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> Scots Gaelic: On The Way Out?
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 17-Aug-2008, 01:43 PM
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Gaelic belongs to the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, which in turn are part of the Indo-European language family. The next closest languages are actually Latin and the Romance languages, even if you wouldn't recognize that fact at first sight. And of course Latin scholars weren't very fond of the idea that their belovd classical language could be related to something so "inferior" tongue.gif


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'S e saoghal a th' anns gach cnan
Fram na Gidhlig
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Cid 
Posted: 17-Aug-2008, 11:36 PM
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Well, this (former) Latin scholar never has an issue with, nor have I ever met one who did. Such biases tend to be pass, as most language scholars today don't hold to those old Anglo- and Euro-centric biases.


Proto-Celtic, the language from which all other Celtic languages derive and perhaps the oldest known language ever spoken on the British Isles, is believed to have been spoken across Great Britain for several centuries prior the spread of Anglo-Saxons and other Germanic tribes (bear in mind that English didn't even come into prominence in Britain until a couple centuries after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century, due to competing with French/Norman, Latin and the other, mostly Celtic languages that were there before it). In fact, Proto-Celtic may be the source of several town, hill and river names all across Great Britain (including Ye Old London, the Thames River and most of the Thames Islands). In all likelihood, each of the six surviving Celtic languages we have today derived directly from Proto-Celtic, with the differences being brought about by regional isolation and varying linguistic influences over the centuries.

As for Gaelic itself, there's some evidence that an early form of Gaelic was spoken widely throughout Scotland and even in more southern parts of Great Britain as early as the Roman period, both from archeology and from the many Gaelic words and placenames found in Roman records (this is when being a Latin scholar helps out! wink.gif ) . So the idea that Scottish Gaelic solely derived from a 6th century infusion of Irish into Scotland is probably not accurate. What is certain is that Irish influenced Scottish Gaelic more often and more directly over history due the close cultural ties between the Irish and the Scots, and thus why, of all the surviving Celtic languages, these two are the most closely related.
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 20-Aug-2008, 01:35 AM
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I think this is a fascinating subject and one I haven't spent nearly enough time on. I have my hands full learning the language as it is today.

It is good ammunition against the "Gaelic was never spoken here"-brigade argue.gif
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Teriodin 
Posted: 21-Aug-2008, 03:08 AM
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Well, (sticking to 'english' for this reply) I have decided to learn Scots gaelic and feel remiss that I never did so before. I was born and raised Scots in the Borders and am a Teri through and through, but never heard any Gaelic growing up.

I grabbed a book on it yesterday and I must say it looks very complex on paper, but I will persevere with it. It would be a shame to see the language of my motherland die out and I plan on doing my bit to help.

Once I'm good enough at the Gaelic, in a few years I expect, I'll write some stories in it too. biggrin.gif


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Teribus ye Teriodin!

An car a tha san t-seana mhaide duilghe thoirt s...
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GunChleoc 
Posted: 21-Aug-2008, 12:03 PM
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If you need some help getting started, just holler biggrin.gif

My advice is to listen to Gaelic radio a lot, even if you don't understand a thing at first. Just keep it running in the background.
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Camac
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 02:56 PM
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Teriodin;

I got a better idea. Move to Canada and settle in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia you'll be speaking Gaelic in no time at all .



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Teriodin 
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 04:46 PM
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Canada would be fun, I love to skate, but I'll stick with my motherland thanks.

I've ordered the 'TY Gaelic' and another of the recommended books in the sticky post so those should get me started.

My eventual aim is to be able to read and write 'good' Gaelic, I'm looking forward to writing some poems in the language but that will be months away unless the grammar is a lot easier than it looks in the "Scottish Gaelic in 3 Months" book that a friend gave me the other day *chuckles* which makes my head hurt.

I already speak my local Scots dialect, 'English' English, French and German so I'm in with a chance of getting to grips with the tongue someone should have taught me at birth. I also understand a fair bit of Spanish and Italian thanks to 'enrichment' courses at University many years ago and was classically educated though promptly forgot most of my Latin once I no longer needed it - as do most people I think.

Fingers crossed that my tired old brain is up for a challenge! king.gif
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Camac
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 04:59 PM
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Teriodin;

As long as there are people like you who want to learn the language is safe. Me it's another story, I'm a bit to old and I never was one for languages. Used to speak German pretty good but I lost all that from none use.

Good luck

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GunChleoc 
Posted: 24-Aug-2008, 12:50 AM
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Tha Gaelic grammar system needs a bit to get used to, since it doesn't work as neatly in paradigms as Latin does. You probably remember liaison and enchainement from French, the Celtic languages have taken this a step further. In Scottish Gaelic you call this lenition. And there's also a second grammar mechanism called slenderisation that will take some getting used to, and I think it will be easier to understand if you get an overview of the sound system. With lenition and slenderisation put together you have four different versions of most consonants. I found the Akerbeltz page very helpful for learning the sounds

http://www.akerbeltz.org/beagangaidhlig/gr...agangramair.htm

http://www.akerbeltz.org/fuaimean/fuaimean.htm

And here's a list of the sounds compared to the sounds of English:

http://www.akerbeltz.org/beagangaidhlig/gr...mitatedpron.htm

If you need help reading the charts let me know.

I have also collected some linguist speak here: http://www.noclockthing.de/gaidhlig/index.php?page=3
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Teriodin 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 07:25 AM
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Thank you, those are helpful links.

My TY Gaelic and the phrasebook arrived today, so I'm sure I'll have the hang of the language in a couple of months.

Mar sin leat..
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