cool.gif that, until such a channel is established, and prior to digital switchover, there should not be any diminution in the quantity or quality of Gaelic programming on analogue channels, and c) that programmes funded by the Gaelic Media Service should continue to be broadcast in peak viewing slots.

Brian hEadhra - Oifigear Leasachaidh
Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis
c/o 5 Caolshrid Mhcheil,
Inbhir Nis,

Fn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Lrach-ln: www.inbhirnis.org

Tha am post-dealain seo tighinn bho Fhram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis.
This email is from the Inverness Gaelic Forum.

5. Minority languages on the Internet: ongoing UNESCO-sponsored study (General Language)

http://www.eurolang.net/news.asp?id=4989Udin 4/10/2005 , by Max Mauro

The presence of minoritised languages on the World Wide Web is growing, but what kind of use is made of these languages on web sites of all kinds? To answer this, and similar questions, Unesco is sponsoring a world-wide ongoing enquiry.

A group of researchers from Aston University in England, coordinated by Sue Wright, published in 2004 the first findings of a research focusing on five European languages: Occitan in France, Sardinian, Ladin and Piedmontese in Italy, and Frisian in the Netherlands. The research has been looking not only at monolingual sites, written wholly in the minority language, but also at bilingual ones, and at sites that use some words of the language for tourism and commercial purposes.

Speaking of numbers, the researchers found thousands of sites for Occitan, hundreds for Sardinian and Frisian, and dozens for Ladin and Piedmontese. Being an easy and cheap way of communicating, the Internet offers space for as many as diverse kinds of uses. The study shows that information on minority languages is more widely available on the Internet that it is in traditional print and audio-visual media.
Most of the sites studied have cultural promotion as their main aim, some have militant and political contents but this varies according to the different contexts. The Ladin community, although small, shows a great variety of website authors: church, political parties, feminist groups, photography clubs among them. In other linguistic communities, the language is used to maintain and promote identity.

Among the sites entirely in the minority language, the researchers gave particular attention to the Sardinian web site www.comitau.org. This site shows a tendency to create websites for a well educated and younger audience. Founded by an association of university students, it contains up- to-date information about Sardinia and elsewhere, as well as essays and articles.

According to the researchers: "Remembering the influence of the newspaper on nation building and the spread of the national language ., we predict that such sites could be very influential linguistically if they come to be used by large numbers. As the question of a Sardinian standard is at present under debate, the linguistic influence of sites like www.comitau.org may be important".

In Italy and in the Netherlands official government institutions provide information in the regional languages, and state legislation seems to be more supportive than in France. "Only a very few sites in France have any public funding. State support appears generous in Italy and the Netherlands by comparison", says the report.

In the Frisian, Occitan and Ladin communities words in the minority languages are frequently used by the tourist industry. Therefore, on the Internet there is a greater number of web sites written in the state language that only use a few words in the minority language.

In their conclusions the researchers highlight the fact that, where there is no agreement on a standard orthography, Internet could help develop it, but for the time being they found "the prevalence of a very free attitude towards written language compared with the standards in print publishing". (Eurolang 2005)

April13, 2005

6. Group to find ways to recruit and retain Gaelic teachers meets today. (Scottish Gaelic)

The action group set up to find innovative ways to recruit and retain more Gaelic medium teachers meets for the first time today.

As well as considering existing routes into Gaelic medium teacher training, the group will look at how to attract new recruits and encourage existing Gaelic-speaking teachers to switch to Gaelic medium education.

Education Minister Peter Peacock, who established the group to meet the growing demands for Gaelic medium teachers, said:

"We want to see Gaelic not just survive, but thrive and Gaelic medium education is crucial for thelanguage's long-term growth.

"We need to find flexible solutions to ensure we have sufficient Gaelic medium teachers - both primary and secondary - to meet the growing demand.

"This could mean more part-time or distance-learning teacher training or immersion language courses to help Gaelic speakers brush up their language skills.

"We also need to persuade those teachers who could teach through Gaelic, but choose not to, that Gaelic medium education has a bright future. I hope that our major commitment to Gaelic - as highlighted by the Gaelic Language Bill and the development of Gaelic secondary education - will do just that."

The group, which will produce a national action plan by May, is chaired by Matthew MacIver, chief executive and registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The full membership is:

Matthew MacIver (GTCS)

Murdo MacIver (North Lanarkshire Council)

Catherine Macaslan (University of Aberdeen)

Iain Smith (University of Strathclyde)

Bruce Robertson (Highland Council)

Duncan Ferguson (Brd na Gidhlig)

Bill Maxwell (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education)

Donald Henderson (Scottish Executive Education Department)

Douglas Ansdell (Scottish Executive Education Department)

The group's remit is to consider the following areas.

Promoting Gaelic medium education teacher recruitment
Gaelic medium education initial teacher education
Routes into Gaelic medium education
Resources for Gaelic teaching.

There are currently two distance-learning courses offering training for Gaelic medium teachers - based at Aberdeen University and Stornoway's Lews Castle College. The first intake from Aberdeen will complete their courses in June when 20 primary and five secondary students are expected to graduate.

The latest figures show that, in 2003, 233 primary teachers were able to teach through Gaelic but only 152 were currently doing so. In secondary schools, 101 teachers were able to teach through Gaelic but just 26 were doing so.

In 2003/04 there were 1,236 pre-school pupils in Gaelic medium education, 1,972 in primary and 284 in secondary. In addition, there were 2,513 Gaelic learners in secondary school.

7. GIVE GAELIC MORE BREAD (Scottish Gaelic)

Apr 13 2005

A PROFESSOR claimed yesterday that Gaelic is on the brink of dying out - because the Scottish Executive are not doing enough to back it.

Dr Wilson McLeod of Edinburgh University found that four in 10 Gaelic speakers in the capital were not teaching the language to their children.

He hit out as the Executive pledged 200,000 to promote Gaelic through schools and community groups.

Dr McLeod said: 'In Edinburgh they never put a bilingual sign up and you can't write to the council in Gaelic.

'There is not much support for it.You have to go out of your way to use Gaelic?

8. The Scottish Parliament is holding a meeting (Scottish Gaelic)

The Scottish Parliament is holding a meeting at Inverness Town House on:

Friday 15th April

7.30 ? 9.30 p.m.

We would like to meet with individuals and representatives from local community groups ? anyone, in fact, who is interested in finding out more about the Parliament.

The session will consist of three parts: the first is a presentation on what the Parliament is and how it works. Importantly, the element will describe the various ways in which local community groups and individuals can have their voice heard by the Parliament.

There will also be a short presentation in Gaelic (with simultaneous translation into English) on how Gaelic speakers can participate in the Parliament's business. This element will also describe the legislative process ? using the topical Gaelic Language Bill as an example.

After a short break, the evening will conclude with an hour long question-and-answer session with local MSPs Fergus Ewing, Mary Scanlon and Maureen MacMillan.

Please note, this is not a 'party political' meeting ?people of all political persuasions (and none!) are welcome.

Attendance is free and refreshments will be provided. Please note, however, places are limited and must be confirmed in advance. Anyone interested in attending should contact Alasdair MacCaluim, Gaelic Outreach Officer, on 0131 348 5395 or email

9. Funding for Gaelic projects (Scottish Gaelic)

Scottish Executive News Release. 12/04/2005

Funding of almost 200,000 has been awarded to Gaelic education and cultural projects.

The beneficiaries are:

* Strlann - 60,000 to produce books for use in Gaelic medium classes

* A'Chuisle - 20,000 funding towards the cost of this Gaelic medium teachers conference in Aviemore

* Condorrat School Gaelic Choir - 15,000 towards the costs of performing at Vancouver Mod

* Brd na Gidhlig - 100,000 to expand the small initiatives fund for Gaelic groups

Education Minister Mr Peacock said:

"Gaelic is poised for a new dawn with the Gaelic Language Bill expected to become law next week. As the language stands on the threshold of this significant development, it's great to be able to support the grass roots projects that help the language to thrive.

"This cash will benefit Gaelic speakers and organisations throughout Scotland as well as helping to generate interest in the language's future and making learning more enjoyable.

"The new books will prove particularly useful for pupils in Gaelic medium, further expanding the range of material on offer to them, while the support for A'Chuisle's conference will allow our growing profession of Gaelic medium teachers to share best practice and plan for the future.

"Nor is the money confined to what is traditionally seen as the Gaelic-speaking heartland - our cash will help Condorrat School's Gaelic Choir make the trip from North Lanarkshire to Canada for the Vancouver Mod.

"On top of all this, the 100,000 for Brd na Gidhlig's small initiatives fund will allow them to expand their heavily oversubscribed fund. Already, they've been able to fund a range of community groups - from pre-school to youth groups and language classes to festivals.

"I am confident that Gaelic faces a bright future. Our Bill will provide the solid foundations needed but it is the enthusiasm, determination and focus of projects such as these which will ensure we succeed."

Duncan Ferguson, Chairman of Brd na Gaidhlig, said:

"It is greatly encouraging to see so many interesting and diverse Gaelic projects being developed throughout Scotland, at such an exciting time in the language's history.

"It is vital that communities are supported in their efforts to create new opportunities to access the Gaelic language and culture, and we welcome the additional funding from the Scottish Executive which will see a significant increase in the number of projects receiving assistance."

The funding was made possible by a re-allocation of Gaelic specific grant which was not required in 2004/05.

Sln agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tr mo chridhe. 'S i Gidhlig cnan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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Posted: 22-Apr-2005, 04:55 PM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,142
Joined: 12-Mar-2004

Realm: Wytheville, Virginia


Here is the latest news.

WARNING: This one is VERY long! The last item, # 12 is almost as long as all of the other stories combined!


April 16, 2005
1. Gaelic Scots say filte to 1st dual language jobs site (Scottish Gaelic)
2. Prison wrong to restrict Irish language: judge(Irish Gaelic)
3. Oh Archie, Listen to Krena (Cornish)
4. Film Needs Cast and Crew (Cornish)

April 18, 2005
5. Funds breakthrough for Gaelic TV (Scottish Gaelic)

April 21, 2005
6. Irish-medium school opens in Liatroma (Leitrim) (Irish Gaelic)
7. Let's talk Gaelic, before it's too late (Scottish Gaelic)
8. Report criticizes lack of Irish language usage in education and administration (Irish Gaelic)
9. Welsh language society to gain from multi-millionaire's will (Welsh)

April 22, 2005
10. MSPs rule against Gaelic equality (Scottish Gaelic)
11. The Invisible Tongue (Scottish Gaelic)
12. Tributes paid to Plaid's pioneer (Welsh and English alternating) (Welsh)

April 16, 2005

1. Gaelic Scots say filte to 1st dual language jobs site (Scottish Gaelic)

http://www.onrec.com/content2/news.asp?ID=...=721215/04/2005 10:47:00

ScottishJobs.com, which links employers and employees by listing job opportunities online, has today announced the launch of Scotland's first ever dual language Gaelic and English recruitment website.

As of today, Scotland's leading independent jobs website is now uniquely able to cater to the employment needs of over 80,000 Gaelic speaking Scots and the employers who continue to use our 'second language' in everyday life.

The launch by ScottishJobs.com, which recently led one of Scotland's largest ever voluntary sector initiatives with the Special Olympics Summer Games, follows a burgeoning revival of the Gaelic language in Scotland which only began to gather pace throughout the 1980's and 1990's.

However, it was not until September 2004 that the long-awaited Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill lodged at the Scottish Parliament gave Gaelic official recognition as a language of Scotland and prepared national Gaelic language plan.

ScottishJobs.com's launch announcement follows a long line of work place inclusivity programmes and innovative recruitment sector initiatives by the Glasgow-headquartered company, including close working ties with the Commission for Racial Equality and becoming the first Scottish recruitment site to provide employment assistance online for the visually impaired.
Speaking about the new look website and its Gaelic functionality is ScottishJobs.com's managing director Pat Kelly who says: "ScottishJobs.com is all about inclusivity in the workplace and the Internet is instrumental in helping us to communicate that message to every area of Scotland. Providing access to Gaelic-speaking jobseekers and employers is part of that programme and helps to support not only the re-emergence of the language in the commercial arena, but increases links between those looking for better employment and those companies and organisations that can offer it."

Gaelic, which has been spoken in Scotland since 500AD, is now fully functional at ScottishJobs.com and available for the over 80,000 potential jobseekers and employers who maintain the rich cultural heritage of Scotland 's indigenous language.

Once forbidden to be spoken under pain of deportation following the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 - as was playing the bagpipe and wearing the kilt - Gaelic has managed to survive and thrive throughout oral and written tradition.

Support for Scotland's 'second language' has included the appointment of a Gaelic Officer to the Scottish Parliament in 2000 and the more recent announcement of a new Gaelic secondary school to be opened in Glasgow in 2006.


2. Prison wrong to restrict Irish language: judge (Irish Gaelic)

By David Gordon. Belfast Telegraph. 15 April 2005

A judge has ruled that a republican prisoner's human rights were breached by a restriction on the use of the Irish language in jail craft works.

Maghaberry Prison inmate Conor Casey launched his High Court judicial review battle after some of his drawings were confiscated at the high security jail near Lisburn.

His legal team argued that Prison Service rules on craft works contravened the European Convention of Human Rights.

The guidelines on crafts made in cells state that the "use of any language other than English will be restricted to a simple readily understood inscription".

They also warn that items which do not comply with this restriction "may not be allowed out of the prison".

High Court judge Mr Justice Deeny concluded that this rule was unlawful, as it breached the right to freedom of expression under the European Convention.

Paramilitary inmates at Maghaberry are permitted, as a jail privilege, to produce craftworks in their own cells, for circulation by supporters in the outside world.

Materials required for the artistic work may be supplied by the Governor or purchased from the prison tuck shop.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Deeny referred to evidence given by a prison governor, Ian Johnston. Mr Johnston stated that the jail employs one or more persons who can translate Irish.

This showed that the prison was in a position to translate more than a "simple readily understood inscription" within its own "reasonable resources", the judge said.

The governor also stated in his evidence that he would not have confiscated two items that were taken from inmate Conor Casey - drawings of the General Post Office in Dublin during the 1916 Rising and the emblem of the County Tyrone Gaelic Athletic Association, which included a few words in Irish.

The judge said Mr Johnston's acknowledgement "does appear to indicate that at times the policy is either ambiguous or is misinterpreted by some prison officers".

Mr Justice Deeny concluded his ruling by suggesting that the rules should state: "The use of language which cannot readily be understood by the application of the prison's current resources will not be permitted."


This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 12 April 2005

Trist en vy dhe redya an WMN seythun eus passys ha lyther gans Archie Smith, Porthyust. I was sad to read the WMN last week and a letter by Archie Smith, of Gorran Haven, who writes: "To me, the attempted revival of the ugly-sounding Cornish language which no one knows how to pronounce, is no consolation."

Mester Smith re skrifas an keth tra yn y lyver, Smiles And Tears. Ena ev a lever y vos Sowsnek. Hag yn hwir y fowt perthyans yw avel an skoedhoryon peldroes sowsnek po oll an kasadow kryjek diskwedhys gans sowson yn 1549.

Mr Smith has written the same stuff in his book, Smiles And Tears. Then he says he is English. And indeed his intolerance is like English football supporters or all the religious hatred shown by the English in 1549.

Ha breusysi an Kesstriv Pan-Keltek a brederis bos an yeth kernewek pur hweg ha nag yw hagar vyth. Krena a waynyas an Pan-Kelkek 2005 gans aga han Fordh dhe Dalvann.

And the judges of the Pan-Keltek Song Contest thought the Cornish language very sweet, and not at all ugly. Krena won the Pan-Keltek 2005 with their song Fordh Dhe Dalvann.

Yma edhomm bos oll an kanow yn Pan-Keltek skrifys yn yeth Keltek.Gwaynoryon kyns o Clannad ha Capercaillie ha Kernow re waynyas Pan-Keltek rag an lies gweyth kyns ha rag an diwettha tey blydhen!

All the songs in Pan-Keltek need to be written in a Celtic language. Past winners were Clannad and Capercaillie and Cornwall has won Pan-Keltek many times before and for the last three years.

Kernow yw feusik dhe gavoes bondow avel Krena. Gwynn agas bys mebyon. Goeth on ni ahanowgh hwi.

Cornwall is lucky to have bands like Krena. Well done boys. We are proud of you.

My a gar an yeth kernewek ha my a gar an rannyeth. Ow holonn vy yw bras lowr ha kernewek lowr dhe gara an dhiw.

I love the Cornish language and I love the dialect. My heart is big enough and Cornish enough to love both.


This is Cornwall. 09:00 - 14 April 2005

Cast and crew are being sought for a Cornish language film which is already an award winner. The positions are for De Sul (Sunday), winner of the Govynn Kernewek funding award at the Cornwall Film Festival 2004.

The film explores a moment of cathartic change within a small Cornish fishing village in 1900.

The local preacher, Father Lewyth, fears for the future of his community when the loyal church going villagers, listening to their needs and desires, go out and fish on the holy day of Sunday. Having broken the rules of the Sabbath, all sense of the order that once stood appears broken, as the villagers awaken to new ways of living that seem to threaten Lewyth's ideals of a strong community.

The producers require actors for two of the principal roles as well as a choreographer to collaborate on the film's climactic sequence.

The main roles are Jowan, a husband and father, mid-late 30s, who is strong willed. His character is a main focus in the transformation of the community. Mother Ursell is an elderly sick lady (65- plus) who undergoes a miraculous transformation within the film.

The film will shoot on DV for five days during May.

Due to the very tight budget this work is likely to be unpaid. However, this is an opportunity to work on what is already an award-winning project, which will receive a major first screening when it is premiered at the Cornwall Film Festival 2005 in November.

Contact Mathy Tremewan at or on 07890 541087.

April 18, 2005

5. Funds breakthrough for Gaelic TV (Scottish Gaelic)

CATHERINE MacLEOD, UK Political Editor.
The Herald. April 18 2005

THE deadlock over funding for a separate digital channel for Gaelic broadcasting appears to have been broken with a 250,000 contribution from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Last night it emerged that Tessa Jowell, UK culture secretary, was involved in a last-minute effort to lock Whitehall into a financial commitment before parliament was dissolved this month.

The culture department is not allowed to discuss details of the offer because there are spending implications in the context of a general election campaign but last night the Scottish Executive said Ms Jowell had made the commitment in writing.

A source close to the first minister said: "This represents considerable progress in our aim of establishing a digital Gaelic language service in Scotland." The executive is pleased the DCMS has conceded that it should make a financial contribution to Gaelic broadcasting, and an official predicted this would make it more likely that the executive, the BBC and SMG would put funds on the table.

Gaelic campaigners argue that at least 20m is essential to establish a high-quality service but it seems that the package amounts to 16m.

The executive appears willing to give about 11.5m, a rise of 3.5m that would bring the present 8m contribution into line with inflation, while the BBC and SMG and Ofcom will have to contribute the remainder. Industry sources believe SMG would like to give up its responsibilities on Gaelic broadcasting and Ofcom may demand a substantial contribution if this transpires.

Brian Wilson, former government minister and leading campaigner for Gaelic funding, said: "This finally disposes of DCMS's total refusal to contribute which has been the source of the impasse. The amount is very modest but at least it begins to allow a package to be put together. But why on earth has it taken so long?"

Neil Fraser, chairman of the Gaelic Media Service (GMS), said: "If there is indeed a sum of money being offered by DCMS, and we have had no confirmation, we would welcome the principle of the DCMS supporting Gaelic funding although the reported sum of money would hardly make a substantial difference."

However, he added that reform of the funding structure for Gaelic broadcasting remains the most important unresolved issue for the service.

A spokesman for Bord na Gaidhlig said: "While we welcome some movement in the process, the amount of money involved is disappointingly modest. We are hoping to establish a minimum service which would require funding in excess of 20m and there would appear to be some way to go to achieve that."

April 21, 2005

6. Irish-medium school opens in Liatroma (Leitrim) (Irish Gaelic)

Eoghan O Neill, Baile Atha Cliath 4/20/2005

The decision of Irish Education Minister Mary Hanafin to recognise an Irish-medium school in County Leitrim has opened a new chapter in Irish language education. Leitrim has for long been the only one of the 32 counties not to have a single Irish-medium school.

With the opening of Gaelscoil Liatroma on a site near Carrick on Shannon this September the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle will be in place.

"It's great for Leitrim, it's great for Irish and it's great for education" says Adrian Mac Conmara, one of those behind the new school. "In terms of the language this will really put Leitrim on the map and of course we will be writing a bit of history this September. It's a sign of how things are progressing for the language that for the first time Irish-medium education will be on offer in every county in the country. We're over the moon and it's a testimony to the hard work and effort put in by parents, supporters and friends here in Leitrim, a partnership which has worked so well for Gaelscoileanna up and down the country."

Appropriately the organisation with responsibility for Irish-medium schools, Gaelscoileanna, was set up in 1973 and this year, on it's 32nd birthday it will see Irish-medium schooling on offer in all 32 counties for the first time.

With almost 30,000 children in Irish-medium schools outside of the Gaeltacht areas Irish- medium education is continuing to grow at a faster rate than other educational sectors.
Along with the good news for Leitrim the Department of Education granted recognition to two other Irish-medium schools in Dublin last week and it's hoped that another, in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, will be given recognition shortly.

However, while the primary level has been extremely successful with 154 Gaelscoileanna now throughout the island the growth of post-primary has been much slower with only 36 post- primary Irish medium schools. In recent years Gaelscoileanna have been trying to focus more attention on this sector.
(Eurolang 2005)

7. Let's talk Gaelic, before it's too late (Scottish Gaelic)


Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | Brian Wilson: Let's talk Gaelic, before it's too late

The language will not survive without a government-backed television channel of the kind that has benefited Welsh and Irish

Brian Wilson
Wednesday April 20, 2005
The Guardian

This week, the Scottish parliament is to finalise a law that, for the first time, will give official status to the Gaelic language - on the face of it a great leap forward for an indigenous minority language that has had always to contend, at best, with official indifference. Even within Scotland, there is no unanimity of support. It is a while since active repression took place - though I know people of my generation who had the living daylights beaten out of them for speaking Gaelic in school - but the official view is still tempered with suspicion of something that, quite literally, it does not understand.

To give an extreme example: in Washington last year, at the annual Smithsonian festival, the Scottish Tourist Board asked the organisers to take down signs with Gaelic, in case potential visitors thought it was not an English-speaking country. (Mercifully, they refused.) In contrast, the Irish have never been shy about marketing their Gaelic images. As a language of everyday use, Gaelic has been driven back towards its Hebridean bastions. As long ago as the 1930s, the great poet Sorley Maclean wrote of the "steady, unbearable decline of Gaelic". Yet it has continued to produce a flow of writers, academics and musicians. Without replenishment, however, the well will run dry. In reality, this will be a pretty diluted form of official status. Government bodies will be asked, but not required, to plan for use of Gaelic. UK government agencies operating in Scotland are not covered; though when I wrote recently to relevant Whitehall ministries, they all said that they would embrace the spirit of the legislation.

