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Posted: 11-Feb-2005, 09:26 AM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

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Here are the headlines for today, 2/11/05

1. `No vision' in the teaching of Welsh

1. `No vision' in the teaching of Welsh Huw Morgan, Abergele 2/10/2005 http://www.eurolang.net/inbrief.asp?ID=4913 One of the pioneers of the teaching of Welsh has said that not enough is done to help people learn the language. Dr Carl Clowes, one of the founders and president of the trustees of the language teaching centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn in north-west Wales, says that there has been a lack of vision over the last 30 years. The National Assembly of Wales aims to increase the number of Welsh speakers by 5% by 2011. But Dr Clowes says that the present system is piecemeal due to a lack of funding and planning. Just 23,000 adults are registered to learn Welsh in Wales from a non- Welsh speaking population of 1.8m, according to Dr Clowes. Recent research has shown that a large majority of people support the language and many want to learn it. "Up to 91% believe every child should have the opportunity to learn the language and as many as 70% believe it to be important or very important," says Dr Clowes. "Achievements to date fall far short of the potential. Consider the level of commitment with that seen in the Basque country where, with a similar population, ten times the investment in the teaching of the Basque language has occurred compared to Welsh. There is no corporate identity, no logo, no image which stimulates and encourages the potential Welsh speaker." Although there are plans to revamp Welsh for adults by establishing six regional centres in order to have a more professional approach, Dr Clowes believes that these plans are not radical enough. He proposes a number of ways to improve the system, which include establishing a new body dedicated to promoting Welsh for adults with significant funding by the National Assembly. Dr Clowes also wants courses at local level to use intensive methods, complemented by residential courses with total immersion as the norm. He also wants a social structure to support Welsh learners to practice their skills in the community. "This is the last real chance to get Welsh for adults right," added Dr Clowes. "Unless we get it right the ambition of the National Assembly will be lost."
(Eurolang 2005)
Canolfan Iaith Nant Gwrtheyrn:

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: 16-Feb-2005, 09:48 AM
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I received the news for several days all in one day! So rather than making several different posts, I?m going to send them all in one.
WARNING: This will be a LONG post!

P.S. If you enjoy reading these news items, please pm me and let me know. It is a lot of work getting these ready for the list, and if no one is reading them, then I see no reason for me to continue posting them. Thanks! Allen

Headlines for Feb 14, 2005
1) Gaelic in Ireland and Scotland (Irish Gaelic/Scottish Gaelic)

Headlines for Feb 15, 2005
3) Scottish Gaelic will be on new UK passports and language bill makes
progress through Parliament (Scottish Gaelic)
4) Munro embodies Scotland's music and culture (Scottish Gaelic)

Headlines for Feb 16, 2005
5) Call for Welsh to be on all business signs (Welsh)
6) Moladh na Maighdinn (Scottish Gaelic)

1) Gaelic in Ireland and Scotland (Irish Gaelic/Scottish Gaelic)

[email protected]

While the number of Scots is declining, Ireland's population is growing at the rate of one per cent per annum. The republic's economy is booming and has consistently out-performed Scotland's. Here, the number of Gaelic speakers has declined to just over 60,000, but the Gaelic bill and Brd na Gidhlig offer a ray of hope. In Ireland there are 1.43 million speakers of Gaelic, 43.5 per cent of the population, and there's optimism that the Official Languages Act of 2003 will lead to further progress. Paddy Geoghegan, from Galway, suggests that Gaelic speakers in Scotland should provide the same kind of support for a Gaelic TV channel that has been given in literature to the highly successful "r-Sgeul" project.

2005 Scotsman.com


DAVID PERRY. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 11 February 2005

Major Uk Government departments are being challenged to spell out what they will do to boost Gaelic in line with the Gaelic Language Bill going through the Scottish Parliament.

Argyll and Bute Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid said last night that he wanted drivers to be able to apply for licences, travellers to apply for passports, older people to apply for pensions and taxpayers to complete their returns on Gaelic-language forms.

He has put a series of formal questions down at Westminster to establish what plans are being drawn up to develop the language.

He said last night that the bill would give the Bord na Gaidhlig the power to require Scottish public bodies to draw up and implement Gaelic-language development plans.

He added: "The Scottish Parliament has no say in the running of UK public bodies in Scotland, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, but I want the Government to ensure that UK Government bodies also prepare and implement Gaelic-language development plans."

He has put down a question to all senior ministers, asking what their
policy on Gaelic is and what plans they have to comply with the spirit of the Scottish legislation.

He said he was not going so far as to demand equality with the Welsh
language, which does have considerable legal status, because Gaelic is
spoken by a smaller proportion of the population. But he wanted to ensure progress was made on expanding its use.

Scotland Office Minister Anne McGuire told him earlier this week that UK government departments were taking part in discussions on the Gaelic

3) Scottish Gaelic will be on new UK passports and language bill makes
progress through Parliament

Davyth Hicks in Brussels 2/11/2005

Scottish Gaelic will be used in all sections of the new UK biometric passports and with translations into EU member state languages. The documents, which are set to be introduced in late 2005 or early 2006, are being designed by the UK Passport Service. It follows last week's first reading of a strengthened Gaelic Language Bill which saw the launch of an action group to recruit more Gaelic teachers.

Scottish Secretary Alastair Darling described the passport move as an "important recognition" by ministers of the Gaelic language. He told the press that: "Gaelic headings will be included in all key information sections of the new passport and this signifies the importance the government places on supporting the language."

Gaelic speaking MSP Alasdair Morrison, declared the move a "major milestone" for the language. He said: "Gaelic speakers have been campaigning for 30 years for recognition of the language in government services, so this is excellent news."

Donald Martin, chief executive of Comunn na Gaidhlig - the Gaelic Development Agency - said the announcement was good news for Scotland's Gaelic speakers.

He said: "This gives Gaelic a position it hasn't had before and is very much in line with the UK Government's obligations under the European Charter regarding regional and minority languages."

However, so far there has been no mention of inclusion on passports of the other Celtic languages under the UK state such as Irish and Cornish.

Last week the Gaelic language bill received the wholehearted support of the Scottish Parliament as the bill went through its first reading. Peter Peacock, minister responsible for Gaelic, used the occasion to launch an action group to tackle the need for more teachers.

He said: "There are many fluent Gaelic speakers who might not have considered a teaching career perhaps because they can't study full-time or don't live near a teacher-training college. That's why we need to introduce more flexible approaches like part-time courses or distance learning to meet the needs of all those who want to teach."

The group, which will produce an action plan by May, will also consider intensive language courses to help potential Gaelic teachers pass the language requirements.

Campaigners have criticised the bill for steering clear of giving Gaelic explicit equal status with English. The bill states that it will aim at "securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland." In this respect it contrasts with the Welsh language Act where Welsh has `equality of status' with English.

Although the bill has been strengthened since its first draft it has been criticised for being weak because it does not give the new Brd na Gidhlig sufficient powers to ensure that local councils establish language projects and because of the lack of emphasis on the importance of Gaelic-medium education in regenerating the language.

However, on the status issue Mr Peacock appeared not to rule it out entirely saying he was still considering calls to give Gaelic equal legal status with English. He said: "I don't want to coerce people to speak Gaelic, I want to win converts to the cause of Gaelic. New laws alone cannot save Gaelic."

Liberal Democrat MSP John Farquhar Munro, a Gaelic speaker, said the bill was a step forward. But he added: "For the effective revival of the language, its status needs to be secured in legislation. "The Gaelic community needs to be encouraged, therefore the bill should state in the strongest possible terms that in the delivery of public services, Gaelic will be treated equally with English." (Eurolang

Gaelic Bill :

First reading debate:

4) Munro embodies Scotland's music and culture (Scottish Gaelic)

Mon 14 Feb 2005

DONNIE Munro has proved that there is life after Runrig, even if his aim to sit in Parliament failed. The band's former lead singer has continued his career as a solo artist, and is also an indefatigable worker for Gaelic language and culture.

Runrig is a uniquely Scottish phenomenon. A Celtic rock band with roots in Skye and a huge following across Scotland, the group's palpable sense of communion with their audience and the immediacy and passion of their music survived the journey from local dance band in the Western Isles to national institution.

Munro fronted Runrig through their glory years, and his final gigs with the band at Stirling Castle in 1997 were highly emotional affairs for all concerned.

"Leaving Runrig was always going to be painful," he admits. "We grew up as a band, and there was a very close personal connection. It was a painful break to make, but I think there are times in life that you know you have to make certain decisions, even if it might be easier not to."

One of the primary reasons for leaving was his ambition to be elected to Parliament. He stood for Labour in his home constituency of Ross, Skye and Inverness West, but lost out to Charles Kennedy, now the leader of the Liberal Democrats, who also happens to be a big Runrig fan. (Munro's colleague from Runrig, keyboard player Peter Wishart, fared better, and is now the Scottish National Party's chief whip and spokesperson for Transport, Rural Affairs, Culture, Media and Sport).

Munro has not run for office since, but it is a door that he chooses to leave open.

"I remain open-minded about standing for election again," he says. "I would certainly not rule anything out. It's a question I'm often asked, and I've said all along that I continue with political activity in a wider sense anyway in my various involvements."

Those include his solo career as a singer and songwriter. Munro has issued several albums, including a project entirely devoted to traditional Gaelic songs. He writes most of his material, but still returns to songs from the Runrig era as well.

"It was strange at first," he admits, "and I definitely felt a bit out on a limb. With Runrig we created an entity together, but now it's very much me and my songs, and I think that maybe creates a more relaxed, more intimate relationship with the audience and the music.

"I do go back to the Runrig songs as well," says Munro. "It's all about the song for me, and as far as I'm concerned, those songs by Calum and Rory MacDonald are some of the best things to have come out of Scotland."

Munro also has served as rector of both Edinburgh University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, and is involved in awareness-raising with Sabhal Mr Ostaig, the Gaelic College at Sleat on his native Skye.

"I'm very proud to be involved with Sabhal Mr Ostaig, which to my knowledge is the only institution in the world dealing with higher education solely through Gaelic language," explains Munro. "I've always seen the development work as an extension of what I was doing in Runrig," he says.

"I grew up in a house where Gaelic was spoken, but it was very much discouraged in school, and the pervasive influence of television added to that," Munro says. "I came to it again through music, and this work (with Sabhal Mr Ostaig) is a wonderful opportunity for me to be involved with projects which recognise the value of regenerating Gaelic language and the economic, social and cultural health of the Gaidhealtachd."

In 2003, Munro completed a 20-day trek in Nepal to within sight of Everest, following the original supply route taken by the 1953 British expedition. The walk was done on behalf of the Highland Society for the Blind ? of which he is president - and was partly inspired by a family photograph of a two-year-old Munro perched on the shoulders of Edmund Hillary when the great mountaineer visited Skye in 1955.

"Apparently he broke his ankle climbing in the Cuillins!" Munro claims. "The trek was a very special undertaking for me. It was an absolutely wonderful experience made all the more significant by walking and living with my friend Sherpa Nema Tend and his family.

"In many ways their lives are probably close to what life was like in the Highlands and Islands a century or more ago."

2005 Scotsman.com

5) Call for Welsh to be on all business signs
Huw Morgan in Abergele 2/14/2005

Welsh pressure group Cymuned wants to make Welsh compulsory on all business signs in the west Wales county of Ceredigion. They made this proposal during a public inquiry into the county unitary development plan which is a blueprint for future developments in Ceredigion. Cymuned are calling for a revolutionary use of planning regulations to make Welsh compulsory on business signs in the county. No other county in Wales has this regulation.

The pressure group says that when businesses apply for planning permission to erect signs, permission should be refused unless the signs are bilingual.

"We think this is a novel way of making sure that any signs given planning permission in Ceredigion are bilingual," said Simon Brooks, Cymuned member to Eurolang. "We all know how frustrated Welsh speakers become that chain stores and private businesses keep putting up big intrusive signs on the outside of their shops and along roads that ignore Welsh. This forces English on those of us who want to live our lives through the medium of Welsh and it is not morally acceptable. All private business signs have to get planning permission before being put up. We'll be telling the Inquiry Inspectors that we want planning permission refused unless the signs are bilingual. If this principle is accepted in Ceredigion, I'm sure other areas in Wales would follow suit. If we win this, the days of English-only high streets will be over."

At the moment local councils can only specify the dimensions and location of signs on business premises, this being reflected in what type of locality these businesses operate. Although there are bilingual signs throughout Wales, especially in the Welsh-speaking heartlands, these are all voluntary.

Research by the Welsh Language Board shows that around 80% of Welsh speakers would be more prepared to support a business that uses the language. The Board offers grants of up to 50% to businesses to enable them to have bilingual signs, websites and stationery. It also contributes towards the cost of translating business material, provided that businesses use accredited translators to ensure accuracy. To encourage business to go bilingual the Board holds an annual competition to decide on the best designed bilingual material. (Eurolang 2005)

6) Moladh na Maighdinn
Comataidh Craolaidh Gaidhlig Press Release.

Thursday 24th February 2005, 7.00pm

On Thursday 24 February at 7.00pm BBC2 Alba screens another, and intriguingly different, Gaelic mountain film. Moladh Na Maighdinn is a
richly-textured visual, verbal and musical weave linking and exploring the motivations behind climbing mountains and writing poetry.

In the mid 18th century, Duncan Ban MacIntyre composed his much loved Moladh Beinn Dobhrain ("In Praise of Beinn Dorain"), a long poem celebrating the flora and fauna - especially deer - of the Argyll mountain on whose slopes he had spent many years as a hunter and keeper. The poem - intended to be sung to pipes accompaniment and indeed with a structure reflecting classical "piobroch" - has come to be recognised as one of the finest nature poems not simply in Gaelic but in any language.

Moladh Na Maighdinn, produced by Douglas Eadie, directed by Douglas Campbell and with music by Allan Macdonald. Gaelic poet, Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhairt, takes on both the physical challenges of A'Mhaighdean in Wester Ross and the even more considerable creative challenge involved in writing a contemporary poem in tribute to Duncan Ban's masterpiece.

Moladh na Maighdinn is produced by Pelicula Films and funded by the GaelicMedia Service.

For further information:
Douglas Eadie
Tel - 01334 655 357
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Posted: 25-Feb-2005, 12:16 AM
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Due to computer problems, I have gotten behind with my postings of the news! I am going to try to get caught up. The next post will be pretty big as I try to cover several days? worth of news. I hope this is helpful to someone! smile.gif

Feb 17, 2005

Feb 18, 2005
2) Plaid Cymru and SNP call for UK to translate EU Constitution into Welsh and Scottish Gaelic (Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, and Scots)
3) Doric play gets an English translation (Scots)

Feb 19, 2005
4) Enterprising way to pass on a language (General Language)

Feb 20, 2005
5) Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week (Scottish Gaelic)

Feb 22, 2005
6) The Scottish Parliament in Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic)

Feb 23, 2005
7) Respect for the whole linguistic heritage (Scottish Gaelic, Scots)
8) Welsh children's poems criticised for being "anti-English" (Welsh)

Here is the news:

Feb 17, 2005

Press and Journal. 09:00 - 16 February 2005

Education Minister Peter Peacock was yesterday accused of leaving Gaelic-medium pupils with a sub-standard supply of teaching materials.

Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson said 'pasteovers' in which English textbooks have a Gaelic translation pasted over the text, are still being used in spite of Mr Peacock's assertions to the contrary.

Mr Gibson had asked the minister if any schools were still using pasteovers and when these would be replaced with Gaelic printed books.

Mr Peacock told him that: "Storlann, the Gaelic resources centre, has made very good progress in providing materials for Gaelic-medium education (GME) classes.
"There is now little need for GME classes to be using English books with pasted over translations. Storlann has provided Gaelic books for all stages and most subjects of GME in primary."

But Mr Gibson alleged Mr Peacock had got his facts wrong.

He said: "I have heard from parents who have first-hand knowledge of the fact that pasteovers are still a major part of GME, both in Highland Council's area and in the Edinburgh City Council.

"The minister says the money has been put into the system, but we still don't have the materials. Clearly there are not enough resources available."

The issue has also been raised by Highland Council vice-convener Michael Foxley, who has complained several times at the education and Gaelic committees.

He added: "Progress is being made and good quality material is now coming through, but there is still a need for the full range of resources which are available for English medium education, such as fiction written in Gaelic. Pasteovers still feature and this was picked up by the Parliamentary education committee when they visited Portree.

"In English-medium children have access to stories such as the Harry Potter series. Why should GME pupils not have access to the same kind of material in their own language?"

Feb 18, 2005

2) Plaid Cymru and SNP call for UK to translate EU Constitution into Welsh and Scottish Gaelic (Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, and Scots)
Brussel / Bruxelles 2/17/2005 , by Davyth Hicks

SNP and Plaid Cymru Euro-MPs have urged the UK Government to get a move on if the proposed EU constitution is to be translated into Welsh and Scots Gaelic ahead of any referendum. Both parties want to see the draft treaty available in Welsh and Gaelic, as well as English, to ensure an informed debate in the referendum campaign. However, the Foreign Office in London told Eurolang that the Constitution would only be translated into Welsh and that there were "no plans" for translations of any of the other languages in the UK state.

EFA MEPs Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) and Ian Hudghton (SNP) were speaking after it was highlighted that the Rome conference, which agreed the treaty last October, set a six month deadline for governments to decide in which languages translations of the treaty would be provided.

The news came in answer to a Parliamentary question put down by Mr Hudghton. Referring to the need for an informed debate on the constitution Ian Hudghton MEP said: "We want to see the UK government recognise the status of the Gaelic and Welsh languages and provide timely translations of the treaty in both languages."

Plaid Cymru's Jill Evans MEP added: "The UK Government needs to get a move on if they're to make the six month deadline. We received a positive response to initial requests for a Welsh translation of the treaty but they've been suspiciously quiet since then. Given the growing bilingualism that is now the reality of Welsh public life, I don't see how any referendum campaign could be credible without the treaty being available in Welsh and English."

Mr Hudgton's written question asked, "article IV-448 of the proposed Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe allows the Treaty to be translated into any language as determined by Member States among those which, in accordance with their constitutional order, enjoy official status in all or part of their territory. Whilst the UK constitutional order does not recognise `official' languages as such, the importance of both the Gaelic and Scots languages have been recognised throughout Scotland and, in particular, by the Scottish Parliament.

"Can the Commission confirm that, should the UK Government make appropriate representations, the proposed Treaty could be translated into (a) Gaelic and ( cool.gif Scots, with authentic copies thereof being deposited in the archives of the Council, as envisaged in Article IV-448?"

EU Commission Vice President Margot Wallstrm, wrote (9.2.2005) : "The Commission confirms that, according to Article IV-448(2) of the Constitutional Treaty, signed in Rome on 29 October 2004 and currently subject to the national ratification processes, any Member State may autonomously determine that such a Treaty be translated into other languages. Nevertheless, this possibility is subject to the condition that those languages enjoy official status in all or part of the territory of the Member State in question, in accordance with its own constitutional order."

Another clause specifies that member states only have six months after ratification to tell the EU Council which languages they want the constitution translated into.

Eurolang contacted the Foreign Office in London to ask about the translation issue, not only for Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, but for the other languages in the UK state such as Cornish, Irish, and Scots. Their European spokesperson said that : "The constitution will be translated into Welsh. There are no plans for it to be translated into any other languages." (Eurolang 2005)

3) Doric play gets an English translation (Scots)
GRAEME SMITH. The Herald. February 18 2005

AFTER half a century, the work of Charles Barron, the Scottish playwright, is to be translated for the first time. But only so it can travel linguistically from the north-east to the central belt.

Amang the Craws, the story of a young Aberdeenshire farm hand who ends up on death row in America, is being translated from Doric so pupils elsewhere can understand it. "It seems that those of us who live in the north-east of Scotland are officially foreigners, or at least that we speak a foreign
language," said Mr Barron.

The play is for use by pupils who are studying intermediate English or intermediate drama and features considerable use of the dialect. Learning and Teaching Scotland, the government body which produces school material, has printed an English version. "I'm delighted that the play is going into schools," said Mr Barron. "But it certainly isn't particularly broad. It is just everyday, modern Aberdeen speech.
"The other two plays in this series, Tally's Blood by Ann Marie di Mambro and Britannia Rules by Liz Lochhead, have both been set in Glasgow and are written in quite broad Glasgow, but it never occurred to anyone that we might find that difficult." Mr Barron, 69, whose work has been performed all over Scotland, added: "I think part of the problem is that Doric isn't a written language, so it looks more difficult than it sounds.

"I have some mixed feelings about the translation but on the whole I'm glad."

Examples of the translation include: I canna dae athing at eence - I cannot do everything at once; Tak that in her han' 'n a - Take that with you as well.

Feb 19, 2005

4) Enterprising way to pass on a language (General Language)

Edinburgh Evening News
Fri 18 Feb 2005

FORMER drama student Ceyline Cateland turned to the Edinburgh Enterprise Campaign to get advice on how to turn her dreams into reality.

The Gorgie woman founded Zl Languages, Theatre and Education about eight months ago and now is talking of trying to crack the American market.

After a brief spell putting on theatre performances for children at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in 2003, she realised she could teach schoolchildren French in fun and creative ways through singing, dancing and acting.

By putting on a variety of performances and workshops from her base in the city's Bristo Place, she believes children are able to grasp the French language more easily than they would sitting in a classroom as her performances encourage them to learn.

Ms Cateland, 26, who left her native France almost three years ago, said that the EEC has played a key part in helping her to develop her idea into a business. She added:

"I had heard about the EEC from people in the Gorgie area and went along to West Edinburgh Action, based in Hailesland Place, where I talked my idea through with the Enterprise Guide Kirsten Cook.

"My idea was to set up a theatre company and put on shows depicting Breton folk tales, but Kirsten advised me to view my business idea as whole such as, providing French lessons, CD-Roms, cultural trips and drama to broaden the company.

"I feel really proud at what I have achieved so far. My big plans are to look to expand the business to other areas in Scotland followed by England and then hopefully break the American market while working with artists from all over the world to interpret their cultures and languages."

Zl Languages, Theatre and Education is operating at profit and expects to have a 31,000 turnover by the end of the year.

2005 Scotsman.com

Feb 20, 2005

5) Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week (Scottish Gaelic)
Sponsor: An Comunn Gaidhealach, America (The Gaelic Society, America)

Dates for 2005: Sunday, July 3 through Friday, July 8

Location: Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina

Nearby attractions: Grandfather Mountain and the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games that are held this year from July 7 ? 10, 2005

This year's Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, sponsored by An Comunn Gidhealach, America, will run from July 3th through the 8th in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Gaelic song classes covering a range of traditional forms will be offered, including waulking or milling songs and mouth music. Scottish Gaelic language classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers will also be offered. Teachers this year will be Mary Ann Kennedy, a founding member of Cliar and well known BBC radio broadcaster; Miri Sine Chaimbeul, a native Gaelic speaker, member of the faculty at Sabhal Mr Ostaig and the 2004 and 2005 ACGA National
Md judge; and Jamie MacDonald, a member of the faculty at St. Frances Xavier College in Nova Scotia and founder of the North Carolina Md and the Grandfather Mountain Song and Language Week. Mary Ann and Miri Sine will teach both Gaelic song and language while Jamie will teach beginning Gaelic.