The outcome should be significantly more visibility for Gaelic in Scotland, which will make a worthwhile contribution to public awareness. Nobody wants the literacy skills of a small linguistic community to be wasted on translating public documents that nobody reads. The real needs of Gaelic lie in education and communication.

Scottish Gaelic enjoys nothing like the status of either Welsh or Irish, because its supporters have never been able to equal the political influence of their Celtic counterparts. The unavoidable conclusion is that direct action wins a lot more recognition than any amount of reasoned argument.

Until now, the most modest demands have met deep-rooted resistance. The campaign for bilingual road signs in even the most Gaelic-speaking areas was still being fought decades after it had been won in Wales and Ireland. But the objections of Edinburgh civil servants and an anti- Gaelic minority in local government are being overcome, and one wonders what the fuss was about.

Signage that matches meaningless phoneticised placenames with their Gaelic originals confuses nobody and adds significantly to understanding for locals and visitors alike. Principally, however, it is a gesture of respect for a language that once covered most of Scotland and is still spoken or understood by 100,000 people within Scotland, and probably as many outside.

The real battlegrounds for Gaelic, as for any minority language, are education and broadcasting. There are a couple of thousand primary-age children in Scotland being educated through the medium of Gaelic, but provision is patchy and tends to fall off the end of a linguistic cliff in secondary school - the real problem being a lack of Gaelic-medium teachers.

As Ireland has found, status and money guarantee nothing in the 21st century. The Irish Language Act, passed last year, strengthened official support for Irish Gaelic. But a commissioner appointed to look, perhaps for the first time, at what the state gets for its money questioned why the annual ?500m that goes into Irish language teaching produces so few fluent speakers.

There is plenty of evidence around the world of what can be done to help a minority language flourish in our monocultural global village. One lesson is that to stand a chance, they need access to mass communication.

Here again, Gaelic has lagged far behind. In 1998, I initiated a process that should by now have led to a Gaelic TV channel using digital and satellite technology. A Gaelic channel has no more chance of being self-financing than S4C in Wales or TnaG in Ireland. It is also a fact of life that a contribution from the the Treasury or the Department for Media, Culture and Sport was necessary before the Scottish Executive could chip in. The failure to make progress on that modest objective in the past seven years - despite Labour signing up to European obligations on minority languages - has been intensely disappointing.

Tessa Jowell's protracted difficulty in turning words into deeds is due, I'm sure, to the hostility of her civil servants to the growth of S4C and the fact that it takes more than 100m a year out of the DCMS budget. They have refused to accept that Gaelic's demands are, as ever, much more modest. So the only public money for Gaelic broadcasting continues to be the 8m-a-year fund created by the Tories.

This results in a few Gaelic programmes scattered around Scottish schedules, mainly late at night, doing hardly anything for Gaelic except to annoy insomniacs. An entirely disproportionate amount of buckpassing between government departments has gone on, right up until the calling of the election, about this modest matter, and I can only hope that there will be someone willing to break the impasse after May 5.

I am realistic enough to know that the needs of Britain's indigenous minority languages are an extremely marginal issue for most of my fellow citizens, and for my erstwhile political colleagues. But I do retain the old-fashioned view that politicians who can't see the case for doing the right thing on small matters that cost little should not be trusted with large matters, where the stakes might be much higher.

Brian Wilson was Scottish Office minister with responsibility for Gaelic, prior to devolution; he is not seeking re-election as an MP

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

8. Report criticizes lack of Irish language usage in education and administration (Irish Gaelic)

Baile Atha Cliath 4/20/2005 , by Eoghan O Neill

The recent publication by Ireland's Language Commissioner of his first annual report has created controversy around the issue of Irish in the classroom. The office of An Coimisinir Teanga (Language Commissioner) was set up in 2004 to monitor the compliance of public bodies and government departments with the Official Languages Act, 2003. The Act aims to increase the quality and quantity of services provided by the state through the medium of Irish.

In his first report Coimisinir Sen Cuirrein detailed the 304 complaints which he had received since the establishment of the post last February.

The most common complaints included forms being supplied in English only, replies in English to correspondence in Irish, lack of Irish in signage and advertisements, negative or antagonistic attitudes by officials towards providing services in Irish, and problems with the use of name or address in Irish.

There were also complaints regarding the scarcity of speech therapy services in Irish for children in the Gaeltacht.

26% of the complaints received by An Coimisinir Teanga came from the Gaeltacht with the remaining 74% coming from outside Gaeltacht areas.
20 public bodies were found to be in breach of their statutory obligations to publish annual reports simultaneously in both Irish and English and were named in the report.

On a more positive note An Coimisinir Teanga verified that 124 annual reports by public bodies were published simultaneously in Irish and English in the first six months after the introduction of this statutory provision of the Act.

Although there is a simultaneous translation facility in the Dil and Seanad, the Irish Parliament, An Coimisinir Teanga also drew attention to the failure of politicians to use Irish there and noted that less than 1% of Dil and Seanad debates was conducted in Irish last year.

"One expects leadership from elected representatives" he noted. "If the language continues to be marginalised and sidelined like this in the most important institutions in the life of the country, it is difficult to imagine that it will not have grave implications for the future viability of the language."

While the report was wide ranging it was Sen Cuirrein's remarks about Irish in education at the launch of the Report which sparked headlines. An Coimisinir Teanga recommended a dispassionate review of every aspect of the teaching of Irish in primary and secondary school.

According to Sen Cuirrein the teaching of Irish in the state costs 500m euros per annum but, in spite of almost 1,500 hours of tuition over a 13 year period, many pupils had not even attained basic fluency on leaving school. He said even students who achieved high grades in Irish in their final exams found the spoken language a struggle. Teachers should not carry all the blame for this, and a comprehensive review of teaching and learning was required, he said, along with a public debate.

A public debate which has been going on since the publication of the report. Enda Kenny, leader of the biggest opposition party, Fine Gael, echoed Sen Cuirrein's call for an immediate review of the teaching of Irish in schools. Such a review should, he said, consider in particular, whether there is an underlying difficulty with the Irish syllabus that is turning students away from the study of Irish, especially at second level education.

"We need to consider" he said, "if we are doing more harm than good to the language by forcing unwilling students to complete Irish to Leaving Certificate level."

Such sentiments were echoed by other politicians and some media commentators. John Carr Secretary of the biggest teachers union , the INTO, welcomed Sen Cuirrein's comments. "Let's admit that its time for radical curricular reform" he said. "There should be spoken Irish only for the first four or five years of a child's school life in order to build an oral language base. Let's do without textbooks for that time. Let's admit that there is a need for more training for teachers to support this change. Let's admit that the Department of Education has under-funded and under-resourced the language. Not a red cent has been put into schools specifically to support the teaching of Irish. There has been financial support for Science, PE and the Arts but not a cent for Irish. Let's also admit that it's time to look at the second level exam system and its impact on the language."

While many welcomed the Coimisinir's remarks as a starting point for a debate which would improve the teaching of Irish and ultimately improve the situation of the Irish language community, some in the media took the opportunity to lambast the language and those who speak it.

When and how the Minister for Education will choose to address the concerns voiced by An Coimisinir Teanga is not clear but it is expected that she will do so before the Dil retires for the summer break. (Eurolang 2005)

9. Welsh language society to gain from multi-millionaire's will (Welsh)

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 4/20/2005

A wealthy Welsh landlord has left the major share of his estate to four Welsh organisations. The main beneficiary of London-based Howel Vaughan Lewis' estate is Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society). Mr Lewis was born near Tregaron in west Wales but moved to London in the 1950s. He died in March 2004.

Other Welsh organisations to benefit are the Welsh national party Plaid Cymru, Merched y Wawr (the Welsh women's movement) and Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh movement for young

The solicitors handling Mr Lewis' estate refuse to disclose the exact value of his estate but they are not denying claims that Mr Lewis was a multi-millionaire. Mr Lewis owned twelve houses - in Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and London, as well as personal assets including stocks and

Following a number of bequests, including 100,000 to a church in west Wales, half of his estate goes to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg with the remaining half being shared equally between the other three Welsh organisations.

In a statement, Cymdeithas yr Iaith' press officer Hedd Gwynfor said: "We appreciate very much every contribution, and we understand that money has been left to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg in a will. Unfortunately we do not have any further information at present. The matter is in the hands of our solicitors."

It is said that Mr Lewis painted his London houses in the Welsh colours red and green to show he was a Welsh patriot. He was a bachelor who is said spent very little on himself.
(Eurolang 2005)

April 22, 2005

10. MSPs rule against Gaelic equality

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland |

MSPs have ruled out giving Gaelic equal status with English under Scottish law. The Scottish Parliament unanimously approved the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill on Thursday.

Politicians voted down an SNP amendment to give the language "equal validity" with English and instead agreed that it should be given "equal respect".

Education Minister Peter Peacock, who has responsibility for Gaelic, said the decision marked a historic day for the nation's native tongue.

The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent in the coming weeks and is due to become law before the summer.

Mr Peacock said there was a danger that giving the two languages equal legal status could result in a court ruling requiring all public services to be made available in Gaelic.

He told fellow MSPs: "This bill gives clear recognition to the language as an official language, commanding equal respect with the English language.

"There is a real danger that the interpretation by the courts could result in a meaning of the status that this parliament does not intend and could not be delivered.

"Using the phrase equal validity in the bill carries a significant risk that the court could rule that the bill should result in the right to demand the use of the language in a wider range of circumstances than is intended."

Forward thinking

The SNP's Alex Neil said it was a day when the Gaelic language was going forward, not backwards.

He added: "We still face a major challenge. It is estimated there is still a net loss of about 1,500 Gaelic speakers in Scotland every year and also that we have a dire shortage on the education front of decline of 1,500 Gaelic-speaking teachers.

"The passage of the bill of itself will not actually address or solve these problems, but what it does do is send a clear message about the serious intent of the parliament in addressing all the problems faced by the Gaelic language."

Tory education spokesman Lord James Douglas Hamilton said the bill was a landmark for Gaels and their culture.
However, his party colleague Ted Brocklebank, a member of Holyrood's Scottish traditional arts group, said the attempts to revive Gaelic were commendable but that Mr Peacock had not explained how it would be saved using the measures in the bill.

He said: "The only problem is that with Gaelic facing wipe-out, this well-meaning but ultimately impotent piece of legislation is likely to be as successful as prescribing a throat lozenge for a pneumonia patient."

'Significant moment'

The bill will now hand the future of the language over to a new body, Bord na Gaidhlig, which has statutory powers to control its development.

Its chairman, Duncan Ferguson, said: "This is a truly significant moment in the history of the Gaelic language and culture.

"Gaelic has been officially recognised as an important and valuable part of the living culture of a thriving new Scotland.

"It is a time to look to the future, to a new and confident generation of Gaelic speakers, to new opportunities to learn and to use Gaelic, and to a greater understanding and respect for the Gaelic language and culture."

A final amendment also ensures that it is not a prerequisite for all the board's members to be fluent Gaelic speakers.

Pressure to preserve the ancient language came as the number of Gaelic speakers has fallen.

The 2001 Scottish census found 58,652 speakers compared with 66,320 in 1991 and 254,415 in 1891.


11. The Invisible Tongue (Scottish Gaelic)


Just like other Scots, Gaels were full of hope when self-government arrived. All were thinking there would be a fresh impetus to the promotion of national culture in 1999. Unfortunately , The Scottish Parliament has not yet been able to deliver cultural justice for the people of Scotland or the Gaelic language. To friends of Gaelic, it has been like banging one's face against a brick wall.

Gaelic will be staying in a locked box until The Scottish Parliament has the full control over national broadcasting policy. Action Plans and the good wishes of The Education Committee will not be enough.
Gaelic will prosper when she is seen and heard the length and breadth of Scotland.

What is on the television or the radio in Gaelic tonight? Very little indeed. There are 999 digital signals on the television today. There is more than enough place for Gaelic, and Gaelic needs to be on the air all day and every day. Not just for one hour at a time, at three in the morning

Broadcasting is the foundation of indigenous language preservation in the 21st century. It isn't easy in a Scotland without power. Ofcom is currently debating the future of Scottish television. We have heard many promises. Though we may be able to wait, Gaelic can not.

The authority lays with Westminster, however they are far too slow."Scottish solutions for Scottish problems" was the devolutionists triumphant slogan. What is more Scottish than Gaelic? We need political leadership now. We know that there are good intentions towards Gaelic from every party in The Scottish Parliament but without authority over broadcasting, these intentions will bring silence.

12. Tributes paid to Plaid's pioneer (Welsh and English alternating) (Welsh)


"Wales, living her own life with dignity, will take her due share in creating a just, stable and peaceful international order. Her greatest contribution to human welfare and civilisation, however, will be to create in the national homeland a fair society, a free society." - Gwynfor Evans, Wales Can Win, (Llandybie,1973). Plaid pioneer Gwynfor Evans dies

Tributes are being paid to Gwynfor Evans, one of the most prominent Welsh politicians of the 20th Century, who has died aged 92. He became Plaid Cymru's first MP in the 1966 Carmarthen by-election and was president of his party for 36 years.

He threatened to starve himself in the cause of Welsh language television, leading to the foundation of S4C.

Cymru'n cofio Gwynfor
Eich teyrngedau i Gwynfor Evans
Mae Cymru'n talu teyrnged i Gwynfor Evans fu farw yn 92 oed wedi oes o ymroddiad i'r iaith, ei wlad a gwleidyddiaeth.

Bu farw'r dyn ddaeth yn Aelod Seneddol cyntaf Plaid Cymru yn ei gartref ddydd Iau.

Daeth i amlygrwydd fel llywydd Plaid Cymru yn y 1940au, swydd a ddaliodd tan 1981.

Bydd ei angladd yn cael ei gynnal yng Nghapel Seion, Aberystwyth ddydd Mercher.
Ond ei lwyddiant mwyaf efallai oedd ei fuddugoliaeth yn is-etholiad Caerfyrddin yn 1966.

Roedd ei fuddugoliaeth ymhlith y rhai mwyaf syfrdanol erioed yn hanes gwleidyddiaeth Prydain a chafodd sylw gwasg y byd.

Bu'n amlwg iawn yn yr ymgyrch am sianel deledu Gymraeg a bygythiodd newynu hyd at farwolaeth os nad oedd Llywodraeth Margaret Thatcher yn sefydlu sianel.

Roedd yn awdur ac ysgrifennodd yn helaeth ar Hanes Cymru.


Cafodd ei eni yn Y Barri ar Fedi 1 1912 ond bu'n byw am ran fwya ei fywyd yn Llangadog, Sir Gaerfyrddin, cyn symud i Bencarreg.

Yn ddyn priod,roedd ganddo saith o blant ac wyrion, wyresau a gor-wyrion.

Bu farw yn ei gartref yn Nalar Wen yng nghwmni ei deulu ar l gwaeledd hir.

"Roedd yn dal i'n caru ni drwy'r cyfan, yn ein cynnal ac yn gefn i ni," meddai un o'i feibion, y Parchedig Guto Prys ap Gwynfor.

"Roedd chariad at ei genedl, y diwylliant a'r iaith, wrth gwrs.

"Ac roedd ganddo gariad at gyd-ddyn. Roedd pobl yn dod o bedwar ban i Dalar Wen ac yn cael croeso bob amser ac roedd yn dwlu arnyn nhw.

"Ond, yn bennaf, yr oedd ei gariad at ei Arglwydd."

Newid map Cymru

Dywedodd Rhys Evans, newyddiadurwr a chofiannydd Gwynfor Evans, fod ei gyfraniad yn "gyfangwbwl ryfeddol a'r cyfraniad yn rhychwantu saith degawd o weithgarwch ym mywyd cyhoeddus Cymru a Phrydain.

Cofio'r 'cawr gwleidyddol' "Roedd ac mae'n ffigwr sy'n haeddu cael ei gyfri fel rhywun wnaeth
drawsnewid map gwleidyddol Cymru a Phrydain.

"Fe wnaeth drawsnewid Plaid Cymru o fod yn sect fechan iawn o bobol i fod yr hyn yw hi heddiw, plaid sy'n cael ei chyfri fel plaid yn gyfansoddiadol a phlaid sy'n cael ei pharchu.

"Yn ail, roedd yn hollbwysig o safbwynt y mudiad cenedlaethol. Fe oedd wrth wraidd nifer o'r ymdrechion dros gynifer o flynyddoedd.
"Os edrychwch ar agweddau fel darlledu cyhoeddus, y brifysgol, Cymreigio'r cynghorau, fe welwch l gwaith a dylanwad Gwynfor

Dywedodd ei gyn-asiant Peter Hughes Griffiths iddo newid gwleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru.

Gweithiodd gyda Mr Evans yn y saithdegau a thrwy gipio sedd Caerfyrddin, meddai, roedd wedi paratoi'r ffordd ar gyfer datganoli.

"Sicrhaodd ei safiad personol dewr sianel Gymraeg."

Dywedodd iddo hyd y diwedd gynnal diddordeb mawr ym mhob agwedd ar wleidyddiaeth Cymru.

Politicians pay tribute to Plaid statesman

The veteran Welsh language campaigner and former president of Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Evans has died aged 92. Mr Evans changed the face of British politics when he became Plaid's
first MP in the 1966 Carmarthen by-election.

Fourteen years later he threatened to starve himself to death in the cause of Welsh language television, leading to the foundation of S4C.

Plaid president Dafydd Iwan said Wales might not even have been counted as a nation without him.

Mr Evans died on Thursday morning after having been ill for some time.

Mr Iwan said he would remain his party's spiritual leader.

He added: "It is impossible to underestimate Gwynfor's unique contribution to building Plaid Cymru into the party it is today."

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said Mr Evans had made a massive contribution to Welsh public life.

Gwynfor Evans was Plaid Cymru president for 36 years

Mr Morgan said while Mr Evans' relationships with Labour MPs "were not always positive," he was a "good and gentlemanly figure".

An adult learner of Welsh, Mr Evans was a teenager when Plaid Cymru was established in 1925, but he emerged as the party's president 20 years later - a position he held for 36 years.
Gwynfor Evans was born in Barry, south Wales, in 1912, but spent most of his life in Llangadog, Carmarthenshire.

Educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then St John's College Oxford, he established a branch of Plaid Cymru while he was a student.

Party triumphs

A committed Christian and pacifist, he refused to join the armed forces during World War II and was summoned to appear before a tribunal. He was unconditionally dismissed.

He was elected Plaid president in 1945 and would be at the centre of many of the party's triumphs and most hard-fought campaigns in the decades to come.

Mr Evans became the first Plaid voice in the Commons in 1966

In the 1950s, he fought but failed to establish a parliament for Wales. There was further defeat in his campaign to prevent Liverpool City Council flooding the Welsh-speaking Tryweryn valley near Bala to create a reservoir.

But the setbacks preceded a huge leap forward for his party and for the cause of nationalism in Wales.

In July 1966, he won the by-election in Carmarthen, called following the death of Labour MP, Dame Megan Lloyd George, the daughter of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

His victory was among the most unexpected in British political history, as Plaid Cymru won its first seat in Westminster.

Hundreds of supporters travelled to London to see him enter Parliament for the first time.

Speaking in the days following his election, he likened his position as a lone nationalist voice in the House of Commons to that of the Labour Party's first MP - Keir Hardie - more than 60 years earlier.

The Plaid president's starvation threat helped lead to S4C

Mr Evans said: "Keir Hardie was one man and he started something pretty big."

Three years later, Mr Evans lost his seat to Labour, but he returned to Westminster in 1974, this time with two more Plaid MPs - Dafydd Elis Thomas - now Lord Elis Thomas and presiding officer of the Welsh assembly - and Dafydd Wigley.

Hunger strike
But in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher came to power, he lost his seat and although he did not stand in an election again he kept himself busy in Welsh politics.

Having campaigned during the 1970s for the establishment of a Welsh language fourth television channel, he began a hunger strike in 1980, saying he would fast to death if the then Conservative
government would not agree.

Against a background of other protests, the government gave in and S4C began broadcasting in 1982.

S4C's Chair Elan Closs Stephens said: "Gwynfor Evans realised the power of television to influence and change culture and language and he was determined that Welsh would have a proper place in the medium.

"He drew the world's attention with his dramatic stand."

The history of Wales was very important to Mr Evans, not only as a politician, but also as a Christian.

He wrote a number of books in both Welsh and English about Wales, his latest in 2001, Cymru o Hud in Welsh and Eternal Wales in English.

He also penned his autobiography, Bywyd Cymro (Life of a Welshman) in 1982 and in 1996, an English version, For the Sake of Wales.

By 1997, he had lived to see his dream being fulfilled, with a Yes vote in a referendum to set up of a Welsh assembly.

Fittingly, it all hinged on the final declaration in Carmarthen, which returned a narrow vote in favour.

Although he had graduated and trained to be a solicitor he worked as a commercial gardener in Llangadog until his retirement.

Mr Evans was married and had seven children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

Cofio'r 'cawr gwleidyddol'

Gwynfor Evans oedd Aelod Seneddol cyntaf Plaid Cymru Mae ffigyrau amlwg ym mywyd cyhoeddus Cymru wedi talu teyrngedau i Gwynfor Evans a fu farw ddydd Iau yn 92 oed.

Dr Evans oedd Aelod Seneddol cyntaf Plaid Cymru pan enillodd is-etholiad Caerfyrddin yn 1966.
Dyma grynodeb o'r teyrngedau i un o ffigyrau amlycaf gwleidyddiaeth Cymru.

Dafydd Iwan, Llywydd Plaid Cymru:

"Mae Plaid Cymru wedi tristu heddiw o glywed y newyddion am farwolaeth Gwynfor Evans. Mae'r newydd wedi ei dderbyn thristwch mawr gan bawb ym Mhlaid Cymru sydd wedi ei ysbrydoli gan Gwynfor dros y blynyddoedd i weithio dros Gymru ac i greu cenedl y gallwn
fod yn falch ohoni.

"I aelodau a chefnogwyr Plaid Cymru yn hen ac ifanc, roedd yn arweinydd ysbrydol a bydd yn parhau i fod. Mae'n amhosibl gor-bwysleisio cyfraniad unigryw Gwynfor i adeiladu Plaid Cymru i'r blaid y mae hi heddiw.

"Ef oedd pensaer y Blaid Cymru fodern ac fe drodd hi'n rym etholiadol credadwy pan gafodd ei ethol yn Aelod Seneddol yn 1966.

"Gwynfor oedd cynhaliaeth y Blaid yn ystod blynyddoedd llwm y 50au a'r 60au. Mae'n wir i ddweud heb Gwynfor wrth y llyw na fyddai Plaid Cymru wedi llwyddo mewn etholiadau ac ymgyrchoedd yn y blynyddoedd diweddar.

"Mae ei ddylanwad ymhell y tu hwnt i ffiniau gwleidyddiaeth bleidiol. Ni fyddai Cymru y wlad yw hi heddiw - yn wir mae'n bosib na fyddai yn wlad o gwbwl - heb waith a dyfalbarhad Gwynfor.

"Roedd yn ddylanwad enfawr ar fy naliadau gwleidyddol ac yn arweinydd cenedlaethol ymhob ystyr y gair. Bydd colled fawr ar lei ddoethineb a'i arweiniad ond bydd ei ysbrydoliaeth yn aros gyda ni am byth. Mae'n cydymdeimlad ni oll gyda'i wraig Rhiannon a'i deulu."