There will also be plenty of opportunities outside of class to practice speaking Gaelic with other students and instructors. Additional activities include evening cilidhs, Gaelic videos, a silent auction, and hikes in the beautiful surrounding mountains. A Gaelic md, or singing competition, will be held on the Saturday following the workshop at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
Participants in the Gaelic Song Week are urged to stay for the Highland games and compete in the md.

The workshop is housed at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Participants stay in one of the school's charming spacious dormitories and three nutritious meals a day are provided by the college food service. Fees for the week are $410 for ACGA members and $445 for non- members. There is a $25.00 discount if final payment is postmarked by May 15. This price includes all instruction, room, and meals from Sunday evening dinner through Friday lunch.
The workshop concludes just as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are getting underway down the road at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain. As usual there will be a Gaelic tent at the games, and the North Carolina Gaelic Md will take place on Saturday at 3:00 PM.

Contacts: Cam MacRae at [email protected] or Libit Woodington at [email protected]

For more information see the Grandfather Mountain Song and Language Week information
at www.acgamerica.org.

Feb 22, 2005

6) The Scottish Parliament in Glasgow

The Scottish Parliament will be holding a community meeting in Partick Library, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow on Monday 14 March from 7.30 to 9.00pm. The evening will begin with a short talk in Gaelic from the Parliament?s Outreach Service which look at the Gaelic Bill and at how the Gaelic community can participate in the work of the Parliament. A detailed handout in English will be distributed for those not fluent in Gaelic. This will be followed by a question and answer session on Gaelic issues with MSPs. Pauline McNeil MSP, Robert Brown MSP and Sandra White MSP have all indicated that they will attend.
If you would like to attend this outreach meeting or if you would like more information, please contact us: Alasdair MacCaluim, Room DG.06, The Scottish Parliament, Dn ideann/Edinburgh, EH99 1SP tel: 0131-348-5395, e-mail:

[email protected]

Le deagh dhurachd,
Alasdair MacCaluim
Dr Alasdair MacCaluim
Oifigear Coimhearsnachd Gidhlig
Prlamaid na h-Alba
Dn ideann
EH99 1SP
Fn: 0131 348 5395
Facs: 0131 348 5601

Visit the Parliament's website at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/ or watch the Parliamentary business live at http://www.holyrood.tv/"

Feb 23, 2005

7) Respect for the whole linguistic heritage (Scottish Gaelic, Scots)

Points of View http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/33808.htmlYour Letters. The Herald. February 21 2005

WITH reference to your report (February 18) that a play in Doric has been translated into English by Learning and Teaching Scotland, presumably Doric here means north-east Scots. The object is evidently to make it "comprehensible" in schools in other parts of Scotland.

One imagines that Learning and Teaching Scotland is an educational instrument financed by the Scottish Executive to implement government policy. Since the Scottish Parliament is clearly responsible for education and our linguistic heritage, it is difficult to understand the object
of such an exercise. Gaelic and Scots, with all its dialects, belong to the whole of Scotland, and a proper object of education would be to foster respect in schools for the whole linguistic heritage, in particular, the rich heritage of Buchan. This appears to be another example of substitution of deracination of children for education.

Dr David Purves, Edinburgh.

8) Welsh children's poems criticised for being "anti-English"

http://www.eurolang.net/news.asp?id=4935Abergele 2/21/2005 , by Huw Morgan

There have been a number of objections to two poems that have been chosen for children to recite in competitions in this year's Urdd Eisteddfod - Europe's largest youth festival. The head teacher of a school in the capital Cardiff, Ysgol y Mynydd Bychan, objected to a poem by Myrddin ap Dafydd,
one of Wales' leading poets and a former Children's Poet. The poem was chosen for children under 12 years old and features the fact that, after the defeat of the Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr by English forces at the beginning of the 15th century, Welsh bards were forbidden to write poetry. The objections are that the poems are anti-English.

Myrddin ap Dafydd denies this accusation. "I would ask those that are introducing children to the poem to tell the story behind it," he says. There were numerous penalties against the Welsh at the time - they could not buy property, hold a public office or support the poets.

"That is the key to the poem; that you are forbidden from rhyming, you cannot protest, you cannot sing, you cannot recite poems against this injustice," added Mr ap Dafydd. "I feel that forbidding people to rhyme would be something that children would understand. Basically, this is a poem against racist legislation and historians say that these were the most racist pieces of legislation [against the Welsh in the 15th century] that were ever passed anywhere in the world. Therefore, the poem is anti-racist."

The Urdd movement has supported the poem. "This is a historic poem, presenting a chunk of Welsh history in a satirical and comic way," says Sin Eirian, the Eisteddfod's director.

Protests have also been made against the choice of another poem, by another school in the capital. Teachers at Fitzalan High School say that the poem Bwyd Od (Funny Food) by poet Carys Jones, is "insensitive". The poem mentions different kinds of food and makes fun of the fact that some people will not try what they perceive as 'foreign food'.
"There is possibly an attempt to say that Welsh food is better than food from other countries," says Emma Walsh, the Urdd's organiser at the school. "I felt that it was a bit awkward for us to try and explain the poem [in a multi-racial school]." Many schools in the cities of south Wales are multi- racial and all pupils receive Welsh lessons with many taking part in Urdd activities such as the Eisteddfod to practice their Welsh.

Carys Jones disputes the complaint that her poem is racist saying that it is a celebration of a multi- racial society, and she has been supported by the Urdd. "The poem celebrates the fact that we have such a variety of food in Wales from every corner of the earth. The truth is that the last verse says that foreign food is not odd at all," says Sin Eirian.

The Urdd Eisteddfod will be held in May in Cardiff, and although the movement has received some complaints about the poems, the hope is that there will be a great deal of support for the festival in an area which has seen an explosion in the number of Welsh speakers - especially amongst the young - during the last twenty years. (Eurolang 2005)
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Here are the news articles for the last few days.

Feb 25, 2005
1. Language group threatens to sue British Government (Welsh)

Feb 27, 2005
2. Gaelic at St. Anza?s (Scottish Gaelic)

Feb 28, 2005
3. ScotsGate (Scots)
4. Wales teaches us a lesson in nationhood (Welsh)
5. Wales to get own 'poet laureate' (Welsh)
6. Welsh speakers 'have been conned' (Welsh)
8. Inverness Gaelic Forum proud to announce launch of new bi-lingual website (Scottish Gaelic)

Feb 25, 2005

1. Language group threatens to sue British Government (Welsh)

Penygroes 2/23/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

A member of the Welsh language pressure group Cymuned is visiting Strasbourg this week to put pressure on the British Government to fulfil its obligations about protecting the Welsh language. If it doesn't they threaten to take it to court.

One of the founders of Cymuned will take part in a week of high-powered meetings with top Council of Europe officials as part of a concerted effort to bring to book any governments which fail in their obligations under the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

"The British Government has to file its second state report this year," says Seimon Brooks, who will be representing the pressure group in Strasbourg. "There were problems in their first report which need to have been solved by now. If we think they've got it wrong with the next report, make no bones about it, we'll sue them."

During the week, Cymuned will be taking advantage of the opportunity to study and discuss points of international law to begin the groundwork for a possible court case. Cymuned will also be strengthening connections with a number of other European pressure groups.

"There'll be no easy ride for the British Government on this report," warns Aran Jones, Cymuned's chief executive. "We're going to produce a mirror report under Council of Europe guidelines which will detail exactly where the British Government is failing in its responsibilities to our language, Cymraeg, so they can expect hard questions from Europe, followed up by a
very high profile court case if they don't get it right."
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities has been in force in Britain since 1998, but in the seven years since, says Cymuned, the percentage of Cymraeg speakers in areas where the language remains a community language have continued to fall, "showing clearly that the British Government is failing the minorities it has promised to protect".

The report was originally presented in 1999 and scrutinised by an advisory committee which drew attention to some aspects that it was not happy with. The British Government was given the opportunity to respond and it is this is what will be presented some time this year. The advisory
committee praised the fact that devolution of power from London to Cardiff was a positive step to help the Welsh language but it was unhappy with the measures taken to make more use of the

"The governments in London and Cardiff have been drawing attention to the fact that there has been a national increase in the number of Welsh speakers, but they have disregarded the situation in the Fro Gymraeg (the heartlands of the language) where there was a decrease," added Aran
Jones. "We must have a strategy for y Fro Gymraeg. We believe that both governments have been misusing the fact that there has been an increase throughout Wales - they have been painting a misleading impression of the situation of the language because this is not the situation in the Fro Gymraeg."

"We believe that the British Government will respond in one of two ways [when the new report is presented]. One, it will admit that there has been a failure and therefore it will have to explain how it is going to change the situation; or it will draw attention to the increase in the number of
speakers throughout Wales, which in our opinion is misleading."

Language issues have been devolved from London to Cardiff and therefore it is the National Assembly of Wales which has responsibility for the Welsh language since 1999. But it is the British Government that has signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and therefore it is - eventually - responsible for the language. (Eurolang 2005)

Feb 27, 2005

2. Gaelic at St. Anza?s (Scottish Gaelic)

StAnza: Scotland's Poetry Festival
St Andrews
Saturday 19th March
2.30pm Voices of Scotland 2.50/1.00
St John's House Undercroft, South Street
Reading by Derick Thomson & Christopher Whyte
The leading voices from two generations of modern Gaelic poetry
Tickets from The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street,
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9LA.
Telephone: 01334 475000Web site: www.stanzapoetry.org

Many thanks.
Kind regards,

Brian Johnstone


Brian Johnstone
Festival Director
StAnza: Scotland's Poetry Festival

[email protected]
[email protected]
01333 360491


Feb 28, 2005

3. ScotsGate (Scots)

David Wilson scrieves:

A new Scots wabsteid hes kythed o late, cried Scotsgate: (Scots)


It says, at its "Downlaod page," that:

A number of Scots language learning resources will eventually be available from here. The first is the ScotsGate Scots Grammar. Next will be a set of vocabulary lists, followed by a guide on learning to speak and write modern Scots.

The ScotsGate Scots Grammar (2004, 216k, PDF format, v1.0) an 18-page introduction for adult learners. It covers all the main gramatical points you need to get started and points to further reading and resources.

4. Wales teaches us a lesson in nationhood


Our Celtic cousins are reaping the benefits from a new can-do attitude, writes Kenny Farquharson
Sunday Times.
February 27, 2005

The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay is a wonder of titanium-clad steel and Welsh slate. In a corner of this iconic new building a class of 10-year-olds sits mesmerised, listening to a storyteller spin a fantastical yarn about whales and unicorns.

The group is bathed in sunlight streaming through the centre's huge windows, which are the shape of letters. From outside you can see that they spell out a short poem in Welsh and English, including the phrase: "In these stones horizons sing."

As the children leave, Michael Harvey, the storyteller, pulls up a chair and explains how Wales is starting to look to the horizon after decades of contemplating its navel.

"There is a massive feeling of possibility just now," he says. "This place helps. Just coming here makes kids feel important. But it's more than that. Things are coming together."

Scots have often been guilty of regarding Wales as a lesser nation, lacking our cultural confidence and self-belief. But on St David's Day this coming Tuesday, the Welsh will have more reason than ever to celebrate their nation with pride. Wales is on a roll, and for once Scotland has cause to be a little envious of its smaller Celtic cousin.

Renaissance is too strong a word for it. But there is a fresh and unfamiliar Wales springing up along the banks of Cardiff Bay. As well as the Millennium Centre, there are trendy restaurants and hotels, futuristic apartments and offices. Joining them this autumn will be the new Welsh assembly building designed by Richard Rogers. All in all, it is shaping up as one of the most appealing waterfront sites in Britain.

When the Millennium Centre opened, some critics ridiculed it as a "golden armadillo", to which the Welsh first minister Rhodri Morgan replied: "I'd rather have a golden armadillo than a white

It was a dig at Holyrood, of course, and he had a point.

The contrast could not be clearer. In Edinburgh our most famous new building has been blamed for sullying public faith in devolution and politics in general, and besmirching Scotland's image. In Cardiff the Millennium stadium and the Millennium Centre have brought Wales triumphantly centre stage in the cultural and sporting life of Britain, arguably for the first time.

Comparisons with Scotland now tend to flatter the Welsh. While Scottish Opera prepares to go dark for a season to save money, the Welsh National Opera has just opened a new critically acclaimed production of Berg's Wozzeck.

Even on the sports field the Welsh appear to have the upper hand. They recently beat England 11-9 in the Six Nations rugby, the first such victory in Cardiff for 12 years. The Millennium stadium is the crucible of English football while the new Wembley is being built, playing host to the FA and Carling cup finals.

The stadium was also the venue for a tsunami benefit concert last month that attracted 60,000 people and raised 1.25m. Headlined by Eric Clapton, it was organised in just three weeks. Last weekend's Scottish equivalent at the SSEC took an extra month to arrange and raised less than a quarter of that amount.

In the first minister's office overlooking the new assembly building site, Morgan enthusiastically describes the tsunami effort as emblematic of a new can-do attitude in Wales. "It was leap of faith," he says. "Before they got the bands confirmed they had to make a decision to go ahead."

With a shock of grey hair and a sharp mind honed at Oxford and Harvard, Morgan is a formidable politician and a charismatic leader who makes Scotland's first minister appear dull by comparison. While Jack McConnell is increasingly lampooned for embarrassing gaffes, Morgan is quick witted and popular.

Not everything in Cardiff is rosy. A refusal to embrace Blairite reforms has meant hospital waiting lists are twice as long as those in England. Like Holyrood, original estimates of the cost of the assembly building were wildly optimistic - civil servants initially put the price tag at 12m. Now the budget is about 50m and holding.

The Welsh leader will be approaching 68 by the time of the next assembly elections in 2007, but has said he intends to seek re-election. Assembly insiders say there is nobody waiting in the wings to take the country on to the next stage.

The Welsh are enjoying their moment in the sun, but the dream could evaporate with a foot out of touch, a new first minister or an inability to fill the 1,800-seat Millennium Centre on a regular basis, turning it into a white elephant after all.

The Welsh part of the poem on the front of the Millennium Centre reads: "Creu gwir fel gwydr o ffwrnais," which translates as: "Creating truth like glass from inspiration's furnace." Not even Morgan needs reminding that glass is a fragile thing.

5. Wales to get own 'poet laureate'

BBC NEWS. Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 12:55 GMT

Wales is to have its own national poet after the Arts Council Wales gave a 5,000 lottery grant for the role.

The poet will act as a cultural ambassador for the nation, creating new works which promote the image of Wales.
Both England and Scotland already have their own national bards.

The appointed poet would hold the role for one year and their works would be read at ceremonial and official occasions. The language will alternate between Welsh and English.

Iestyn Davies, head of communications at the Arts Council of Wales, said: "As a country renowned for it literary heritage it is fitting that Wales should have its own national poet, creating new works that celebrate our successes, comment on our failures and raise the profile of Wales
through literature."

'Cultural nationhood'

The announcement comes as the arts body Academi hosts its annual conference, Songs of Freedom, which looks at the question of politics, propaganda and freedom of speech.

Chief executive Peter Finch, who has previously called for the post's creation, welcomed the

"Wales is as much the land of poets as it is the land of song - the appointment of our first National Poet will bear this out," he said.

"England was first with its Poet Laureate, then Scotland with its Maker and now Wales - ample evidence of our growing cultural nationhood."

Some of the duties of the poet will include encouraging young people to take part in literary

6. Welsh speakers 'have been conned'

Rhodri Clark, Western Mail. Feb 24 2005

GENERATIONS of Welsh speakers have been conned by the idea that Welsh is the language of heaven, Plaid Cymru's president said last night.

In a lecture at Bangor, Dafydd Iwan said the language needed to move to the centre of modern life if it was to have a viable future.

He also warned that further and higher education, still offering few Welsh-medium studies, were stopping the language gaining the full benefit of the huge growth in Welsh-medium schools.

Dr Iwan will repeat his lecture, titled To Hell with the Language of Heaven, at Oxford University next week.
He told the Western Mail yesterday, "Calling Welsh the language of heaven - something that people still say today - was a symbol of the fact that people had put Welsh to one side.

"It didn't matter that Welsh didn't have a place in the world because when you reach heaven everyone will be speaking Welsh there. It was escapism, culturally and linguistically.

"English was seen as the language of progress and education."

Respected Welsh educationalists like Sir Hugh Owen supported the idea that Welsh was fine in the home, chapel and Eisteddfod but English was the key to getting on in the world.

Dr Iwan said, "We've been a bit gullible in swallowing a story that Welsh is the language of heaven. It's time we forgot that nonsense and concentrated on making Welsh a language that works in this world, in the modern world."

Although the language had progressed into modern fields, more was needed to make it a language of business, communications and modern entertainment, he said.

And a stronger Welsh Language Act was needed to ensure public services were consistently available in both Welsh and English, said Dr Iwan.


This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 22 February 2005

Cornish language rock band Krena are hoping to make it a Cornwall hat-trick when they compete in next month's Pan Celtic Song Contest in Ireland. It is being held as part of the Pan Celtic Festival in Tralee in County Kerry between March 29 and 3rd April 3. The song contest is on March 31.

Krena - Cornish for "quaking" - have a lot to live up to because Cornwall has won the competition for the past two years. In 2003 it was won by Naked Feet, and in 2004 by Keltyon

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Matthew Clarke said: "Our raison d'etre is to bring the Cornish Language to more people by turning it into rock, funk, and even punk. As well as our own songs, we have taken folk songs such as Lamorna and The Wild Rover and rocked them up."

Formed in 2003, the band has played widely, including Lowender Peran, Caradon Festival of Arts and Culture, Dehwelans and Castle Rock.

Matthew, who was formerly a member of Spit and Skwardya, is a newsreader on Pirate FM and press officer for Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek (The Cornish Language Fellowship). He is joined in Krena by Tom Phipps (drums), Dan Phipps (bass) and Brian Inman (guitar).
The song they have written for the Pan Celtic is entitled Fordh Dhe Dalvann (Road To

"The contest was won by Cornwall for the past two years, so if we can manage it again, then Cornwall would have pulled off a hat-trick," said Matthew. "After the contest - and hopefully winning for Cornwall - we rush to the Abbeygate Hotel for a Cornish-Breton night, where we will be doing the full Krena experience."

Krena will be up against entries from five other Celtic nations: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and the Isle of Man.

8. Inverness Gaelic Forum proud to announce launch of new bi-lingual website (Scottish Gaelic)

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Forum) are proud to announce the official launch of it's new bi-lingual website: www.inbhirnis.org . This site is dedicated to informing the public on Gaelic issues and events in and around Inverness as well as a promotional tool for the work of the Forum.

Brian hEadhra, Development Officer with the forum states: `Inverness has a higher proportion of Gaelic speakers per head of population than any other city in Scotland and we felt it was time that Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, should have a Gaelic dedicated website. There are many Gaelic language events happening in Inverness throughout the year and we hope that locals and visitors will access the site to learn about what Gaelic events are happening in the city and what Gaelic services are on offer here.'

The new website has a number of facets; for example, if you are interested in finding out what Gaelic classes are available in the area there is a page dedicated to Gaelic education. There is also a forum page on the site where people can comment on the site content and engage in lively discussion about Gaelic and related activities.

Alasdair MacLeid, acting Chair of the Forum, states: `This is an exciting time for Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis; we are a new group dedicated to promoting Gaelic in the Highland capital and what better way to promote our aims and Gaelic events than through a regularly updated, informative website.'

The site is fully bi-lingual and easily read. Groups and individuals who are holding Gaelic language events are asked to send any information on their upcoming event to: [email protected] . The site is updated weekly and is under continual development.

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis is grateful for the generous financial support towards this project from the Gaelic in the Community Scheme, incorporating Highland Council, Inverness & Nairn Enterprise and European Funding, as well as funding from Brd na Gidhlig.

Editors Note:

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis is a young and vibrant community-based organisation, open to Gaels, Gaelic learners and everyone else interested in encouraging Gaelic and Gidhealach culture across our area. The group was formed by a group of individuals based in the area who felt the need for a group who could take forward and represent the views of the Gaelic community in the city. It looks to provide a regular open forum raising issues in areas such as education, broadcasting, bi-lingual signage, culture, and more, ensuring that `an Guth na Coimhearsnachd' (the voice of the community) is heard by officials and organisations at this time of unprecedented growth and change in the city. The Fram also looks to stage dances, cilidh's, social evenings, events for children, lectures, etc. in the area ? giving Gaels in and around the city an opportunity to meet and speak their language and enjoy Gaelic cultural events. Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis is a charitable organisation, which relies on contributions and membership subscriptions to take forward its aims and objectives.

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

Fn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]
Lrach-ln: www.inbhirnis.org
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March 2, 2005

1. Road safety concerns raised over use of Gaelic signs (Scottish Gaelic)
2. Inverness Gaelic Forum frustrated with veto of plans for bilingual signage (Scottish Gaelic)
3. Highland Council Feels Gaelic Bill Does Not Go Far Enough (Scottish Gaelic)

March 3, 2005

4. Seattle Course (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Petition for the Declaration of the Fro Cymraeg (Welsh)
6. Hi-Arts (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Halifax to launch Celtic festival (Scottish Gaelic)

March 4, 2005

8. The saga of Gaelic road signs, episode 694 (Scottish Gaelic)

March 5, 2005

9. The Truth About Innse Gall (Scottish Gaelic)

March 2, 2005

1. Road safety concerns raised over use of Gaelic signs (Scottish Gaelic)


The Scotsman
Wed 2 Mar 2005
Scotland - Inverness


GAELIC road signs could be a traffic hazard in the Highland capital where few people speak the language, it has been claimed.

The issue has caused a split in Highland Council, which has decided to limit the use of bilingual signs to Inverness city centre, unless other areas specifically want signs in English and Gaelic.

Councillor Ron Lyon said: "I don't consider Inverness to be a Gaelic town and there are very few speakers that you will hear on Inverness High Street. This is a phoney gimmick and a danger on the open road."

He was supported by David Munro, who said: "I am not anti-Gaelic, but this must be done sensibly ... less than 10 per cent of the people in Inverness speak Gaelic."

Fram Gaidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Forum) expressed its "frustration and deep disappointment" at the decision to limit the signs.

Brian hEadhra, its development officer, said: "This is a sad day for Gaels in Inverness and further afield. After centuries of discrimination against our language, we looked on such initiatives as having real potential for giving Gaelic its rightful place in the capital of Highlands."

2005 Scotsman.com

2. Inverness Gaelic Forum frustrated with veto of plans for bilingual signage (Scottish Gaelic)

Press Release
Date: 01 March 2005
From: Inverness Gaelic Forum

Fram Gaidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Forum) today (01/03/05) expressed their frustration and deep disappointment with the decision taken by Inverness councillors yesterday (28/02/05) to veto plans for bilingual signage for street signs throughout the Inverness area.