Dafydd Wigley, cyn-lywydd Plaid Cymru:

"Does gen i ddim gronyn o amheuaeth mai fo ydi'r cenedlaetholwr gwleidyddol mwya' erioed yng Nghymru a Chymro mwya'r ugeinfed ganrif.

Dafydd Wigley: "Cenedlaetholwr gwleidyddol mwya' erioed" "Dwi'n meddwl fod pobl mewn pleidiau gwleidyddol eraill oedd wedi brwydro efallai yn ei erbyn wedi dod i'w barchu oherwydd y modd yr oedd yn sefyll yn gadarn dros y blynyddoedd. Faint bynnag o erlid oedd arno fo, roedd yn sefyll dros ei egwyddorion a doedd o byth yn chwerwi.

"Mi ddaru fyw i weld y gweddnewidiad yn rhagolygon y genedl ac, yn sicr, mae yna ddiolch aruthrol ganddon ni oll o'r genhedlaeth sydd wedi byw trwy hyn iddo fo am ei arweiniad.

"Roedd yn un rhyfeddol i gydweithio ag o yn y Senedd - yn weithgar tu hwnt ... yn ysgrifennu llythyrau di-ri yn ei lawysgrif ei hun tan oriau hwyr y nos a'r ffordd roedd yn dehongli beth oedd yn digwydd yn wleidyddol.

"Ac roedd bob amser yn mynnu fod rhaid edrych ar bethau o berspectif cenedlaethol Cymreig.

"Dwi'n credu ei bod yn deg dweud fod ei ymrwymiad i heddwch o leiaf cyn gryfed os nad yn gryfach na'i genedlaetholdeb. Roedd hynny'n egwyddor sylfaenol iddo ac roedd yn gwbwl ddiwyro ar hynny. "

Prif Weinidog Cymru, Rhodri Morgan (datganiad ar ei ran):

"O glywed y newyddion mae'r Prif Weinidog wedi mynegi ei dristwch ac wedi disgrifio Mr Evans fel ffigwr da a bonheddig.

"Nododd ei fod wedi mynd i'r un coleg yn Rhydychen a gall gofio trafodaeth ddiddorol yn ymwneud 'i gysylltiadau teuluol theulu Dan Evans yn y Barri.

"Aeth ymlaen drwy nodi er nad oedd ei berthynas ag ASau Llafur bob amser yn gadarnhaol, does dim modd gwadu ei gyfraniad anferth i fywyd cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, yn arbennig wrth godi proffil Cymru a materion Cymreig a thrwy ei yrfa hir yng ngwleidyddiaeth Cymru a Phrydain."

Yr Arglwydd Roberts o Gonwy (cyn-AS Ceidwadol):

Wrth sn am ei fygythiad i newynu i farwolaeth dywedodd: "Roedden ni (y Blaid Geidwadol) wedi gwneud addewid yn 1979 y byddai sianel ar wahn ac, yn anffodus, doedd gwireddu'r addewid ddim yn dibynnu arnon ni yn y Swyddfa Gymreig ond ar y Swyddfa Gartref ac mi ddaru nhw fradychu'r addewid.

Yr Arglwydd Roberts o Gonwy: 'Cyfraniad sylweddol dros ben'

"Fe ddaeth Gwynfor, drwy ei fygythiad i newynu, ni yn l at yr addewid gwreiddiol hwnnw.

"Dwi'n credu fod yr hyn wnaeth o yn sicr wedi dylanwadu ar y llywodraeth yn y pen draw ac wedi eu hargyhoeddi nad oedd yn ddoeth iddyn nhw beidio chyflawni eu haddewid.

"Felly mae'r cyfraniad wedi bod yn un sylweddol dros ben."

Yr Arglwydd Roberts o Landudno:

"Dwi'n cofio Gwynfor gydag anwyldeb mawr. Roedd o'n un o'n harwyr ni ac ymhlith cewri'r ganrif yma yng Nghymru.

"Dwi'n ei gofio fel bonheddwr, bob amser yn bwyllog a chadarn, ac roedd gen i edmygedd mawr ohono, nid yn unig fel Llywydd Plaid Cymru ond Llywydd Undeb yr Annibynwyr yng Nghymru...roedd yn ddyn arbennig iawn."
"Mi fuaswn i'n meddwl ei fod wedi cadw Plaid Cymru yng nghanol y frwydr. Os oes ganddoch chi arweinydd cadarn, mae'n gwneud cymaint o wahaniaeth ac roedd yn gawr o ddyn yn wleidyddol."

Yr Arglwydd Elystan Morgan o'r Blaid Lafur ond a fu hefyd yn aelod o Blaid Cymru:

Mae pennod fawr yn hanes Cymru wedi dod i ben gyda'i farwolaeth. Mae ei gyfraniad dwi'n credu wedi bod yn aruthrol o fawr.

"Does na ddim pobl fel Gwynfor Evans ar l yng ngwleidyddiaeth heddiw."

Prif Weithredwr S4C, Huw Jones:

"Dwi'n meddwl y byddwn i'n cytuno na fyddai yna S4C heb gyfraniad Gwynfor. Rhoddodd ffocws cwbl unigryw drwy ei safbwynt ddramatig, ffocws oedd yn denu sylw'r byd i gyd a gorfodi pawb arall i ystyried dilysrwydd y penderfyniad yr oedden nhw wedi ei wneud. Roedd ei
gyfraniad yn gwbl allweddol.

"Mae Gwynfor Evans yn mynd i gael ei ystyried yn un o ffigyrau mawr yr 20fed ganrif yng Nghymru.

"O ran ei safiad yng nghyd-destun S4C, roedd yr hyn yr oedd yn bygwth ei wneud yn cael ei gymryd o ddifri oherwydd ei onestrwydd a'i ddidwylledd oedd wedi cael ei fynegi yn ystod ei yrfa fel gwleidydd. Roedd pawb yn ei adnabod a'i barchu.

"Dwi'n meddwl y bydd pawb yn S4C a'r diwydiant yn teimlo yn wylaidd oherwydd y cyfle i ddarparu gwasanaeth sydd wedi deillio o'r hyn a wnaeth Gwynfor.

"Ond mae ei ddylanwad yn mynd ymhellach gyda'r sianel ac yn enghraifft y mae gwledydd eraill wedi ei mabwysiadu yn eu tro. Mae Cymru wedi arwain yn hyn o beth."

Meri Huws, Cadeirydd Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg:

"Yn sicr roedd ei gyfraniad o ran ymgyrch i sefydlu'r sianel yn aruthrol o bwysig, ymgyrch ochr yn ochr ag un Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

"Mae cael sianel deledu yn rhoi cyfrwng modern i iaith ac wedi creu nifer o siaradwyr ac yn dal i gynnal y siaradwyr hynny boed yn bobl ifanc, yn rhiant neu yn henoed erbyn heddiw."

Dr Richard Wyn Jones, Sefydliad Gwleidyddiaeth Cymru, Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth:

"Mae o wedi bod yn gyfangwbl ganolog i hanes cenedlaetholdeb yr 20fed ganrif. Roedd o'n flaenllaw yng nghynadleddau'r blaid rhwng 1937 a 1997. Does 'na ddim llawer o ffigyrau gwleidyddol wedi cael effaith dros gymaint o amser.

Richard Wyn Jones: Bu Gwynfor Evans yn weithgar am 60 mlynedd "Fe wnaeth o ddominyddu ei blaid bron iawn yn gyfangwbl am gyfnod pur faith. Roedd o'n ysgwyddo'r baich bron iawn yn gyfangwbl ei hun. Fo oedd yr wyneb cyhoeddus a fo oedd y blaid i raddau helaeth iawn. Rhoddodd hygrededd i'r blaid ac roedd ei ymroddiad i'w ryfeddu.

"Dyma hanesyn byr sy'n dweud llawer am faint y dyn. Fe es i'w holi ryw dair blynedd yn l ac roedd ei iechyd wedi torri. Wrth i mi gael y sgwrs fe ddaru'r ffn ganu ac wedyn mi wnes I fusnesu ac roedd o'n sn am docynnau raffl. Fe ges i wybod mai fo oedd ysgrifennydd cangen y pentre lleol o Blaid Cymru.

"Mae hyn yn dweud llawer - yn arwr i filoedd yng Nghymru, yn uchel ei barch, llywydd y blaid, ffigwr amlwg iawn, ac ar ddiwedd ei oes yn gwneud y gwaith mwya di-ddiolch, ysgrifennydd cangen leol.

"Faint o wleidyddion amlwg eraill a fyddai'n fodlon gwneud hyn? Roedd ei ymroddiad i'w gredoau yn gyfangwbl anhygoel ac yn beth prin iawn."

Emyr Price, hanesydd:

"Yr hyn oedd yn ei yrru oedd dau beth, ei heddychiaeth a'i gariad. Dywedodd o wrtha i ei fod o wedi syrthio mewn cariad efo Cymru yn y 1930au.

"Roedd elfennau yn ei gymeriad oedd yn amlwg iawn - y dycnwch, dyfalbarhad a'r ystyfnigrwydd weithiau.

"Ac roedd ganddo stamina gwleidyddol anhygoel. Cafodd nifer fawr iawn o broblemau yn ystod ei arweinyddiaeth, siomedigaethau lu ond daliodd ati.

"Efallai bod ei gasineb at y Blaid Lafur wedi ei atal ar rai adegau rhag estyn allan at y bobl oedd yn pleidleisio at Lafur.

Emyr Price "Llwyddodd Gwynfor i newid meddwl Margaret Thatcher" "Roedd ei gyfraniad i sip Plaid Cymru yn ddi-os. Yn y 1920au a 1930au doedd y blaid yn ddim byd o dan Saunders Lewis ac roedd yn blaid adain-dde Gatholig.

"Gwynfor arweiniodd ei blaid i gyfeiriad democrataidd modern a'i gwneud hi'n gredadwy fel mudiad gwthio.

"I Gwynfor, roedd 1979 yn un o siomedigaethau mwya ei fywyd ac roedd yn teimlo i'r byw nad oedd rhan o'r Blaid Lafur wedi cadw addewid i Gymru dros ddatganoli.

"Roedd yn ddyn o syniadau heddychol, ar y chwith, efallai hyd yn oed yn fwy o heddychwr nac yn genedlaetholwr.

"Fe wnaeth waith hynod iawn yn y 1930au, 1940au a'r 1950au dros heddychiaeth, rhywbeth amhoblogaidd iawn yn ystod y rhyfel.

"Roedd pobl yn ei gysylltu Phlaid Cymru ond daliodd i gredu yn ei heddychiaeth. Bu yn Fietnam yn y 1960au ac yn flaenllaw iawn efo CND yn y 1970au a'r 1980au. Roedd ei heddychiaeth yn ei nodweddu ac yn un o'r elfennau oedd yn ei wneud y dyn yr oedd o.

"Roedd Gwynfor yn allweddol i sefydlu S4C. Pleidiau gwleidyddol eraill oedd yn gefnogol i'r sianel ac fe wnaeth Cymdeithas yr Iaith gyfraniad cwbl amhrisiadwy.

"Fe ddywedodd Mrs Thatcher: "The lady is not for turning" ond fe lwyddodd Gwynfor Evans I sicrhau fod Mrs Thatcher a'i llywodraeth hyd yn oed yn newid eu barn.

"Roedd y penderfyniad i lwgu yn eithriadol o anodd i Gristion fel Gwynfor. Does dim dwywaith - yn y diwedd fyddai S4C ddim wedi cael ei sefydlu oni bai am safbwynt di-ildio Gwynfor Evans.

"Roedd ganddo olwg arbennig ar hanes Cymru a chyhoeddodd nifer fawr o lyfrau ar hanes Cymru a rhoi gerbron y cyhoedd lyfrau cofiadwy, yn arbennig Aros Mae."

Steffan Cravos, Cadeirydd Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg:

"Mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn diolch am fywyd Gwynfor Evans - am ei arweiniad a'i gefnogaeth bob amser i Gymdeithas yr Iaith a'r frwydr dros y Gymraeg. Rhoi diolch yw'r unig air a gweithred sy'n gweddu ar hyn o bryd."

Archesgob Cymru y Gwir Barchedig Barry Morgan

"Cyfrannodd Gwynfor Evans yn sylweddol iawn at lunio bywyd gwleidyddol, crefyddol a sifil Cymru yn ystod yr ugeinfed ganrif.

"Y sylfaen i'w fywyd cyfan oedd ei ymrwymiad, nid yn unig i heddychiaeth ond hefyd, yn anad dim arall, i Efengyl Crist.

"Bu'n byw yr egwyddorion hynny yn ei fywyd bob dydd ac yn arbennig felly yn ei ymwneud 'i gyd ddynion.

"Bu ei gyfraniad i fywyd sifil Cymru yn aruthrol. Bu'n allweddol yn sefydlu S4C a brwydrodd yn hir am Senedd i Gymru nid dim ond Cynulliad.

"Fel yr awgryma teitl un o'i lyfrau, ni roddodd Gwynfor y gorau erioed i "Frwydro dros Gymru", ond roedd wastad yn ŵr bonheddig wrth frwydro ac yn gyson gwrtais, yn ogystal bod yn benderfynol - nodweddion sydd weithiau'n llai nag amlwg yn nhirwedd gwleidyddol y presennol."
Hefin Jones, Llywydd Undeb Annibynwyr Cymru:

"Fe wnaeth o'n harwain ni fel Annibynwyr i sylweddoli fod Cristnogaeth a chenedlaetholdeb yn cerdded gyda'i gilydd.

"Dywedodd dro ar l tro bod yr iaith Gymraeg a'r genedl Gymreig wedi datblygu ar yr un pryd ag yr oedd Cristnogaeth yn ennill tir yng ngwledydd Prydain.

"Braint o law Duw yw caru cenedl."


Plaid pioneer Gwynfor Evans dies
Politicians pay tribute to Plaid statesman
Former Labour leader Michael Foot has added to the tributes to Gwynfor Evans, Plaid Cymru's first MP, as details of his funeral were announced. The veteran Welsh language campaigner and former Plaid Cymru president died on Thursday aged 92.

Mr Foot, 91, said: "He was the best ever advocate for decent Welsh nationalism. He put the case better than anyone I knew".

The funeral will be on Wednesday at Seion Chapel, Aberystwyth at 1330 BST.

Mr Foot, who was MP for Ebbw Vale and then Blaenau Gwent from 1960-92, campaigned unsuccessfully with Mr Evans for Welsh devolution in 1979.

He said: "I was so sorry that we were unable to carry through the devolution vote in 1979 but at the time I was given consolation by his great Welsh humour.

"I'm so sorry he's no longer with us".

Michael Foot was a political contemporary of Mr Evans

Politicians from all parties in Wales were quick to pay tribute to Mr Evans following his death on Thursday morning after a long illness.

His passing was also marked in the Scottish Parliament, on the same day as the Gaelic Language Bill was being passed, which gave Scots Gaelic "equal respect" with English.

Scottish National Party MSP Fiona Hyslop said he had played a "vital role" in campaigning for Gaelic.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, praised Mr Evans, a committed Christian and pacifist, for his "significant contribution" to Welsh life.
"Gwynfor Evans did as much as anyone to shape the political, religious and civil life of Wales during the twentieth century," he said.

"Underpinning his whole life was a commitment not just to pacifism but also, above all else, to the cause of Christ's gospel.

Gwynfor Evans was Plaid Cymru president for 36 years

"He lived out those principles in his everyday life and particularly in his dealings with his fellow humans.

"As the title of one his books suggests, Gwynfor Evans never stopped 'Fighting for Wales,' but his fight was always gentlemanly and courteous, but determined - traits which are not always evident in today's political landscape."

Welsh historian Lord Kenneth O Morgan called Mr Evans a man of "great significance, great dignity, great distinction".

"He was a cultural nationalist primarily. He began by affirming the Welsh culture and Welsh language... but he was able to broaden its appeal," he added.

Former Plaid Cymru MP and AM, Cynog Dafis, said of his former party president: "I believed very strongly there was no use in making enemies.

"What you had to do was tread the common ground between you and the person you were addressing - and the common ground was Wales.

"What Gwynfor did was lead the party through the transition from being a smaller cultural group to being a political party, and he had the moral authority to do that.

"He was determined that Plaid Cymru must embrace the whole of the nation [including English-speaking Wales]."

Gwynfor Evans was born in Barry, south Wales, in 1912, but spent most of his life in Llangadog, Carmarthenshire.

Educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then St John's College Oxford, he established a branch of Plaid Cymru while he was a student.

Hunger strike

In the 1950s, he fought but failed to establish a parliament for Wales. There was further defeat in his campaign to prevent Liverpool City Council flooding the Welsh-speaking Tryweryn valley near Bala to create a reservoir.
In July 1966, he won the by-election in Carmarthen, called following the death of Labour MP, Dame Megan Lloyd George, the daughter of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

Three years later, Mr Evans lost his seat to Labour, but he returned to Westminster in 1974 and remained there until 1979.

He began a hunger strike in 1980, saying he would fast to death if the then Conservative government would not agree to found a Welsh language television station. S4C was set up in 1982.

He wrote a number of books in both Welsh and English about Wales, his latest in 2001, Cymru o Hud in Welsh and Eternal Wales in English.

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April 24, 2005

1) Ray of hope on Gaelic TV funding (Scottish Gaelic)
2) The living language (Scottish Gaelic)
3) Medals for Achievers in Manx Matters (Manx Gaelic)
4) Dewisyans Ow Tos! (Cornish)
5) An Achd: Hip hip, ho hum (Scottish Gaelic)

April 24, 2005

1) Ray of hope on Gaelic TV funding (Scottish Gaelic)

West Highland Free Press. 22nd April, 2005.

Reports that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has finally come across with the promise of 250,000 for Gaelic television are scarcely enough to spark scenes of jubilation. But the development, when confirmed, will represent a significant step forward.

For the past five years, progress towards a Gaelic-led channel has been obstructed by the point- blank refusal of the DCMS to do anything. The terms in which this refusal was couched are significant in the light of this week's development.

They never said that they did not want to do anything which was certainly their true position. They asserted over and over and over again, in correspondence signed by ministers, that it was not open to them to do anything because Gaelic broadcasting was an entirely devolved rather than reserved responsibility of government.

That always was a fabrication which reflects no credit on those who were responsible for it, since the contrary reality was all along so straightforward to establish. That is the context in which this week's development - if, we repeat, it is confirmed - is genuinely significant.

Whether the sum is 250,000 or 250 million, the principle will be the same. The DCMS will have abandoned the pretence that it has no responsibility for funding.

This newspaper is not averse to criticising the Scottish Executive when it is warranted. But on this matter, the Scottish Executive has been right all along to make its own increased support for Gaelic broadcasting conditional upon movement from Whitehall. To have done otherwise would have been to yield an important and potentially expensive point of principle within the devolution settlement.

There are at least three reasons why DCMS's performance has been so deplorable. First, it has denied the opportunity for progress on a Gaelic channel over these five years, which is quite a long time in the life of a fragile minority language. Second, it has undermined those - like ourselves - who have argued in the wider context that it is important for broadcasting to remain a reserved function within the United Kingdom.

And third, it has perpetuated and exacerbated the relative injustice of how Gaelic is treated in comparison with the two other minority indigenous languages within the United Kingdom, Welsh and Irish. The same DCMS that tried to deny Gaelic a brass penny, using arguments that were simply untrue, is now contributing more than 90 million a year to the funding of S4C in Wales.

A Gaelic-led television channel is no panacea for the challenges facing the language. But the absence of one has been a significant additional handicap. When it eventually happens, there will be very significant employment and economic benefits, particularly in Gaelic-speaking areas, as well as the boost for the language which a decent, embryonic Gaelic service will assuredly bring.

The sum of 250,000 is modest indeed. But if it happens and if it is enough to break the impasse, then it will be highly significant. The Scottish Executive is, we understand, ready to restore the full value of the original Gaelic Television Fund and perhaps a bit more. The BBC, with the licence fee to underpin it for the foreseeable future, could certainly chip in a few million. STV and Grampian should be made to pay through the nose in return for abandoning their derisory commitment.

Put all of these ingredients together and there should just about be enough to get a satellite/digital channel off the ground - in tandem, for the foreseeable future, with terrestrial output on BBC. It has taken far, far too long to get to the point of lift-off. Let us therefore hope that, at very least, the reports are true and that there will now be no further delays.

2) The living language (Scottish Gaelic)
By Aonghas MacNeacail

Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

With the last census registering less than 60,000 Gaels in Scotland, and no apparent halt in the declining number of speakers, it might reasonably be assumed that the language is on its last legs. John Stuart Blackie, Professor of Greek at Edinburgh University, predicted its demise within 50 years, unless something was done quickly. That was over a century ago.

But, though we are few, there are Gaelic politicians in both Westminster and Holyrood. BBC Scotland is led by Gaels. There are Gaelic-medium schools in most of our major cities, attracting children from non-Gaelic backgrounds as well as those of Gaelic parentage, though senior politicians in the island heartlands have demonstrated a disturbing complacency, frequently expressing satisfaction that as few as 25% of children in their schools were being educated through the language.

The reality is that Gaelic lives in a hostile world ? not in the sense of being surrounded by ill- will, but that the language pervading employment, leisure, the media, the street, and, very often, the home, is not going to be Gaelic. The situation was, if anything, worse in the later 20th century, with the minority of native Gaels who elected to study their own language taught by a fellow native speaker, through the medium of English. Yet that century saw the greatest flowering of Gaelic literature since the 18th century "golden age".

It began with Sorley MacLean, regularly mentioned in dispatches as a potential Nobel prizewinner . MacLean took the tradition he was steeped in and ? blending in his knowledge of European symbolism, John Donne, Ezra Pound and TS Eliot ? created a poetry that was both familiar and utterly new, rather as his 18th century counterparts had done in their time. He thus provided a model for other Gaelic poets, led by Derek Thomson, Iain Crichton Smith and Donald MacAulay, as his multilingual contemporary George Campbell Hay did for those writers who were not born to the language.

With the exception of Crichton Smith, those mentioned are exclusively poets, as were most of the next generation of literary Gaels, including the Montgomery sisters, the present writer, and initially, Maoileas Caimbeul, though other younger writers were venturing into prose fiction and drama, notably Norman Campbell, John Murray and Finlay MacLeod. By the end of the 1970s, Crichton Smith and Campbell had published novels and Murray a collection of short stories, but that was effectively it, as far as prose was concerned .

That there was always a community of poets is clear from Ronald Black's anthology of 20th century Gaelic verse, An Tuil (The Flood), containing works by 100 poets, many using traditional song forms that would have had them dismissed as "village poets" by previous anthologisers. Black's timescale didn't enable him to pick up on names like Kevin MacNeil, whose South Uist (Catholic)/Lewis (Presbyterian) background has produced an overtly Buddhist perspective. Others whose recognition post-dates Black include the Canadian Iain Mac a Phearsain (Albertan by birth but of Gaelic descent), Murdo MacDonald from Lewis, Skyeman Angus Macleod and Rob MacIlleChiar from Argyll. MacNeil apart, this generation hasn't appeared in book form yet, but the quality is there.