The recommendation for bilingual signage came from a report prepared for Inverness & Nairn Enterprise in 2004, which put forward proposals for enhancing the status of Gaelic in the city, and promoting Inverness as the "capital for Gaelic", promoting the economic rewards that cities such as Galway in the west of Ireland have enjoyed in terms of cachet, cultural vibrancy and increased tourism.

After some controversy, Inverness was only recently chosen as the location for the new national Gaelic Development Agency Brd na Gidhlig, and have been home to the main offices of many of the main Gaelic development organisations such as Comunn na Gidhlig, An Comunn Gidhealach and CNSA (the Gaelic Playgroups Association) for a number of years.

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis seeks to represent the views of the Gaelic community in Inverness, and have recently appointed a development officer in order to assist the development of the language in the city. Brian hEadhra, Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis Development Officer has said, "This is a sad day for Gaels in Inverness and further afield. After centuries of discrimination against our language, we looked on such initiatives as having real potential for giving Gaelic
its rightful place in the Capital of Highlands. The city has a very strong Gaelic heritage, a growing Gaelic-medium education sector and is still home to many Gaelic speakers from the west coast and the Western Isles; this is a real slap in the face."

He added, "I find it amazing that we have private companies such as Safeways (Millburn Road) and pubs such as Hootananny recognising the value of our Gaelic language by using Gaelic signs, and an economic development agency (Inverness & Nairn Enterprise) looking to promote the language for the benefit of the city, but it appears that such exciting and innovative developments for the city are being held back by a few backward-looking individuals. They have no excuse in not recognising the place of Gaelic in our city, as each Inverness councillor has recently been given the book The Gaelic Place-names and Heritage of Inverness, written by Roddy MacLean. We will not accept this decision lying down."

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis have set up an on-line petition seeking bi-lingual signage in Inverness and throughout the Highlands. The webpage is: http://www.petitiononline.com/Ceartas

People can also air their views on the new Gaelic website for Inverness: www.inbhirnis.org

3. Highland Council Feels Gaelic Bill Does Not Go Far Enough (Scottish Gaelic)

Highland Council Press Release. MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2005

The Highland Council has welcomed the amendments to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill put forward by the Minister for Education and Young People, Peter Peacock, for consideration at Stage 2 but believes that a further significant amendment is still required.

The Council believes the proposal for a National Gaelic Education Strategy was probably the single most important recommendation put forward in the Education Committee's Stage One Report on the Bill and is very disappointed by its absence in the Minister's amendments at Stage 2.

Vice Convener, Councillor Michael Foxley said: "I remain convinced that getting this provision on the face of the Bill is absolutely central to ensuring the co-ordination of a cross-sectoral approach to Gaelic education provision.

"Its inclusion would ensure, when resolving issues such as the lack of teachers for example, that all relevant organisations must provide a vibrant co-ordinated and coherent service - from the Careers Service, to training by Universities and Colleges, to re-training, to action by local
authorities, to incentives. This simply does not happen at the moment.

"So whilst we are pleased to see the steps being taken by Peter Peacock to look at various issues on an administrative basis, we feel that it is only by putting the National Education Plan on a legislative basis and under parliamentary scrutiny that real progress can be guaranteed."

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Convener of the Council's Gaelic Select Committee agreed. He said: "Without a legal requirement on future administrations to take a pro-active and positive approach to Gaelic, there is no guarantee that the whole approach to the subject won't be reversed with a
different Government/Minister in place.

"Furthermore, whilst it might be argued that the Bord's National Strategy should ensure all public authorities' own plans are cross referenced and complimentary, we do not feel that the Bord is in a position to take the necessary high level overview of these agencies' terms of reference and
strategic and operational plans/aims. The Executive is not only well placed to do this - but does so already in relation to these agencies' more general functions."

The Highland Council gave its strong support to the Education Committee's proposal for a National Education Strategy for Gaelic when it was published in the Committee's Stage One Report on the Bill. Councillor Fraser also wrote to Mr Peacock on behalf of the Council's Gaelic Select Committee to recommend that the Minister accept the Committee's report in its entirety.

The Council's Director of Education, Bruce Robertson, is now chairing a Working Group established by the Minister to look at the development of resources for the curriculum in secondary schools using new technologies as well as being a member of the recently-established group looking into Gaelic teacher supply. Despite working so closely with the Executive on this,
however, Mr Robertson also believes that it is not enough simply to seek an administrative

He said: "It is encouraging that the Minister has agreed that these issues need to be addressed by setting up these working groups. Nevertheless, I believe that once we have reported and the Minister has agreed a way forward, these conclusions should form part of an over-arching
national strategy for Gaelic education which needs to be given legislative or regulatory expression.

"It is essential that these issues are given the importance and weight that they deserve, because only then will we succeed in making a real and lasting difference."


Notes to Editors:

The deadline for tabling amendments to the Gaelic Bill closed at midday on Friday 25 February. Only MSPs are entitled to put forward amendments at Stage 2.

The Education Committee will consider Stage Two amendments on Thursday 3 March. It is not expected to need the three days set aside for this Stage and it is likely to have completed consideration of all the amendments tabled by the end of the first day.

The Highland Council will seek to have the inclusion of the National Gaelic Education Strategy considered as part of the Stage Three debate on the Bill. It will be seeking the support of Highland MSPs as well as those who expressed their support for strengthening the Bill at the
Parliament's Stage One debate on the Bill.

March 3, 2005

4. Seattle Course (Scottish Gaelic)

Slighe nan Gaidheal's new Gaelic education program, Zero To Gaelic in 2 Years (Z2G2) continues to roll along. The third instructional day in our current series is set for Saturday, 23 April 2005 (Di-Sathurna, 23 Giblean 2005) so mark your calendars now.
As usual we will have classes for Level 1 and Level 2 learners. We begin a new Level 1 group each year at the November Gaelic Intensive Day, but if you don't want to wait that long to begin, then please contact us via e-mail to [email protected] and we will be happy to discuss options for getting caught up to one of our groups already in progress.

If you have already been studying Gaelic for a while, please take a look at our Table of Correspondences, which you can get here: http://www.slighe.com/documents/z2g2_table.pdf

At the April GID, Level 1 learners will be covering units 7,8 and 9. Level 2 learners will tackle units 25, 26, and 27.

Our presenters will be:

Maureen Lyon, is a native speaker from the island of Lewis now living in Canada. She is a popular presenter at our classes. Since 1985 she has been Gaelic tutor for the Vancouver Gaelic Choir which has competed four times at the Royal National Md in Scotland. Gaelic music has been a major part of her life since childhood. She teaches beginners to advanced Gaelic at the Scottish Cultural Centre throughout the winter. She will be working with the Level 2 students.

Judith Cummings was born and brought up near Glasgow, Scotland, and started to learn Gaelic as a teenager. For many years she taught harp through the medium of Gaelic at Feisean (Festivals) and Gaelic schools in Scotland. She has also taught beginners' Gaelic language
classes for Glasgow's Community Education Programme for adults. Judith moved to live in Seattle three years ago and is currently involved in her most challenging teaching project so far: bringing up her 1 year-old daughter as a Gaelic speaker.

Zero to Gaelic in Two Years is an on-going program. If you are worried that you may be too brand-new you should contact us and we will either alleviate your worries or show you how to come up to speed!

Here are full details -

Saturday, 23 April 2005 ( Giblean 2005)
9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Findlay Street Christian Church
4620 South Findlay St, Seattle, WA 98118
Two blocks northeast of the intersection of Rainier Ave S and Orcas Street
Plenty of on-street parking, & no meters!
More detailed directions will be sent by e-mail upon request.

$30 members, $40 non-members.

You may register and pay at the door, but pre-event registrations by mail are strongly encouraged. Send your checks to
Slighe nan Gaidheal
PO Box 20667
Seattle, Washington 98102
A registration form can be downloaded from:

For further information, contact:
[email protected]
or 206.903.9452 (message phone)
or 206.722.4261 (home phone for Committee chairman)


Slighe nan Gaidheal is Seattle's Gaelic language & cultural society

5. Petition for the Declaration of the Fro Cymraeg (Welsh)

If you agree with the Datganiad y Fro Gymraeg (Declaration of the Fro Cymraeg) below, why not put your name to the ePetition?

"I have read the Declaration of the Fro Gymraeg at www.datganiad.com, declare my support for it, and call upon the National Assembly of Cymru and the British Government to recognise
the Declaration formally."


Blog Cymuned

Testun llawn -- "Datganiad y Fro Gymraeg"
Dydd Iau, 4 Tachwedd 2004

Datganiad y Fro Gymraeg
[fersiwn Saesneg]


proclaimed on the 23rd October 2004


Whereas every human being is of equal worth and value;

Whereas there is within the human race a great and rich variety of language, culture and nationality; and all languages, cultures and nationalities in the world are of equal worth and value;

Whereas every nation, whether large or small, has the right to exist in its own proper communities and territory, without having to suffer colonisation; and no nation has the right to colonise the communities and land of another nation;

Whereas racism (namely oppression on grounds of race, that is physical characteristics, rather than or in addition to nationality, language or culture) is utterly repugnant;

Whereas colonisation (which happens when migrants refuse to integrate into a new country, but instead impose their own language, culture and identity on the country to which they migrate, assimilating and/or displacing the indigenous people) is a form of theft and therefore a crime, and is a form of racism (namely colonial racism) since colonisation and racism are inextricably linked, both historically and at the present time;

Whereas many of the world's indigenous languages, cultures and nations are in danger of extinction (`ethnocide') and others are already extinct, mainly as a result of colonisation and colonial racism;

Whereas this process is a threat to the common heritage of the whole of humanity as well as that of individual nations, and is therefore a crime against humanity;

Whereas Cymraeg (the Welsh language) and its parent Brythoneg have been the indigenous languages of Cymru (Wales) for around 2,500 years, but it is now only in Y Fro Gymraeg that Cymraeg is a community language;

Whereas Y Fro Gymraeg, its communities, its language and its culture now face extermination and ethnocide due to colonisation and the loss of much of its indigenous population, in common with many of the world's other indigenous peoples;

Whereas the declarations of the United Nations and the Council of Europe recognise the right of indigenous peoples not to suffer ethnocide, to retain their traditional lands and their identity,
and to be protected by their governments; and that these rights are an integral part of the international framework for safeguarding human rights;

Now, therefore,

We solemnly proclaim the following declaration:

Article 1 - Y Fro Gymraeg exists as a distinct region and areas of Cymru, namely those parts of the traditional territory of the Cymry (Welsh people) where the majority of the indigenous population and a third or more of the total population are able to speak and understand Cymraeg.

Article 2 - We fully support all efforts to restore and popularise Cymraeg in other parts of Cymru (and we also support the Welsh culture of those regions which is expressed through the medium of English or other languages), but we believe that the survival of Y Fro Gymraeg is indispensable to the survival and development of Cymraeg in the rest of Cymru and as a national language, and to the survival of Cymru as a nation.

Article 3 - The people of Y Fro Gymraeg have the right to retain it as a region and areas whose particular and proper language is Cymraeg, where Cymraeg will be the official language, the natural language of the community, the main language of administration and commerce and all other aspects of life, and the common language amongst in-migrants and between in-migrants and indigenous people; and they have the right not to suffer colonisation and loss of the indigenous

Article 4 - The people of Y Fro Gymraeg (including those indigenous people who are not able to speak or understand Cymraeg) have the right to social justice, which includes homes, work and
livelihoods, together with education and other services provided through the medium of Cymraeg, within communities whose language is Cymraeg.

Article 5 - `Normal in-migration' (which happens when migrants of any origin, extraction or race respect the language, culture and identity of Y Fro Gymraeg, learn and use Cymraeg and integrate into the community on that basis) is fully acceptable in Y Fro Gymraeg, and can further enrich our multi-racial and inclusive Cymraeg-speaking society.

Article 6 - No-one has the right to colonise Y Fro Gymraeg, whether intentionally or otherwise; such colonisation is a colonial-racist act and therefore a crime, as are encouragement and support for colonisation; and denying, opposing or undermining the existence of Y Fro Gymraeg and its communities are also colonial-racist acts.

Article 7 - The people of Y Fro Gymraeg have the moral right to oppose colonisation and the loss of its indigenous population, and to oppose policies and actions which further these processes. Such opposition is in solidarity with other indigenous peoples throughout the world who are suffering as a result of colonial racism. This is not a conflict between nations, but rather between two ideologies, namely colonial racism on the one hand and anti-colonialism/anti-racism on the other..

Article 8 - We oppose totally all forms of racism; we declare that all human beings are of equal worth and value, whatever their race and physical characteristics; and we declare that Y Fro Gymraeg is a multi-racial and inclusive region and areas whose particular and proper language
is Cymraeg.

Article 9 - We declare that it is the responsibility of everyone in Cymru to do that which is within their power to ensure the survival of Y Fro Gymraeg and its communities..

Article 10 - We demand that the Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (the Welsh National Assembly Government), the United Kingdom Government, the European Union and all other relevant bodies support this declaration, recognise the existence of Y Fro Gymraeg and its
> right to continue to exist, accept their moral responsibility to protect it, and take such action as is necessary to fulfil that responsibility.

Wedi'i gyfrannu gan aran am 11:28:06 - Categori: Cyffredinol

6. Hi-Arts (Scottish Gaelic)

Here are just some of the features that you will find in this month's HI~Arts Journal...

Mill a h-Uile Rud - PETER URPETH gets the lowdown on a Gaelic punk band from Seattle ahead of their short tour of Scotland.

Gaelic Article - RODY GORMAN reports on the work of the Gaelic publishers Coiscim (please note - this article is written in Gaelic).

Interview - Saxophonist RAYMOND MACDONALD, co-leader of the Burt-MacDonald Quintet, talks about his return to An Tobar in Tobermory this month to develop and perform a new

Dal Riata - EILEEN BELL joined the HI~Arts team on a recent media excursion in Argyll, including a visit to Kilmartin House Museum.

Interview - Irish pianist and composer MCHEL SILLEABHIN talks to the Arts Journal about his a tour of the Highlands and Islands and his passion for bringing together traditional and classical music.

Watch out for more features, reviews, film reviews and What's On information throughout the month of March 2005.

The HI~Arts Journal Team

7. Halifax to launch Celtic festival (Scottish Gaelic)


Three-day June event will bring together top pipers, fiddlers and dancers

By STEVE MACLEODCanadian Press
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - Page T2

HALIFAX -- Walk anywhere in Halifax's historic downtown and the Celtic roots of New Scotland's largest city are as thick as the fog that often blankets its harbour.

On a typical Saturday night the sounds of fiddles and shanties spill onto the streets from the city's Irish pubs. Stroll along the waterfront boardwalk and hear the skirl of a kilted piper busking. Introduce yourself to a Haligonian and the chances are fairly good their surname will begin
with a Mac or Mc.

In late spring, the city's vibrant Celtic soul will be even more evident when the first-ever Halifax Celtic Fis music and cultural festival is held. "We want to make this into one of the premier Celtic events in North America," says Ian MacIsaac, a local piper who with partner Keith
Publicover began talking about organizing a major Celtic festival about 1 years ago.

"The artists who are coming are well known and they're world class."

Pronounced fash by the Scots and fesh by the Irish, fis is Gaelic for meeting or gathering and the Halifax version from June 2 to 4 will bring together the world's top pipers, fiddlers, dancers, craftspeople and storytellers for three days of music and workshops -- and a pint or two. One
of the events, Pints and Piobaireachd (pronounced pee-brock), will bring together some of the world's top bagpipers, including Scotland's Gordon Walker and world solo piper of the year Bruce Grandy of Nova Scotia for a performance at Pier 21, a national heritage site.

At Casino Nova Scotia, Fiddles on Fire, Feet on the Floor will marry traditional Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton fiddlers with step-dancers.

Those wanting to know more about the Gaelic language, piping and genealogy can attend workshops at Saint Mary's University during the day and check out performers at night in both pub settings and soft-seat theatres around the city. The festival will close with a pop ceilidh, or kitchen-party, whose lineup has yet to be finalized.

MacIsaac and Publicover have embarked on a five-year plan to grow the event from relatively modest beginnings into a major international festival that will help extend the city's tourism season beyond the usual July 1 to Labour Day crush.

Halifax Celtic Fis: 902-444-3000; http://www.halifaxcelticfeis.com.

March 4, 2005

8. The saga of Gaelic road signs, episode 694 (Scottish Gaelic)

West Highland Free Press. 4th March, 2005.
More than 30 years after their titled predecessors set their faces against the use of any Gaelic on Inverness-shire road signs, how disappointing it is to see the modern councillors parroting the same old anti-Gaelic arguments.

This time the argument is - thankfully - not about the west coast, where the debate has been won. It concerns Inverness itself. Scotland's newest city has "never been a Gaelic town", we are told from Glenurquhart Road. The cost of installing bilingual signs throughout it would be prohibitive.
They might also cause motorists to crash. Gaelic will therefore be limited to the city centre unless the representatives of other districts specifically request them, which seems unlikely.

Inverness was, of course, a Gaelic-speaking town along with most of the rest of Scotland, if we go back far enough. It still retains a substantial minority of speakers, but the evidence of this heritage is sadly no longer reflected in the language mostly used on Church Street. It is to be found most vividly in the place names of the outlying districts. Where does councillor Dave Munro think the misspelt words Ballifeary, Lochardil and Culcabock come from?

Much was made in the council chambers of the supposed high cost of putting Gaelic on road signs in Inverness. Aside from the fact that the cost would actually be negligible, it cannot be pointed out too often that Inverness has done financially very well indeed out of Gaelic. When the bids
are in for the siting of new Gaelic agencies, with all of their associated salaries and building developments, we do not hear quite so much from councillors about Inverness not being a Gaelic-speaking town. Inverness merchants have never been slow to exploit the image and culture of the Gael for their own tourist industry.

And in the year 2007 an Inverness-based group, fully supported by Highland Council, is planning to mount a "year of Highland culture". Millions and millions of pounds, we are assured, will be pumped by this exercise into the region. Most of those millions will doubtless go straight to
Inverness itself.

Perhaps the city's councillors would like to explain to the backers of Highland 2007 and to the rest of us, why Gaelic is good enough to attract their funding, but otherwise is to have no permanent place in the civic life of the "Highland capital".

Ceud mile failte, indeed!

March 5, 2005

9. The Truth About Innse Gall (Scottish Gaelic)

A new survey reveals a shocking deterioration in the level of Gaelic language usage in the Western Isles. The survey is the forerunner to a "Gaelic Language Plan" to be published this autumn. It highlights the fact that children who are educated through Gaelic choose English
as the language of social communication with their peers.
2005 Scotsman.com
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March 6, 2005

2) Beyond fleet feet, ancient Irish tongue thrives (Irish Gaelic)

March 9, 2005

3) Manx Study Seminar (Manx Gaelic)
4) Welsh language group launches online petition in support of the language's heartlands (Welsh)
5) School calls for 'corridor' Welsh (Welsh)
6) Welsh broadcasting does not properly reflect Welsh language pop music (Welsh)
8) Doric signs show road to the aisles (Doric)
9) Bid to spread the word on Scots poet (Scots)
10) Shetland dialect (Scots)
11) Time to recognise a new golden age of Scots literature (Scots)
12) Major boost for Gaelic on Skye (Scottish Gaelic)

March 6, 2005


This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 01 March 2005

A strategy to help develop the Cornish Language in the 21st century has been officially published following extensive consultation with Cornish language groups, individual Cornish speakers, local councils and members of the public.

When Nick Raynsford, the Minister for Local and Regional Government, announced in November 2002 the Government's decision to recognise Cornish as falling under Part II (Article 7) of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, he emphasised this as a positive step in acknowledging the symbolic importance of the Cornish language to Cornish identity and
heritage. After almost a hundred years of the modern revival of the language, it had finally received official recognition. But what does this new status mean - if anything - to the ordinary resident of Cornwall who wants to learn more about an idiom that is so much a part of our
everyday lives through place-names, family names and increasingly house and business names?

A substantial document - Strateji Rag An Taves Kernewek (Strategy For The Cornish Language) - has just been published which aims to set out the next step in the development and wider use of the Cornish language, Kernewek, in every sphere of life.

The 28-page strategy document is the result of two years' work by a steering group made up of five senior members of the language community (George Ansell, Maureen Pierce, Ken George, Andrew Climo-Thompson and Vanessa Beeman), John Sawle and Jenefer Lowe representing Cornwall County Council, and a member of the Government Office South West (Tony Steele).
Together with an advisory group consisting of a number of organisations with specialist expertise, including Agan Tavas, Cussell An Tavas Kernuak, Dalva, Gorseth Kernow, the Institute of Cornish Studies, Kesva An Taves Kernewek, and Kowethas An Taves Kernewek, they came up with a plan to create better understanding and use of the language in the 21st century as a way of strengthening Cornwall's identity and distinctiveness.

There has already been criticism from some quarters that two years after Nick Raynsford's announcement more should have been done to press for government funding to enable every school child to be given the opportunity of learning Kernewek. However, members of the steering group argue that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and that the strategy document is only a
first step.

Councillor John Lobb, chairman of the Cornish Language Strategy Advisory Group, said: "This is a very important milestone in the development of the Cornish language. Interest in the Cornish language has been growing considerably in recent years and this strategy will help everyone
involved in its development to identify future priorities. Work can now begin on implementing individual action points.

"Now that the strategy has been completed, work is under way to implement the next steps and put funding packages into place to realise the action plans which will follow.

"The response to this public consultation has been heartening: we now have a clear understanding of the aspirations of the people of Cornwall for their language.

"While many differing views have been put forward, a clear vision of Cornish as a widely-spoken community language has emerged during the process. This strategy recognises that there is a long way to travel to achieve this long-term vision but it offers a realistic, step by step approach
towards that goal, and it will need to be reviewed regularly in the light of progress. The development of Cornish cuts across all policy areas of government but we are confident that with the goodwill of all concerned the vision can be realised."

A draft strategy was put together in 2004 and put out to consultation, with the final version being published in a bilingual format. It sets out the authors' vision for the future of the language both in the short and long term, based on the results of consultation with Cornish communities and Kernewek speakers. It looks at the history of the language, the revival, the current situation and steps to be taken to ensure further growth.

The main focus of the strategy is, understandably, education - from pre-school through to university and adult learning.

The authors state: "In some cases this is expressed simply as a desire for every young person to have at least one experience of a language activity and awareness of Cornish culture. In other cases the wish is for space to be made for learning within the curriculum where there is a demand."
A number of targets are identified:

An accessible education programme from pre-school to higher and adult education.

Effective partnerships between statutory bodies, the formal education sector and the voluntary

The development of new ways to access the Cornish language and support systems both for new learners and newly fluent speakers.

Effective teaching resources.

Research programmes.

High standards of teaching.

Training for voluntary teachers.

Recognised qualifications in the language for learners and teachers.

A change in those perceptions of Cornish which form barriers to teaching and learning leading to a greater take-up of the language by young people.

The authors add: "Learning and teaching Cornish needs to be valued in the same way as other languages in order for it to thrive."