There are others, of course: music-loving art teacher Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, who defines himself as a "Calvinist poet" and has proved a bold neologiser from science and astronomy; multilingual Christopher Whyte, better known as a novelist in English who brings a Mediterranean dimension to Gaelic (he taught in Italy for 10 years and has translated Croatian verse). While poetry has prospered, fiction in Gaelic has had a much more irregular history.

The early 20th century saw a couple of attempts at novels, neither highly regarded today. Then that bright flowering in the 1970s was followed by another relatively fallow period, until the Gaelic Book Council, supported by the Scottish Arts Council, underwrote the new publishing venture, Ur-sgeul, which has opened the third millennium with a blast of creative excitement.

The quality of prose in the series can perhaps be measured in Angus Peter Campbell's epic first novel being numbered among the "100 Best Scottish Books" and, more seriously, shortlisted for a Saltire Award, while Martin MacIntyre's short stories actually won the Saltire First Book Award. While the books completed to date are steeped in the vernacular tradition, they are the products of thoroughly contemporary awarenesses.

Poetry, on the other hand, travels, because it's manageably translatable. But all Gaelic writers in the early 21st Century, whether rooted in tradition or altogether innovative, are united in the continuing belief that we have something to say, a vehicle for saying it which has its own qualities, and the right to say it, as best we can.

Yet, when issues relating to Gaelic, or any other marginalised language or dialect (it's equally true of Welsh, Scots, or Scouse), are discussed in the mainstream media, there's always a perception that we are somehow "different", that our native ? or acquired ? language is really just a hobby. We observe a kind of "monoglot mentality" that may happily accept a foreign language, but seems incapable of recognising any legitimacy in the indigenous vernaculars.

Gaelic still lacks its own comprehensive "Oxford Dictionary" (Dwelly's, our most comprehensive, is almost 100 years old), or Encyclopedia Goidelica. The only translations of major works, apart from the Bible, are a version of the Odyssey and a collection of Grimm's tales. Yet we occupy the same world of satellite broadcasting, internet encyclopedias and international booksellers as other literatures.

Gaelic poetry has been heard with approval around the world . Gaelic poets are translated into, and translating from, many languages, with no axes ground. While, at home, a persistent sense of "but" leaves its currents of unease, we continue to express our thoughts in the language those thoughts demand, and with a creative energy that demonstrates there's life in this old linguistic dog yet.

Poet Aonghas MacNeacail is at the Gaelic Tent, King's Lawn on Saturday May 14 at 4pm. For full details of the Gaelic Programme at Word 05, turn to page 28

24 April 2005

2005 newsquest (sunday herald) limited. all rights reserved

3) Medals for Achievers in Manx Matters (Manx Gaelic)

IoM Online. 18 April 2005

YOUNG people with an interest in all things Manx are being sought for the North American Manx Awards.

The awards are presented annually on behalf of the North American Manx Association for outstanding achievements in five categories.

The association launched the awards with an investment of $1,000 to commemorate the millennium of Tynwald in 1979.

Silver medals have been commissioned and minted for the winners.

The categories are Manx music, arts and crafts, Manx language, outstanding contribution to Manx culture and outstanding contribution to the community or overcoming disability.

Nominees must be under 18.

Their names and details of their achievements should be sent to the Department of Education, St George's Court, Upper Church Street, Douglas, by May 7.

4) Dewisyans Ow Tos! (Cornish)

This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 19 April 2005

Dydh da. Heb mar ty re glywas bos dewisyans kemmyn ow tos. Yma geryow y'n gerlyvrow rag an partiow politek ytho prag na klappya a-dro an dewisyans yn Kernewek.

Of course you have heard there's a General Election coming. There are words in the dictionaries for the political parties so why not discuss the election in Kernewek.

Yma Parti Lavur, Parti LivWer, Parti Gwithysi mes gwell yw genev An Party Rudh, An Parti Melyn ha'n Parti Glas. Kyns ri liwyow dhe UKIP, Mebyon Kernow, Green Party hag erell yma edhomm dyski an liwyow erell.

There is Parti Lavur, Parti LivWer, Parti Gwithysi but I prefer the Red Party, Yellow Party and the Blue Party. Before giving colours to UKIP, Mebyon Kernow, Green Party etc. there's a need to learn about the other colours.

Gwyrdh yw green yn Sowsnek mes nag yw rag taklow yn fyw.

Gwyrdh is green in English but not for living things.

An gwels yw glas mes Crme de Menthe yw gwyrdh.

The grass is glas but Crme de Menthe is green.

Martin Luther King o den du.

Martin Luther King was a black man.

Morel yw du yn tien po jet black yn Sowsnek.
Morel is completely black or "jet black" in English.

Leth yw gwynn mes martesen treylyans gwell yw magnolia.

Milk is white but perhaps a better translation is magnolia.

Kann yw gwynn yn tien po brilliant white yn Sowsnek.

Kann is completely white or "brilliant white" in English.

Mordardh yn howlsplann hag ergh yw kann. Kann yw pur wynn.

Surf in sunshine and snow are "brilliant white". Kann is very white.

Owraval, mombresi gwyls ha'n para peldroes iseldirek yw rudhvelyn.

Orange, wild mombresia and the Dutch football team are orange.

Barbie, glus-hwythell ha blancmange yw rudhwynn.

Barbie, bubble gum and blancmange are pink.

Pent rudh kemmyskys gans pent glas a wra pent purpur.

Red paint mixed with blue paint makes purple paint.

Pent gwyrdh kemmyskys gans pent rudh a wra pent gell.

Green paint mixed with red paint makes brown paint.

Kommol leun a law yw loes.

Cloud full of rain is grey.

Hippi yw Davydh gans y lavrek purpurwynn.

David's a hippy with his lilac trousers.

Yn Gwariow Olympik yma medalow owr, arghans ha brons.

In the Olympic Games there are gold, silver and bronze medals.

Mes piw a wra kavoes medalow owr, arghans ha brons y'n dewisyans ma?

But who will get the gold, silver and bronze medals in this election?5) An Achd: Hip hip, ho hum (Scottish Gaelic)

Murchadh Macleid


Scotland on Sunday
Sun 24 Apr 2005

The newest chapter in the history of Gaelic and the Gaels has just begun with the Gaelic Bill having passed through the Scottish parliament.

Although the Scottish Executive makes far too much use of the word, this time they were right, this was a historic day. We have the first law in many years which is connected to Gaelic. And differently from other Gaelic-connected laws, this one - at least in theory - is trying to help and protect us rather than wipe us out.

We should be thankful for the small mercies, and they do not come much smaller than this. It would have been more honest for the government to have called this law the Gaelic Board Act, because that is what we have. There is no word of the rights of Gaelic speakers, or where they can use their language, rights which are basic in other countries.

We are still unsure whether we are allowed to speak our language in court. There is still not the same kind of safeguards for Gaelic education as there is for English-language schooling.

And we are still in the situation where the Executive thinks that it is perfectly acceptable for government ministers to head for the Western Isles, the Gaelic heartland, and speak to the English-language media while not addressing the Gaelic-speaking locals in their own language.

There is no word on broadcasting. There will be some who will say that there could have been no such section because broadcasting is a matter reserved to London with the Scottish parliament having no say on the matter. But that is simply a problem with the Scotland Act which established the Scottish parliament, and Act which was drawn up in 1997 and 1998, and not before the foundations of the earth were laid. The powers of the Scottish parliament to protect our language are restricted precisely because those who are now in power allowed them top be

Am I just too hard and cynical?

This was a bill which was promised to the Gaels in 1997. We had to be patient because the honourable members had to look to more important things, such as building a 440m palace for themselves and debating fox-hunting.

And look now at what we have.
The Gaelic Board is established in law. A good thing they have a duty to produce a language plan. A good thing. They have the task of increasing the numbers of Gaelic speakers. Another good thing.

And it is also a good thing that they will have a role in education and that they will be able to public authorities and direct them to draw up a Gaelic policy, instead of waiting for a word from the organisations.

But wait a minute.

These two elements are only there because they were added to the bill after the Gaels went mad with rage at how weak and pathetic the first draft of the bill was.

So that is the criticism. Is there any way that the law can now work?

The way the new law is formed, much depends on how energetic the new Gaelic board is and how willing they will be to ask searching questions and refuse to accept excuses.

It can work if the board is energetic and refuses to accept any nonsense from public authorities. And they have to start at the heart of the Gaelic-speaking areas. Are they convinced that the Western Isles Council Gaelic policies, and those of the local health board are all they could be? Is enough being done to make sure that the elderly people of the areas get home helps who speak their own languages, for example?

They have to be noisy and pushy, they have to show that they will not accept poor excuses from anyone. And in addition to the public authorities in the islands, they also should be harder on how the Scottish Executive deals with and informs the Gaels.

When government minister appear each day on English-language radio and TV programmes, it is an absolute disgrace that they refuse Scotland's Gaelic speakers the same chance to get the information in their own language. Each time an official speaker appears to give information in English it means that Gaels are deprived of the chance to get knowledge from their own rulers.

I am not saying that every member of the Scottish Executive ministerial team must learn the language. But what I am saying is that there should be the brain-power in the Executive to deal with this issue. Is it that they could not care less or that they just think that we should have to listen in in English to get things straight.

I am dubious about whether this new law, and the board, will have the teeth to address these lacks. In contrast to the Welsh situation, the board will not have the final word in laying down to organisations that they must deal with the rights and needs of Gaelic speakers. The final word will be with ministers, and there is no guarantee that they will always show goodwill toward the language.
I for one hope that it will not emerge that we shall need to campaign for a new bill in a couple of years time.

But I have my doubts.

2005 Scotsman.com
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May 1, 2005

1. Why Our Distinctive Voice Is What Makes Us Who We Are (Scottish Gaelic)
2. ?The climate is right for deserved recognition of the Irish language in the North of Ireland? say POBAL (Irish Gaelic)
3. College to facilitate Gaelic training (Scottish Gaelic)
4. Irish language on the agenda as Ahern goes to Madrid (Irish Gaelic)

May 2, 2005

5. If you haven't already... (Scottish Gaelic)

May 3, 2005

6. New musical celebrates Gaelic champion (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Immigration leads to incidents between the Welsh and the English (Welsh)
8. Just What Is Official Version of Cornish? (Cornish)
9. Peacock: Don't sit back (Scottish Gaelic)

May5, 2005

10. Immersion is vital to save sinking Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)

May 1, 2005

1. Why our distinctive voice is what makes us who we are (Scottish Gaelic)

Ruth Wishart. The Herald. April 25 2005

Well they did it. As of last week, Scotland's Gaels now have legislation enshrining the status of the Gaelic language, and a statutory board which will promote its use, pull together all sources of funding and require every public body based in Scotland to examine what services they offer in
the language.

Not bad going, considering the 2001 census identified fewer than 60,000 fluent speakers of the tongue rising to about 100,000 if you include those with an understanding of it. For some Scots, this represents another important building block in the revitalisation of Gaelic; for others, it's merely a political benediction on a language in near terminal decline.

As a Glasgow-born Scot, passionate about the retention and promotion of the Scots tongue, I used to be fairly agnostic on the Gaelic question. But the more you learn about languages the more you begin to understand their potency in terms of defining who and what we are, and where we came from. "A people without its language is a people without its soul," says the old Gaelic proverb, or, as Alan Campbell, chief executive of the Gaelic Language Board, has it: "Culture springs from the language. If you lose the language, you've lost the wellhead."

It is extraordinary to reflect that, until local government reorganisation gave us a Western Isles Authority, Gaelic was essentially taught as a foreign language, despite the fact that in those days it would be the language spoken first by many children in the family home. How policies like that would accelerate language loss is self evident, but the problem didn't just lie with officialdom. Just as with the Scots tongue, many parents would dissuade their children from using their natural voice, believing it would impair their social and career prospects. If the classroom insists on "proper" English and the home becomes its accomplice, children can hardly be blamed for feeling confused about their linguistic identity.

Yet what seems to have happened - in Wales as well as Scotland, incidentally - is a sort of second and third generation rebellion, a recognition by those discouraged from using their native tongues in their own childhood, that the loss has to be stemmed. Just as it is Lowland Glasgow which housed the first Gaelic-medium school, with another on the way, it was the more Anglicised parts of Wales that fuelled the astonishing growth of Welsh language schools.

It's a recognition, however belated, that language hotwires us to our roots in a special way. Watch kids tune into the Scuil Wab, where they can now get screen-based access to Scots, and you see a flowering of recognition. Encouragingly, you also learn that they're adept at fashioning contemporary Scots words to deal with the 21st-century world they inhabit. Scots is a living

If you had any doubts that language, culture and identity are inextricably intertwined, look at the spectacular growth of the Feisean movement - the children's Gaelic festivals that have sprouted from a standing start on Barra just under 25 years ago to a 35-strong network involving thousands of kids. That, says Malcolm Maclean of the Gaelic Arts Agency, is evidence of local communities voting with their feet. Look at the Doric festivals in the north-east. Listen to the palpable enthusiasm of youngsters responding to the increasing introduction of traditional Scots music and song into the curriculum and the leisure circuit. Consider the runaway success of Celtic Connections which has celebrated 10 years of being an annual event where the age spectrum has a very healthy and growing input from the under-25s.

These are powerful arguments for the belief that nourishing language through cultural events is at least as important a route as the educational one. (It's a lesson that should be well absorbed by some of the purists, too. Bizarrely, when the Manic Street Preachers unveiled a Welsh language banner celebrating pop success, a Welsh language society felt impelled to correct their grammar.) Europe's Endangered Language Fund, financially underpowered as it is, is at least an acknowledgment that linguistic diversity is important, not least in a world in danger of being dominated by a single language shorn of nuance by imperfect translation and its own inherent limitations.

Professor David Crystal, among whose scarier works is a slim volume starkly entitled Language Death, argues that we are liable to lose half of the world's languages in the course of this century unless the current generation gets its act together. It's already too late for some languages, he says, but intervention and revitalisation can still work for others. How much does it matter? Quite a lot, you suspect. Native languages aren't just a means of communication, but a re-affirmation of your sense of self.

I have an abiding image of children in the Baltic states immediately after their independence, standing with their national flag and singing their national anthem. Word perfectly, so far as you could detect, despite the imposition of Russian during the Soviet era. It wasn't just their language; it was their heritage and their inheritance. That's not a site-specific phenomenon; history is littered with examples of conquered or colonised nations for whom their language became an imperishable symbol of their national character; the only cultural artefact they could still use together, however privately. Such is the perversity of humankind, the very denial of language use by governments kept the grassroots flame alive.

In twentieth-century Scotland you got the belt for speaking the "wrong" language or dialect in school. In nineteenth-century Wales they had a piece of slate or wood with WN carved on it, short for Welsh Not. It got hung round the neck of any child ill-advised enough to try to speak his or her own language in class. Maybe it's that history that ultimately made the principality so very bolshie about official Welsh language use. People can and do make the argument that in a globalised world it is a waste of resources to encourage children in languages which are only of use in their own backyard. And it sounds entirely rational.

Conversely, the Gaels have long argued that a facility with two languages as a young child increases the talent for acquiring more. That may or may not be true. But I am now persuaded that the debate is about much more than preserving a tongue: it's about reinforcing identities and ensuring that we don't deny each generation ready access to its ancestral heritage. I am persuaded, too, that a new-found confidence in our assorted linguistic identities in Scotland paves the way to making us better international citizens.

How much easier to respect the culture and customs of every nation and ethnic group if we honour, respect and understand our own.

2. The climate is right for deserved recognition of the Irish language in the North of Ireland" say
POBAL (Irish Gaelic)

Michelle Nic Phaidin, Baile Atha Cliath 4/24/2005

Janet Muller, Chief Executive of the umbrella group for the Irish language in the North of Ireland, POBAL, believes that the time is right for an Irish Language Act.

Last week, speakers of the Gaelic language in Scotland had cause to celebrate when the Gaelic Bill in Scotland was passed. In Eire the Irish language is promoted by a Language Act and protected by the Constitution. The Welsh language enjoys legislative protection because of the Welsh Language Act, which may be be strengthened in the near future.

Janet Muller believes that a language bill in the North is the next step in the process to promote Irish and that the onus is on the British Government to accommodate it.

"This would give Irish speakers the rightful recognition that they deserve. The Government would have to act according to this Bill and recognise the rights of these people."

POBAL will be publishing their proposals for an Irish Language Act soon. The proposals stem from a meeting that was held in Belfast in November 2004. They have also sought and received the help and counsel of international language experts in preparing the draft plan, which they believe will ignite debate in the North and pave the way for a language bill.

(Eurolang 2005)

3. College to facilitate Gaelic training (Scottish Gaelic)

The Buchan Observer. 28/04/2005

BANFF and Buchan College has established a new partnership agreement with Sabhal Mr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

Under the terms of the agreement, the College will facilitate any requests it receives for Gaelic language tuition by passing these onto its dedicated contacts within Sabhal Mr Ostaig.

College Principal, Robert Sinclair, is delighted that the new link with Sabhal Mr Ostaig has been formalised.

"We recognise that there is a relatively small - but growing - amount of interest in Gaelic language studies in this area," he said.

"Although Gaelic language provision is not our core business, we feel that it is important that Banff & Buchan College attempts to meet this identifiable need.

"Our new agreement with Sabhal Mr Ostaig is the most cost effective means of providing top- quality Gaelic language courses to learners within our local marketplace."

As part of the new initiative, Banff & Buchan College will carry marketing materials and other forms of literature regarding the course provision available at Sabhal Mr Ostaig.

Those who are interested in pursuing a course will be able to do so via supported distance learning, provided by Sabhal Mr Ostaig, or by attending enjoyable short courses on-campus.

4. Irish language on the agenda as Ahern goes to Madrid (Irish Gaelic)

http://www.eurolang.net/news.asp?id=5009Baile Atha Cliath 4/28/2005, by Eoghan Neill

Dublin's request for Irish to be recognised as an official language of the EU is on the agenda as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern travels to Madrid today to meet Spanish premier, Jose Luis Zapatero.

The Taoiseach recently told the Dil that while Spain does not oppose the Irish request the Spanish are insisting that it's "regional" languages must also be given greater recognition by the

Mr Ahern stressed that when the Irish Permanent Representative in Brussels had raised the Irish proposal at a meeting of COREPER it had been well received.

Subsequently, however, he had personally spoken to Chancellor Wolfgang Schssel of Austria to reassure him on concerns which he had raised.

In relation to Spain the issue was more complex according to the Taoiseach. "The Prime Minister of Spain, Mr. Zapatero, and his Foreign Minister, Mr. Moratinos, are fighting a separate battle that feeds into our issue, namely, that of regional Spanish languages gaining recognition...That issue, which is connected with ours, although I will not call it unhelpful, does not make life easier since it opens the question of regional languages in other countries...Spain does not oppose the Irish proposal by any means, but we need to consider how we can process the two issues separately because the legal base is different for each of them........we have to be mindful of the Spanish position as we try to find a resolution to our issue."

Ireland is anxious to resolve the issue during the Presidency of Luxembourg as it is perceived in Ireland that Luxembourg is understanding of the Irish situation.

One Irish government MEP, Sen Neachtain, has expressed concern that the issue would drag on into the British Presidency of the EU and that there would be less support for the Irish case under a UK Presidency.

It is significant that the Irish Taoiseach himself has taken on the role of persuader on the issue of status for Irish.

Bertie Ahern has long had a reputation within Ireland as an accomplished negotiator and indeed it was his formidable negoatiating skills which were vital in the rise of coalition government in Ireland in recent times. His sensitive negotiating during the Irish Presidency of the EU last year was also widely hailed. (Eurolang 2005)

May 2, 2005

5. If you haven't already... (Scottish Gaelic)

Cuir d'ainm air an ath-chuinge!
To: The Scottish Football Association

We, the undersigned, call upon the Scottish Football Association to proudly display the Scottish national name, "Alba," along with its equivalent, "Scotland," on the national football team's shirt.


May 3, 2005

6. New musical celebrates Gaelic champion (Scottish Gaelic)

Grampian TV. 30/04/2005 10:25

The life of an American who championed the Gaelic language is to be celebrated in a ground breaking musical with a cast of a hundred Highland children. Margaret Fay Shaw, dedicated her life to recording the culture of South Uist in the 1930s.

Possibly the first ever Gaelic musical, Taigh Mairi Anndra tells the story of the life of a woman responsible for chronicling the heritage of South Uist.

Margaret Fay Shaw's photographic records of the Hebrides, records of song and folklore are credited with preventing a way of life from being lost to future generations.

Her achievements are all the more amazing given she was born in America and it's thought had no direct link to the Hebrides.

One hundred pupils from the gaelic unit at Central Primary School in Inverness will star in the musical, which will be performed at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness on May the fifth.

Margaret Fay Shaw passed away in Fort William last year at the grand old age of one hundred and one. It's hoped the musical will educate youngsters about the importance of her work and help her legacy live on.

7. Immigration leads to incidents between the Welsh and the English (Welsh)

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 4/29/2005

The incidents of crimes between Welsh and English people in north Wales is on the increase says deputy chief constable of the area. According to Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale, an Englishman who has learnt Welsh, this is partly due to immigration into Wales. He added that a quarter of race-hate crime was caused by animosity between the groups.
"About 15 per cent in north Wales overall and in the western area which is about 80% Welsh- speaking], about 25% of race-hate crime is Welsh-English activity. It is about 50/50 in terms of Welsh people having a go at English people and English people having a go at the Welsh," says Mr Wolfendale. "It is a phenomenon that applies throughout Wales, but particularly in the north. It is people attacking or abusing somebody because of their Welshness or Englishness."

Mr Wolfendale added that "north Wales has an ethnic minority immigrant population which is very low, between one and two per cent, but there are some Welsh people who would say, actually, that the immigration population is 50% because there are all these English people that have come here who are undermining our communities and pinching our housing and so on. So this is a more complex situation in north Wales than it is elsewhere in Britain."

According to the police, race-hate crimes - of all kinds - have risen in north Wales from 80 in 2000 to 337 in 2004.

Cymuned, the pressure group that campaigns for the Welsh-speaking heartlands, welcomed Mr Wolfendale's comments.

"We welcome the fact that the DCC realises that moving so many people from England to Wales does have an impact and that it should be considered by the [British] Home Secretary Charles Clarke as part of the government's immigration policy," says Aran Jones, chief executive of Cymuned. "The Welsh Assembly needs to act to ensure that people living in Wales learn Welsh or at least have the courtesy to try and understand that we have our language and culture."

Mr Wolfendale says that much of the increase is due to the fact that the police are actively encouraging people to come forward and report hate crime of all types, not just race crime. (Eurolang 2005)

8. Just What Is Official Version of Cornish? (Cornish)

This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 28 April 2005

Speakers of the centuries' old Cornish language are demanding fair play as efforts are made to reach agreement on a single written form of Cornish.

The Government approved the recognition of Cornish as a regional or minority language under the European Charter three years ago.

Since the 1980s, hundreds of people have become competent Cornish speakers and thousands of students are being taught the language.

However, there is a long way to go to achieve cultural harmony on the ground, with three different Cornish language groups using their own spelling forms.
There have even been disputes, with Cornwall County Council accused of having already made a decision to adopt "Common Cornish".

Visitors entering New County Hall, Truro, see a mat inscribed Dynnargh, the Common Cornish for "welcome" with two n's. But a council information screen in the entrance hall, reads Dynargh, the Unified Cornish version of "welcome" containing a single n. Advocates of Late/Modern Cornish don't appear yet to have a "welcome" sign at County Hall but if they did it would read

The sensitivity surrounding the Cornish language was raised at a recent county council meeting by Cornish councillor Tamsin Williams, of Penzance. Tabling a question to the council, she warned: "The development of the Cornish language is a crucial issue that will be prominent in the work of the new council over the coming four-year term."

She said one priority of the Cornish Language Strategy was to "initiate inclusive discussion and debate aimed at establishing, in the longer term, the way forward on how Cornish is to be written in official documentation and formal education, specifically a single written form of Cornish."

Ms Williams asked the council leader John Lobb: "Can you categorically state a commitment to this and confirm that all language groups, Agan Tavas, Cussell an Tavas and Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek, will be actively involved in this process and any decision will be based on consensus and agreement?"

Coun Lobb, an English-speaking Cornishman, replied: "It is our intention to involve all the language groups.

"Some members will have received messages accusing the council of having decided to adopt one form of Cornish, Kemmyn (Common).

"I am happy to place on the record that no such decision has been made, nor is it our intention to do so in the future.

"Where Cornish is used in our publications, the spelling system tends to depend on who has provided the translation.

"We have a pluralistic approach to the question of different versions of the Cornish language."

John Angarrack, director of the Cornwall 2000 Civil Liberties group, has written to Kerrier District Council calling for caution in its use of Cornish.

He said of the dual signage and letter headings that some of his members were concerned that Kerrier might have made an "administrative error" and asked how the council intends to treat all three Cornish language groups fairly.

9. Peacock: Don't sit back (Scottish Gaelic)

Scotland on Sunday
Sun 1 May 2005

Peacock: Don't sit back

You will get a rest from the election in this column, but there will be no let-up from the matters arising from the Gaelic Bill.

We gathered as Gaels in Suits last week in an Edinburgh hotel to mark the passing of the Gaelic bill through the Scottish parliament. The minister for Gaelic, Peter Peacock, was too polite to criticise this column for its words on the weaknesses of the new bill. He instead dealt with the much more important subject of what do we do now for the language.

People should not doubt Peacock's support for the language and its case. Although he does not come from the Highlands, or speak the language himself, he does want the language to succeed. He has been fighting and lobbying for the language much more than he would strictly need to, given his other roles and responsibilities, and sticking up for the language amid ministers and officials who are not always supportive of us. He did strengthen the bill, while some in the establishment where trying to get off with murder, and he is trying to deal with the problems in Gaelic education.

There is an effort going on to get to grips with the holes and needs in education. As we all know, there is a damaging lack of teachers. There are a good number of teachers who have the language but who are not qualified to teach through Gaelic, but who would like to be able to do so. But many of the courses have been in unsuitable locations or times. What was the point of year-long fulltime courses in Glasgow when many of those who would want to make use of them lived at the other end of the country? But, bit by bit, we are managing to get to grips with the problems and the holes in the system. New technology is being used in order to get around some of the problems.

Dear oh dear. I am going soft in my old age. I am praising the minister. Must be one of those award-related things. But one must admit that he had a few points when he addressed us. He made the point that we have a lot to do in order to protect the language and get it growing again.

As he said, we can't sit back. We as Gaels have been too willing to sit back and wait for the state, or some kind of authority, to come along and help us out. The mocking tale is told about the two militant Gaels who wanted to emulate the Welsh and set fire to outsiders' holiday homes as part of their fight for a TV channel in our language. But their plan came to nothing because they wanted to apply for a government grant.

When people talk about a lot needing to be done, we have to look to ourselves. We are not as up for speaking our own language as we should be. We are not good at making sure we teach to younger people, we are poor when it comes to choosing resources and books published in our own language.

When churches cut back on Gaelic services, what do we do about it? I'm not calling for wars to be started in communities, but are we trying to find ways to keep things going in the language? Aren't we just too willing to roll over and give in to the other language, and assume that we must speak English to everyone under 10 years of age?

Are we too willing to accept pathetic excuses to dutch the language? How often have we heard sniping at the "Gaels in Suits", saying they were only into the language in order to get money out of it.

But so what? We spent decades being told that we had to give up on our heritage in order to make money in this world. If am age has now begun where some people are able to make a living for the language they why criticise them? No-one cites the example of some people who make a living from the English language as some kind of reason for the rest of us never to speak English

Are we too fussy? Are we too ready to say that certain things are worthless unless they are in our own dialect? There are not enough of us around any more to battle about who has the best dialect. Are we too ready to forsake the language just because there was one moment in our lives when something available in Gaelic was not quite as good as something in English might have

We have to acknowledge that some things just cannot be addressed. There is no way on earth that all the Gaelic books and school materials will be as good or as plentiful as they are in English. They have new materials coming out almost every day. But the same problem applies to the French, the German, and the Russian languages, let alone Gaelic. But what is available nowadays in Gaelic is getting better and a lot of it is much better than what we had in English in school.

These things are getting better. But even if they never become as good as the English stuff, would any English-speaker, French-speaker, or Welsh-speaker abandon their language for ever just because a few textbooks were not as shiny, or new, or as fast to arrive as those in other languages?

Sometimes we have to live with the fact that things will not be on tap for the minorities. That is an argument for minorities to battle for things to become better and not to give up on the fight.

2005 Scotsman.com

May5, 2005

10. Immersion is vital to save sinking Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)

The Scotsman
Wed 4 May 2005


GAELIC will get official status when the Queen signs off the new Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill in July. But how will this new-found "respect" save the language from extinction?

The bill's attempts to revive Gaelic are commendable if wrong-headed. It would be nice if Dumfries and Fife and the Lothians could be persuaded to have Gaelic language policies. But the hard fact is that, with Gaelic facing wipe-out, this well-meaning but ultimately impotent bill is likely to be as helpful in saving the language as a cough drop for a pneumonia patient.

I commend the excellent work already being done to teach Gaelic by certain local authorities. But scarce resources should be directed where they will do most good. Only two things will save Gaelic - education and broadcasting. The Scottish Executive pays lip service to a digital Gaelic TV service in Scotland, but when it comes to paying for it, its response is lukewarm at best. Its proposed 11 million a year towards the annual 20 million that the channel will cost is merely indexing the Tories' original 8 million to set up a Gaelic TV service.

But if the Executive is lukewarm, the attitude of Tessa Jowell's Department of Culture, Media and Sport is positively chilly. Tessa has reportedly come up with 250,000 a year for the new service; compare that with the 100 million a year for the Welsh channel. Talk about "respect".

On education, if Gaelic is to survive, it will only be by using the methods successfully implemented in Ireland, Wales, Catalunya and elsewhere - in other words, by making immersion education compulsory in its remaining heartlands of Skye, Lewis, Harris and the Uists.

Until 1971, Welsh speakers in Wales were in decline. Following the immersion education strategy, there has been an 80,000 increase in Welsh speakers over the same three decades in which Scotland has lost 50,000 Gaelic speakers. The vast majority of parents in Wales are
delighted their children are bilingual. The figures in Ireland are even more dramatic. In 1926, only 500,000 spoke Irish Gaelic. Now it's 1.5 million.

If and when Gaelic were revived in its heartlands, it could be spread from a position of strength to adjoining local authorities and then to other areas that might be sympathetic.

The Scottish Parliament had a real chance to launch a fightback to save Gaelic. Sadly, I see nothing in the bill that will stop it becoming a mere cultural and academic curiosity - the linguistic equivalent of Marjorie Kennedy Fraser's four-part harmonies of orain mhora, big songs doomed to be mouthed phonetically by kilted lowlanders at Mods in perpetuity.

Mairi Mhor nan Orain, big Mary of the Songs, lambasted the English for muzzling Gaelic in the 19th century. It had nothing to do with the English and everything to do with the Scots. With this bill, I believe a new generation of Scots is finally killing it off.

? Ted Brocklebank is a Conservative list MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

2005 Scotsman.com
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:
This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 9, 2005

1. Gaelic website launched (Scottish Gaelic)

May 10, 2005

2. Gaelic TV training course gears up for digital era (Scottish Gaelic)
3. The Gaelic Act: Brd na Gaidhlig must be tough(Scottish Gaelic)

May 11, 2005

5. U.S. Govt. Seeking to Preserve Dying Languages (Languages, General)

May 14, 2005

6. Return of the native (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Scottish Football Association refuses to use Gaelic "Alba" (Scotland) (Scottish Gaelic)

May 9, 2005

1. Gaelic website launched (Scottish Gaelic)

Wed 4 May 2005Heritage & Culture

CONSERVATION group Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) launched its first Gaelic website today in a bid to brings news of its work to a wider audience.

Many of the body's Gaelic and bilingual publications are now available on the website, including the Gaelic versions of the corporate strategy, Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the Uist Wader project newsletter.

"We look forward to increasing the amount of Gaelic content on our website in the near future as part of our increased use of the language in SNH communications," said Mairi Gillies, SNH's Gaelic officer.

Development of the site also forms an integral part of SNH's Gaelic policy, which was first introduced in 2000.

The launch comes as SNH prepares to relocate its headquarters from Edinburgh to the Highland capital of Inverness next year. The building project remains on schedule to be handed over to SNH on 1 March 1 with a view to staff moving in from 31 March.

SNH is the Scottish Executive's statutory advisor in respect to the conservation, enhancement and sustainable use of the natural heritage.

This article:

Last updated: 04-May-05 13:07 GMT

On the web

Scottish Natural Heritage

2005 Scotsman.com

May 10, 2005

2. Gaelic TV training course gears up for digital era (Scottish Gaelic)

West Highland Free Press. Friday 6 May 2005.

The Gaelic Television Training Trust, based at Sabhal Mr Ostaig in Skye, have purchased 182,000 of new equipment, which will ensure that students and the course are ready for the new digital era in broadcasting.

The course has been run since 1991 in which time it has undergone several changes in order to keep up with the evolving world of Gaelic television and other media. The course, the Diploma in Gaelic Media, has a proud record of graduates not only securing work but achieving lasting success.

The new equipment - to which Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise and the Western Isles, Skye and Lochalsh Leader+ programme contributed 88,252 and Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gidhlig a further 40,000 - means that students record, edit and view their material in a digital format. This is something which will increasingly become the industry norm.

Four digital cameras for filming on location have been purchased, as well as three new digital cameras for studio filming. The viewing screens in the studio's gallery are now capable of taking a digital feed; and there are four new computer workstations where students can view and edit their digital material.

Neil Fraser, director of media training at SMO, said: "In addition to the new equipment, the course itself was streamlined last September in order to meet the changing demands of the students and industry alike. The course was shortened from two years to a year - six months training at the college and six months on work placement. There were a number of reasons for this: in most cases graduates do not want to spend another two full years without a full-time salary; and also there is a new emphasis on multi-skilling in the digital age where the new technology will help to address the depth of technical knowledge that is required to make programmes."

Sabhal Mr director Norman Gillies said: "In a recent QAA review of Teaching and Learning for Sabhal Mr's courses, which included the Diploma in Gaelic Media, we were graded as 'exemplary'. However, we, and the assessors, felt that the equipment the media students were using was in danger of becoming obsolete in light of changes in the industry. I am pleased that this upgrade will mean that our students will now be working with the latest technology. The cameras, workstations and monitors will then be moved to a new studio in Fs - the college's new centre for creative and cultural industries - which is to open in 2007.

"We are particularly pleased that this technological upgrade was so generously supported by Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise; Western Isles, Skye and Lochalsh Leader+; Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gidhlig and the industry in general. Our students will now be well trained and equipped to assist in the development of a new digital era."

Stuart MacPherson, head of skills development at Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise, added: "This development undertaken by the Gaelic Television Training Trust has dramatically improved the training and learning infrastructure that is available to participants on the course. Support from Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise and the Western Isles, Skye and Lochalsh Leader + Programme has enabled the purchase of the new technology and equipment - to a quality and standard that is in keeping with the high quality of the course content, the vocational delivery, and the completion rates.

"Creative and Cultural industries are diverse and have potential to be relatively high earning. Young people who are learning about the industry through the course delivered by the GTTT at Sabhal Mr Ostaig, have
excellent employment prospects."

3. The Gaelic Act: Brd na Gaidhlig must be tough(Scottish Gaelic)
West Highland Free Press. 6th May, 2005.

Almost unnoticed amid the hubbub of the General Election campaign, the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 has sailed through the Scottish Parliament. It will receive royal assent and be cemented into law before the end of this month.

We have already aired our concerns about the limitations of this legislation, about the weight of the burden placed upon Brd na Gaidhlig and about the absence of certain key legal rights for the language and its users. Those concerns are still relevant, but the time to repeat them has gone. There is now - and we can raise two-and-a-half cheers for this - a Gaelic Language Act, which is more than could be said at the beginning of last month, last year, or the last millennium.

Brd na Gaidhlig is staffed, chaired and directed by good and experienced people. That is fortunate, for the organisation has now a terrific job to do. It has been given by the Gaelic Act the function of being virtually the sole advisory body to the Scottish Executive on Gaelic affairs. It has hardly any authority of its own, but its guidance to ministers will in the immediate future be crucial. The first piece of guidance should be that it needs more money; there is already more than a whiff of suspicion that  "delivery' organisations are seeing their money cut, in order to pay for Brd na Gaidhlig itself.

We hope above all that Bord na Gaidhlig will be tough. Duncan Ferguson and his people face - as they should already know - formidable opposition in areas of Scottish government. Barely a single MSP will speak out in public against Gaelic. That is, fortunately, no longer fashionable. But hostile attitudes persist, particularly within the civil service, and will have to be confronted. In offering its advice to the executive, Brd na Gaidhlig must constantly be aware of the fact that within Holyrood ministers will be in receipt of contrary, negative recommendations.

The Brd must tolerate no shilly-shallying from recalcitrant public bodies. Its remit to get each and every one of them to produce a Gaelic plan should be pressed remorselessly. Many will co- operate willingly, some will do their duty, but others will wish to have no part of this scheme. The latter must be brought quickly to heel, through ministerial pressure and through public exposure.

The one major change between the Gaelic Bill and the Gaelic Act has been the introduction of a clause on education. This is to be welcomed - although once again, it offers no more than an advisory role to Brd na Gaidhlig.

We obviously hope that Brd na Gaidhlig will take this opportunity to press for an urgent expansion of Gaelic-medium education, throughout the Gaidhealtachd and in the rest of Scotland. This is required not only in primary schools, but also in the secondary sector.

For too long the steady rise of successful primary Gaelic-medium units has obscured the fact that secondary-level GMUs have been neglected. There are at present roughly 2,000 children in primary GMUs throughout Scotland. But there are less than 300 in secondary GMUs. The current course of events means that six out of every seven children who have been educated in Gaelic up to the age of 12, will after progressing to high school be denied it.

That is, to put it mildly, unsatisfactory. And it is not entirely due to a shortage of suitable teachers. Scottish Executive figures tell us that there are over 100 secondary school teachers in the country who are capable of teaching in Gaelic. Just 26 of them are presently doing so.

Brd na Gaidhlig's job under the new Act is not only to highlight such inadequacies, but to make sure that they are corrected. Even with the backing of the first Gaelic Act in history, they have an enormous job to do. Our hopes go with them.

This is Cornwall.11:00 - 03 May 2005

Yma towlenn rag Konsel Keryer kavoes moy arwoedhyow yn Kernewek ha Sowsnek - pur dha! Mes dres an wiasva www.cornwall24.co.uk James Staughton, Omwereser Bragti Sen Ostell a leveris bos hemma skoell a dermyn hag arghans.

There's a plan for Kerrier District Council to have more signs in Cornish and English - very good! But through the website www.cornwall24.co.uk James Staughton, manager at St Austell Brewery, says that this is a waste of time.

Ev a bes: "I'm all for the Cornish language being recognised but I don't think this is a good way of spending money."

Mes Asda, B &Q ha McDonalds a dhevnydh Kernewek rag avonsyans aga askorrasow. Y hyllir prederi askorrasow teythyek kepar ha korevow kernewek, an HSD marthys da y'ga mysk, a via moy gwiw rag usya Kernewek.

But Asda, B &Q and McDonalds make use of Kernewek in order to promote their products. One would think that local products such as Cornish beers, including the marvellous HSD, would be more suitable for using Kernewek.

"We have to be looking at the world in 20 years' time rather than 20 years backward."

Dhe wul yndella y tal Mr Staughton mos dhe www.bluejellyfish.com.au
Ena ev a yll dyski 27 yeth yn furv kevres a e-lyvrow.

Fleghes ha tevogyon yn Ostrali hag an Statys Unys a dhysk yethow yn fordh ma lemmyn. Ha'n nowyttha yeth dhe vos dyllys gans Blue Jellyfish Press yw???Kernewek.

To do so Mr Staughton should go to www.bluejellyfish.com.au

There he can learn 27 languages in the form of series of e-books.

Children and adults in Australia and the United States learn in this way now.

And the newest language to be published by Blue Jellyfish Press is???Kernewek.

E-lyvrow yn Kernewek yw an termyn a-dheu.

E-books in Kernewek are the future.

Tybyansow koynt James Staughton yw, yn hwir, 20 blydhen dhe lergh.

James Staughton's ideas are indeed 20 years backward.

Morgowlesenn las yn pinta HSD - blue jellyfish in a pint of HSD.

For Cornish language classes in East Cornwall, call Maureen Pierce on 01579 382511 or e-mail: . freeserve.co.uk; in Mid Cornwall, call Pol Hodge on 01726 882681 or e-mail: ; and in West Cornwall call Jori Ansell on 01736 850878 or e-mail:

May 11, 2005

5. U.S. Govt. Seeking to Preserve Dying Languages (Languages, General)

[yahoonews http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/endangered_languages ]

WASHINGTON - Thousands of languages are threatened with extinction, and the U.S. government is trying to help save some of them, from the one used by Cherokee Indians to a language spoken by a small group of people in Tibet but never written down.

The project awards $4.4 million to 26 institutions and 13 individual scholars to investigate the status of more than 70 languages among the 6,000 to 7,000 in the world.

About half of those languages "are threatened with oblivion," according to the two U.S. agencies involved in the project.

Organizations in Germany and Britain as well as the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have similar projects.

Every two weeks, on average, the last speaker of a disappearing language dies off, said James Herbert, an adviser to the U.S. project.

"Language is the DNA of a culture. ... A lost language is a lost culture," said Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The agency is working with the National Science Foundation on the current project.

For more than a decade, the endowment has helped pay for the writing of a dictionary of ancient Aramaic. Many Christians believe that Jesus spoke that language, which is related to Hebrew. Modern versions of the language are spoken in a few Middle East villages and used in the services of some Christian denominations.

Science knowledge also can pass when a language dies. For example, Herbert said psychologists can learn something about brain processes from an endangered language of Brazil's Amazon River area called Piratapuyo. The language is one of the few that reverses the order of words, putting the subject of a sentence at the end rather than the beginning.

Cherokees in the United States claim a population of about 350,000, mostly in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Of these, 22,000 are said to speak the language, written in a script of 86 symbols, each representing a syllable. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee N.C., will get a grant to digitize, translate and assess the written material in the Library of Congress.

One nearly extinct South African language is called N/u. The "/" sign stands for a clicking noise that cannot be represented by the alphabets of America and Europe.

Scientists from Cornell University and Northern Arizona University will collect information on how the unusual sounds of this language are produced by the 13 people who still speak it fluently.

Some experts think that such clicks and sucking noises are left from the first languages spoken by humans, tens of thousands of years ago. Surviving languages that use these sounds are concentrated in South Africa. Herbert said experts will puzzle over the question of why the only such language known anywhere else was one in Australia and is now extinct.

On the Net

National Endowment for the Humanities:

May 14, 2005

6. Return of the native (Scottish Gaelic)

MORAY WATSON. The Scotsman. 14th May, 2005.

FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, IAIN Crichton Smith's writing in Gaelic hasn't received the international attention the rest of his work commands. But given that it constitutes almost a third of his literary legacy, that it includes much of the most innovative writing in the language in the last century, it is equally obvious that Crichton Smith - who died in 1998 - should also be the first writer honoured by the inaugural Gaelic Word Festival.

Although born in Glasgow, he grew up in Lewis, speaking only Gaelic until he went to school. His father died when he was an infant and his mother was left to look after her three sons alone. The absence of the father figure and the subsequent importance of the mother figure are common motifs in his writing. The island, Lewis, is a recurring feature, as is the Gaelic language, either as a vehicle that allows him to explore his ideas of communication and interpersonal relationships or as a feature of his own cultural identity that is under threat.

In many of his short stories, such as "An Coigreach" (1960) or his 1966 play Chirt, which prefigures his novel Consider the Lilies, Crichton Smith uses features of the Gaelic language to add depth that would be impossible in English. In many cases he often seems to be switching between his two languages to find out which one best suits the story.

In An t-Aonaran, probably the best Gaelic novel ever published, he uncovers a theme that also haunts much of his poetry - how the educated Gael, through having had to learn another language, becomes alienated from his own community. The poems at the end of An t-Eilean agus An Cnan (1987), his last collection in Gaelic, also show this. He sees the spread of English as a positive thing, just as he accepts modernisation, new technology and increased opportunities for travel as positive things. However, he also sees the potentially negative, in that each of these things can dominate and then suffocate the smaller, less widespread cultures.

This collection also provides a solution to the question of why he stopped publishing as much Gaelic in his last decade. There are some practical reasons, as well as what we can read into his work. As a full-time writer, it would have been difficult to make much of a living out of Gaelic books, poems, stories or plays. The Gaelic population is very small, dropping from around 80,000 in 1981 to under 60,000 in 2001, of whom a third cannot read the language.

A more subtle problem for someone trying to make a living from writing in Gaelic is that the literature was slow to modernise. Genres such as the Gaelic novel and short story did not emerge until the 20th century; even then, their development was sluggish and not always well received. But while such factors were no doubt at work, none of them explain why this was Crichton Smith's last sizeable Gaelic work, more than ten years before his last English books appeared.

I would suggest that An t-Eilean agus An Cnan was the moment at which Crichton Smith finally confronted the influence that his Lewis upbringing and his Gaelic heritage had had on him. In it, he uses the island as a metaphor for isolation, and language is the bridge that is meant to overcome that isolation. And, although language is never quite adequate to overcome this metaphorical isolation, the island and the language nevertheless become inextricably linked to one another. Place, and the language of that place, take on characteristics of one another, to the point where it becomes difficult to distinguish them fully. So, in poem 17 of the "Cnan"section, Smith writes: "Seo mo chnan for, // am fear a fhreagras air an talamh seo, air a' / mhintich, / am fear a n cmhradh ionadail" - "this is my true language, the one that suits this land, the one that makes local conversation".

Gaelic, therefore, is the language appropriate to the island. Smith, however, no longer lives on the island: as a result, he is no longer in a position to choose Gaelic. The poem tells us that there is a gap in the land: this gap is caused by the split which necessitates the choice for the bilingual. The bilingual must constantly choose between two languages or else choose one over the other once and for all.