Other important areas identified include: making the language more visible in everyday public life; developing the media profile of Cornish through film, television, newspapers, radio and the Internet; exploring Cornish branding and other commercial opportunities that the language offers
for business, marketing, publishing and tourism; working towards Cornish receiving equal merit and treatment to languages such as Welsh; and setting up a network of centres of Cornish language activity and expertise where resources can be shared and projects and initiatives

The steering group stresses that the strategy is not intended to be an end in itself, but a working document which will be reviewed annually and updated to reflect progress and the changing cultural landscape.

"The vision and targets are ambitious and there needs to be a realistic acceptance as to the pace at which they can be delivered," the group's members state. "There are no quick fixes. The recognition of Cornish under the Charter and the partnership which has set this process in motion has set the framework for the future. The task is now to build the partnerships and projects which will turn the vision into reality. It is evident from the experience of other language communities that in order for there to be sustained growth the building blocks need to be put in place
progressively and the capacity within the language movement to respond to growth in demandand activity needs to be developed. Implementation of the strategy will require resources, not only in financial terms but, more importantly initially, in dedicated time to develop the actions."

An officer is to be appointed soon to develop and implement the plans and a monitoring group will be formed to oversee implementation and compliance with the European Charter.

Mr Lobb concluded by saying: "It is our belief that the recommendations contained in this strategy will attract widespread public support and are confident that the objectives in language planning are achievable. Cornwall now has a unique opportunity to develop the use and knowledge of its ancient language throughout the community, enriching the lives of future
generations and consolidating a Cornish identity; one that is so important within a multilingual

Strateji Rag An Tavas Kernewek (Strategy For The Cornish Language) is available in four versions of Cornish, as well as English, and can be obtained by writing to John Sawle, Chief Executive's Office, County Hall, Truro. Alternatively, e-mail [email protected] or visit

2) Beyond fleet feet, ancient Irish tongue thrives (Irish Gaelic)

BY JIM MERRITT. March 6, 2005

Patrick Clifford's class is learning a bit of Gaelic vocabulary tonight plus some handy phrases for getting around in the Irish countryside.

"An bhfuil s fuar?" Clifford says, writing the Irish Gaelic words, which mean, "Is it cold?" on a portable blackboard at the front of a makeshift classroom inside the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall in Babylon.

Justine Napodano, one of 15 students taking Clifford's beginning Irish class, repeats the Gaelic tongue twister, then the correct answer on this winter evening:

"T s fuar: It is cold."

"I'm really into languages," explains Napodano, 17, a Seaford resident and a senior at Island Trees High School. Though only a tiny bit Irish (she's mostly Sicilian-American), Napodano is enjoying the lessons, during which Clifford, an Irish immigrant who lives in Lindenhurst, also holds up flashcards with Irish vocabulary words. "It doesn't sound like any other language I've ever heard before."

For Maureen and Bill Crowley of Kings Park, married accountants who've just returned from a trip to the Emerald Isle, it's more of an essential skill. The fourth-generation Irish-Americans have been promised a return trip to Ireland if they can master the Irish tongue.
Keeping Irish alive for the Irish, the Irish-American and the merely curious is the object of the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School, which generally includes between 50 and 120 students, and attracts some 70 students to free classes each Thursday.

Founded in 1988, the school offers the most extensive Irish language instructional program in North America, according to an Irish Voice article published last fall.

A thriving Irish language school is "a testament to the long history of Irish Americans on Long Island," said Anne O'Byrne, an assistant professor of philosophy at Hofstra University who grew up in Ireland.

Students say they're drawn in because of interest in their own Irish heritage as well as the language's music and intellectual challenges.

"I want to learn every language known to man," said Lauren Soule, 15, of West Babylon, whose ethnic background includes Norwegian, Polish and Russian ancestors, but no Irish.

"Irish Gaelic in particular is undergoing a tremendous renaissance since its near-extinction in the mid 20th century," according to Jerry Kelly, another one of the 10 instructors at the school.

Kelly said that English speakers had suppressed Gaelic in its homeland during centuries of British rule. In the schools, "they would beat you if you spoke Irish," he said. Kelly teaches a "Mommy, Daddy & Me" program for kids 2-9; other sections cover advanced conversation, literature, history, and creative writing.

Irish - taught now in Republic of Ireland's public schools, a central reason for its comeback - is spoken as a "first" language there by about 40 percent of the republic's close to 4 million inhabitants; a few hundred thousand also speak it in Northern Ireland, according to Kelly. Music with Irish Gaelic lyrics is also having a resurgence, especially among young people.

But what's the use of studying a language heard only on one little, if beloved, island?

"We've got the greatest epic literature [in Irish Gaelic] that survives in Indo-European culture," said Kelly, 53, a financial consultant who lives in Seaford and raised his two children to speak Irish at home.

A branch of Celtic which originated in central Europe in the 12th to 8th centuries B.C., Irish is the source of words such as "puck" and "smashing," as in we had a "smashing" time, say the Tobin school instructors.

The Tobin school is part of a larger Irish-language scene nationwide, said Thomas Ihde, director of the CUNY Institute for Irish American Studies at Lehman College in The Bronx. Irish Gaelic courses are taught at about 20 colleges and universities nationwide, including New York University and CUNY, and in high school and university adult education programs. Ihde estimates that about 80 percent of students studying are either Irish-American or married to one.
The other 20 percent include Brian V. Sukhoo, 15, of North Babylon, whose background is Puerto Rican and Guyanese. Each Thursday he accompanies Soule, his girlfriend, to class.

A student of languages, Sukhoo said he's also studying Japanese, German and Korean. He enjoys the school's warm learning environment and hopes to speak Irish one day in its native land.

Says Sukhoo: "I think it's only right to learn the language of the place you're going to visit."

March 9, 2005

3) Manx Study Seminar (Manx Gaelic)


Breathing life into the corpus: the case of Manx Gaelic

Dates: 14th April 2005
Description: Centre for Manx Studies Seminar Series at Elmwood House, Isle of Man College,
Time: 7.30pm

4) Welsh language group launches online petition in support of the language's heartlands (Welsh)

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 3/7/2005

Welsh language group launches online petition in support of the language's heartlands The Welsh language pressure group Cymuned has launched an online petition to support its campaign for the Welsh language heartlands. The group was formed in 2001 to tackle widespread inmigration of
English speakers to the heartlands, threatening the language. The census of that year showed, whilst there had been a increase in the number of Welsh speakers throughout Wales, there had been a decline in its heartlands. Cymuned now want the National Assembly of Wales to adopt measures to safeguard these communities by helping local people to compete in the housing market and strengthening its economic activity.

People are encouraged to read and declare support for the Declaration of the Fro Gymraeg (the Welsh-speaking heartlands) on the internet. The petition was launched by displaying a large banner 'Y Fro Gymraeg - Keep Our Communities Alive' on the walls of Dolwyddelan castle, in north-west Wales, once a stronghold of the Welsh princes and one of the last castles to fall to the invading English armies during the 13th century.

"This is the first public step towards revealing how much support we have received for our Declaration of the Fro Gymraeg," says Richard Evans, chairman of Cymuned's Executive Committee. "A lot of preparatory work has been going on behind the scenes, and through displaying this banner on the walls of Dolwyddelan castle, we are declaring that the public work is now beginning. We demand that the Assembly Government recognises the existence and the importance of the Fro Gymraeg."

Cymuned's definition of the Fro Gymraeg is those areas where over 50 per cent of the population that was born in Cymru (Wales) speak Cymraeg (Welsh), and over 33 per cent of the population as a whole. Cymuned says that language planning experts have announced that there is a need for a geographic area where a minority language is the main language of all spheres of life if it is to survive in the long term.

"We have a lot of plans for promoting the Fro Gymraeg this year," says Aran Jones, Cymuned's chief executive, "and this is just the beginning. We will not stop until Rhodri Morgan [First Minister of the Assembly] and the Assembly Government recognise that the Fro Gymraeg exists, and accept that our Cymraeg-speaking communities are of priceless importance to our nation as a whole."

The petition can be found at www.petitiononline.com/cymuned/petition.html.
(Eurolang 2005)

5) School calls for 'corridor' Welsh (Welsh)

BBC NEWS. Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 09:03 GMT

One of Wales' oldest Welsh-medium schools is urging parents to encourage their children to speak more of the language in the corridors.

Arwel George, head of Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig in Aberystwyth, said Welsh had reached a "new low" outside the classroom.

He has appealed to parents, pupils and staff at the school to revive pride in their native tongue.

A language pressure group said Anglo-American culture was to blame.

Rhieni Tros Addysd Gymraeg (Rhag)/Parents for Welsh Medium Education, said English music and magazines played a major role in young people's lives.

In his letter to parents Mr George said: "During recent years there is a sense that there has been a decrease in the use of Welsh along the school's corridors.

"There has always been an element of this as Penweddig students are bilingual and using English, contrary to the school's expectations, is one means whereby young adolescents can express their
"By now, however, we feel that we have reached a new low and there is need for us as staff, students, parents and governors to realise what the situation is and pull together to revive our pride in the Welsh language and to strengthen its use in the life of the school."

Mr George added that he wanted to adopt a new slogan for the coming year: '2005: A successful new year for Welsh at Penweddig'.

Ysgol Penweddig opened in 1973.

Heini Griffith of Rhag said Welsh-speaking young people were under "enormous pressure" from the English language.

"English is the dominant language especially of youth culture. The Anglo/American culture dominates music and magazines and plays a large part in young people's lives," said Mr Griffith, who lives in Swansea.

"Schools are left to deal with this and parents must take more responsibility to encourage their children to speak Welsh. Teachers take on too much responsibility for the language."

He added: "The problems at Penweddig are general problems seen in other parts of Wales and young people are under enormous pressure from English.

"I welcome Mr George's initiative and knowing him his message is positive."

6) Welsh broadcasting does not properly reflect Welsh language pop music (Welsh)

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 3/8/2005

The Welsh language media does not do enough to help contemporary Welsh language pop music. This is the accusation made by singer Gwilym Morus, lead singer of Drumbago, who has just released a solo album. He says that the current provision is of a low standard and undermines the work of many Welsh people to sustain a healthy and meaningful culture.

About a hundred people have signed a petition organised by Mr Morus, which says that a wider range is needed to reflect the real scene. It asks for more programmes, more documentary programmes of a high standard on various aspects of the Welsh language scene, and a "serious attempt to sustain and promote the present live scene". He adds that the standard of Welsh pop music has improved over the last few years and that this is not reflected on Welsh radio and

"The music played is from a narrow selection of middle-of-the-road music," says Gwilym Morus in an interview with a local English-language newspaper. "More diversity would reflect the real climate of the scene. The tendency to play the same songs once the album has 'aged' is narrow and boring. A little effort to use complete albums would create a greater diversity and make a world of difference to their service. Also playing poor English songs is an insult to the great number of good Welsh-language songs that have been recorded over the past decades. We have plenty to chose from in this country."

BBC Radio Cymru, the national radio channel, plays pop music for about two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon of mainly middle-of-the road material, with some English hits included in the afternoon. A further two hours of middle-of-the road material is broadcast in the early evening, but a more youth-orientated programme is broadcast for three hours in the late evening.

BBC Wales has denied the accusations, saying that the opposite was true and that it helps to promote Welsh language music. "We record on average one session every fortnight through the year ... with these songs [later] played to a much wider audience," said a BBC spokesman. "I have seen no evidence that Radio Cymru only plays one song from these sessions over and over.
We also help the live scene by holding Brwydr y Bandiau (Battle of the Bands), Mawredd Mawr (an annual competition to find the best Welsh language pop song) and RAP Awards (awards for those working in the Welsh language pop industry). In the next two months, we will be holding meetings with Welsh record labels and promoters to see how we can boost the scene further."

The Welsh language television channel S4C - which at present broadcasts a weekly pop programme - has also defended its output by saying that they have "a strategy, and part of that is to have a commissioner that listens". The channel welcomes any dialogue on its output. (Eurolang 2005)


KEN JONES. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 08 March 2005

Lochaber has been given a massive cultural and financial boost with confirmation yesterday that it is to host the Royal National Mod in 2007.

The district has already been named as the venue for the World Mountain Bike Championships in 2007 - the Scottish Year of Highland Culture.

The Mod, which runs from October 12 to 20, will give a welcome boost to Lochaber's tourism economy which already provides 2,500 jobs and is worth more than 150million a year.

There are also high hopes that Lochaber can attract two other international events in 2007 - an ice climbing competition at Kinlochleven, which has the world's biggest indoor ice climbing wall, and a freestyle kayak contest at Fort William.

Yesterday's announcement comes just a week after a 307,000 cash package was delivered to promote the area worldwide as the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
The news that Lochaber will host the Mod was welcomed locally. Olwyn Macdonald, a councillor and Highland Council's Lochaber area convener, told colleagues at a meeting yesterday: "This is absolutely fantastic news.

"The Mod is a fantastic cultural event which builds on the support the council provides to organisations to promote and develop our indigenous language and culture. I know from previous events our young people especially enjoy competing at the Mod as it provides both a focus and a
platform to broadcast their language and musical skills."

Michael Foxley, a champion of Gaelic and the council's vice-convener, said: "I am delighted as Lochaber intends to celebrate the Highland Year of Culture in spectacular fashion.

"The Mod in Lochaber will be the centrepiece of this."

Robin Banks, chairman of Am Mod Naiseanta Rioghail, added: "Fort William is regarded by many as one of the best locations for a Royal National Mod, with a good supply of hotels and competition venues."

The event relies heavily on local voluntary support, but Charlie MacColl, chairman of the Lochaber branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach, said his members were now looking forward to planning for the event.

He said: "It is a long time since the Mod was here in Lochaber and I am pleased that a decision has finally been made. We will be getting started immediately on planning for 2007 and I am sure that the Gaelic community in and around Lochaber will lend their support."

This year's Royal Mod will be in the Western Isles and at Dunoon in 2006.

The announcement is an added bonus for a group of tourism operators and businesses, who have been spearheading the drive to have Lochaber officially recognised as the UK outdoor capital.

The recently announced funding package, which includes 100,000 European cash and 152,000 from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise network, will be used to promote Lochaber as the premier destination for outdoor sport, adventure tourism and health-related recreational activities.

The claim is already underpinned by its hosting of the Scottish Six Day Motorcycle Trials, which returns to Lochaber in May, along with the Ben Race, both of which attract international competitors.

Heats of the World Cup mountain biking event will return to Aonach Mor for the fourth year in September, bringing an estimated 40,000 competitors, back-up teams and spectators and a possible 2million for the local economy.

8) Doric signs show road to the aisles (Doric)
Edinburgh Evening News. 7th March, 2005.

SUPERMARKET giant Asda has ditched English and introduced signs in a local dialect in a new Scottish store, it emerged today.

Bosses at the Asda superstore in Peterhead decided to put up all of its signs in Doric - the traditional language of Scotland's north-east.

All directional signs in the store, and some of the Asda promotional sayings, have been translated into the local tongue.

"Welcome to Asda" has been changed to "Come Awa In", while "Always Happy to Help" and "Always Low Prices" have been translated into "Wid Aye Gie Ye a Han" and "Easy on the

Even the toilets in the store have been given a regional twist, with the ladies labelled as "Quines".

On leaving the store a sign also reads "Hist ye Back" - meaning "Come Again Soon".

The Doric signs were translated by the Buchan Heritage Society.

Store manager Craig Patterson said: "We hope our decision to introduce the Doric signs will give the dialect a real boost."

9) Bid to spread the word on Scots poet (Scots)

Edinburgh Evening News. 8th March, 2005.

THE words of one of Scotland's most famous but neglected poets may soon be heard ringing around Edinburgh classrooms.

Poetry lovers have launched a bid to have CDs of Robert Fergusson's greatest works handed out to schools and libraries in the city.

The Friends of Robert Fergusson group wants children to help keep the Scots language alive.

It also plans to bury a time capsule containing work related to the poet beneath a recently erected statue of Fergusson on the Royal Mile. Fergusson has long been regarded as Scotland's forgotten poet, and was believed to have been one of Robert Burns' greatest inspirations.

Dr Peter Robinson, former chairman of the Friends group, said he was keen for Fergusson's poems to be better known. The group hopes to raise 900 to buy 30 of the music sets, made up of three CDs, which have been produced for the group by company Scotsoun.

It features people such as Scottish poet and writer Hugh McDiarmid reading extracts from Fergusson's work.

Dr Robinson said: "This CD holds absolutely unique documents, some wonderful readings of his poetry going back 30 years.

"It is important to realise that Burns was unlikely to have written in Scots in quite the same way if it had not been for Fergusson."

Fergusson's most famous work, a 368-line poem called Auld Reikie, has been described as a long ode to Edinburgh's bustling street life in the 18th century.

Burns is said to have changed from writing in English to broad Scots after reading Fergusson's

Bill Watt, fundraising co-ordinator for the Friends, said: "My main interest is to keep as many Scottish words in the English language as we can.

"The more words we keep in the language, the more we can identify with ourselves as a people."

City pupils are already set to be more aware of Fergusson after education bosses agreed to hold a poetry competition in schools in his name.

An application for funding to pay for the capsule and the CDs was turned down by Edinburgh City Council last year.

However, members of the Friends are confident they will manage to raise money from private

A city education spokesman said: "We have been approached by the Friends of Robert Fergusson who asked if we would help them promote Robert Fergusson and his work to our schools by running a poetry competition in our schools.

"We are happy to support the campaign in this way, and hope this helps raise the profile of Robert Fergusson."

The Friends organisation was responsible for putting up a statue of Fergusson in October last year outside Canongate Kirk, where he was buried after dying in an asylum aged just 24. Fundraising problems meant the statue has not had a name plaque since it was put up in October.

However, enough money has now been raised to pay for paving stones inscribed with the poet's name and a plaque. The metal plaque is likely to be mounted on a stone plinth and would display details of Fergusson's life, including four lines from Auld Reikie.
The time capsule is expected to contain information such as minutes from the Friends' meetings.

Fergusson was born in 1750 in Edinburgh's Old Town. He attended the University of St Andrews, where he began writing poetry.

He died in 1774.

10) Shetland dialect (Scots)

The Scotsman. 7th March, 2005.

With regard to your report (1 March) on street names in Shetland, the Shetland dialect retains many features of the Norn language which was spoken on the islands until their incorporation into Scotland. It continued to be spoken for hundreds of years after Shetland came under the control of the Scottish crown, but during that time it was gradually replaced by a local form of

The present dialect is essentially Scots, in character, but with many more Norse influences than on the mainland. Evidence of the Scots language can be found in the typical Scots geographical terms and street names that occur in various parts of the islands. In Lerwick, there are the usual braes, wynds, lochsides and "closses" (closes) one would expect to find elsewhere in Scotland.

It would be a welcome development if the old Scots street names were restored to the central Lerwick closes.

Manager, Scots Language Resource Centre
York Place

11) Time to recognise a new golden age of Scots literature (Scots)

KEITH BRUCE. The Herald. March 07 2005

Scottish Books

IT is becoming increasingly clear to me that we are living through a golden age, new renaissance - call it what you will - of Scots literature. This is not a hyperbolic statement.

Recent past times have had their high points, but many years passed between Lanark and Kelman and Trainspotting and recognition for Edwin Morgan was a long time coming. Playwrights like Peter Arnott and John Clifford enjoyed single successes and then years in the wilderness. Despite the fact that the arts are not quantifiably better off in financial terms, the riches we are enjoying in terms of work are truly remarkable. In the theatre, a new generation of writers - David Harrower, David Greig, Zinnie Harris, Nicola McCartney, Gregory Burke - enjoy national and international reputations, many of their predecessors have come back into the limelight, and new young talents (Catherine Grosvenor and Morna Pearson for example) are waiting in the wings.

The Scottish novel, meanwhile, boasts its greatest-ever diversity with successful romance and thriller writers, incomers setting up shop to work here, and new talent emerging annually from creative writing hothouses like the courses at the universities of Glasgow and St Andrews.
Historians, biographers and cultural commentators and critics from here are also in the top rank. Literary events are blooming all over the country beyond Edinburgh's now annual book festival, with the appetite for Stanza in St Andrews, Wigtown's Book Town and - this year - Pitlochry's Winter Words and Glasgow's new Aye Write! exceeding all expectations. Poetry is also thriving. Just as Don Paterson and Kathleen Jamie's prize-winning shows a country punching above its weight, so Scots are well-represented in the UK lists and there is a growing local commitment to verse publishing.

Into this glorious ferment come two major new collections by two important figures. Stewart Conn had a long career as a major figure in radio drama, but in his later years it is his poetry that has secured his status, and the publication of Ghosts at Cockcrow (Bloodaxe, 8.95) in part marks the end of his three-year tenure as Edinburgh's first Poet Laureate (a fine accolade for an Ayrshire lad).

Iain Bamforth is a generation younger and grew up in Glasgow but is now resident in Strasbourg, a true polymath of the old Enlightenment type, a doctor with his own practice and a scientific translator whose last book, The Body in the Library, was an inspired anthology of medically
related texts both obscure and culled from Camus, Flaubert, Conan Doyle, Kafka, Auden and

In their very different ways the reach and range of both men is remarkable. The title sequence of Conn's book is intensely personal. A journey through Burgundy rich in observation, these narrative and descriptive poems in a range of forms have a poignant subtext of mellow ageing and reflection. Contentment is rarely assumed to be a spur to creativity, but these give the lie to

Then there are Conn's public poems. I am less taken with his sequence on his perceived predecessor as makar of Edinburgh, Roull of Corstorphine. This mixture of history and imagination fails to gel and the facts sit ill with the flights of fancy beyond the simple amusement at their very juxtaposition. The poems of contemporary Edinburgh (and beyond) that follow them are captivating in their comparative directness. In a few words, Conn transports you to the Museum of Scotland or the Botanic Gardens or puts you in front of a painting by Elizabeth Blackadder or Craigie Aitchison. He's at his best when the personal (and the tender) intrudes. Sightings may be the best poem by spectacle-wearer not written by John Hegley.

Like this March, Bamforth's A Place in the World (Carcanet, 8.95), roars in like a king of the jungle. The opening poem, Third Person Lion, is derived from the writings of 18th-century German philosopher C G Lichtenberg but it is hard not to hear echoes of the timid Caledonian lion of Herald cartoonist Jim Turnbull: "Here it stands, thistlefine, emblazoned in a mane of light. Its distinctive sin is pride. This be its written constitution."

Although it would be a major misjudgment to read Bamforth too parochially, there are some important "Scottish" poems here. Calvin's Architect is a slightly jaundiced pen-portrait of Alexander "Greek" Thomson and A Nest of Boxes for the Opening of the Scottish Parliament is a wonderfully eclectic list-poem that delights with its startling appropriateness. Elsewhere he ranges widely across European culture and history and beyond. Among many other antecedents, he has a fondness for Portugal's Fernando Pessoa. By contrast Bamforth's recognition is surely coming during his lifetime.

12) Major boost for Gaelic on Skye (Scottish Gaelic)

Grampian TV. 08/03/2005 15:31

Multi-million pound plans have been put forward to provide a major boost for Gaelic on Skye. It's hoped a new cultural centre at the Gaelic College will benefit both the language and the local

Sleat on the South of Skye is the spectacular location for Scotland's only Gaelic College. The new campus buildings on the water's edge are a source of inspiration for students who come here from all over the world to enjoy the language.

Since being established more than thirty years ago Sabhal Mor Ostaig has been at the forefront of the development of Gaelic. This year its planned to build on these strong foundations by creating a six point four million pounds centre for creative and cultural industries, called Fas.

The word 'Fas' is Gaelic for growth. With elements such as studios, a theatre and business incubation centre, it's expected the facility will sustain 90 jobs, and more than live up to its name.

Funding's been pledged by Highland Council, the Scottish Executive and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a bid has been submitted for European support.

Those behind the development believe it'll be a massive boost for the local area. Appropriately the centre is due to open in 2007, the year of Highland culture.

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FYI: Please note that this is the second of two posts that I have made in this column today. If you have not read the previous post, then you have not read all of today?s news! This post catches us up on all of the latest news.

March 11, 2005

1) Gaelic signs of the times (Scottish Gaelic)
2) EU Constitution to be translated into Welsh, but not other UK languages (All Celtic
4) Who's dogged by a Glasgow accent? (Scottish Accent)

March 13, 2005

6) Pure dead fabulous - Scots accent takes on a Home Counties lilt (Scottish Accent)
7) Scottish Parliament Spending (Scottish Gaelic)
8) Scots Gaelic is in peril. It is our duty to save it (Scottish Gaelic)

March 14, 2005

9) Opinion Please(Scottish Gaelic)

March 11, 2005

1) Gaelic signs of the times (Scottish Gaelic)

The Scotsman
Thu 10 Mar 2005
Opinion - Letters

I read John Ross's article on Gaelic road signs and I am disheartened by the Anglo-centric attitude adopted by some Highland councillors, who plan to limit bilingual Gaelic-English road signs in Inverness and beyond.

I understand that if a sign says "Cunnartach Feansa Dealain" instead of "Danger Electric Fence" it would lead to the demise of many non-Gaels. But in Spain, where I live, all the traffic signs are the international ones, recognised all over Europe, including Inverness.

Although Castellano (Spanish) is the official language in Spain, there are other popular languages and dialects.

On a recent visit to Valencia, I noted that all the place names and directions were in Castellano and Valenciano, the latter having a similar relationship to Spanish as Scots has to English. With Gaelic such a different language, the English script in Gaelic-English signs could be given greater emphasis.

Gaelic road signs in the Highlands are no gimmick, but a culture boost and an encouragement to Gaels and Gaelic learners alike. The Highland Council has to develop a more expansive policy to our new Scotland.

Puerto Rey, Vera
Almeria, Spain

2005 Scotsman.com

2) EU Constitution to be translated into Welsh, but not other UK languages
(All Celtic Languages)

Brussel / Bruxelles 3/10/2005 , by Davyth Hicks

Plaid Cymru Euro-MP Jill Evans has welcomed the news that the proposed EU Constitution will be translated into Welsh as reported on Eurolang on 17th February. A formal announcement came yesterday from UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in a response to a parliamentary question tabled by the party's UK parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd MP.

Ms Evans , who has been leading the party's campaign for greater recognition for the status of the Welsh language in Europe, described the announcement as a first step in winning official EU status for Welsh. Jill Evans was the first MEP to legally use Welsh on the floor of the European Parliament when rules were changed to allow non-official languages to be used last year.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Jill Evans MEP said: "We're delighted that we've won this battle to get the EU constitution translated into Welsh. This was the first step in our campaign for Welsh to be recognised as an official European language and we now hope that the New Labour Government in Westminster will go further and propose Welsh as an EU working language."

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has stepped up its campaign to have the proposed EU Constitution translated into Scotland's indigenous languages. The Foreign Office informed Eurolang that the UK government does not intend to translate the document into Gaelic or Scots. The SNP believes that translations should be provided prior to any referendum on the proposed Constitution.

Speaking to the press yesterday, Europe spokesperson Ian Hudghton MEP said: "The recent enlargement of the EU has seen a huge leap in linguistic diversity. Scotland's indigenous languages are part of that diversity and are an important part of the rich cultural tapestry of Europe.
"The European Commission has confirmed to me that the proposed Constitution can be translated into Scotland's languages - if the UK requests it. Such a step would mark a significant commitment to the future well-being of Gaelic and Scots.

"We congratulate the Welsh on securing a commitment from the government for a translation to be made in their language. However, if it's good enough for Wales, it's good enough for Scotland. The government must rethink its stance and show full respect for Scotland's culture."

The Foreign Office has also informed Eurolang that the UK government has no plans to be translate the Constitution into Irish or Cornish either.

Language issues were also raised in the European Parliament's plenary session in yesterday's debate to prepare for the forthcoming European summit in Brussels, Catalan Republican MEP Bernat Joan called for coherence from those Spanish MEPs who have been demanding greater pluralism and respect for diversity within the EU, due to the ongoing reduction in the use of the Spanish language in the EU institutions. "You cannot call for pluralism in Europe and then on the other hand refuse it, for example, as happened in the Spanish state Parliament", said Mr Joan.

In this context the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) representative in the European Parliament observed that without the participation of the stateless nations Europe would remain incomplete. Mr Joan went on to express his approval "for the differential vote in the Basque Country and Catalonia in the referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty" which saw a higher `No' vote.

Bernat Joan closed his remarks with a few words in Catalan: "without Scotland, Wales, the Basque Country, or Catalonia, Europe is not Europe. Without the Catalan language, a complete and worthy Europe will not be built".(Eurolang 2005)


Press and Journal. 09:00 - 10 March 2005

A group of musicians representing the Royal National Mod are visiting the Irish city of Cork this month to take part in celebrations marking the 2005 European Capital of Culture.

The group, which performs under the name Fionnar, includes singers and musicians from Glasgow, Argyll, Fort William, Oban, Ullapool and Dingwall.

Highland Council's Gaelic song fellowship official, Dingwall-based Fiona Mackenzie, is also making the four-day trip from March 14 to 18.

The group will take part in Celtfest 2005 at University College Cork, joining musicians from Galicia, Brittany and Wales.
Financial support for the trip has come from Highland Council, the organisers of the Irish festival and Gaelic organisations in the Highlands.

Murdo Morrison, promotions manager for the Mod, will also attend the event.

He said: "Groups such as Fionnar represent the future of the Gaelic language and Scottish traditional music. All the members are either fluent in, or are learning Gaelic, and all have a wide range of musical skills including fiddle, accordion, Gaelic song, piping and clarsach."

The group are also expected to take part in celebrations to mark St Patrick's Day and will be staying in Ballyvourney, County Cork.

4) Who's dogged by a Glasgow accent? (Scottish Accent)

ALLAN LAING. The Herald. March 10 2005

IT just so happens that John Reid talks with an unmistakable west of Scotland accent. Yet, is that really such a bad thing?

Does it automatically make the health secretary qualify as an "attack dog", a description he was given in an extraordinary spat with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight?

The minister took grave exception to the presenter describing him as New Labour's attack dog, barking back that the only reason Paxman had done so was because of his Glasgow accent.

Dr Jane Stuart-Smith, reader in language at Glasgow University, has studied the Glasgow accent in detail.

She reckons that, while the Glaswegian way of speaking may have a certain reputation, it has little to do with the reality of either the language or the way it is delivered.

Instead, it is all down to the stereotypical images with which Glasgow has been historically

Strictly speaking, since he was born in Bellshill and went to school in Coatbridge, Mr Reid does not have a Glasgow accent - however, this minor accident of geography did not prevent the smooth-talking health secretary from laying proprietorial claim to the vernacular of no mean city during his spat with the interviewer.

Once again, the perception of the way Glaswegians express themselves - and the negative connotations associated with it - has become a matter ofpolitical debate. The last time it happened was shortly after the Springburn MP, Michael Martin, was appointed Speaker of the House. Parliamentary sketch writers had a field day, complaining about his impenetrable accent anddubbing him "Gorbals Mick" for the way he talked. It later prompted Mr Martin to accuse some (English) journalists of blatant snobbery.

Now, it appears, it is the turn of the Rt Hon member for Hamilton North and Bellshill to feel threatened because of his brogue. The truth is, of course, that in the unlikely event of Dr Reid losing his seat at the next general election, he would surely find alternative employment in a Glasgow call centre. He may not possess the mellifluous, silky-smooth tones of, say, Hugh Grant, but his voice is strong, his delivery assured, and his enunciation pretty near perfect.

As part of her research, Dr Stuart-Smith examined the speech patterns and voice quality of people in working-class Maryhill and middle-class Bearsden.

She said: "I didn't find any evidence, phonetically, for the type of harsh, rough Glasgow voice that people talk about. But there was something else which had nothing to do with the language but was connected to the association which certain accents have with certain characteristics.

"Unfortunately, for a long time broad Glaswegian was associated with certain types of behaviour. There was a study in the 1970s in which one university lecturer associated it with violence and roughness. But I don't agree. The truth is that most people in Glasgow don't talk with a harsh

"My own feeling is that I find it surprising that these stereotypes still exist in a modern, cultured, interesting and thriving city."

For Dr Stuart-Smith, it is not so much the Glasgow accent but the whole way that Glaswegians communicate. Typically, they are straightforward, witty and intelligent.

"In Glasgow, to survive intellectually and verbally, you have to be very sharp and fast, and I think some of the communicative practices in southerners are very different indeed," she said.

This may serve to explain, at least in part, why outsiders have a problem with the Glasgow accent.

"As a southerner myself, we are supposed to be witty - and Paxman himself is very astute and tenacious - but in some sense I think that we tend to be more withdrawn.

"We perhaps might not be quite so overt about what we are talking about. A typical Glaswegian arguing with a typical southerner might find it quite frustrating because it might take them a while to draw that person out.

"Glaswegians don't observe pausing. Southerners might be more guarded, reserved, and will qualify and think what they are saying.

"They are more cautious," she said. Cautiously.

As for John Reid, the curious thing about his Newsnight altercation was that Paxman didn't once mention his Glasgow accent. It was the minister who brought it up, a remark which prompted the presenter, something of an attack dog himself, to ask "What on earth are you talking about?"

And, while Mr Reid regarded the suggestion as an insult, he is not normally regarded as the sensitive type.

For many politicians, a reputation for being a snarling rottweiler is as a badge of honour. The label did little to adversely affect the political careers of, for example, Norman Tebbit and Denis Healey - both men who, unlike John Reid, achieved their notoriety without the benefit of a
Glasgow accent.


IoM Online. 10 March 2005

MANX Gaelic broadcasts could be included in a proposed new satellite channel.

Phil Gawne MHK and Adrian Cain, the Manx language officer, discussed the possible inclusion of the language on a new channel from Gaelic Media Services, Scotland.

'While it is unlikely that Manx Gaelic content would be much more than say half an hour a week, this would be a tremendous step forward for the language,' said Mr Gawne.

They spoke to John Angus MacKay, GMS chief executive, last week, ahead of a seminar to launch the idea. It is expected the channel would come into being around 2008 after broadcasting switches from analogue to digital.

Mr Gawne said: 'The seminar was to launch the idea of what is going to happen, in particular with Gaelic broadcasting, with the new system and introduce the new channel idea to leaders of all Scottish Gaelic agencies.

'There was a brief mention that perhaps the Manx language could be included in all this.'

The seminar took place in Inverness.

A jointly funded report is to be produced this summer on how Scottish and Manx Gaelic officers can work more closely to the benefit of both languages.

The report will focus on media services and broadcasting, but tourism, education, cultural and political co-operation will also be considered.

During the meeting it was agreed the Island could work more closely with GMS.
Mr Cain said contacts in the field of language were important.

He said: 'We sometimes can feel quite isolated in the Manx language movement and finding out that our larger Gaelic-speaking cousins face similar problems to our own is very reassuring.

'It was also very pleasing to be told that in some areas we are, in fact, ahead of Scotland, particularly with regard to understanding the potential political and economic importance of our

March 13, 2005

6) Pure dead fabulous - Scots accent takes on a Home Counties lilt (Scottish Accent)

FIONA MACGREGOR. Scotland on Sunday. 13th March, 2005.

SEE YOU, James, your patter is pure gentleman's underwear.

Elaine C Smith and Joanna Lumley are not quite as far apart as many may have thought - the Home Counties' accent is spreading to Scotland.

Following last week's furore when health secretary John Reid accused Jeremy Paxman of insulting him over his Glasgow pronunciation, Scots scientists have revealed that Glaswegians are in fact using more "English" speech patterns and dropping their Rs.

Dr Jim Scobbie from the Speech Science Research Centre at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, is carrying out the research on children and adults at the Glasgow Science Centre.

The ongoing study comes after speech experts noticed that the accents of many young Glaswegians were becoming closer to the English upper classes.

Scobbie said language experts first noted a decline in the use of the much-parodied Scots rolled R during the 1990s, but this process appears to have accelerated in the last few years.

Residents of Maryhill, an area of Glasgow perceived to have a "strong" accent, are now dropping the consonant altogether at the end of words with words such as 'car' and 'bar' are changing in pronunciation to 'cah' and 'bah'.

However, contrary to claims that English television programmes are influencing the way Scots speak, Scobbie believes the dropping of the final R is a natural development.

"To the casual listener it may sound like the R has been dropped completely as it is in England, but when you look at the ultrasound images you can see the tongue starts to shape an R before the sound trails off."
He said if it was a case of merely copying English pronunciation there would be no evidence of the R at all. And he claimed that within Glasgow there were also differences with the dropped R more common in Maryhill than Bearsden.

"There's a natural tendency in all languages for consonants to become weaker at the end of the word than at the beginning. So you might still get the burred R at the start of word even if people are losing the final R.

"You can call it laziness, but when you speak you want to concentrate on what you're saying not how you're saying it."

Scobbie said that within a generation the final R could well be lost completely, meaning it would be no different from the English pronunciation and if the change was a natural development it could soon spread to other parts of Scotland.

Scobbie added other changes that had been noticed in pronunciation including a loss of the aspirating H sound. As a consequence, words such as 'which' were beginning to be pronounced 'wich' north of the border and some young Scots were even being recorded as saying 'lock' instead of 'loch'.

However, Scobbie cautioned against being judgmental over changes in accents. "[Using the ultrasound equipment] I'll be able to explain to visitors to the centre that Glaswegian is both scientifically important and as well-articulated as any other accent of English. This may seem
surprising for an accent which is often criticised as sloppy or unattractive."

Another aspect of the changing Glasgow accent which Scobbie hopes to investigate during the study are changes in the pronunciation of the letter L. Scobbie believes among some Glaswegians it is also beginning to turn into a vowel sound at the end of words.

"Some speakers avoid tongue tip contact against the skin behind the upper teeth very systematically if it precedes silence or a consonant such as m, p, b, f, v where the tongue tip is not involved, but before a vowel re-instate the contact. That such very clear rule-based variation
happens with L is a new discovery and the ultrasound can show it very clearly."

He hopes the findings will allow for advancements in speech therapy.

"The Glasgow accent in particular is ideal for research because of these various types of R and L. Studying them with ultrasound will enormously increase the amount of articulatory data on two of the hardest consonants of English for children to learn, for therapists to treat, and for some language learners to master."

Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4 director of Nations and Regions, and a noted commentator on Scottish culture, said: "There's no doubt that languages are always in flux but it is equally true that Glasgow parlance has influenced language in the south as well.
"The word 'minging', originally a Glasgow word for filthy, was picked up by Ali G and is now in frequent use throughout the country."

SNP culture spokesman Michael Matheson said: "This research does not match up to my experience in Glasgow which has a healthy, strong cultural identity, part of which is its accent.

"I find the idea that it's similar to a Home Counties accent bizarre and I am sure most people in Glasgow will agree.

7) Scottish Parliament Spending (Scottish Gaelic)

MURCHADH MacLEID. Scotland on Sunday. 13th March, 2005.

FOR Gaels, used to hearing that the authorities are spending "untold millions" on their language, last week's revelations that ministers think nothing of taking chauffeur-driven limousines to travel between the Scottish Parliament and offices at St Andrews House, holds a grim irony.

The new parliament building has only been in operation since September last year, yet in the six months since then, ministerial cars have made 276 trips from the Executive offices on Regent Road to the Holyrood building on the Canongate. By foot the journey would take about seven

The life of luxury for ministers contrasts with the uncertainty over the future of Caledonian MacBrayne, astronomical island travel costs, the poor public transport, and expensive petrol. Gaels pay taxes too, and wonder if this is the best use which can be made of their cash.

8) Scots Gaelic is in peril. It is our duty to save it (Scottish Gaelic)

Sunday Herald. 13th March, 2005

Muriel Gray argues that multicultural Scotland should give priority to protecting our most endangered species, the native Gaels, before we start worrying about those who speak Punjabi, Urdu or Arabic

In the minds of some there seems to be a little confusion over what constitutes cultures under threat. The militant French speakers of Quebec, who lobbied aggressively for separation from the big, bad English-speaking Canada that sustains them, argued that they were "preserving their
culture". Perhaps nobody had the heart to point out that they had little to worry about, since their culture was being very efficiently preserved by 61 million people in a place called France.

Similarly, as politicians here jump through hoops, sympathising with ethnic minorities who wish to "preserve their culture", it seems to have escaped their notice that Punjabi, Urdu and Arabic are not exactly languages teetering on the brink of extinction, nor are the customs, practices andreligions associated with those tongues about to become as obscure as Morris dancing. It seems rather peculiar to attempt to "preserve" cultures that are robust, expanding, and are still there in their countries of origin any time you want to pop back and have a good long look at them.

If anyone should know what a real cultural crisis looks like then it's us, the Scots. One of our indigenous languages, Gaelic, is still in peril, and the population for whom it remains the mother tongue is dwindling at an alarming rate. The Western Isles, still the main preserve of Gaelic as a
first language, is facing a terrifying population loss, from 29,600 in 1991 to projected figures of 21,725 in 2018, a 17% fall compared with the Scottish average decline of 2%. The reasons for this tragedy in the making are many, but right now the focus has to be on not why it's happened,
but how to stop it. Unlike the various cultures of our ethnic minorities, or Canada's grumpy French speakers, if the language and culture in the Western Isles disappears, it's gone forever.

Of course, for a decade now, as we know only too well, the Gaelic Media Service, formerly the CCG, has been beavering away, using European funds, to help preserve the language by the commissioning of television programmes broadcast in Gaelic. Some aspects of this project have been a resounding success, as in current affairs, arts strands that have been unashamedly seeped in the Gaelic culture and yet have appealed to a wider audience than the Gaels, and children's programmes. Our own son sits and watches studiously some baffling affair, featuring three women in coloured fairy tutus shrieking cheerfully at each other in Gaelic, and he considers this
to be sufficiently entertaining to tune in regularly. Evidence suggests that young children are picking up the language naturally from the viewing of such shows, which is one of the positive results the commissioning process hoped to achieve. Some offerings, of course, have been less successful, such as the ill-fated and wooden Machair and some documentary programmes that the target audience complained were too parochial.

But the big problem is that the funding, just like the population, is dwindling, as the money was never index linked. What should be a budget of around 11.5 million is still only 8.5m, meaning the intended 200 hours of broadcasting has been cut to around 160. Worse still, the Gaelic-speaking audiences are growing sick and tired of having to wait until the wee small hours of the night for their programmes to be shown, as commercial broadcasters such as SMG shove them out of the way in favour of revenue-gathering prime-time shows, and non-Gaelic audiences are frustrated by the narrowing of content that has crept in due to the reduced funds.

The Milne Report, commissioned to look at the future of Gaelic broadcasting, came up with the solution of a dedicated Gaelic channel, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that not only is this the only sensible way forward, but that it's now absolutely essential.

With the Scottish Executive sensitive to the needs of the crisis-torn Western Isles, it looks likely that this might become a reality, but the big worry is about who actually runs a digital channel. The mutterings about the need for established broadcasters such as SMG or the BBC to run it on behalf of the Gaels is not good news. Not only is the suggestion, however well-intended, a tad patronising, but for this to work as an autonomous, long-term commercially viable proposition, and more importantly to directly benefit the population of the Western Isles, it must be run by Gaels themselves. Anyone sneering that this would be impossible should think again. A recent visit to Stornoway revealed how impressive both the existing media facilities and the core of homegrown talent really are. But if modesty, self-deprecation and a horror of bravado is a Scottish trait in general, it is even more highly developed in the Hebridean psyche, and the ability to talk themselves up when they blooming well deserve to is pretty much absent. Those on the islands who are busy doing things quite brilliantly are also masters of keeping quiet about it.

The bottom line is that unless the Gaels create, service and maintain their own channel, with total financial and creative autonomy, the project's benefits will distil down into very little.

It might seem perverse in these trouble-torn days to suggest that the future of the Western Isles and its language should be one of our top priorities, but we need to recognise that it's like the canary down the mineshaft, the fragile thing that means we're all safe as long it stays alive. Its
demise would have dire cultural implications for the whole of Scotland, not least the damning admission that we hadn't the strength, the courage, the inventiveness or energy to save something that could never again be recreated.

I don't know about you, but I'd certainly subscribe to such a channel, and sit and watch hour upon hour of mad fairies in tutus if it meant that the irreplaceable part of our national culture remained intact and in good health. How could any of it be worse than EastEnders?

March 14, 2005

9) Opinion Please(Scottish Gaelic)


Highlands & Islands Enterprise is looking for your opinion on the direction of economic and community development in the Highlands and Islands. It is important that the profile of our Gaelic language and culture is raised. Please fill out the consultation form on line. The closing date is 18 March.
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March 15, 2005

3) Hopes that new Welsh Language Act will ensure that public bodies offer services in the language (Welsh)

March 16, 2005

4) The Scottish Parliament has established an online forum on the issue of contemporary Scottish music. (Scottish Gaelic)
5) Irish channel buys Welsh learners' series format (Irish Gaelic, Welsh)

March 17, 2005


March 15, 2005


ANGUS MACDONALD. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 14 March 2005

An Offer has been made by a senior Highland councillor to broker a peace deal in the row over Gaelic signs in Inverness and throughout the Highlands.

Some Inverness councillors argued that Gaelic did not play a significant role in the city's past - with one councillor, Jimmy MacDonald, retorting that there were more Gaelic speakers in Inverness than the rest of the Highlands.

Other city councillors argued the bilingual road signs would cause accidents and cost too much.

Now Michael Foxley, Highland Council's vice-convener, has offered to discuss the benefits of Gaelic and bilingual signage with areas throughout the Highlands which argued that the language is not part of their heritage.

But he has accused councillors of hiding something "far more unpleasant" in their attitude towards Gaelic.

Caithness and Sutherland areas have also voiced scepticism about the signs, with councillors claiming their heritage is more Viking than Gaelic.
Councillor Foxley said: "What people are doing is hiding behind a smokescreen something that is far more unpleasant in their attitude to the Gaelic language.

"The council has a budget of half a billion pounds and, in a budget that size, the cost of Gaelic signage is infinitesimal but the potential benefits to the Gaelic language are enormous.

"The argument that Gaelic or bilingual signs compromise road safety is complete and utter nonsense. There is no safety issue - full stop.