This choice, therefore, stands in the way of fulfilment, according to these poems. When Smith writes "Seo mo chnan for" - "this is my true language" - he then leaves a gap in the poem, just like the gap in the land that isolates him from his home. Gaelic is his true language, but it is not the language he can choose, because he cannot choose to be an islander. If the language and the land are infinitely bound up together, choosing one also means choosing the other. What An t- ilean agus An Cnan tells us is that, given the free choice, Smith would choose Gaelic. But, because place and language are woven together both societally and psychologically, he does not have the free choice.

* This is an edited extract from the lecture Moray Watson will give at the Word Festival this afternoon.

7. Scottish Football Association refuses to use Gaelic "Alba" (Scotland) on team shirt (Scottish Gaelic)

Glaschu/Glasgow 5/13/2005 , by Martainn MacLeid

The Scottish national football team, more often in the news because of its poor performance internationally, is currently attracting media controversy of an entirely different nature in a Gaelic related row.

Language campaigners are calling upon the national team to make more use of Gaelic in Scotland's most popular sport through a petition and letter writing campaign. The online petition, which was created by Gaelic learner David Wilson, calls upon the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to display "Alba", the Gaelic name for Scotland alongside its English equivalent on the national team's shirt. Some activists have also been calling for the use of the language on electronic score boards.

In addition to the support which the petition has attracted from hundreds of Gaelic speakers and football fans, the campaign has also been supported by former Scotland and Glasgow Celtic player Murdo MacLeod. MacLeod who played more than 20 times for the national team and who is now a football commentator argues that the language should appear on the strips due to its historical importance to Scotland.

To date, however, the Scottish Football Association has shown little sympathy with the aspirations of the Gaelic community.

In a letter to one language activist, Chief Executive of the SFA, David Taylor stated that "I am sorry to disappoint you, but I have to inform you that the SFA has no intention of introducing Gaelic in its signs and publications."

"We welcome support from all parts of the country, but it is not our intention to conduct our business in any language other than English, which almost everyone in this country - including yourself - understands."

Mr Taylor's attitude has proved controversial. According to football journalist and broadcaster Ailig O'Hianlaidh: "I don't think it is asking too much to put four letters on the Scotland team strip and from the inquiries I have made with kit suppliers, it wouldn't necessarily cost that much either. Wales have no problem putting the words Cymru on their football and rugby strips, so why can't we do the same in Scotland?

"On a wider point, this would appear to be an early test case for the new Gaelic Bill and Brd na Gidhlig, because if a public organisation like the SFA can simply wash its hands of any responsibility towards the language, it sends out a strong signal to other public bodies that they can follow suit. So, it will be interesting to see what action, if any, the Brd and or the Executive take over this issue."

Although Gaelic does not seem set to gain greater visibility in the Scottish game in the near future, the campaign for the use of Gaelic on the Scotland football shirt has also inspired a petition calling for the use of the Irish language on the strip of Ireland's national
soccer team. (Eurolang 2005)
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 15, 2005

3. Subject: CPG - Scots Leid - letter fae the Executive (Scots)

May16, 2005

4. CelticRadio.net (All Celtic Languages)

May 15, 2005


IoM Online. 14th May, 2005.

YN Chruinnaght will burst into song, music and dance again this July, in the annual celebration of Manx traditional culture.

It will take place from July 16-23 and will be based in a marquee on the Peveril Plot in Ramsey.
This year marks the centenary of Albert Road School and Yn Chruinnaght is pleased to be associated with it.

Festival committee spokesman Bob Carswell said: 'Albert Road School has an important place in Manx cultural life.

'Great support has been given to Yn Chruinnaght by the school through its teachers and pupils since the revival of Yn Chruinnaght by Mona Douglas in 1978.

'It was with the children and their teacher, Philip Leighton Stowell, that Mona Douglas worked to give life to her notes on Manx dancing. The dances were first shown in Easter of 1929. Youngsters from Albert Road School went on to demonstrate Manx folk dances at the Royal Albert Hall in London on a number of occasions in the 1930s.'

Centenary celebrations will take place on Wednesday, July 20. During the day, the pupils will be entertaining their parents and other guests and in the evening, there will be a special gathering of former pupils in the marquee.

After Wednesday, the marquee will once again be the venue for the festival.

A full programme of events will be released shortly.


IoM Online. 12th May, 2005.

THE Manx language is going from strength to strength, the Manx Heritage Foundation's Manx language officer has said.

Adrian Cain was speaking after a Manx language training day held at the International Business School.

The event was attended by people from government departments and local authorities.

Talks were given on language developments and the ways in which Manx can add value to organisations. Lessons in Manx were also on offer.

It was the second course of its kind organised by the Manx Heritage Foundation, with the aim of raising the profile of Manx and informing public debate about the Island's culture and identity.

Mr Cain said there was an increasing amount of support for the language and gave the success of the Manx Gaelic School, at St John's, as an example.

'The MHF hopes that the whole Island can take pride in these achievements and can also help demonstrate to the world community the uniqueness and independence of the Island,' said Mr Cain.

3. Subject: CPG - Scots Leid - letter fae the Executive (Scots)
Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 09:39:54 +0100
From: "SLRC Office"

The follaein letter wis sent oot fae the Executive ti Matt Rodger, a Scots leid activist. We're pittin it roon for yer information.

Wi guid will

Scots Language Resource Centre
A K Bell Library
York Place
Tel: 01738 440199

Education Department
Cultural Policy
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Telephone: 0131-244 0343
Fax: 0131-244 0353


Your ref:

Our ref: 2005/0011077OR

4 May 2005

Dear Mr Rodger

Thank you for your emails of 3 and 6 April to the First Minister and Scottish Ministers regarding the newspaper article about the schoolboy, James Blackwood and his positive experience of the Scots language. I have been asked to reply.

Scottish Ministers' were very encouraged to learn of James Blackwood's experience, which highlights the need for the continuing support on the part of the Scottish Executive, Learning and Teaching Scotland, and the Scottish Qualifications Authority which is designed to assist schools in making their pupils aware of the richness and diversity of language, including Scots, in
introducing them to a range of Scottish literature, and in encouraging them to develop ability to understand and to communicate effectively in forms of Scots.

The Scottish Executive appreciates the valuable work carried out by the "Itchy Coo" Project. Indeed, the Executive has seen samples of the wide ranging, imaginative and colourful materials for use in schools.

The Scottish Executive considers the Scots language to be an important part of Scotland's distinctive linguistic and cultural heritage. It appreciates that Scots is a language many children bring to school and advocates the inclusion of Scots in the curriculum. However, The Executive considers that resources for the language are best provided through the education system in the teaching of a proper awareness and appreciation of the language, rather than through any specific programmes.

It is not, however, the responsibility of the Scottish Executive or Scottish Ministers to standardise the Scots language. The Executive appreciates that it is a point of weakness that the language does not have a standard written form, but different people obviously have different views. This is not a matter in which Government, not even a Scottish Government, should set about promulgating rules and laying the law.

Scottish Executive guidance for local authorities and schools advise that pupils should learn to understand and appreciate Scots language and texts in Scots. There are numerous opportunities for pupils in Scottish schools to learn Scots at all stages, including Higher English, and a wide range of learning and teaching resources have been produced to support this. Scottish Executive guidelines on initial teacher training and on teachers' Continuing Professional Development are similarly non-prescriptive.

The curriculum in Scotland is not prescribed by statute. Scottish Executive guidelines advocate the inclusion of Scots literature in the curriculum and Learning and Teaching Scotland produce teaching material in support of this inclusive policy. Guidance which the Executive gives to schools and teachers is that pupils should be encouraged to understand and appreciate writing in Scots language, whether in the classics of literature or in contemporary newspapers. They should be encouraged to develop their abilities to express themselves, whether in English or Scots.

As you will appreciate, there are a number of Language Communities in Scotland and their profile and needs vary considerably. The Scottish Executive is aware of this situation and is sympathetic to the needs of the Language Groups. For this reason the Executive has sought to address this situation in its Policy document "Partnership Agreement for a Better Scotland".

In this document the Executive agreed to develop a new focus on Scotland's languages, to introduce a National Languages Strategy to guide and develop Scotland's Languages and give Local Authorities a responsibility to draw up a Language Plan that reflects the Communities they serve.
We are aware of the support which the Northern Ireland Assembly gives to Ulster Scots and that this has resulted from a particular set of circumstances that is present in Northern Ireland. May I assure you that matters relating to Scots will be considered within the context of the Languages Strategy.

Indeed, the Executive is committed to the introduction of a National Language Strategy during the course of this Parliament which will take account of the distinctive position of different languages used in Scotland. The approach to Scots in the future will form part of that strategy. Along with other Government Departments, we shall report to the Council of Europe in June 2005 on progress to date.

I hope this letter is helpful to you.

Yours sincerely


4. CelticRadio.net (All Celtic Languages)

a h-uile duine,

This site has messageboards in several Celtic languages:

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I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 17, 2005

1. Council to Tell Ec Experts of Gaelic Development Problems (Scottish Gaelic)
2. MSP Launches Wee Book for Gaelic Festival (Scottish Gaelic)
3. Conference Celebrates Bilingual Milestone (Scottish Gaelic)
4. First Masters Degree Offered (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Word festival puts Scotland on the line (Scots)
6. Heed a Word to the wise (Scots)
7. Get subscription for Cornish World Magazine - or lose it! (Cornish)
8. Support from Gaelic Cousins and Other Skeet! (Manx Gaelic/Scottish Gaelic)

May 17, 2005

1. Council to Tell EC Experts of Gaelic Development Problems (Scottish Gaelic)

Press and Journal. 09:00 - 16 May 2005

Highland Council is to invite an expert committee from the European Commission to meet officials to hear about the problems encountered trying to develop Gaelic in the region.

The move follows growing concerns among councillors that evidence given through the Scottish Executive may be filtered before it reaches the EC officials, leaving them unaware of the serious hurdles facing the development of the language.

The committee met various public bodies, including the council, in 2003 to examine how the UK was complying with its obligations to Gaelic under the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Afterwards, it recommended that Gaelic medium primary and secondary education should be made available where the language is still used, that progress in Gaelic-medium education should be monitored, and that the Government should establish and finance a Gaelic television channel.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, chairman of the council's Gaelic select committee, said: "We must not let the executive or the Westminster Government get out of their obligations under the charter.

"Neither must they claim as their successes what we have done in the Highlands.

"We have spent a lot of our own money supporting Gaelic and we have got a lot of initiatives under way, yet we still can't get the BBC's Gaelic radio service in parts of the Highlands and Islands.

"There is no sign of a Gaelic TV service, although the committee of experts said in their report in 2004 that this should be a priority. We must be honest with the committee, even if it means that the Government gets another roasting for not fulfilling their obligations."

Council vice-convener Michael Foxley said the local authority had to get its message across early in proceedings.

He said: "When the committee was here in 2003 they complimented the council on a number of the initiatives we had taken.

"They were extremely critical of the executive over pre-school education throughout Scotland, problems within primary Gaelic-medium education and particularly serious problems in providing Gaelic-medium secondary education.

"They also criticised the way Gaelic is treated in the media, often with contempt, and the lack of knowledge of Gaelic and Highland history in the curriculum Scotland-wide.

"We have made progress on some aspects, but there is still no progress on getting more secondary Gaelic-medium teachers."

He said the council would take a twin-track approach to providing evidence to the committee.

He added: "We will send evidence through the executive, where it will almost certainly get filtered.

"But we will also get in touch with the committee and offer to meet them with written evidence, either in the Highlands, or in Brussels, if necessary.

"We need to give them information in advance so they can take that into account when they are discussing the fulfilment of the charter obligations with the Government."

Mr Fraser said he wanted the committee to be fully informed about what had been done and what was still required.

He said: "We need more resources and the Government has promised that they will fulfil their obligations.

" We are still waiting for some of these resources. We are concerned that the committee might not have got the full picture the last time they were here.

"Even now there are executive statistics on Gaelic teachers which we find questionable.

"We feel very strongly about this and we see the charter as a way of addressing our concerns."

2. MSP Launches Wee Book for Gaelic Festival (Scottish Gaelic)


This is North Scotland
in association with
The Press and Journal


09:00 - 16 May 2005

The first Festival of Gaelic made its debut in Aberdeen on Saturday, with the launch of the Wee Book of Gaelic.

It is the first book published by Wordprints, a new imprint of Aberdeen University's Word Festival, dedicated to publishing works by young people,

The Wee Book, inspired by the Great Book of Gaelic, was launched by Aberdeen Central MSP Lewis MacDonald.

The book is dedicated to the late Bob Ballantyne, who survived the Piper Alpha disaster.

His widow, Pat, was presented with a signed copy by Mr MacDonald.
It was born out of a school's project run at last year's Word Festival when Gaelic writer Anne Lorne Gillies and artist Simon Fraser worked with students from Gilcomstoun and Hazlehead primary schools' Gaelic medium units.

Ms Lorne Gillies said: "It is fantastic to be publishing a book in the Gaelic language in the north-east of Scotland.

"The students we worked with produced work of an extremely high standard inspired by the quality of the drawings and writing that had been displayed in An Leabhar Mor, The Great Book of Gaelic."

The programme for the fifth Word Festival featured an impressive line-up of some of the finest writers from Scotland, the UK and beyond, participating in a packed programme of readings, lectures, debates, children's workshops, panel discussions, visual arts exhibitions and film screenings.

The first Festival of Gaelic made its debut in Aberdeen on Saturday, with the launch of the Wee Book of Gaelic.

It is the first book published by Wordprints, a new imprint of Aberdeen University's Word Festival, dedicated to publishing works by young people,

The Wee Book, inspired by the Great Book of Gaelic, was launched by Aberdeen Central MSP Lewis MacDonald.

The book is dedicated to the late Bob Ballantyne, who survived the Piper Alpha disaster.

His widow, Pat, was presented with a signed copy by Mr MacDonald.

It was born out of a school's project run at last year's Word Festival when Gaelic writer Anne Lorne Gillies and artist Simon Fraser worked with students from Gilcomstoun and Hazlehead primary schools' Gaelic medium units.

Ms Lorne Gillies said: "It is fantastic to be publishing a book in the Gaelic language in the north-east of Scotland.

"The students we worked with produced work of an extremely high standard inspired by the quality of the drawings and writing that had been displayed in An Leabhar Mor, The Great Book of Gaelic."

The programme for the fifth Word Festival featured an impressive line-up of some of the finest writers from Scotland, the UK and beyond, participating in a packed programme of readings, lectures, debates, children's workshops, panel discussions, visual arts exhibitions and film screenings.

3. Conference Celebrates Bilingual Milestone (Scottish Gaelic)


This is North Scotland
in association with
The Press and Journal
09:00 - 16 May 2005

The growth in Gaelic education in the Highlands and Islands is to be celebrated at a conference held in Inverness and Nairn later this year.

Highland Council is organising the event, which is expected to take place in September, to mark 20 years since Gaelic medium education first started in the region.

Central Primary School, located close to the centre of Inverness, was the first school to provide a Gaelic class, with one teacher and 10 pupils in 1985.

Later the same year a bilingual primary one class was started in Portree, and in 1986 it became a Gaelic medium unit serving primary one and primary two pupils.

In the following years, Gaelic medium education was established across the region, and in the late 1980s Gaelic nursery education was also set up.

The first secondary schools catering for the language were Portree High School and Millburn Academy in 1992.

The 20th anniversary conference is also being organised to mark the enactment of the Gaelic Language Bill, due to occur this month.

A draft programme of the conference schedule includes a presentation from two people who have gone through Gaelic medium education and are now in teaching and further education.

The council's head of education, culture and sport, Bruce Robertson, will give a presentation on the last two decades of Gaelic education, while workshops will be held on Gaelic as a mother tongue and the cultural context of the language.

Plans for the conference were approved in the same week that Highland Council approved proposals to build a new Gaelic primary school at Slackbuie in Inverness.

The site will be designed to cater for up to 150 pupils.

4. First Masters Degree Offered (Scottish Gaelic)


This is North Scotland
in association with
The Press and Journal
09:00 - 16 May 2005

Students are being recruited for the first Masters degree being delivered through the medium of Gaelic.

The new postgraduate Master of Arts in Material Culture and the Environment offered by Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye has now been formally validated. The course will now run part-time from September and is available throughout the UHI network. It will be available online so students in remote areas can have access.

Individual topics could be studied instead of the entire course or students could leave after four modules with a postgraduate qualification. The material culture aspect examines the artefacts, objects, material and functional items which are held in museum collections.

5. Word festival puts Scotland on the line (Scots)


The Scotsman
Mon 16 May 2005
Top Stories

A BOOK FESTIVAL that begins with Richard Holloway and ends with Irvine Welsh promises something for everyone. Now in its fifth year, Word, the festival based at the University of Aberdeen, has what may be its richest programme ever. What's more, artistic director Alan Spence again worked some magic with the Aberdeen weather, and the old quadrangle of Kings College was bathed in spring sunshine.

The sun filtering through the long windows of the main auditorium seemed to encourage a relaxed atmosphere. University Principal Duncan Rice found to his surprise that he was wearing a tie with butterflies on it. No fewer than three writers burst into song at the podium.

More importantly, in a world where book festivals are becoming a literary milk round for promoting new titles, many writers felt sufficiently comfortable to read from unpublished work, often for the first time.

One of these was not Richard Holloway, whose lecture was remarkably similar to the one with which he closed last year's Edinburgh Book Festival. Nevertheless, it was new to this audience, who appreciated it for what it was, a sparklingly erudite analysis of the kaleidoscope of religious paradigms in the postmodern world, and the possible ways in which we approach them.

The former Bishop of Edinburgh, now head of the Scottish Arts Council, spoke of those dissident thinkers - once called "heretics" - who "disinfect society" by asking difficult questions and challenging prevailing paradigms. Perhaps he is one of these himself, coming from a unique place of theological knowledge and ecclesiastical experience, to challenge religious complacency with his own brand of transcendent humanism.

A dissident of a different kind was celebrated by the poet and professor of creative writing Robert Crawford, in a similarly erudite lecture which sought to "reintroduce" the work of Hugh MacDiarmid. While MacDiarmid's name is still a legend in Scottish literary circles, Crawford pointed out that the poet's work is barely in print today. A figure associated with nationalism, chauvinism and parochialism, he has fallen out of fashion, "a dusty icon, or an icon killed with iconoclastic respect".

Crawford suggested looking beyond the MacDiarmid of his later years, the belligerent nationalist who listed "Anglophobia" among his recreations in Who's Who. Instead he brought us MacDiarmid in his twenties and thirties, deeply aware of European modernism, a poet with an international outlook who wrote bewitchingly tender lyrics in Scots, while introducing the readers of the Montrose Review to Woolf, Eliot and Joyce.

These two bristling intellects established a powerful theme for the festival, that of taking a step back to offer a clearsighted analysis of our culture and ourselves. Andrew O'Hagan has done this in his fiction and journalism, writing about Scotland, sometimes critically, from a base in London. At Word, he read a new story set in Glasgow, full of humour and insight, which was recently published in the New Yorker. Colm Toibin looks at the distant world of Henry James in his Booker-shortlisted novel The Master, drawing us into it with his quietly lyrical prose.

David Mitchell, another Booker-shortlist author, read for the first time from his forthcoming novel Black Swan Green. In contrast to Cloud Atlas, which bridged centuries and countries with scintillating accomplishment, this concentrates on a single year in the life of 13-year-old Jason Taylor, growing up near Malvern in 1982. There was a surprise, too, for readers of AL Kennedy's work when she read for the first time from her next novel, set in a former prisoner-of-war camp in the aftermath of the Second World War, which contrasts markedly in its subject matter to her previous books.

The organisers of this year's Word excelled themselves in the thoughtful pairing of writers whose work chimed with and complimented one another: David Mitchell with friend and fellow prose virtuoso, Hari Kunzru; AL Kennedy with another writer as visceral and perceptive, Jenny Diski; Anne MacLeod, whose new novel The Blue Moon Book deals thoughtfully with love, life and language, with Sian Preece, whose warm clear-eyed fiction often looks back at her homeland of Wales, though it is written in Aberdeen.

None were better matched than Tom Leonard and Bill Duncan, a pair of dissidents who, in different ways capture elements of the Scottish psyche. Leonard is a master of the Glaswegian demotic, and a great experimentalist with language. In fine fettle, he read from new, unpublished work dealing with issues of terrorism and personal freedom, angrily political but balancing that with moving personal poetry and sharp humour. Meanwhile, Duncan, with a wry humour, brings us in The Smiling School For Calvinists and The Wee Book of Calvin, a new vision of Dundee, blending the real and the fantastical.

6. Heed a Word to the wise (Scots)



The Scotsman
Tue 17 May 2005
S2 Tuesday

IMAGINATION, Baudelaire once said, is really just a matter of establishing the secret links between things. So, he could have added, is a book festival, and so are its most fulfilling events. Take, for example, the full moon Bernard MacLaverty spotted one summer afternoon in the blue sky above Co Antrim when he was making Bye-Child, his directorial debut film which he showed and talked about at the Word Festival in Aberdeen. He told his camera crew to put it in tight focus for a long shot, and just to keep filming.

That shot's there at the end of his powerful film about an irreparably damaged childhood, overlaid with the sound of the Apollo 15 astronauts chattering away to Houston. All at once the moon is transformed: it's no longer distant, but almost reachable. In his story of human depravity set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, MacLaverty needs a symbol of how far all that is from what man is capable of. So that daytime moon comes into shot, overlaid with astronauts' techno-talk, making the point perfectly.

After the film, MacLaverty read to a hushed auditorium the poem by Seamus Heaney on which it was based. It has haunted his mind for decades. And if you want more secret links, they're webbed all over between the poem and the film, in what was possibly the starkest reminder of poetry's condensed power.

True, there was a lot of competition in Aberdeen last weekend. Festival director Alan Spence's own haikus, distilling moments of seasonal change, came close. John Burnside's poems inspired by paintings, real or imagined, have the same soft grace. Robin Robertson read poems whose diamond-drilled descriptive precision ("the sound of coals unwrapping themselves like sweets") are matched by huge emotional depth.

Not all such experiments in opening up the Word festival beyond the written word itself succeeded. Jackie Kay's poetry, especially the intensely personal poetry in her latest collection, Life Mask, already has such direct power that accompaniment by the Spontaniacs' improvised jazz seems pointless. Lucy Kendra's free-floating vocals only occasionally enhanced Kay's own delivery, but perhaps that's a fault of form not ambition: anyone improvising music to turn poetry into song in front of a live audience deserves medals for courage, but perhaps the more precise the poetry, the easier it is for such a project to fail.

Although inevitably nowhere near as widely international as its big brother festival in Edinburgh, Word does an excellent job in exploring both literature's potential and different aspects of Scottishness.

On Saturday, for example, in a discussion on the 100 best Scottish books, Andrew O'Hagan made the case for John Galt's Annals of the Parish with compelling eloquence. Galt, he said, deliberately set out to keep record the birth, in the 1830s, of a new kind of Scotland, saying goodbye to the old with the same kind of valedictory spirit Sunset Song showed a century later.