"The Welsh Office produced a report in 1997 which shot this argument down once and for all. The net cost of replacing the signs under the council policy is zero.

"Caithness wants to opt out, but it is curious that many of the place names in Caithness are Gaelic, there is a strong Gaelic-medium unit in Thurso, and the area wants to play a big part in our traditional music festival Blas. They are also keen on hosting the Mod, but yet they don't want the road signs."

The council's Gaelic committee will promote the signage for roads and streets throughout the Highland area and is keen to increase the number of Gaelic speakers, making that a key aim of the Highland Year of Culture 2007.

The only exceptions will be if an area committee limits the amount of Gaelic and bilingual signage where it is felt the cultural history of the area has less of a Gaelic base.

Education convener Andy Anderson said: "There is a quiet revolution going on.

"The bilingual signs starting to appear on Black Isle and west Highland roads give a sense of place.

"All school signs will be bilingual soon, and that includes Caithness."

Inverness provost Bill Smith added: "It is unfortunate that there is an impression that Inverness councillors are reluctant to support Gaelic.

"A minority are not convinced, but I am in a majority which sees the benefits to Inverness and the Highlands of promoting Gaelic in everything we do."


Highland Council News Release. ISSUE DATE: MONDAY 14 MARCH 2005

The Highland Council's Gaelic Select Committee has reaffirmed its support for Gaelic by agreeing to promote bilingual road and street signage throughout the Highlands; internal and external bilingual signage in all buildings owned by the Council, including schools, and introducing key words of Gaelic on Council publications and documents to highlight the
importance of the language.

The Committee is supporting greater use of the language to increase the number of Gaelic speakers in the Highlands and to back up the Council's commitment to the language, most notable through Gaelic Medium Education, which is provided to more than 1,100 pupils at 11 secondary, 18 primary and 17 nursery schools.

Road and street signs represent the only potential to increase costs but this will be minimal as the Council policy requires that signs are erected solely on a replacement basis or when a new sign is required. With place names, where there is only one letter of a difference in the Gaelic and English, the Gaelic version will be used.

A cross-service working group has been set up to develop a style of internal and external building signage, which features Gaelic and is compliant with Disability Discrimination Act guidance.

Stationery will be bilingual; the web site will be revamped to feature Gaelic, and the title and the main headings of publications and documents will be bilingual.

It is recommended that this approach should be followed across the Council, unless a formal decision is taken by an Area Committee to exercise discretion in implementing the parts of the policy relating to road, street and building signs, for the sole reason that it is felt that the cultural history of that particular area has less of a Gaelic base.

Vice-Convener Michael Foxley said: "The message that goes out from the Council is very clear indeed. We are 100 per cent committed to promoting the Gaelic language and culture and this will become increasingly clear over the coming months and as we celebrate the Scottish Year of Highland Culture in 2007.

"Gaelic is a community language of the Highlands and we must do all we can to celebrate its contribution to our heritage and culture. It sets us apart and lets visitors know that they are in a very special part of Scotland."

Provost Bill Smith, Chairman of the Council's City of Inverness and Area Committee agrees. He said: "It is unfortunate that an impression has been given that Inverness Councillors are reluctant to support Gaelic. A minority are not convinced but I am one of the majority who sees the benefits to Inverness and the Highlands of promoting Gaelic in everything we do."

Councillor Andy Anderson, Chairman of the Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, said he conscious of a "quiet revolution", noticing an increasing amount of Gaelic signage throughout the Highlands. A clear message had been given to schools in Highland that all new signage must be bilingual.

Gaelic Select Committee Chairman, Councillor Hamish Fraser, said: "I am delighted with the support the Council is giving to our language,
which is
being given unprecedented importance through the passage of the Gaelic
Language Bill in the Scottish Parliament. In Highland we will play
our part
in ensuring the language prospers. I am firmly of the belief that our
language, which is exclusively ours, will in years to come bring many
and economic benefits to the Highlands and Islands."

3) Hopes that new Welsh Language Act will ensure that public bodies offer services in the language (Welsh)

Penygroes 3/14/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

According to a Welsh MP, there is a possibility of having a new Welsh Language Act. Speaking to Eurolang after taking part in a discussion forum on the need for a new Act, Hywel Williams, MP for Arfon in Welsh speaking north-west Wales, said that because the Assembly Government of Wales has decided that the Welsh Language Board will be abolished and its work done by a department of the Assembly, there will have to be a new Act.

Mr Williams has already raised this with Welsh Secretary, Peter Hain, who represents Wales in the British Cabinet, who did not react unfavourably to the suggestion.

According to Mr Williams, this will be an excellent opportunity to strengthen what is in existence at the moment. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society), which organised the forum last Saturday, is pressing for a new Act that will require private companies to use the language. At present it is only public bodies that come under the remit of the Act.

But Mr Williams says that any new Act should ensure first that public bodies offer a Welsh language service to its consumers, and that this should be more important as a short term goal. "The present Act does not ensure this," says Mr Williams. "It should be bottom up, that is serving the people, rather than top down, which is the situation at present. All these public bodies have a Language Plan; they tell the Language Board what they want to put in them, rather than the Language Board telling then what should be in these plans."

Mr Williams added that it is better that all Welsh speakers are offered a service in their first language rather than a large national company being obliged to have its packaging in Welsh, although he does not disagree with Cymdeithas yr Iaith that this should be a long term goal.

Hywel Williams has now commissioned an independent study to see what the provision is amongst public bodies for offering their services in Welsh, and comparing it with the situation in other countries. The findings will be published in about a fortnight. If this study shows that this service is lacking, he will use the information to form the basis of a new Welsh Language Act to be presented to the British Parliament. The Welsh Assembly does not have the power to pass its own laws.

Mr Williams says that any new Act should stress the right of the individual to have any public service in his or her own language. "This should have a force of law such as the Race Relations and Equal Opportunities Acts have so that individuals could bring cases against any public bodies not satisfying the language act." (Eurolang 2005)

March 16, 2005

4) The Scottish Parliament has established an online forum on the issue of contemporary Scottish music. (Scottish Gaelic)

You can put your views forward online at:


You may write in in Gaelic.

le deagh dhurachd,

Alasdair MacCaluim
Oifigear Coimhearsnachd Gaidhlig / Gaelic Outreach Officer
Parlamaid na h-Alba / the Scottish Parliament

5) Irish channel buys Welsh learners' series format (Irish Gaelic, Welsh)

Penygroes 3/15/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

The format for [email protected] (love4language), the Welsh language reality television show which follows celebrities as they start learning the language, has been sold to Irish-language broadcaster TG4.

[email protected] was broadcast last year on Sianel Pedwar Cymru (S4C) which saw celebrities including Janet Street-Porter, (who although she had a Welsh-speaking mother had made several disparaging remarks on television and in newspapers about the Welsh and their language), television comedy star Ruth Madoc, and paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson. They spent a week learning Welsh at the Nant Gwrtheyrn National Language Centre in Welsh speaking north-west Wales.

The language centre was established in an old quarrying village in 1978 with the first course held in April 1982. It is hemmed in by the sea on one side and steep cliffs on the other three sides. The language centre holds both residential and day courses, and the [email protected] series used the
facilities there for teaching the language to the celebrities.
The participants were filmed not only during their language lessons but also during leisure activities, such as visiting a pub and visiting the nearest towns, where they were encouraged to use the Welsh language. The idea is that the learners are immersed in the language, and they are
discouraged from speaking English.

Now the format has been bought by TG4 who will commission an Irish language version.

TG4, based in the Irish-speaking Galway Gaeltacht in western Ireland, plans to commission an Irish independent television company to produce the show and will be approaching various Irish celebrities to take part.

Cameras will follow the language novices as they study six hours of Irish per day at an as yet undisclosed venue, under the close supervision of a team of language tutors.

An innovative language learning system called 'suggestopedia', based on visual imagery and memory techniques, will be used to teach the celebrities the basics of the language. Throughout the project there will be limited contact between the learners and the outside world, while they will also be asked to perform a number of different team-building tasks.

"I am confident that [email protected] will be a winner for TG4," says Proinsias Ni Ghrainne, TG4's Commissioning Editor. "We have a great mix of celebrities who the nation will want to watch learning Gaelic. The series will air on TG4 in the autumn."

Iona Jones, S4C's Director of Programmes, says that "the [email protected] format was a successful one for S4C. The interesting mix of celebrities ensured entertaining viewing, while the series also raised awareness and interest in the Welsh language and Welsh culture. We're delighted TG4 has bought the format, which we are certain will be very successful in Ireland."

[email protected] was produced for S4C by Cardiff-based independent television company Fflic. Two series involving members of the public were also broadcast, the participants being a mix of those born and bred in Wales but not being able to speak the language, some who had moved to Wales to live and also three participants from the Welsh community in Patagonia, Argentina. This posed some problems as they could only speak Spanish, but they left Nant Gwrtheyn after three months fairly fluent and confident in the language and were keen to pass on their new skills to their compatriots in South America. (Eurolang 2005)


Cornwall 2000, a Cornish civil liberties and human rights group, have criticised the Governments handling of its obligations to the Cornish language, under the Council of Europe Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ECRML). Stating that international agreements like the ECRML place legal obligations on governments who must then ensure that these obligations are met. In the case of the Cornish language, CharterWatch, a group set up by Cornwall 2000 to oversee the implementation of the government's obligation in respect of the Cornish language, say that the Government is failing to take "resolute action" to promote and develop the Cornish language. Instead, the government are relying on individual volunteers and groups to implement the Government's legal obligations and this, say Cornwall 2000, is unacceptable. Cornwall 2000 point out that the Stratejy rag an Tavas Kernewek/Strategy for the Cornish Language document that was published earlier this year, "was entirely a local initiative by volunteers", (Tony Steele, Government Office of the South West representative). Although the government are in their third year of recognising the Cornish language, "it has yet to do anything to meet its Charter commitments." In contrast, Ulster-Scots, which received the same level of recognition as the Cornish language under the same European Charter was granted direct UK government funding for 2001/2 amounting to, 567,000 for the language, 262,000 for culture, 432,000 for education and 187,000 for general promotional work. In addition, the school curriculum is now being altered to take account of the Ulster-Scots experience. Such discrepancies, within the same state, as to how international agreements are administered is totally unacceptable. An Scoren Kernewek/The Cornish Branch of the Celtic League support CharterWatch's call that "Whilst we are willing to adopt the CLSD [Cornish Language Strategy Document], this does not obviate the need for government to take what the Committee of Experts deem to be 'resolute action' in order to fulfil its legal obligations to us and the Council of Europe. Moreover, we anticipate that government will clearly indicate what form this resolute action will take by the time of the UK's 2nd Monitoring Report, due in July 2005."

(Report prepared for Celtic News by Kernow Branch)

J B Moffatt
Secretary General
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse and monitors all military activity within these areas

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at

March 17, 2005


Scottish Standard


A flagship Gaelic unit in the Highlands may be forced to move or close because the school that houses it is "bursting at the seams."

Parents of pupils at the Lady Lovat primary school in Morar say they will oppose any move to transfer the unit ? of around 40 pupils ? to neighbouring Mallaig where there is more space.

A report from HMI school inspectors voiced concerns over the lack of space at the Morar school and the local council now face some tough choices.

Mallaig Primary School, just three miles away, has a roll of 69 pupils in primary classes, and could easily house the unit. But moving the Gaelic pupils would leave the Morar school with just 11 children ? and this is expected to fall to nine in August, prompting fears the school could close.
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March 18, 2005

1) Gaelic Comeback in Deepest Indiana (Irish Gaelic)
2) Disney uses Welsh in Winnie the Pooh (Welsh)
4) Folk feis lined up for Callander (Scottish Gaelic, Scots)

March 18, 2005

1) Gaelic Comeback in Deepest Indiana (Irish Gaelic)

PA NEWS. 12:53pm (UK). Thu 17 Mar 2005

In English-speaking Ireland, the Gaelic language is viewed by some citizens as an all-but-dead language that should be allowed to fade into oblivion.

But at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where students pay nearly 20,000 (around $40,000) a year to attend, the language is enjoying a renaissance.

"There are a lot of kids here who are the grandchildren of the very successful and the very rich, and their grandparents were taught to forget about their Irish past," said Eamonn O Ciardha, programme director at Notre Dame's Keough Institute for Irish Studies.

"They want to know about their language, they want to know about their history, they want to know about their culture."

The institute, established in 1993, allows students to examine everything from the language to Irish history and dance.

It also does a good job of integrating Irish and American perspectives, said John Harrington, president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.

"They've done a good job of creating Irish studies as a genuinely international subject area, which is what it is," Harrington said.

This year, 882 undergraduates are taking at least one class in Irish studies, including 155 in Gaelic. That's up from 2002-03, when 150 students enrolled in Irish studies classes and 96 students signed up for Gaelic.

Student Katie Scarlett O'Hara, from Kansas, counts herself among those trying to recapture a bit of her past. Her father was born in Ireland, but raised in America.

"My dad is 100% Irish and really proud of it," she said.
Her father doesn't know how to speak Gaelic, but Katie O'Hara is learning - partly because of her heritage and partly because she would like to speak the language when she studies in Dublin next year.

O'Hara said the hardest part of Gaelic is the pronunciation.

"I studied French for seven years, and at least in French the same letters kind of make similar sounds. In Irish certain combinations are totally different," she said. "The language is very guttural, messy and thick."

Instructor Brian O Conchubhair, from Tralee, County Kerry, where Gaelic is still widely spoken, said it is easier to teach Irish in America because students take it because they want to. In Ireland, it's compulsory.

"Here they come willingly. They want to recapture what their parents, grandparents, great grandparents lost or discarded," he said.

O Ciardha said many Irish readily gave up their language when they arrived in America.

"We left our language on Ellis Island," O Ciardha said. "It was part of the trauma of the famine and the fact that, for generations before the famine, the Irish people had been told that their language was barbaric, that it was a badge of stupidity and ignorance and that it was no good for them anywhere else in the world."

O Conchubhair hopes the current generation will help change that perception, both here and in

"The more global Ireland becomes, the more successful Ireland becomes, there is a danger that Ireland becomes less and less Irish, that it becomes some multinational industrial complex where we speak English and we watch Hollywood TV," he said. "We're losing that which made us distinctive, that which created a distinct culture and the great writers of the 19th and 20th

But O Ciardha believes Gaelic will survive.

"The death of the Irish language has been foretold since the 1840s, but it's still hanging in there," he said.

2) Disney uses Welsh in Winnie the Pooh (Welsh)

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 3/18/2005

The Welsh language will be featured in a live Disney show for the first time. The Disney Live! Winnie the Pooh show will be staged at Cardiff's recently opened Millennium Centre. Welsh-language children's television presenter Martin Geraint will appear in the show and he will teach some Welsh words to the presenter Tracie Franklin.

The producers of the show, Feld Entertainment, says it decided to include the language in the show to reflect the growing importance of the language, especially amongst pre-school children. It is estimated that about 40 per cent of the children of Wales speak the language, compared to 24 per cent in 1991. Most of the growth has been in the capital Cardiff and the south-east of Wales.

"As soon as we realised how important the Welsh language is in Wales we started to look for ways to embrace the language in any way we could," says Gary Kane of Feld Entertainment.

There has been criticism of the Millennium Centre for the lack of Welsh language performances being staged there, and this may alleviate these criticisms. "The significance of Feld Entertainment's undertaking to include the Welsh language in its production at the Wales Millennium Centre is not to be underestimated," says Judith Isherwood, Australian-born chief executive of the centre. "The Welsh language is again flourishing - particularly among young people. So it is only right that we strive to deliver certain cultural products bilingually to support and aid this growth."

The script of the show has been designed so that members of the audience who cannot speak the language will be able to follow the action.

"There is no bigger brand of children's entertainment and it's marvellous that such a big company is embracing our native language in their show," says Martin Geraint. (Eurolang 2005)


Highland Council News Release. 17th March, 2005.

The development of the Gaelic language and culture has been given a higher profile in the Inverness and Nairn area with the recent appointment of Aonghas Macleod from Borve in Skye as the Gaelic Development Co-ordinator for the area.

Based in Comunn na Gidhlig's offices in Inverness, Angus will be working with a range of public, voluntary and community bodies within the area to implement the recommendations of the Gaelic Language and Culture Plan which was recently agreed by The Highland Council, Inverness and Nairn Enterprise Brd na Gidhlig and Comunn na Gidhlig. These recommendations cover pre-school and youth activities, bilingual signage, promoting Gaelic in
the workplace, cultural events and cultural tourism.

Councillor Roderick Balfour who is a Chair of the Inverness Area Education Culture and Sport Committee and a Member of the Councils Gaelic Select Committee said: I'm delighted that we have appointed a Gaelic and Culture Co-ordinator for the Area It is important that we begin to implement the recommendations in the Gaelic and Culture Plan for the Area. There are interesting developments taking place in the City and the surrounding area and a growing interest in the language therefore we want Gaelic and heritage to be part of these developments; there will be a new Gaelic school in the City and we also realise that the development of Gaelic and culture is also creating a number of quality jobs in the region. I look forward to seeing a number of positive outcomes in the not too distant future."

On taking up his post Angus said:" I am really looking forward to the challenge of working with the various bodies who are interested in promoting the Gaelic language and culture in the Inverness and Nairn area. There is a lot of interest in throughout the area for Gaelic and my task is to ensure that all those who have a desire to learn and use the language have the opportunity to do so. We also hope to raise the profile of Gaelic through bilingual signage and cultural events".


Note to editors:

The Inverness and Nairn Gaelic Language and Culture Plan was commissioned by Inverness and Nairn Enterprise, following an earlier study into the economic benefits to the area from Gaelic developments. A Steering Group, comprising the Highland Council, Inverness and Nairn Enterprise, Comunn na Gaidhlig, Bord na Gaidhlig and Forum Gaidhlig Inbhir Nis, will oversee the implementation of the Plan.

Aonghas Macleod is a native of Borve in Skye and is a former student of Sabhal Mor Ostaig. He has been involved in Gaelic Media work, Gaelic Drama, Gaelic writing and is currently a contributor to the Gaelic Youth web-site Sgleog.

Further information on the matter can be obtained from Aonghas Macleod on 01463 234138 or Aonghais line manager, Donald Martin on 01851 701802

4) Folk feis lined up for Callander (Scottish Gaelic, Scots)


TRADITIONAL music and song tuition will be on in Callander next month.

Feis na Mheadhan, or, in old Scots, Fest of the Mids (Festival of the Midland area) held its first event in Stirling last October, attracting around 20 children for music classes and the same number of adults for Gaelic tuition.

This time the music and song classes will also be opened to adults. Along with Gaelic and Scots song there will be the chance to learn pipes, clarsach, bodhran, fiddle, whistle, accordion and Scottish step dance.

The group's secretary Chas MacDonald said: "We were really pleased with the way things went last time and we're now looking to grow on that.

"Opening up the music classes to adults this time is in direct response to feedback we received from many of the parents whose children attended last October."

Among the tutors confirmed to take part on the weekend of April 23-24 at Callander's McLaren High are Gaelic singer Margaret Bennett and instrumentalist Hector Henderson.

There will also be ceilidh in Callander Kirk Hall on the Saturday evening at 7.30pm with entertainment from feis tutors as well as a ceilidh band made up of the more experienced students who attended last October's event.

For more information contact Chas on 01786 442057 or e-mail [email protected]
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March 21, 2005

1. Languages die out, taking history along (General Languages)
2. Doric literature 'neglected' in favour of Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic, Doric)
3. Concern over amount spent on Welsh-taught courses (Welsh)
4. 2005 North Texas Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Petition (Scottish Gaelic)

March 21, 2005

1. Languages die out, taking history along (General Languages)

By Brittany Karford Daily Universe Staff Reporter - 16 Mar 2005

BYU Newsnet
Let there be light.

Kuna. Klctza. Cu, ma chin aje. There are many ways to say goodbye in Mam. But soon the world may be saying farewell to the Mayan language and the culture in which it originated.

Along with Mam, the United Nations estimates half of the world's 6,000 languages will disappear in less than a century, while half of the world's people now use one of just eight languages: Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese and French.

"Compared with the biology of species, that's like nothing surviving but the top-ten predators," said Lyle Campbell, a professor of linguistics at the University of Utah. "You can see that the magnitude of losing languages at the current rate will be a catastrophe for humanity."

Many linguists are scrambling to save dying languages, while others say it is simply the natural evolution of languages to continually develop, change and die off, just like species of plants and animals. In either case, the globalization of language is changing the cultural makeup of the world and experts say even modern language is being compressed and reduced to mean less.

Campbell is actively involved in language revitalization because he said he thinks the wisdom of the world is encoded in its languages. He is closely involved in the preservation of many Mayan and Native American Indian languages but documenting a language through literature, tapes and video is a massive undertaking, let alone restoring it in schools and the community. Though Campbell and other such professors may stem the tide, most threatened languages will remain doomed.

Aging populations, economic pressure and youth apathy for old traditions are only some of the conditions leading to the endangerment of a language. However, traditional ethnic languages in Africa are fading out for a different reason. More than 30 different languages used to be spoken in Uganda but the official language is now English.
After spending a semester as a political affairs intern in the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, Micheal Bowerbank, a senior from Concord, Calif., said Uganda has adopted English as its official language to avoid favoring only one of the country's many tribes, increasing unity and the opportunity for trade with the rest of the world.

"They only teach English in the schools now," Bowerbank said. "Native languages are not taught anymore. Eventually they'll disappear."

A speaker of 52 different languages, David Stewart said once a language is lost, the culture behind it is also lost. Stewart, a BYU graduate who now resides in Colorado, is a wholesale translator for a long list of clients, including the C.I.A., the National Security Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and companies like Boeing and IBM, to name a few.

"Language preserves more culture than any other thing," Stewart said. "You can learn more about a people by learning their language than by visiting their country."

Stewart said every language contains a value system and a way of thinking peculiar to it. While German is one of the best languages for a mechanical process, he said it would be poor in describing a walk through a forest. But, Portuguese, though clumsy in speaking of a mechanical process, is quite beautiful in describing scenery.

However, description in modern languages is much different than expression in ancient languages. Stewart said today's languages are becoming crude in their ability to convey meaning. He gave one example of the Sumerian word for bird, mushen, which has several meanings, such as "bird of morning." The English word today would need several supplemental words to illustrate the same point.

"English is becoming duller, like an old hatchet," Stewart said. "The distinct languages in the world are like colored layers of sand in a bottle being shaken until they are no longer

But more than just a word's descriptive power, Janis Nuckolls, a sociology professor at BYU, said there is a specific worldview contained in the words of a language. Nuckolls specializes in Quechua, the largest indigenous language spoken throughout South America. The use of idiophones in Quechua gives words a particular symbolic ecology that Nuckolls said represents the culture's animistic outlook on their world: a belief that everything has a life and energy.

"We live in a very disenchanted world," Nuckolls said. "Our culture of science constrains us in certain ways regarding our language use. You never know what you are losing with the unique usage that may never be formed again in a language."