In that same hall just a day later, talking about the Lowland Clearances, Tom Devine could have used Galt to make the same point. Talking about the "mystery" of why the Lowland Clearances had been virtually forgotten, even though the scale of dispossession of land was far greater than in the Highlands, only at the end of his talk did he mention a couple of salient facts. For one thing, the cottars cleared from the land had jobs to go to and the wages they could get in doing so were higher. So what's the mystery about the fact they took them?

Devine didn't mention fiction at all, but there was plenty of traffic the other way, not least in an interesting session in which James Robertson and James Meek talked about writing fiction set in the past. Both agreed writing without the scaffolding of dates and places was harder - a conclusion Jennie Erdal agreed could apply to writing her own novel rather than being ghostwriter for someone else (in her case, the egregious publisher she calls Tiger but everyone else knows is really Naim Attallah).

My only regret is there's a whole 12 months to get through before Word 06.

2005 Scotsman.com

7. Get subscription for Cornish World Magazine - or lose it! (Cornish)


News in full
Friday, May 13, 2005

This year is a bit of a crunch year for Cornish World. The magazine is run by a charity and the powers that be have said that the publication must break even this year.

Losses have fallen from 25,000 in 2003, to 8,000 last year; so we're on the right track. However, this year it must be no losses - or else. So we're looking for another 200 subscribers.
This year editor Nigel Pengelly is attending various events and handing out back issues of Cornish World with special offer letters (subscribe now and get five issues for the price of four plus a free Kernow car sticker and a Cornish car aerial flag).

If you know of any meetings, events or occasions that he could hand these back issues out at, or know of any ways that he could entice a few more subscribers then please let him know. Cornish World is Cornwall's best magazine but not quite enough people know about it. This year is the year that people must get to know about Cornish World before it's too late.

Website: http://www.cornishworldmagazine.co.uk/

8. Support from Gaelic Cousins and Other Skeet! (Manx Gaelic/Scottish Gaelic)

Perhaps you have already seen the material written in the papers about the journey Phillie and I made to Inverness. We stayed three days there and really enjoyed our time in Scotland.

This was the first time I have visited the area and I can say that it is a place I would like to visit again in the future. We stayed with Roy Pederson, who had invited us to stay after meeting him at a place name seminar held at the museum before Christmas.

Roy is a fan of the Island and he thought it would be a good idea to arrange a trip to Inverness to speak to people who are working on behalf of Scottish Gaelic.

We met up with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is important now to make certain that a great deal will come out of our visit and this is something we have under way at the present and I am certain that there will be assistance available from the Manx Heritage Foundation for future links between Manx and Scots Gaelic speakers.

The immersion course will be held this month. This is a course arranged by the foundation which will help teachers to learn more Manx. There will be five teachers on the course - they speak Manx already but hopefully they will speak much more by the end of the week!

A training day was held at the Business School a month ago. There were 40 people present - people who work for the government. They learned some Manx, found out about the history of the language, the Bunscoill and all the work presently under way to keep the language thriving.

The Lewis Crellin stories will be published shortly. I would like to thank Stewart Bennett for his sound recordings. We want to get a small book with a CD of the recordings published together. It is important now to get more work published, which will be appropriate to both beginners and fluent speakers.

There will probably be 42 children at the Manx School in September and even though I know that not every one in the Island is a committed Gael, I am sure that the language will prosper in the years to come.
For more information on the work of the Greinneyder, contact me on 838527 or at

Adrian Cain
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Posted: 24-May-2005, 07:48 PM
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 18, 2005

1. Braid Scots Leet (Broad Scots)

May 19, 2005

2. Fis Rois Youth Music Initiative (Scottish Gaelic)
3. Gaelic Careers Seminar (Scottish Gaelic)
4. Hundreds to Gather in Skye to Debate Europe's Lesser-used Languages (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Gaelic place names - advance and retreat (Scottish Gaelic)

May 21, 2005

6. Robert Burns worth 157m a year to Scots (Broad Scots)

May 22, 2005

7. Just look at a map, but don't think at all. (Scottish Gaelic)

May 18, 2005

1. Braid Scots Leet (Broad Scots)

Fit like?
A'v juist resurrectit the leet for Scots Leid. The wabsteid is here:



May 19, 2005

2. Fis Rois Youth Music Initiative (Scottish Gaelic)

Issued by The Highland Council on behalf of Fis Rois.

Use: immediate
Issued: Tuesday, 17 May 2005

A Youth Music Initiative organised by The Highland Council and Fis Rois in Ross and Cromarty has proven so successful at Kiltearn Primary school that pupils recently put on a concert for their friends and family to demonstrate their achievements.

Kiltearn Primary School staged a concert on Thursday 12th May as part of the Youth Music Initiative. Kiltearn Primary is one of over 50 schools in Ross-shire benefiting from The Highland Council's delivery of the Youth Music Initiative, which is providing a dynamic new programme of music tuition to primary children.

Youth Music Initiative is funded by the Scottish Executive and administered by the Scottish Arts Council. In the past two years, The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service has worked with Highland Fisean to deliver a new programme of traditional music visits to every Primary School in the Region. The Youth Music Initiative scheme aims to `ensure that by 2006, every primary school pupil should have access to at least one year's free tuition by the time they reach Primary Six.

Fisean will continue their delivery in the forthcoming academic year and all Highland primaries will also receive additional input from other new schemes which are awaiting funding approval at the moment.

Fis Rois co-ordinate the YMI scheme in Ross-shire, Caithness, Inverness and Nairn, where schools are offered four week blocks of tin whistle, group work, Gaelic song or children's song. This term alone has reached over 1500 pupils with even more schools poised to benefit in the next four weeks.

Kiltearn Primary's block of `children's song' was so successful that friends and family were invited to attend a small concert in the school. The children sang a number of playground songs that had been taught to them by tutor Lilian Ross. The performance incorporated skipping and games traditionally associated with many of the songs.

Fis Rois Education Officer, Chris Rasdale, said: "The Youth Music Initiative has had a fantastic response from everyone involved. It's amazing to see the enthusiasm of the children and how quickly they pick up these traditional songs."

For more information please contact Chris Rasdale, Fis Rois Education Officer on 01349 862600 or Norman Bolton, Music Development Officer for Highland Council on 01349 863441. -ends-

Date Last updated : 17/05/05

3. Gaelic Careers Seminar (Scottish Gaelic)

ISSUED: Wednesday, 18 May 2005

A seminar is being held today (Wednesday 18th May, 2005) at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness to promote the career opportunities available in Gaelic.

Organised by The Highland Council and co-hosted by Careers Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the seminar is aimed at careers advisers to ensure that they are aware of the increasing career options available now in Gaelic.

Catriona Eagle, Director of Careers Scotland (HIE Area) is chairing the event and speakers include: Allan Campbell, Chief Executive of Brd na Gidhlig; Donnie MacDonald, Highland Council's Head of Education, and D J MacLeod, Highland Council's Quality Development Officer (Gaelic), who will be speaking about the strategic context of Gaelic in employment.

Discussing careers in education will be: Christina Walker, University of Aberdeen; Boyd Robertson, Strathclyde University; Donella Beaton, Cnan & Sabhal Mr Ostaig (UHI); and for broadcasting and the arts Margaret Mary Murray, Gaelic Department, BBC Scotland; Donald Iain Brown, Managing Editor, Production Talent, BBC Scotland; and Malcolm MacLean, Priseact nan Ealan will be speaking.

Catriona Macintyre, Early Years and Childcare with The Highland Council will talk about careers in caring services and Alasdair MacLeod, Culture & Youth Development Manager with HIE will talk about economic and political development and Flora MacLean on Tourism.

Finally, Morag Anna MacLeod, Highland Council's Gaelic Development Officer and Alastair McCallum with the Scottish Parliament will talk about careers in national and local government.

The seminar initially grew out of a request by Highland Council's Gaelic Select Committee to help address the shortage of Gaelic Medium teachers.
Around thirty delegates are attending the seminar including 11 teachers from Highland and 2 from the Western Isles representing Culloden Academy; Plockton High School; Ardnamurchan High School; Gairloch High; Portree High School; Millburn Academy; Lochaber High School; Nicolson Institute; Inverness Royal Academy; Tain Royal Academy; Sgoil Lionacleit; Dingwall Academy; and Ullapool High School. The other delegates include representatives from Careers Scotland and ScottishJobs.com.


For further information please contact: D.J. MacLeod, Quality Development Officer, The Highland Council, Education, Culture and Sport Service, (01349) 868214

4. Hundreds to Gather in Skye to Debate Europe's Lesser-used Languages (Scottish Gaelic)



This is North Scotland
in association with
The Press and Journal

09:00 - 19 May 2005

Around 200 delegates are expected to descend on Skye next year to attend the annual forum of the European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages.

Councillor Hamish Fraser is attending this year's forum in Gorizia in Italy to deliver the formal invitation but the bureau has already indicated it will hold the meeting at the Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, in Skye.

The bureau brings together representatives of the 40m people in the European Union who speak a minority language and it advises the European Commission on policies to promote linguistic and cultural diversity.

Councillor Fraser said there were a range of benefits to be gained from holding the forum in Skye next year.

"There will be an obvious economic benefit from having around 200 people coming into the community. They will also get the chance to see Gaelic being used in the south of Skye. In fact if it wasn't for Gaelic, this part of the community might well be devoid of people now, but the community is in fact thriving.

"They will learn more about the language and about the problems we face in getting support for it, particularly in the important sphere of education," he said.

He said that his own trip to Italy would also help raise the profile of Gaelic in advance of next year's meeting.

"There is still work to be done to inform people about Gaelic, that it is a living language and an important part of the culture of Scotland. As delegates change and new countries come into the EU, it is important that people learn about the language, because some of the delegates at the forum last year, were unaware that Gaelic still existed in Scotland.

"It also helps to mark out the Highlands and Islands and indeed the whole of Scotland as distinct regions of the EU.

"Our hope is that through these contacts we can get help from other delegates in generating more support from the EC for the language," he said.

5. Gaelic place names - advance and retreat (Scottish Gaelic)

Glaschu / Glasgow 5/19/2005 , by Martainn MacLeid

The use of Gaelic place names in signage and other official matters has seen both advance and retreat in recent days.

A new report commissioned by the Scottish Executive, "Review of First Impressions of Scotland: Report to Ministers" recommends that bilingual welcome signs should be erected at main points of entry to the country such as major ports, airports and railway stations where appropriate.

According to the study, bilingual signage would show tourists and other travellers that they are entering a unique country with a strong heritage. It is believed that measures such as this would encourage more people to visit Scotland. The Executive have agreed that they will encourage the development of such signs as recommended. It is unclear at this stage, however, how many bilingual signs will be erected and where.

Two local authorities in the Highlands have also taken recent steps to encourage Gaelic names in official use. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the council serving the most strongly Gaelic-speaking area, has recommended that new council wards in the Western Isles should have Gaelic names when local government boundaries are re-drawn. In the Highland Council area, more Gaelic signs are to be erected as a result of their new Gaelic plan.

The new Gaelic plan encourages bilingual road signs, street signs and signs on council buildings and schools throughout the council area. When old signs are replaced, monolingual English signs are to be replaced with new bilingual signs.

Although the council has strengthened its Gaelic policy, however, there is a significant loophole. Local area committees of the council may opt-out of Gaelic signage if they feel that the cultural history of the area has "less of a Gaelic base". To date, Caithness has voted against Gaelic signs and the Inverness Area Committee have made it clear that they only wish to see Gaelic signs in the city centre. There are also signs that the Nairn area may opt out of Gaelic signage.

The Highlands' main road the A9, which runs from Perth to Inverness and Thurso, has also been a cause of controversy. Despite being the most important and busiest road in the Highlands, the Scottish Executive have refused permission to erect Gaelic signs. The Executive's policy stages that on trunk roads, bilingual signage should be erected only where roads lead to west coast ferry ports and or go through Gaelic communities. This decision has angered language activists and many councillors.

These decisions and the absence of an overarching strategy have left a very uneven situation with regards to Gaelic signage in the Highlands.

According to place-names expert and language activist Iain Mac an Tilleir, "Given that so many local councils and public bodies suffer from a lack of impetus and self-esteem with regard to Gaelic signage, there's a real need to prepare and implement a national language policy and plan, including the use of Gaelic place names, and therefore Brd na Gidhlig's presence is to be welcomed. Scotland has a great deal to learn from progressive, civilised countries like Wales, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland vis--vis signage and accepting its heritage".
(Eurolang 2005)

May 21, 2005

6. Robert Burns worth 157m a year to Scots (Broad Scots)


The Scotsman
Sat 21 May 2005

ROBERT Burns is contributing 3 million a week to the Scottish economy more than 200 years after his death, experts said yesterday.

They have calculated his brand value at 157 million a year. Two-thirds of that comes from tourism, with Ayrshire getting most of the benefit.

The Moffat Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University was commissioned to prepare the study on how the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth could be used to boost tourism and encourage Scots to return to Scotland.
The report says: "It is clear that the potential for 2009 is significant, yet Robert Burns has to be embraced by a population who remain distant from their national literary figure."

But that could be overcome by effective marketing and a "realistic" sequence of events.

2005 Scotsman.com

May 22, 2005

7. Just look at a map, but don't think at all. (Scottish Gaelic)


Scotland on Sunday
Sun 22 May 2005

Murchadh MacLeoid

They hadn't a clue.

The creation of the Argyll and Clyde Health Board was proof number 1,823 that men in suits in their Edinburgh and Glasgow castles just don't understand the Highlands and the Gaels.

They saw on the map that Argyll and some of Inverclyde and Renfrew looked near to each other. By the way, it is interesting to examine those place names and then reflect on the fact the Gaelic language was never in those areas, but that is something else altogether.

Anyway, they looked near to each other an so they were lumped together. It did not seem to matter that places which were as diverse as Tiree and Paisley now belonged together. It didn't seem to matter that the people of Argyll looked to Glasgow for public services much more than they looked to Paisley.

It was always a strange blend. If anything, the change that happened last week should have taken place a long time ago. the situation was madness.

An example: Oban is on the northern tip of the Argyll and Clyde boundaries, and the Board thought of closing Oban hospital.

Fort William is at the southern tip of the Highland Health Board area, and the Highland Board thought about closing the local hospital, the Belford.

The people of Oban would have had to travel 80 miles to Dunbarton to get to a hospital. The people of Fort William would have had to go 65 to get to Raigmore in Inverness.
As it happened, the two remained open after the communities created uproar over the proposed closures.

But it now looks as if Oban will be a part of the new extended Highland Health Board, and that the Oban and Fort William hospitals will be merged together, still keeping the two buildings - still with facilities in the two towns - but with some services split between the two.

This is what the government never seemed to grasp during the election when they wondered why the people of the Highlands were so [deaf] to their refrain about "schools and hospitals and public services."

When Mr Blair would appear on television to tell how he had to raise the level of National Insurance in order to pay for the health service, all he did was enrage people in the rural areas. Because the taxes are all being paid, we suffer with crazy prices for petrol, while ministers tell us that we should be thankful for how generous they have been in bestowing such goodness upon us for our benefit.

There was no word of the fact that the "schools and hospitals" which they were on about were being cut.

But what happened with the Board will cause many to worry. Highland Health Board is not exactly drowning money and they have been considering cutting down on services in Caithness and Sutherland. If the Highland board does not receive the extra money to deal with its new duties it will soon encounter more troubles.

At least they should be a little more familiar with the sort of area they will be dealing with. Although Inverness and Tiree and very dissimilar at least many of the areas serviced by the Highland board are much like Tiree than they are like Paisley.

But a lot of damage has already been done.

Take Lochgilphead for example. Although a new hospital is being built there, the new development will not make up for the cut in provision for the elderly in the town.

The new building will not have the capacity of the old one for the elderly, meaning that elderly people needing care will have to travel much further.

There will be concern now about which board might be next to fall into the same crisis as happened to Argyll and Clyde.

But the biggest question has to be over what now for health boards and can they continue to exist in their current form.

Is it right for a government, which is elected, to body-swerve decisions about health and hospitals and leave it to teams of people who have not been elected?
I am not saying that I know that answer. There is little attractive in the plans from some to have elected health boards. We have European elections, Westminster elections, Holyrood polls, council elections and even votes for community councils. Do we really need more?

In a few days the heath minister Andy Kerr, will appear before the media to talk about all the efforts being made to tackle waiting lists and waiting times. If he manages to make any progress, he will expect praise. He will have earned it.

But just how correct is it that ministers and senior officials in the health service can avoid all responsibility for how rural health services are being cut back?

It is not good enough to try and portray ministers as riding to the rescue to save the people from the health board enemy who was doing little other than fulfilling policies which have been drawn up for them.

They are elected to deal with policies. They should be taking the responsibility for what happens.

2005 Scotsman.com
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 23, 2005

1. Festival Countdown (General)
2. Gaelic's boom can continue 'if teacher shortage is resolved' (Scottish
3. Welsh Language Society wants new Act to help locals buy homes (Welsh)

May 23, 2005

1. Festival Countdown (General)

Date: Sat, 21 May 2005 06:05:36 +0100
Subject: Festival Countdown
From: "Festival Team"

With just 12 weeks to go till the biggest party the islands have ever seen, we hope you've booked your tickets to the Hebridean Celtic Festival 2005.

Booking opened on 3 May and already we have sold over 60% of capacity. The first day of sales saw tickets winging off to far flung places such as Alaska, Japan, South Africa, all around Europe, US and Canada, an overwhelming response but deserved we feel. The islands have a special attraction around the globe and we look forward to welcoming all to the 10th Hebridean Celtic Festival.
In true celebratory fashion we have just put the finishing touches to a fabulous compilation CD that will be available shortly from www.hebceltfest.com or from the festival shop. A fine selection of past performers featuring stars such as Runrig, Hothouse Flowers, Afrocelts, Mary Smith, Slinte Mhath, La Bottine Souriante, Dchas and many, many more. With 17 tracks this compilation will be a fine addition to your collection. More news of that soon.

And finally, news just in. We've just heard that Loganair are laying on an additional flight on Sunday for festival-goers who have to be back for Monday morning. If you haven't booked your flights yet check out www.ba.com.


The Festival Team


2. Gaelic's boom can continue 'if teacher shortage is resolved' (Scottish Gaelic)

The Scotsman
Mon 23 May 2005


THE growth of Gaelic education has been faster than anyone predicted and can improve further if it is promoted properly and a teacher shortage is resolved, it has been claimed.

Boyd Robertson, senior lecturer in Gaelic at Strathclyde University, made the claim amid plans to mark the 20th anniversary of the first classes taught in Gaelic with a conference organised by Highland Council.

The first Gaelic medium education (GME) units opened in Inverness and Glasgow in 1985 with just over 20 pupils.

This year, 2,008 children are being taught through Gaelic in 61 primary schools and 307 in 18 secondaries, with another 638 youngsters in 60 pre-school nurseries.

Scotland's only all-Gaelic primary, in Glasgow, expects to have a roll of 200 next session, while a new school for three to 18-year-olds will open in the city next year. An all-Gaelic primary is also planned for Inverness to cater for 150 pupils.

Mr Robertson said: "I don't think many people would have predicted in 1985, when the first GME units opened, that there would be almost 3,000 pupils in Scottish schools being educated in Gaelic within a 20-year period.

"There may be some disappointment that the rapid growth in the early years has not been maintained for a variety of reasons, such as a failure by some local authorities to promote GME and a difficulty in recruiting teachers in areas of the Highlands. But it is worth noting that the development of GME has taken place within a context of falling school rolls, particularly in recent years."

Mr Robertson said GME has succeeded because it was and is a grass-roots, parent-led and parent-driven initiative. "The system can continue to develop at all levels providing measures are taken to address the teacher recruitment issue and authorities become more proactive in promoting and marketing the brand," he added.

"There is great scope for extending the provision of GME at secondary level into new geographical areas, into a wider range of school subjects and to a wider range and higher level of SQA examinations."

2005 Scotsman.com

3. Welsh Language Society wants new Act to help locals buy homes (Welsh)


Penygroes 5/23/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

According to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society), it is essential to have a Property Act to alleviate the problem of a lack of affordable houses in Welsh speaking areas. Recently, Cymdeithas yr Iaith launched a public consultation period on the contents of its Property Act policy document. Over the last few months, its Policy Group has reviewed the contents of the document giving attention to recent developments in the fields of housing and planning across Britain. House prices in Wales, on average, are five times the average wage.

The document deals with every aspect of the housing crisis in Wales, and attempts to offer answers to problems such as sky-high prices, lack of housing for rent and housing developments that are harmful to the language.

"Since the Property Act document was first published [first in 1992 and revised in 1999], we have seen numerous schemes and policies being offered with the aim of trying to respond to the challenge of offering affordable housing to local people," said Huw Lewis on behalf the society's Property Act Group. "We are confident that Cymdeithas' activities in this field has contributed to such developments. But, the biggest weakness in all these plans is that none of them offer any measure of control over the housing market, as well as over the harmful effects of that market on the Welsh language."

Amongst the measures offered in the document are the proposal to freeze house prices and to give priority to local people. Such an act would require local authorities to carry out research to see what properties are available and to assess the housing needs in their areas. Cymdeithas yr Iaith wants the Welsh Assembly to give money and power to local authorities to enable them to buy properties and to formulate a local housing strategy. The Property Act would, according to the society, establish a three band system; one for local people, for semi-locals and open. Priority would be given to locals so that they could compete in the local housing market and to stay in their communities. Cymdeithas yr Iaith wants property to be offered to local authorities before being offered to people from outside the area.

"The aim of a Property Act would be to offer a measure of control over the housing market, so that will be possible to satisfy the needs of the people of Wales for housing, a therefore contribute to securing the sustainability of local communities and the Welsh language," added Huw Lewis.

"We cannot escape from the effects of the housing market. Therefore, if we are serious about offering answers to the housing crisis that our communities face, we must ensure a reasonable and balanced discussion on the suitability of extending an element of control over this market. By launching this consultative period on the contents of a Property Act, we hope that we can promote such a discussion."

Copies of the booklet were sent to every Welsh member of the British Parliament and to all the members of the National Assembly. The society wants the Assembly to introduce a Property Act for Wales so that the Welsh speaking communities can be protected. The Assembly cannot pass any Property Act - or any other act at the moment, although there is pressure on the Labour Party, which rules both the British Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, to give more powers to the Assembly. It would be necessary to gain the support of the Labour Party in the Welsh Assembly for such an act and then ask the British Parliament to pass an act, either specifically for Wales or for the whole of Britain, as a number of other areas in Britain suffer from a lack of affordable housing for locals - although the language is not an issue in these areas.

Although there is support for a Property Act within Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, because the Labour Party is mainly an urban-based party it is not much concerned with this problem, and the Conservative Party opposes any such act as it believes that it is the free market that should determine house prices.

The consultation period on the contents of the Property Act document will last until the end of July 2005. (Eurolang 2005)
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Sorry if I'm replying in the wrong place, but I just want to respond to this news about the Property Act.

Near my area, a housing village was recently opened. It was firstly opened to locals only or decendents of locals. They would get a low price for the houses on Britain's first "area of outstanding natural beauty (AON)", the Gower peninsula. They had to prove the eligibility for the houses and those left over were sold to whomever.

When the remaining houses were sold, the other owners realised how much their homes were actually worth and ended up selling their homes to "foreigners" anyway. Making a huge profit, they have left the Gower and Gower still remains to be an English resort.

Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf im gwlad
Tra mr yn fur
I'r bur hoff bau
O bydded ir heniaith barhau
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Traitors. Some people do anything for personal gain.

Weithiau, mae'r ateb i'n problemau o dan ein trwynau, dim ond bod angen i ni gymryd cam yn l ac edrych eto. - Stuart Kerner
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QUOTE (Siarls @ 27-May-2005, 01:36 PM)
Sorry if I'm replying in the wrong place, but I just want to respond to this news about the Property Act.

Hi Siarls! Posting here is fine! Actually, its great! biggrin.gif I've been posting these news items for a while and your's is the very first comment I've ever gotten on one! I was starting to get a little discouraged, wondering if anyone was reading them at all!
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I thought maybe it was a news only section and have been tempted to reply before, but the lack of replies discouraged me. I'll go read some more, make some more comments!!!!!!!!!! biggrin.gif
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 27, 2005

1. Scottish Gaelic in decline in rural and urban strongholds (Scottish Gaelic)
2. 5th Partnership for Diversity forum underlines added value of lesser-used
languages (Languages, General)
3. Council Fears over Bord Na Gaidhlig (Scottish Gaelic)

May 27, 2005

1. Scottish Gaelic in decline in rural and urban strongholds (Scottish Gaelic)
Glaschu/Glasgow 5/25/2005 , by Martainn MacLeid

The position of Scottish Gaelic is weakening significantly in both town and country according to two newly released research papers.

The first of these reports, produced by the Western Isles Language Plan project, investigates the position of Gaelic in the Outer Hebrides using both census data and a large scale language use survey of the population. The results provide a detailed picture of the language skills of island residents, of the actual use of Gaelic in the family and community and of the views of residents on present provision for and future development of the language.

The study shows that the proportion of Gaelic speakers in the islands has declined from around 70% in 1991 to just under 60% in 2001. Gaelic has significantly weakened in the family with 8 out of 10 of the children of respondents mainly or always speaking English to each other. Levels of intergenerational transmission are very low and only 27% of residents with school age children had chosen schooling through the medium of Gaelic. In the community too, a decline of the level of Gaelic usage was apparent amongst respondents with Gaelic being used "frequently" by respondents only 30% of the time on average. On a more positive note, however, the survey identified very positive attitudes towards Gaelic and found that over half of non-speakers were interested in learning.

The Western Isles Language Plan project, which is a partnership between Gaelic agencies, the local authority and Lews Castle College amongst others, aims to use the research findings to develop a language use strategy, marketing campaign, language learning strategy and to expand Gaelic education. Through doing so, they aim to strengthen Gaelic in the family and community and to increase the number of Gaelic speakers.

According to language activist and parent Kirsty Lamb from North Uist, the disturbing findings of the report are justified: "There is no doubt that the Gaelic language in the Uists (particularly North Uist) is in a precarious state. It is imperative that the relevant bodies recognise this. In my opinion the first step towards this is to ensure that more support is given to Gaelic-medium Education in pre-school and primary school years. The language will only survive if our children can speak it."

Only 12% of children on the island attend Gaelic medium education at present and pre-school provision is currently under threat due to a lack of premises.

A recent research report by Dr Wilson McLeod of Edinburgh University on the position of Gaelic has painted a similarly bleak picture of Gaelic use in Scotland's capital. This study, based on a questionnaire study of fluent speakers, shows very low levels of use in the family, of intergenerational transmission and of language use in the community in Edinburgh.

In the family, 84% of respondents who were in a couple had a non-Gaelic-speaking partner. Over 40% of the children of respondents were not Gaelic speakers and a large majority of the school age children were not being educated through the medium of Gaelic. While 37% used Gaelic every day, as many as 17% used Gaelic only once a week or less frequently. Public and social opportunities to use the language were few and infrequent.

According to Dr McLeod: "Like the recent research in the Western Isles, this research shows that Gaelic is in a seriously weak state. Unfortunately, there is no plan or strategy to try to deal with these problems here in Edinburgh, unlike in the Western Isles where they have an important initiative to implement changes based on what they've learned from their research. We urgently need a strategic initiative of this kind here in Edinburgh." (Eurolang 2005)

2. 5th Partnership for Diversity forum underlines added value of lesser-used languages (Languages, General)

http://www.eurolang.net/news.asp?id=5033Gurize/ Gorizia/ Gorica/ Grz 5/24/2005 , by Davyth Hicks

The 5th Partnership for Diversity (PfD) forum was held in Gorizia in the multilingual region of Friuli over the weekend. The forum, which facilitates the growth of trans-European partnerships, concentrated on the added value and social capital benefits of lesser used languages.

The forum gathered a host of experts from across Europe to a region unique in its multilingualism, where Friulan, Slovene, Italian and German are spoken. The Mayor of Gorizia, Vittorio Brancati, spoke how the region had made "multiculturalism its flag".

Roberto Antonaz, regional councillor for Culture and Education, highlighted how Gorizia, divided by a state border, was like a "living workshop on language minority issues", which gives birth to new ideas. He emphasised how "minority languages gave the region added value" and that "diversity and bilingualism are a great opportunity in the new Europe going against the European project merely being based on the requirements of banks."

The Mayor of Nova Goriza described how linguistic diversity helped to "dilute the border" and that the area is an "European laboratory for cross border cooperation."

EBLUL President Neasa N Chinneide echoed the other speakers underlining the value of true linguistic diversity and how the continent was "not just a Europe of banks" and that "creativity was needed everywhere." She added how EBLUL's role in that respect was to "link together people from across Europe to give them heart and strength to face the challenges ahead."

Speaking in Friulan, Pier Carlo Begotti, pointed out how "before language had been used to divide people in Friuli. Now to defend a language is to defend the community of mankind."

German-speaking representative Velia Plozner pointed out that German used to be despised but now their language is seen as a wealth.

Several speakers such as Giorgio Brandolin, president of the province of Gorizia, criticised the lack of progress with the implementation of Italian language law 482, but that he remained optimistic. He described how Gorizia "was multicultural but events and tragedies in World War One and Two had destroyed years of multicultural best practice. The border had gone through the middle of the city, through gardens, through cemetries. Both sides were to blame. Linguistic minorities suffered because of the negligence of Italy and Yugoslavia". He emphasised how "everyone belonged to a single culture - the culture of Gorizia... Difficulties are driven by the fear of the administration at the state level to language diversity", adding that "now these fears are being defeated".

He concluded that "our area is a bridge and language communities are a bridge. This is an important element for a united Europe."

Plenary speaker Meirion Prys Jones from the Welsh Language Board discussed the pre-eminent importance of engaging young people in the language regeneration effort and the Board's efforts to encourage this. He described how language communities need to be proactive and interventionist in their efforts and that in some domains a lesser used language may not be
self-sustaining at all in the way that majority languages are. He emphasised the importance of the music scene for Welsh and the infrastructure that goes with it. He pointed out that in majority language areas "young people don't open night clubs, old people do", underlining the need for language communities to intervene where necessary.

The Forum continued with workshops and debates in Gorizia and Nova Goriza. Friday saw a talk on the ongoing success of the Interreg III project in the area with Maurizio Tremul, president of the Italian Union in Slovenia and Croatia, highlighting the positive effects that these programmes are having on language, culture and cross border relations in the face of "fast food and globalization which was threatening minority culture".

The Occitan Lengua Olimpica NGO outlined their case for Occitan to be have maximum visibility at the Winter Olympics - for which the Forum gave them a resolution of support.

The Forum concluded in the Friulan capital Udin (Udine) where the provincial President Mr Strassoldo described Udin's ongoing re-Friulisation effort taking on a group of Friulan, but also Slovene and German speaking staff, to promote the languages. They aim to increase the use of Friulan in administration, on signage, and are currently sponsoring a news programme in Friulan "Telefriuli".

The forum, organised by EBLUL's PfD chief Johan Haggman, moves to Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, Scotland next year. (Eurolang 2005)


The Press and Journal. 09:00 - 26 May 2005

Highland councillors have expressed concern that the Gaelic development agency Bord na Gaidhlig will not be able to fulfil the responsibilities placed on it by the Gaelic Language Act 2005.

Councillors have questioned if the bord will have enough personnel and finances to oversee Gaelic-medium education, an educational function which, uniquely for Gaelic, has been removed from the local authorities.

The council wanted this function to be an express responsibility for ministers, but instead, the act places the oversight of Gaelic-medium education in the bord's remit.

Council vice-convener Michael Foxley said: "The council tried to amend the bill to ensure that Gaelic education and a national Gaelic education strategy should be the responsibility of the minister. He declined to accept that and despite our best efforts, responsibility now lies solely withBord na Gaidhlig.

"There is concern that this is too big a task for the bord. It will mean joining the pre-school sector all the way up to the careers service, including schools and guidance teachers, and higher and further education. This would ensure that there is a cohesive education strategy which would for example solve the problem of the complete lack of Gaelic-medium secondary teachers."
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

I would like to acknowledge that these articles come from the following mailing list:


This is an excellent news service and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Celtic Languages.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues relating to the preservation and advancement of the Celtic Languages. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 28, 2005

1. Focus (Scottish Gaelic)
2. New Cornish Language News Website (Cornish)
3. Bill Findlay (Scots)
4. Skye Poet Wins International Award (Scottish Gaelic)
5. New Book and New Portrait (Scottish Gaelic)
6. Scottish Gaelic in North America (Scottish Gaelic)

May 28, 2005

1. Focus (Scottish Gaelic)

West Highland Free Press. 27th May, 2005.
By Brian Wilson.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for the 'Guardian' about the status of Gaelic and, in particular, the case for a Gaelic television channel equivalent to S4C and Telefios na Gaelige in Wales and Ireland respectively.

The house style of the 'Guardian' is to carry an email address at the foot of the article. This can be something of a nuisance. I have woken to find 500 email messages awaiting me from parts of the world that have received the paper on-line before Britain has had its breakfast.
On the other hand, it is a great way of getting feedback from people you would not normally hear from. My article on Gaelic received about 100 responses, most of them sympathetic and a few of them worth sharing with a wider audience in order to confirm that interest in, and support for, the language is by no means confined to its own back yard.

In practical terms, the best outcome resulted from the director of the National Extension College in Cambridge, Alison West, being moved to respond. The article, she said, had pricked her conscience for she knew that the college used to offer a distance-learning Gaelic course but had ceased to do so some years ago. Maybe it was time to start again.

Actually, I remember the National Extension College course and particularly the use made of it by the late Jake Macdonald. So I put her in touch with Sabhal Mor Ostaig and, the last I heard, agreement had been reached between these two bodies to resume delivery of a Gaelic learners' course through the National Extension College.

I also discovered that the Liverpool Mathematical Society "is just about to publish its latest Roadshow CD complete with everything in Scots Gaelic as well as Welsh and French". Actually, they need a small amount of money to complete the project and Dr Ian Porteous in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Liverpool University would be pleased to hear from you - whether mathematician or benefactor - at .

Then there is the Gaelic language group for Spanish speakers run by Luis Sebastian Stuart- ennington who wanted to translate and distribute my article among his list of learners. The group's motto, which should apply equally in Scotland or to any language, is: " 'S fhearr Gaidhlig bhriste na Gaighlig sa chiste". (Better broken Gaelic than Gaelic in the coffin). They can be contacted at .

Micheal Klevenhaus sent me an email from Bonn describing his work as "the only Gaelic teacher in Germany" running a school where around 60 people are now learning the language. For the past three summers, he has taken his students to a summer school in South Uist and he also broadcasts from Germany for Radio nan Gaidheal. He can be contacted on aelisch.de .

"There should be more such politicians to give support to one of the oldest and richest languages in Europe," said Micheal. As an ex-politician, I couldn't agree more! Of course, the 'Guardian' being the 'Guardian', there were a few erudite readers who were less sympathetic and indeed not satisfied with my description of Gaelic as "an indigenous language" worthy of support. "Gaelic was imported from Ireland and replaced the indigenous Cymric," I was informed by Julian Cheyne.

In Scotland, he continued, the Scottish Celts from Ireland "caused the demise of the culture and people who preceded them. Gaelic in Scotland cannot be compared to Gaelic in Ireland where it really is an indigenous language and represents, in historical terms, the core community". So Gaelic might be old and rich but for at least one 'Guardian' reader not old and rich enough to count as an "indigenous language"!
Maybe I can tag on to this resum the unrelated matter of my correspondence with the European Commission office in Edinburgh. Last year, I wrote to the Commission's representative in Scotland, Elizabeth Holt, pointing out that her counterpart offices in both Wales and Ireland make extensive use of the indigenous - sorry, Julian - Celtic languages in their signage and literature.

Her own office, in contrast, does nothing. In light of the forthcoming Scottish Parliament legislation on Gaelic, I asked politely, would she arrange for the Edinburgh office of the Commission to make similar arrangements for the use of the language?

By February, I had received no reply so I wrote again. This time, I got an emailed response from Ms Holt's secretary at the European Commission office in Edinburgh "sincerely apologising" for the delay in replying and promising: "We will get back to you shortly." On 5th May, I ceased to be an MP so I reckon that I have even less chance of getting the courtesy of a reply now if I was unable to elicit one before that date.

Elizabeth Holt is doubtless so overburdened with work -isn't Edinburgh just one long round of cocktail receptions these days? - that she could not possibly find time in the space of nine months to answer a civil inquiry of this kind, far less do anything about the substance of the matter. But just in case anyone feels like reminding her, her e-mail address is .

Nice to think that she would be annoyed by at least as many emails as I was pleased to receive in response to a pro-Gaelic article in the 'Guardian'!

2. New Cornish Language News Website: (Cornish)


3. Bill Findlay (Scots)

MARTIN BOWMAN. The Herald. May 23 2005

Bill Findlay, translator and scholar; born June 11, 1947, died May 15, 2005.

When Bill Findlay died on May 15, he left an enormous legacy to Scotland. For a quarter of a century, he worked both as a translator and critic and made an unparalleled and unique contribution to Scottish theatre.

Born the fifth of six children in Culross, Fife, Bill attended Dunfermline High School and left home in 1965 to begin work as a civil servant in London. He returned to Scotland in 1970 to attend Newbattle Abbey College, spending two years there before going on to Stirling University, where he graduated with a first class honours degree in English in 1976.
Bill and I met in Edinburgh in 1978 when we were both postgraduate students at Edinburgh University. Professor John MacQueen, my adviser at the School of Scottish Studies, suggested that I should meet the other student who was researching John Galt, the Scottish novelist and Canadian colonist. That student was Bill Findlay. What drew us together then was our shared interest in the Scots language.

We met on a November evening and walked about Edinburgh, settling finally to a meal at the Falcon Pub in Bruntsfield. It was at our very first meeting that the project to translate Quebec plays into Scots began. We talked that night about language and national identity in Scotland and Quebec. Bill asked me if there was a play we might translate from Qubcois French into Scots. I said there was, and we set about to translate Michel Tremblay's ground-breaking play, Les Belles-Soeurs, which we called The Guid Sisters.

Although an excerpt was published in Cencrastus, the Scottish literary magazine that Bill co- ounded in 1979, the play languished in the offices of Scottish theatres until 1987, when Tom McGrath presented a reading at the Edinburgh Fringe. Professor Ian Lockerbie of Stirling University then invited Bill and myself to speak about the translation at a conference on Theatre and Cinema in Scotland and Quebec. As a result, Michael Boyd, then director of the Tron Theatre, mounted a production at Mayfest in 1989, the first of many to come.

"Bill found a release and a voice for himself in the work of Michel Tremblay and in return, he gave Tremblay his finest voice outside francophonie," said Boyd.

"In the process, Scotland gained a major playwright, and a renewed confidence in its own indigenous theatrical vocabulary." Between 1989 and 2003, eight Scots Tremblays were produced at such theatres as the Tron, the Traverse, Perth Theatre and the Royal Lyceum. It was a source of great pride to Bill that these Scots translations travelled to London, Long Island, Toronto, and, most wonderfully, to Montreal, where the Tron's production of The Guid Sisters went home to play at the Centaur Theatre as part of the city's 350th anniversary celebrations. Two of these plays, The House among the Stars and Solemn Mass for a Full Moon in Summer, had greater success in Scotland than in Quebec. John Linklater, then at The Herald, wrote of The House among the Stars: "This play speaks intimately to the Scottish soul."

Bill and I translated three other Quebec plays, one of which, Jeanne-Mance Delisle's The Reel of the Hanged Man, was produced by Stellar Quines in 2000. Additionally, Bill adapted a number of other plays into Scots, among them Gerhart Hauptmann's The Weavers, a co-production of Dundee Rep and Glasgow Tramway.

Bill was awarded his PhD in 2000 and held a readership in the School of Drama and Creative Industries, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. His contribution to Scottish theatre studies was substantial. He edited and contributed the first chapter to The History of Scottish Theatre (1998). He also edited Scots Plays of the Seventies (2001), Frae Ither Tongues: Essays on Modern Translations into Scots (2004), and (with John Corbett) Serving Twa Maisters: An Anthology of Scots Translations of Classic Plays, which was published on May 20 as the annual volume of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies.
Bill had an encyclopaedic knowledge of and a passionate interest in all aspects of Scottish culture, but he never failed to look beyond national boundaries to understand and interpret the Scottish experience. This is most evident in his theatre translations where he exploded the myth that Scots language can only be used to present a Scottish world. He demonstrated the capacity of the language to go beyond the particularities of Scottish life to embody the common human experience. He is survived by his wife, Jessica Burns, and his daughters, Hannah and Martha.


Sabhal Mor Ostaig News Release.

A Skye-based writer has won a major prize at an Irish international poetry competition.

Rob Kerr (Rob MacIlleChiar), a former writer-in-residence at Sabhal Mr Ostaig, scooped the top award in the Gaelic verse category of the 16th Annual File Filochta organised by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

The competition attracted over 6000 entrant poems in nine languages, including Irish Gaeilge, English, French, German, Italian, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.

Rob beat off strong competition to take the first prize of 800 Euros in the Gaelic section, notably from Meg Bateman, who took second place, and former Scottish Writer of the Year Aonghas Macneacail, who finished in the bronze medal slot.

These results confirmed Sabhal Mr Ostaig's established connections with this award - Bateman is a lecturer at the Gaelic College and Macneacail is also one of its former sgrobhadairean (writers-in-residence). Indeed, since the Scottish Gaelic category at the File Filochta was first introduced seven years ago; only one winner has not been linked to Sabhal Mr Ostaig.

Kerr's winning entry, 'iteachadh' ('Dwelling'), is in its author's established style of shorter verse. As well as his own individual work, Rob Kerr has also specialised in translating the poetry of other languages into Gaelic. Most recently a visit to the north-west of the United States introduced him to the poetry of the River Indians of Washington State.

"With the help of phonetic dictionaries I was able to make translations of their work," he says. "As ever, there were clear links between Gaelic and world poetry. In the case of the River Indians, their regard for the salmon - upon which they depend to survive - was strikingly similar to the old Celtic mythology of the wise salmon.

"There are such primal links between people worldwide, which expresses itself in their verse. I have been fascinated by similar connections with Gaelic and old Chinese and Irish poetry."

The 800 Euros, he says happily, "just about paid for travelling to Dun Leary to receive the award! It was a wonderful experience."

Sabhal Mr's writer-in-residency is funded by the Scottish Arts Council. Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the SAC, said: 'The Scottish Arts Council's Writing Fellowship scheme is intended to give writers an opportunity to develop their own work as well as nurture writing in their host communities, and we are delighted at Rob Kerr's ongoing success.'

Rob Calum MacIlleChiar followed in a long and distinguished line of literate Gaelic speakers - both native and taught - to have held the post of sgrobhadair, or writer-in-residence, at Sabhal Mr Ostaig. His predecessors included the great poet Sorley Maclean, Aonghas Macneacail, Angus Peter Campbell and Rody Gorman.

He was born in Kames, near Tighnabruaich (where "my grandparents were Gaelic-speakers but my parents had lost the language"). He attended school at Strachur and Oban before joining the Forestry Commission. A growing interest in rock-climbing led him on to work for Nevisport in Glasgow, Fort William and Aviemore, before "in my mid-20s I decided to get some education".

Rob did a mathematics course at Langside College in Glasgow, which in turn led him into the computing industry as a programmes analyst. But a disruption in his personal life sent him north again: to Kinlochleven - "close enough to a land I felt at home in" - to work as a climbing instructor... and to a Gaelic language immersion course being run at An Aird in Fort William by Inverness College.

"Then I spotted an advertisement in the West Highland Free Press," he continues, "for a course here at Sabhal Mr Ostaig. I took it up, and that led to a BA course in Gaelic Language and Culture."

5. NEW BOOK AND NEW PORTRAIT (Scottish Gaelic)

Sabhal Mor Ostaig News Release.

A new Gaelic book was launched and a new portrait of Sorley MacLean was unveiled at a literary evening in Sabhal Mr Ostaig last week (10.05.05). There is strong link between book and portrait, for the book's publisher is Cl Hallaig, a new press established by Ishbel MacLean, Sorley's daughter. The book, Roghachd nan Eilean, (The Kingdom of the Isles) is based on a TV series of the same name broadcast by BBC2 in early 2003. Ishbel played a major role in the project and it was she who did the preparatory work and who also produced the series.

The book itself was written by Dmhnall Uilleam Stibhart from Back in Lewis. It covers 1000 years of the history of the Gael from 550 to 1550. It was supported by The Gaelic Books Council, Strlann Niseanta na Gidhlig and Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gidhlig.

Also on show was the portrait: it was donated to the College by the artist Peter Edwards from Oswestry, Shropshire. Mr Edwards has painted many portraits of people such as Sir Bobby Charlton and poets Douglas Dunn and Adrian Hendri. The painting itself is over 8 feet in height and shows Sorley standing on the shore at Peinachorrain in Braes, with Glamaig in the background. Mr Edwards personally presented the College with the painting.

Professor Norman Gillies thanked Mr Edwards on behalf of the College and Alasdair MacRae spoke on behalf of The Sorley MacLean Trust. Part of the Trust's remit is to encourage original work from new writers and it was therefore highly appropriate that students from the College and children took part. Seumas Greumach and Kirsteen NicDhmhnaill sang beautifully and Coinneach Lindsay from Loch Awe and Miri NicLeid from Carabost recited interesting short stories. The young poet Terlach Quinnell read some new poems. Liam MacIlledhuinn started off and completed the last part of the night with a recital on the pipes. All those named are students at the College, a great encouragement for Gaelic singing, music and literature.

It was also good to see children reading a story they had written themselves. Miri and Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul read a very amusing story that won first prize at last year's Royal National Mod. Their father, Angus Peter Campbell, was host for the evening.

6. Scottish Gaelic in North America (Scottish Gaelic)

There's an interesting article on the situation of Scottish Gaelic learners in North America here:

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