But Ray Clifford, the director of the Center for Language Studies at BYU, is not alarmed. As language is constantly evolving, Clifford said even the English language of today would not be readily recognized by Shakespeare. To Clifford, the number of languages in existence today is evidence of man's creativity. Despite fewer languages, the people of the world are increasing their ability to communicate across groups.

"The goal of world peace will never be achieved without mutual understanding," Clifford said. "You cannot achieve mutual understanding without effective communication, which shared language can provide."

And a connected world does have advantages. For many indigenous Mayan peoples, Spanish, as opposed to their native languages, is the means of obtaining advanced technology and better medicine ? imperative in an area of the world where half of the children die before they are two years old.

John Robertson, a linguistics professor at BYU, has worked extensively with indigenous Mayan languages for almost 40 years and said sacrificing the traditional languages for Spanish is a complex trade-off.

"The traditional languages are wonderful because of their beauty and complexity, but they are being taken over by Spanish," Robertson said. "Scientific advances are corrosive to the preservation of old traditions which are located in the language."

But perhaps cultural tradition and technological advancement don't have to be mutually exclusive, seen through the efforts of many cultures that are working hard to preserve the languages of their past.

Danny Cannon, a junior from Holliday, Utah, speaks K'ekchi', one of more than 30 official languages in Guatemala. Cannon said the country has made so many languages official in order to preserve them. The government is also making great efforts to write languages down and require indigenous language education in the school system. "I think that saving a language preserves more culture than anything," Cannon said.

Whatever the future of the world's languages, professor Campbell said language will continue to be a marker of ethnic identity for its speakers. The speakers of Mam border Mexico and continue to be influenced by Spanish. If Mam is robust it may survive to echo the culture that created it, for if it disappears, although the voice of the people won't die, part of their past will.

There is another way to say goodbye in the Mayan language of Mam ? Q'onk chipena. It means strength to all.

2. Doric literature 'neglected' in favour of Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic, Doric)

Aberdeen festival accused of cultural cringe
By Senay Boztas, Arts Correspondent. Sunday Herald. 20 March 2005

LEADING Scottish writers and politicians have called for an Aberdeen literary festival to give as much prominence to the Scots language - especialy the Doric dialect - as it currently gives to Gaelic.

The Word festival - hosted by Aberdeen University and celebrating its fifth year - has programmed a day-long celebration of Gaelic literature for the event in May.

The Scots language is represented in the three-day line-up of speakers and events but does not have its own fringe programme in the same way as Gaelic. Critics have blamed its omission on a "cultural cringe" about Scots .

The Word festival's Gaelic programme is part of a growing trend to nurture Scotland's ancient tongue with proactive support. In February this year, MSPs unanimously supported a Gaelic Language Bill, to give the language official status and encourage the recruitment of more teachers.

Bryan MacGregor, head of the college of arts and social sciences, and a vice-principal of Aberdeen University said he hopes the Word programme will become a "major Gaelic festival in its own right". But writers and adherents of the Scots language believe that their voices should be given equal weight, in literary festivals and in legislation. Aberdeen already has a Doric festival, but it consists of ceilidhs and concerts rather than academic debates.

Organisers of the Word festival, who will announce its full programme at events in Edinburgh and Aberdeen on Wednesday, say that there is simply not enough room for a Scots programme within their weekend festival too. But they insist that writers of Doric - the Scots language used in the Aberdeen area - have always had a significant role in the event.

Alan Spence, artistic director of Word, said that the few days of the
festival, from May 13 to 15, are a constraint. "In a weekend
festival, it is
a bit tight to have a Doric day," he explained.

"A weekend seems to be the optimum size, but there is only so much
you can
have. It would get a bit fragmented.

"There is an enlarged Gaelic element this year. Where we are located, there is a strong Gaelic presence, so it is good to reflect that. But we feature Doric quite prominently, and [the poet and writer] Sheena Blackhall has been a feature since the first festivals."

But one writer who translated much of Moby-Dick into Doric and whose latest book interweaves Scots, Gaelic and French, said it should not be a neglected language - and that languages such as Punjabi are part of Scotland's national voice.

John Aberdein, who will launch his first novel Amande's Bed at the festival, said Scots and Gaelic should be nurtured in both literary events and legislation.

"I would agree that [both languages should be encouraged in Scottish Executive legislation], not to be divisive against Gaelic, but to achieve parity," he said. "When Scots is spoken by four million people, it seems neglectful that it doesn't have that status.

"People may learn it at their mother's knee, but you have to nourish it, although one of the biggest problems in writing it is that there can be no standard Scots because of the variations - Shetlanders are massively different from Glaswegians.

"Doric should be represented in Word, but festivals have a duty to represent quality rather than be token istic: we don't want a couthy corner, because Scots is self-confident."

Aonghas MacNeacail, the Gaelic poet and broadcaster, said that the new Gaelic programme would encourage people to see it as a living literary language, but that Scots should have the same status.

"The Scots writer James Robertson said that because it is closer to English, it is hard to develop a coherent voice for their cause," he said. "But most Gaelic writers are happy to see investment, not subsidy, in both. They should be seen as languages that belong to all of Scotland, from the Isle of Skye to the Borders."

Sheena Blackhall, poet, writer and research fellow at the Elphinstone Institute - which promotes Doric - in Aberdeen, said that this native tongue should also be nurtured in the Word festival, and more widely.

"Doric in the northeast involves everyone, and every ethnic group should be catered for," she said. "But we often suffer from the cultural cringe, and sometimes they [legislators and programmers] are a bit timorous in incorporating their own culture.

"Scots isn't a minority language, but the problem is the sheer lack of publishers and a distribution network nationally, and it is difficult to promote unless it is heavily funded and subsidised."

Michael Matheson, culture spokesman for the SNP, said that Scots and Gaelic should be equally appreciated, and encouraged through a Languages of Scotland Bill.

3. Concern over amount spent on Welsh-taught courses (Welsh)
By Laura May. Mar 16 2005

The amount of money spent on university courses taught through the medium of Welsh is falling as a proportion of the Assembly's spending on higher education, it was claimed today.

Caernarfon AM Alun Ffred Jones said he accepted that the Welsh-medium university sector had welcomed additional funding from the Assembly.

But he said: "The proportion of the funding available for teaching through the medium of Welsh is decreasing."

Education Minister Jane Davidson said an extra 2.9 million had been made available to fund projects such as scholarships and teaching fellowships for Welsh-medium students and lecturers.

Ms Davidson's announcement of the extra funding for the sector, made last year, drew a protest by hundreds of students at Aberystwyth University.

Students said the cash injection was "a step in the right direction" but was still not enough and demanded more courses taught in Welsh.

4. 2005 North Texas Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend (Scottish Gaelic)

The 2005 North Texas Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend will take place in McKinney, Texas April 30-May 1st at the Holiday Inn in McKinney. This year will be the third time that this event has happened. It is the only Gaelic-language event of its kind in Texas. We will have a weekend of Gaelic-language instruction with instructor Muriel Fisher, a Gaelic speaker from the Isle of

This will be an opportunity for some of the many Texans of Scottish highland descent to learn something of the language of their ancestors/

Additional information about the event can be found at the event web site at http://gresset1.airweb.net/Immersion.html

5. Petition (Scottish Gaelic)

Thathas air ath-chuinge a chur air chois a thaobh suidheachadh craoladh na Gidhlig agus thathas ag iarraidh gun cuir daoine taic ris. Siuthadaibh!


Please add your signature to this petition and help us take Gaelic Television into the Digital Age!

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

Fn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]
Lrach-ln: www.inbhirnis.org
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March 22, 2005

1. 9th Annual ACGA Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend (Scottish Gaelic)
2. Failure to study Burns 'a weakness for Scotland' (Scottish Literature )
3. Province picks lament for ad campaign (Scottish Gaelic)
4. Gaelic Initiatives Set to Share in 1.92million Aid Windfall (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Nicholas Ostler's fascinating history, Empires of the Word, examines why some languages survive while others die out, and why English reigns supreme (General Languages)

March 22, 2005

1. 9th Annual ACGA Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend (Scottish Gaelic)

An Comunn Gaidhealach ? America (ACGA) presents its 9th Annual Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend, held for the first time in Ohio, from May 19 ? May 22, 2005. ACGA and The Great Lakes Gaelic Society will co-host this long weekend, featuring some of the best Scottish Gaelic instructors from Scotland, Canada and the United States.

The immersion weekend is a unique opportunity for learners of Scottish Gaelic to come together with more advanced and native speakers in both a classroom setting and informal gatherings. Whether you are a new learner with no experience or an advanced speaker, the immersion weekend will provide opportunities to speak Gaelic in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Extracurricular activities will include old time Scottish dancing on the Friday evening and a cilidh on Saturday evening. The beautiful facilities of the Burr Oak Resort include a ravine hiking trail, tennis courts, indoor pool, miles of nature trails and many vantage points from which to view the magnificent scenery. Burr Oak Resort is located in Southern Ohio in the Burr Oak Sate Park. For more information on the resort and park, and to browse their website, log on to their website at www.burroakresort.com.

For more information please see the ACGA website

or email Frances Acar at [email protected]

"Tr gun chnain tr gun anam"

2. Failure to study Burns 'a weakness for Scotland' (Scottish Literature)

PHIL MILLER, Arts Correspondent. The Herald. March 22 2005

THE failure to make the study of Burns mandatory in schools is a weakness of modern Scotland, the head of the Cultural Commission is to claim today.
In a speech at the Scottish parliament, James Boyle is to focus on the literary scene in Scotland, which he says is one of the nation's greatest cultural successes.

But he is to say that more needs to be done in Scotland, "the co-owner of the English language", and add: "We don't teach Scottish literature and history systematically in schools: in other words, we don't equip youngsters to know and own their culture.

"We do not require public libraries to buy Scottish literature. There is no Scottish based library supplier . . . we are having a Burns Festival in 2007 but we don't teach Burns as a mandatory

"If we don't teach, promote and buy Scottish literature as part of our educational and industrial strategy, how can we expect literature to flourish in future?"

The Commission has been charged by the executive with formulating a cultural plan for Scotland until 2030.

As part of the British Council's Promoting Scotland Worldwide agenda, Mr Boyle will demonstrate that much of the Commission's thought concerns the role of culture in education.

3. Province picks lament for ad campaign (Scottish Gaelic)

Mar 21 2005 04:40 PM AST

CBC News

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia has a launched a $7.7-million tourism campaign with a song about its "miserable" shores.

Tourism officials chose an old Gaelic tune sung by Cape Breton performer Mary Jane Lamond for television ads to air in Ontario and New England.

Written by an unknown songwriter in the 1830s, the tune is about Scottish immigrants coming to Nova Scotia. In the last line, the singer says that if she had a boat, she "wouldn't be oppressed by this miserable land."

"It's kind of a desperate song, in some ways it's a lament. It talks about the pain they felt leaving Scotland and coming to start in a new place," said Lamond, at Monday's official campaign launch.

"It does seem ironic, but it is appropriate because it is a song composed in Nova Scotia."

Tourism Minister Rodney MacDonald defends the use of the song in the tourism campaign, saying it went through extensive focus-group testing.
"We do extensive research to ensure that the people we are attempting to reach to come here to Nova Scotia we are reaching. And this song is doing so," he said.

The Gaelic tune will not be heard in Nova Scotia. A song by local performer Matt Mays is part of the tourism campaign in the Maritimes. Mays' song, in English, describes the province as a good

Both songs are used as background music in the television ads. Actor John Dunsworth, who plays Mr. Leahy on the show Trailer Park Boys, does the voiceovers.

This year's tourism marketing campaign is the most extensive one yet, including tv, magazine and online elements. It's also the first time the province has planned major TV campaigns in Ontario, Quebec and New England.

The province recently announced a $1.4-million campaign to rebrand Nova Scotia as a place to "come to life." However, that tag line isn't included in this tourism campaign.

Mary Jane Lamond's website - Song lyrics



4. Gaelic Initiatives Set to Share in 1.92million Aid Windfall (Scottish Gaelic)


this is North Scotland in association with The Press and Journal
09:00 - 22 March 2005

A Group of Gaelic community, arts, culture and education projects and organisations across Scotland are set to benefit from a share of 1.92million with support from Brd na Gidhlig.

The funding is designed to improve opportunities for Gaelic learners and speakers of all ages to use the language in their local communities.

The projects include new books for primary and secondary schools to extend the range of Gaelic educational material available to teachers and children, a collaborative drama project for Gaelic speaking teenagers from Ireland and Scotland to provide training in theatre craft and acting skills, portable translation equipment for the use of Gaelic at community meetings throughout Scotland, a range of Gaelic tuition classes for both learners and fluent speakers across the UK and a writing scheme encouraging new Gaelic fiction for the 21st century. Scottish education Minister Peter Peacock - who has ministerial responsibility for Gaelic - said: "To ensure the Gaelic language thrives it is vital that we promote its everyday use and increase appreciation of its place and value in Scottish culture."

Brd na Gidhlig chairman Duncan Ferguson said: "Brd na Gidhlig has
a clear goal to increase the numbers of speakers and users of Gaelic
in communities across Scotland. "

5. Nicholas Ostler's fascinating history, Empires of the Word, examines why some languages survive while others die out, and why English reigns supreme (General Languages)

Take my word for it

Jane Stevenson
Sunday March 13, 2005
The Observer

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
by Nicholas Ostler
HarperCollins 30, pp624

This learned and entertaining book starts around 3,300BC and works forwards. Given that it's a short history of the last 5,000 years, it is remarkably comprehensive as well as thought- provoking. For most people, learning a first language is so 'easy' you don't remember doing it and picking up others later on is a tedious chore.

It therefore seems reasonable that any time one group of people conquers another, the victors should impose their language, but historically, things haven't always worked like that. Nicholas Ostler's aim is to look at why some languages survive and spread, while others, for example the Aboriginal languages of Australia, fail.

He identifies three major paths to success: breed your way to majority status (like Chinese), spread by conquest (like Arabic) or give rise to a popular religion (like Sanskrit). But there is also another aspect contributing to the long-term survival of a language, which is to become classical.

We normally think of classics as 'Latin and Greek', but there have been a good few others. Sumerian outlived its political heyday by a millennium and half; I was pleased to discover that one of its leading writers was the world's first major poetess, Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon of Akka, in the 24th century BC.

There's an old linguist's joke that a language is a dialect with an army, but the material in this book suggests that the real key to survival is for a language to be a dialect with a civil service. A class of bureaucrats with the power to defend its monopoly can keep a language going for centuries, as can a set of scriptures, while conquerors come and go.

Once a particular language is universally used for an empire's laws, tax records and so forth, it takes a lot more than mere conquest to force a change. Whether incomers imposed their language or adopted that of their subjects usually relates to whether they wanted business - and taxpaying - to go on as before or whether they arrived equipped with pen-pushers of their own.

Consequently, German's inability to establish itself as a world language is less of a mystery than Ostler tries to make it. 'German conquerors' did not storm into the Roman world as monoglot speakers of Germanic dialects. Most were from tribes which had served Rome for generations and they arrived, in the main, with some official sanction and equipped with the functional Latin which they had learned as mercenaries. Because they wished the economy to go on working, they adopted the language common to both sides: Latin.

By contrast, in England, where the Roman state had stopped functioning, the Angles and Saxons displaced both Latin and British Celtic with remarkable thoroughness.

Ostler also enters on the vexed question of whether any special qualities in a particular language contribute to its success, beyond the good fortune of being attached to an convenient writing technology (it was the development of the first workable script of record, cuneiform, which ensured that after 2,000 years, Akkadian scribes were still using bits of Sumerian as shorthand, just as, equivalently, we use i.e. and e.g.).

Ostler is clearly carrying a torch for Sanskrit, perhaps the most self-conscious language which the world has ever produced. The argument he makes for its intrinsic lovableness is that 'because of its elaborated descriptions and analyses of itself, it could always demonstrate what was best and why it was best. It thereby made itself irresistibly attractive to upwardly mobile institutions. Being concretely defined in the grammar books, Sanskrit was eminently learnable'.

This is superficially attractive, but it is equally true of classical old Irish, a tongue which has been singularly unable to attract externaldevotees, though the Irish also had a sophisticated grammatical tradition and similarly lauded their language's comprehensiveness, beauty, and primacy over all others.

The worldwide success of English in the twentieth century is normally linked with American cultural and economic imperialism. Ostler, however, makes a provocative case that it actually builds on 19th-century British colonialism and is also strongly related to Britain's role in Europe, though the reasons why English has become the major working language of the EU may in itself have to do with the existence, offstage, of America. But it is worth observing that economic power in itself does not inevitably make a language attractive, if politics are against it. Despite the commercial success of postwar Japan, the 'Asian co-prosperity sphere' it tried to create has stoutly resisted Japanese.

If one asks whether Ostler successfully makes his case for a set ofobjective criteria why some languages have achieved global status, the answer has to be not quite. A language can experience favouring or unfavouring circumstances, but its actual fate involves a large measure of
As with the extinction of species, explanations can only be retrospective. There was nothing obviously wrong with blaauwbok or with Phoenician except that they died out, whereas their respective cousins, sable antelopes and Hebrew, survive and thrive.

Ostler is looking for universal theories of why languages succeed, but what the stories boil down to is: this is what happened. However, that doesn't prevent Ostler from using the final chapters to look at the future, on which his thoughts are iconoclastic. Again and again, as Ostler shows, writing technologies have survived the language which gave them birth and there is no reason to assume that the modern world will be any different in this respect.

English-language postings on the web have dropped below 50 per cent of total traffic and Spanish is now the majority language of the US. Habla usted espaol? If not, it might be wise to learn.
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March 24, 2005

1. Caithness Refuses to Go along with Gaelic Signs Proposal (Scottish Gaelic)

March 25, 2005

2. Grand Gaelic gathering is unveiled for Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic)

March 26, 2005

3. Alba/Scotland National Football Team Petition (Scottish Gaelic)

March 28, 2005

4. Tachartasan/Events (Scottish Gaelic)

March 24, 2005

1. Caithness Refuses to Go along with Gaelic Signs Proposal (Scottish Gaelic)


IAIN GRANT. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 23 March 2005

Caithness has refused to follow the lead from other parts of the Highlands and promote bilingual road signs in English and Gaelic.

Councillors yesterday decided not to go along with Highland Council's drive to promote the signs.

The council's Gaelic language plan backs the addition of Gaelic to the English version on road and school signs, as well as council documents.

But it will not be applied in Caithness after the area committee decided at its meeting in Thurso yesterday to opt out of the policy.

Area convener David Flear said public representations he has received strongly oppose the idea with people complaining it would mean extra cost, create confusion and cause an extra road hazard.

And Mr Flear said that unlike the rest of the region, there is not a strong history of Gaelic in Caithness.

He said: "It's often said we're the land beyond the Highlands."
Wick West Councillor Bill Fernie said: "I've also had representations asking us to opt out of the policy. I haven't spoken to anyone who is in favour of Gaelic signs."

Area convener Alastair MacDonald said Dunbeath is the only Caithness school whose name comes from Gaelic. He said the policy elsewhere has meant the bi-lingual sign for Clachtoll in west Sutherland has the name - the same in English and Gaelic - repeated.

Councillor Tom Jackson, Thurso East said this was a clear case of a Highland issue where 'one size does not fit all'.

But Thurso West councillor Roger Saxon believed individual communities or schools within Caithness should be allowed to add Gaelic to signs, if that was their wish.

He said the extra cost would be 'miniscule' as the Gaelic version is added only when signs need replaced.

Mr Saxon added that research in Canada did not reveal any problem with road safety. He said: "We should not close the door on this completely. There may be particular communities or schools that might want something that stands out from the rest." But he was a lone voice and he also lost out in his suggestion that the committee should think about bilingual signs in English and Norse.

March 25, 2005

2. Grand Gaelic gathering is unveiled for Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic)


The Scotsman
Fri 25 Mar 2005
Scotland - Glasgow


AN AMBITIOUS plan to bring together the largest number of Gaelic poets and musicians ever assembled was unveiled in Glasgow yesterday.

The Flower of the West project, launched by the Glasgow Gaelic Arts' An Lochran organisation, will promote Gaelic culture though the enduring work of the well-known Scots band, Runrig.

The idea is to bring to life - through music, song and poetry - the images from Flower of the West, a book written by Calum and Rory MacDonald of Runrig.

The story documents the brothers' journey in spreading Gaelic culture across the world through music, verse and song.
The celebration of Celtic tradition is planned for May when artists, poets, singers and performers will converge on Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall to hail the lasting legacy of Runrig, and the influence the MacDonald brothers, in particular, have had in delivering the traditional Gaelic culture to an international audience.

Helping to get the show on the road yesterday at Cafe Gandolfi in the Merchant City was Stevie Jackson, better known as the guitarist with the internationally acclaimed Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian.

He said: "The overall concept is to make the Gaelic culture in Glasgow that bit more apparent, and I am only too happy to help out with that, even though I don't speak the language myself."

The Flower of the West event is part of a broader programme of Gaelic arts activity planned for the city during the coming months, and has been developed in conjunction with Glasgow City Council.

2005 Scotsman.com

March 26, 2005

3. Alba / Scotland National Football Team Petition (Scottish Gaelic)

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.


The Undersigned


March 28, 2005

4. Tachartasan/Events (Scottish Gaelic)

Naidheachdan agus tachartasan ann an Inbhir Nis/
News & Events in Inverness:

Seinneadairean Inbhir Nis
Inverness Sangsters
Taigh-sda Beaufort - Hotel (shuas staidhre),
11 Rathad Culduthal - Road

Dihaoine, 1 Giblean. 9f.
Friday, 1 April. 9pm. Donations welcome

Do you like singing? Would you like to meet up in a social setting to have an informal singing session (Scots & Gaelic song etc)? Just singing, no instruments or smoking! You don't have to sing to attend (listeners welcome!)

A bheil idh agad ann an seinn? A bheil thu ag iarraidh coinneachadh ann an ite sisealta airson seisean seinn neo-fhoirmeil a dhanamh (amhrain Albannach, Gaidhlig, m.s.a.a.)? Ma tha, thig gu Seinneadairean Inbhir Nis.

Contact: Brian hEadhra
01463 234138
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March 29, 2005

1. Burns library to reopen after 2m renovation (Scots)
2. English place names purged to boost Gaelic (Irish Gaelic)
3. Ireland Enacts Law Banning English on Maps (Irish Gaelic)
4. "One Year Past: Nothing is Done for Sign Languages!" (Sign Language)

March 29, 2005

1. Burns library to reopen after 2m renovation (Scots)

March 29 2005


The Herald (Glasgow)
Web Issue 2232
March 29 2005

A HOUSE containing one of the world's leading collections of works by Robert Burns re-opens this week after vital conservation work to prevent mould damage.

Broughton House, at Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, underwent a 2m upgrade, including computer-controlled humidity monitors to preserve the 3000 books and papers by Burns.

The collection ? the fourth largest in the world ? had been kept in a damp basement in the eighteenth century townhouse and, over the years, mould had developed, threatening to damage the priceless collection.

It includes one of 12 known copies of the Kilmarnock edition of Burns's work, the first printing of his poetry from 1786 ? which is the rarest edition of his work and contains To a Mouse and The Twa Dugs, which gave an early insight into the Bard's prodigious talent.

Broughton House is now in the hands of the National Trust for Scotland and re-opens on Friday, after two years of renovations. Robin Robertson, property manager, said: "This is the fourth largest collection of Burns's work ? so it is very, very important and one of
the reasons people come here."

2. English place names purged to boost Gaelic (Irish Gaelic)

By Shawn Pogatchnik
29 March 2005
The Independent

The legal map of Ireland has changed in a bid to promote the country's little-used official tongue, Gaelic.

As of yesterday, the English names of more than 2,300 towns and villages in Ireland's western regions, or Gaeltacht, no longer have legal standing and may not be used in government documents or on new Ordnance Survey maps.

The change takes in the most westerly parts of Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Mayo as well as a few Gaelic-speaking pockets of Meath, north-west of Dublin, and Waterford in the south-east. On the Dingle peninsula in north-west Kerry, for example, two villages known chiefly by their English names, Dunquinn and Ventry, must be identified on signs and official documents as Dun Chaoin and Ceann Tra.

Under the new laws, Tipperary would be Tiobraid-Arran, which means in Gaelic, the well of Ara.

Another law specifies the proper Gaelic versions and spellings of hundreds of place names outside the Gaeltacht, where English is dominant. The English names remain legal, but displaying the Gaelic alongside them will become mandatory.

Since independence in 1922 governments have pursued a policy of mandatory Gaelic in schools and made it a requirement for many jobs, even though just 55,000 native Gaelic speakers remain of a population of 3.9 million.

2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

3. Ireland Enacts Law Banning English on Maps (Irish Gaelic)

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writer
Mon Mar 28, 2:19 PM


DUBLIN, Ireland - Tourists, beware: Your guide book may tell you the way to Dingle in County Kerry, but all the road signs will be pointing you toward An Daingean in Contae an Ciarrai instead.

In an age where many people bemoan English's growing global influence, advocates of local languages scored a small victory Monday when Ireland enacted a law outlawing English in road signs and official maps on much of the nation's western coast, where many people speak Gaelic.

Locals concede the switch will confuse foreigners in an area that depends heavily on tourism, but they say it's the price of patriotism.

"The change is nice for the locals, but if a stranger's coming in without one of the new Dingle maps, it can be quite difficult," said Sarah Brosnan, assistant manager of the Dingle Bay Hotel, which - like most things connected to the tourist trade - won't be changing its name.

In all, more than 2,300 towns, villages, fields and crossroads that traditionally had both English and Gaelic names have had their previously bilingual road signs changed to Irish only. The change chiefly affects three far-flung regions of the western seaboard called the Gaeltacht, which has long been nation's last stand in the battle against English dominance.

There, English place names no longer have legal standing and may not be used in government documents or on official Ordnance Survey maps. The switch also applies in a few official Gaelic- speaking pockets of County Meath, northwest of Dublin, and County Waterford in the southeast.

On the breathtakingly beautiful Dingle peninsula in northwest County Kerry, signs with English spellings were taken down weeks ago, even in cases where the English versions remain popular in local parlance. Local villages still principally known as Ballydavid, Castlegregory and Ventry are now called only Baile na nGall, Caislean Ghriaire and Ceann Tra.

Gaelic enthusiasts say such place names are redolent of local history and eventually will prove less confusing for visitors - so long as they are armed with updated or Gaelic-friendly maps.

Locals like Brosnan, who went to an all-Gaelic school but speaks English as her first language, say promoting Gaelic is a point of pride.

"I can't see them ever allowing English back on to the signs," she said.

The new law says the government-run Ordnance Survey mapping agency must use only Gaelic names in the Gaeltacht area. The law does not apply to independent producers of maps, although they are expected to follow the policy.

The initiative has placed a new focus on the battle to preserve Gaelic in Ireland, where the language faded from everyday use in the 19th century, when Britain ruled the land.

Ever since Ireland won independence in 1922, successive governments have pursued a policy of mandatory Gaelic in schools and made it a requirement for many jobs, even though just 55,000 native Gaelic speakers remain in this country of 3.9 million.

About 40 percent of residents identify themselves as fluent in Gaelic on census forms, but in practice this doesn't seem to be anywhere near the case.

The government's Irish language commissioner, Sean O Cuirreain, reported this month that the state was spending $650 million annually on teaching children Gaelic in elementary and high schools, yet too few students were attaining "a reasonable command of the language" after 13 years and 1,500 hours of instruction. He called for an urgent review of how Gaelic is taught.

English, in practice, permeates even government-funded projects to promote Gaelic.

The state-run Gaelic radio network recently decided to begin broadcasting popular music in English, while the state's Gaelic TV station runs English-language films, often American cowboy movies. Other programs include such distinctly non-Gaelic offerings as "SpongeBob SquarePants."

O Cuirreain noted that the government and opposition lawmakers, though almost entirely pro- Gaelic in policy, were demonstrably pro-English in practice - less than 1 percent of parliamentary debates are conducted in Gaelic.

Another impact of the law is that, for many places, the government has settled eons of argument about what the locality's real Gaelic name should be. Some villages and smaller rural entities called "townlands" have had rival spellings - and even totally competing names.

The town of Mountcharles in northwest County Donegal, for instance, has often been known in its straight Gaelic translation "Moin Searlas," but the government-approved list rejects this in favor of a more medieval name "Tamhnach an tSalainn," pronounced as "townuck awn tallan" and meaning "hill of salt."

On the Net:

Government department that promotes Gaelic,

Irish language commissioner, http://www.coimisineir.ie

Dingle guide to Irish place names, http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/towns.html

Gaelic television station, http://www.tg4.ie/

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

4. "One Year Past: Nothing is Done for Sign Languages!" (Sign Language)

SLCB Press Release


A year has passed since the announcement by Northern Ireland Office on the recognition of Northern Ireland Sign Language (NISL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) as official languages of Northern Ireland on the equal par as Irish and Ulster-Scots.Shane Gilchrist hEorpa, the chair of Sign Language Centre Belfast commented: `One year gone, where are we? Very little is being done about this.'

Tokenism may be the better term to describe the lack of action on NISL & ISL.

`ISL and NISL may be recognised as "official languages" yet we have more people using our two languages than Ulster-Scots speakers and Chinese speakers yet Chinese and Ulster-Scots get a lot more respect than NISL/ISL and we think it is unfair'

One reason behind the recognition of NISL and ISL is that it will lead to have the number of sign language tutors and interpreters increased which will be of some benefits towards the Sign Language community.

`More and more schools are signing up to have us teaching NISL to their pupils because they feel that learning sign language will be of some benefits for their pupils. There are more linguists in Northern Ireland taking a strong interest in the development of NISL' hEorpa said, `yet NISL is still discriminated against on a daily basis, not being taken seriously as a language'

`So much work is needed to be done' SLCB concluded. A large number of sign language activists are not skilled in minority language rights and often they are not fluent in English which is often a "foreign language" for them.

England & Wales have recognised British Sign Language (BSL) two years ago and the responsibility was given to Maria Eagles, the Disability Minister within the Disability Unit at the Department of Work & Pensions for England & Wales. The decision was demoralising & insulting for many BSL language activists who believe that BSL should be at least recognised as a language. In Northern Ireland, the Sign Language community is fortunate as NISL & ISL are being looked after by the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure for Northern Ireland who also looks after Irish and Ulster-Scots.

`We would like it if there is a statutory agency created to aid the development of the Sign Language Community just like Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency ? our languages does need the same respect the two minority languages have from the British Government!'

The SLCB would like to take the opportunity to thank people for their support in getting the recognition for the two national sign languages: Northern Ireland Sign Language and Irish Sign Language.

More information:
Shane Gilchrist hEorpa, Sign Language Centre Belfast
Email: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:
The Sign Language Centre Belfast, part of the SLCB Group, is very delighted of being the only representative organisation for Sign Language users in Northern Ireland that fights for the same equality the English, Ulster-Scots and Irish language speakers take for granted including sign language medium education, sign language teaching, sign language training, research into Northern Ireland's two national sign languages: Northern Ireland Sign Language and Irish Sign Language. According to one estimate, around 250,000 people in the UK use British Sign Language on a daily basis.
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Sorry that these deal only with Scottish Gaelic this time but, after all, all of these news stories come from a Scottish Gaelic newsgroup that I subscribe to! smile.gif

March 31, 2005

1. Gaelic Education Dispute Is Averted (Scottish Gaelic)
2. Gaelic medium community group for children aged 5-12 looking for a new leader (Scottish
3. Gaelic for hikers (Scottish Gaelic)

April 1, 2005

4. Information on this year's Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week (Scottish Gaelic)
5. Black day as EU fools with place names (Scottish Gaelic)

April 2, 2005

6. Inverness Gaelic Forum - Public Meeting (Scottish Gaelic)

March 31, 2005

1. Gaelic Education Dispute Is Averted (Scottish Gaelic)


this is North Scotland in association with The Press and Journal

09:00 - 30 March 2005

Education chiefs have headed off a row which threatened an English-Gaelic split among parents over the future of their village school.

After seeking legal advice, officials have given assurances that every parent's view will be taken into account when statutory consultations get under way over a possible relocation.

The assurance has been welcomed by parents of the 51 pupils at Lady Lovat Primary School at Morar, which is "bulging at the seams".

To ease the problem, Highland councillors have suggested a number of options, including the transfer of either the 41-pupil Gaelic medium unit or the 10-strong English-language stream to neighbouring Mallaig, where there is spare capacity.

If the English stream was moved, statutory consultation would need to be carried out with parents because it would be relocated outwith its existing catchment area of Morar.

However, parents had initially been told consultation would not be necessary in respect of the Gaelic unit because it would be moved within its catchment area, which encompasses Morar, Mallaig and Lochailort.

Parents opposed to the transfer of the Gaelic unit claimed Lochaber education officials were "simply trying to exploit a loophole in the law to forcibly move the Gaelic unit without the proper legal process" .

But, after seeking legal advice, Highland Council's director of education Bruce Robertson has assured them they will have the same rights to consultation as those with children in the English stream.

And he has pledged that the school will remain as it is until at least August of next year, with consultations being carried out in the intervening period.

Gaelic parents' group chairman Fiona Johnston said: "We would like to thank Mr Robertson for seeking legal advice to clarify the situation."

The school's English-stream caters for 10 children but is set to fall to nine in August and, without the Gaelic unit, parents fear the school could close.

Mr Robertson says the success of Gaelic provision has put pressure on the small school.

It is against a background of empty classrooms at Mallaig, where there are 69 pupils and three teachers, compared with 51 children at Morar, three miles away. But Morar parents have delivered a "hands off" message and say any splitting of the Gaelic unit would be detrimental to their youngsters' language development.

2. Gaelic medium community group for children aged 5-12 looking for a new leader (Scottish

Are you interested in working with children? In fun and games?

If so .........

We are looking for a new leader for the Inverness Sradagan group and a few people to help out from time to time.

Sradagan is a Gaelic medium community group for children aged 5-12 years and there is lots of fun and games to be had!

If you are interested then please contact:

Miri Imlach
Comunn na Gidhlig
5 Mitchell's LaneInverness IV2 3HQ
phone: 01463 234 138
email: [email protected]

For more information visit our website at: www.sradagan.org

Tha Comhairle na Gidhealtachd a' lorg do bheachdan air Dreach Sgeama Gaidhlig agus Cultar aca. 'S e 8 An Citean an latha mu dheireadh airson seo.

The Highland Council are looking for your views on their (Draft) Gaelic and Culture Scheme. Closing date: 8 May.


Cuir fios gu/Contact:

Morag Anna NicLeoid
Oifigear Leasachaidh Gaidhlig
Comhairle na Gaidhealtachd
Tigh na Sgire
Park Lane
An t-Eilean Sgitheanach
IV51 9GP ALBA Roinn Eorpa
Fon/Phone:01478 613835
Facs/Faxs:01478 613828
Post-d/E-mail:[email protected]
For further information on The Highland Council
visit our web-site www.highland.gov.uk
www.think-net.org www.hi-ways.org

3. Gaelic for hikers (Scottish Gaelic)


The Scotsman
Sat 11 Dec 2004


COLIN MacLeod stands on the summit of Ladhar Bheinn, at 1,020m the highest top in Knoydart. Ladhar Bheinn means "Hoof Mountain", and all around the peaks and troughs of the Rough Bounds rear spectacularly like frozen waves, their names sounding a rugged Gaelic litany - Stob a?Choire Odhair, Bealach Coire Odhar, Bealach Bn, Aonach Sgoilte ...They mean, respectively, "dun-coloured hill", "dun-coloured pass", "fair pass" and "split ridge", and for MacLeod, a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Lewis, just reading these names gives immediate insight into the landscape.

Next month, he gives non-Gaelic-speakers the benefit of his knowledge in Tir is Teanga, which means Language and Landscape, a six-part series filmed in the Highlands and islands. Roving through prime hillwalking territory such as Glencoe, the Cairngorms, Skye and Knoydart, MacLeod, a presenter in BBC Scotland?s Gaelic department, is accompanied by a fellow hillwalker who knows the area.

The predominant language on any map of the Highlands is Gaelic, although English, Scots, ancient Britttonic and Pictish and - particularly in the west - Norse also crop up.

"Even basic things like the Gaelic names of colours tell you about the terrain or other features, like a peak or a rounded hill. Straight off, you?ve got an advantage. You?re not just reading contours," he says.

If you don?t know your stob from your sgurr or your beinn from your bealach, Tir is Teanga, in Gaelic with English subtitles, should help you regard the hills with fresh insight.

Made by the Glasgow-based company Caledonia Sterne and Wyld for BBC Scotland, the idea behind the series, as producer Les Wilson explains, "is that viewers should come away with a good knowledge of ?Ordnance Survey Gaelic? - and be able to pronounce hills as well as climb them".

The series also dispels any presumption that Gaelic place names are necessarily more poetic than their English counterparts. "Some of them can be quite functional," says MacLeod.

Indeed, Gaelic functionality could sometimes be just too basic for strait-laced Victorians, and he cites the Cairngorm peak known as the Devil?s Point, a discreet bowdlerisation of the original Gaelic name Bod an Deamhain - "the Devil?s penis".

Apart from offending delicate sensibilities, place names can also give insight into areas we tend to label, not wholly accurately, as wilderness.

"There?s a view that the Cairngorms, for instance, are very hostile to man and in winter, obviously, they are," says MacLeod. "But there are Gaelic names there, such as the Lirig an Laoigh, ?the pass of the Cattle?, and the Lirig an Laoigh Ghr, so obviously people frequented this area."

MacLeod is a keen hillwalker, but it wasn?t all foot-slogging for him and the crew who shot some spectacular footage for the series. They went out in fishing boats and kayaks to view a coastline of inlets and rocky skerries which were the ruin of many a ship, and are often named accordingly.

On the west coast, especially, the Vikings left a place-name legacy of their own, including Knoydart into whose sea lochs the dragon ships sailed. Knoydart is the Gaelicised version of the Scandinavian Knut?s Fjord.

One might presume that the government surveyors who mapped these areas would be indifferent and slipshod in their attitude to Gaelic, resulting in misinterpretations such as Gleneagles, which in fact has nothing to do with eagles but refers to eaglais, or church. On the contrary, however, MacLeod has a great deal of respect for these pioneer mapmakers.

"It?s phenomenal the way so many of these names have survived, when you consider that the people putting them on the maps were English speakers, and the majority of the people they were talking to spoke Gaelic vernacular and had little or no written education.

"Obviously, there will be misinterpretations, but at the same time, you will still have a name on the map, although, heaven knows, there are hundreds more we?ve lost, in that they were never recorded," says MacLeod.

The programme comes at a time when organisations such as the Scottish Place-Name Society consider it a disgrace that the investigation and recording of place names receives no official support. Tir is Teanga features place names expert Ian Fraser, yet since he retired from Edinburgh University in 2001, there have been no other comparable posts in Scotland.

Despite recent overtures to the Scottish Parliament for an independently-funded place name survey, Scotland currently lacks any such institution - unlike other European countries (often with far less linguistic diversity).

"Anywhere people are living on the land," says MacLeod, "they will have a multitude of smaller, very pinpointed place names that relate to their knowledge, perhaps of settlements that have moved, or what livestock or crops were once there, or perhaps somewhere named after its bad snowdrifts, although it might no longer get much snow."

An indicator of climate change? Perhaps. The Gaelic namers have at least left us a clue to how things were, if we only have the language to read it. sm

? Tir is Teanga starts on Thursday 13 January at 7pm on BBC 2. Visit the Scottish Place-Name Society at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/institutes/sassi/spns/

April 1, 2005

4. Information on this year's Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week (Scottish Gaelic)

A Chirdean,
We've just posted the latest information on this year's Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week on the An Comunn Gaidhealach, America, web site (www.acgamerica.org) so go take a look. We'll have three terrific teachers this year, classes in language and song for all abilities, and lots of extra activities. This year's workshop will be held from July 3rd through the 8th, ending just as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games get started. Check the website for more information and/or e-mail me if you have questions.

Le meas,
Cam MacRae
[email protected]

5. Black day as EU fools with place names (Scottish Gaelic)


EUROPEAN bureaucrats will push forward legislation today to force the Scottish Executive to change place-names that offend or discriminate on the grounds of race and gender.

In a move the Nationalists described as the "ultimate madness in political correctness", it has taken only a quorum of four Euro commissioners from Italy, Germany, France and Spain to redraw Scotland's map.

The German commissioner, Arlo Pilof, the architect of the 2006 Race and Gender Equality Imposition Code (conformity), an amendment to existing rules, said: "We believe many names do not conform, and we started with Scotland because it is the worst of the culprits with offensive names such as Skinflats, near Grangemouth."

However, he promised the Scottish Executive could apply for grants of up to ?43.6 million (28 million) to facilitate change.

That was dismissed yesterday by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce as a "drop in the ocean". A spokesman said: "Changing stationery and business cards could cost that alone."

The commissioners in Brussels have demanded "race and gender-sensitive" names found for towns such as Motherwell, Blackburn, Helensburgh, Fort William, Campbeltown, Peterhead, Lewis and Fraserburgh be changed.

A Scottish parliamentary group, set up in anticipation of the legislation, has made a start. Fort William, in the shadow of Britain's highest mountain, would become Fort Nevis by 2006, under
one suggestion.

Edinburgh City Council is considering revising Arthur's Seat because the commissioners said its ancient name contained sexual undertones "likely to offend those visiting Edinburgh".

Under the new amendment the word "Glen" could be banned as gender-biased. Scotland Office officials have suggested a change to Vale, as in Valecoe and the Great Vale.

An SNP spokesperson said: "This is monstrous buffoonery, an outrageous waste of resources and politically correct madness.

"I understand, for example, that North Lanarkshire Council will consider plans to change Motherwell to Parentwell," the spokesperson said. "What is Dunbartonshire going to do with Helensburgh?"

Under European rules going back to 1986, a quorum of four member state commissioners have the right to table what is known as a "L.I.L Proof A", a prelude to any legislation which proposes to amend or remove a name or description "relating to a city, town or centre of habitation with more than eight people of voting age".

The four commissioners tabled the L.I.L Proof A in December and today the legislation will go before a committee of ten commissioners. It is expected to be law by 1 April, 2006.

The Scottish Executive had sought to win exemptions for places beginning with "Black", but the bureaucrats were adamant they were racist.

"We could hardly have places like Colouredford or the Coloured Isle, the Coloured Cuillins," said a spokesman.

However, the Executive has come up with an alternative, to revert to the Gaelic rendition of black - dubh - which it believes will be acceptable.

The spokesman added: "They won't know the difference, hopefully. And Burndubh and Dubhford don't sound too bad."

However, the greatest difficulty will be experienced by the producers of Ordnance Survey maps.

A spokesman said: "This is a nightmare, amending every map. I understand there will be a hiatus, where old maps are acceptable. But new maps will have to be in place by 2007.

"More cartographers will be needed and the process of re-tooling machines will begin next year.

"Inevitably, the cost will be high and prices will go up. We estimate, for example, a map such as the Landranger series for North Skye will retail at 94.20 by 2007."

Mr Pilof revealed that England would be next on the agenda, citing the Isle of Man as particularly worthy of change.
A Manx spokesman said yesterday: "I hope this is a long way off. We are two-time losers, what with the island's name and Douglas as the capital. It's ridiculous, isn't it?

"It's as if these people sat there all day and made up this stuff."

April 2, 2005

6. Inverness Gaelic Forum - Public Meeting (Scottish Gaelic)

Fram Gidhlig Inbhir Nis ? Coinneamh Phoblach

Taigh-sta Chaluim Chille
(shuas staidhre)
Columba Hotel
Ness Walk

Diardaoin, 14 Giblean. 7f.
Thurs, 14 April. 7pm

Seo cothrom airson cmhradh a dhanamh ri buidhnean agus daoine a tha brosnachadh na Gidhlig nar baile. Cuideachd, bidh sinn a' bruidhinn mu dheidhinn iomairtean agus thachartasan Gidhlig a tha romhainn ann an Inbhir Nis.

This is an opportunity for you to meet groups and individuals who are interested in promoting Gaelic in our city. We will also discuss forthcoming Gaelic events and developments in Inverness.

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

Fn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]
Lrach-ln: www.inbhirnis.org
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Posted: 03-Apr-2005, 07:28 PM
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April 2, 2005

1. Welsh Education Demand Outstrips Supply (Welsh)
2. Cornish Language Signs Campaign (Cornish)

April 2, 2005

1. Welsh Education Demand Outstrips Supply (Welsh)


Growing demand for Welsh language education is forcing Cardiff council to consider setting up an overspill starter class in Moorland Primary, English-medium school, in Splott.

In the last five years two purpose-built Welsh-medium primaries in Cardiff have opened but these have filled up ahead of schedule. This has led to the council facing criticism for a lack of foresight.

Parents who have not gained a place for their child at the present Welsh-medium school of their choice have been invited to attend a meeting next month to outline the plans and conditional on the success of this meeting the go-ahead for the new starter class will be given. It is planned to open the unit in September.

The city's newest purpose-built Welsh-medium primary, Ysgol Y Berllan, Deg opened in September 2003 in Circle Way East, Llanedeyrn and by the following April it was oversubscribed.

In addition another school in the capital in Leckwith, Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch, which opened in 1999 has had to install the first of eight temporary classrooms four years later.

This gives some indication of the healthy demand for Welsh language education.

J B Moffatt
Secretary General
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse and monitors all military activity within these areas

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at

2. Cornish Language Signs Campaign (Cornish)


The postal campaign to all town and parish councils in Cornwall calling for bilingual place name signs on the sides of roads throughout Cornwall is continuing with letters currently being dispatched to all 26 Town Councils.

This is to be followed up with correspondence to all 180 Parish Councils in Cornwall making a similar call.

The campaign, was initiated last year with correspondence to the West Briton newspaper and Camborne Town Council, calls for all Councils to exercise their right and fulfil their duty to include the Cornish language on place name signs throughout Cornwall.

(Report prepared for Celtic News by Kernow Branch)

J B Moffatt

Secretary General
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse and monitors all military activity within these areas

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at

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