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Posted: 05-Jun-2005, 06:21 PM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,141
Joined: 12-Mar-2004

Realm: Wytheville, Virginia


Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

May 31, 2005

1. Teachers to be released from the classroom to learn Welsh (Welsh)
2. Councils told: take Gaelic seriously (Scottish Gaelic)
3. Revamped Mod Circuit Comes under Fire from North Councillor (Scottish Gaelic)

June 2, 2005

4. Terracelt: Welsh and Irish languages help farmers to sell their produce (Welsh, Irish Gaelic)
5. Petition (Welsh)
6. Radically New & Exciting Ways Of Learning Languages (Scottish Gaelic)

May 31, 2005

1. Teachers to be released from the classroom to learn Welsh (Welsh)
Penygroes 5/28/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

Teachers in Wales will be able to take three months out of the classroom to learn Welsh, so that they may teach subjects through the medium of Welsh. The National Assembly of Wales announced a £2m pilot scheme to release teachers to improve their skills in the language and therefore increase the number that can teach subjects through the medium of Welsh. In some areas of Wales, there are insufficient numbers of teachers who can teach some subjects, especially mathematics and science, through the medium of Welsh.

The Assembly has not yet released the full details, but it is expected that 160 teachers and lecturers from further education colleges will start on the pilot project in January 2006. Initially, it is those that can already speak some Welsh who will be going on the course, so that they may have more confidence in the language and become fully bilingual. The intention is, if this pilot scheme is successful, that every non Welsh speaking teacher in Wales will be given the opportunity to follow such a course to enable them to teach their subject through the medium of Welsh. Every child in Wales, up to the age of 16, is taught Welsh in school. But in some schools the subjects themselves are taught through the medium of Welsh. There are numerous Welsh schools throughout Wales - a combination of 'naturally Welsh' schools in the Welsh speaking heartlands and Welsh schools that have been established in largely English speaking areas - where all or nearly all the subjects are taught through the medium of Welsh.

A spokesperson on behalf of the National Assembly said that "the Assembly is currently working with a range of partners to develop a Welsh Language Sabbaticals Pilot Programme which meets the needs of foundation, primary and secondary school teachers and post-16 practitioners. The pilot will, initially, focus on those teachers who have some Welsh language skills but who lack the confidence to teach in a Welsh medium or bilingual setting. The sabbaticals will last for three months and will include follow-up sessions for trainers to reflect on and consolidate their learning."

Generally, the pilot scheme has been welcomed by teachers. Moelwen Gwyndaf, general secretary of Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (Union of the Teachers in Wales), said that the union welcomed the Assembly's scheme, but added that it is essential that there is sufficient money for the scheme. "This money [for the scheme] has to be extra money," she said. "Schools cannot pay for supply teachers to do the work whilst teachers are away for three months learning to use the language."

She added that there was not enough teachers that could teach through the medium of Welsh. "There is a scarcity of teachers to teach some subjects in secondary schools," she said, "whilst there is a scarcity of primary school teachers in some areas [mainly in English-speaking areas]. But there is one successful scheme already in existence. In the capital Cardiff, athrawon bro (peripatetic teachers who teach through the medium of Welsh) teach Welsh to other teachers. This scheme has been successful and it needs to be expanded."

Ms Gwyndaf was confident that teachers would have the necessary skills to teach through the medium of Welsh after the three month course. "After all, it is gong to be an intense course. There is already an example of this method being very successful, where members of the Assembly have, after following immersion training techniques, been able to do Welsh language interviews on radio and television. But what is important is that there will be support for these teachers after the three months, and that they have plenty of opportunity to practice using the language." (Eurolang © 2005)
2. Councils told: take Gaelic seriously (Scottish Gaelic)
DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent.
The Herald (Glasgow)
May 31 2005

THE Scottish Executive will not tolerate tokenism from public bodies in their commitment to promoting Gaelic, the minister responsible for the language warned yesterday.

Peter Peacock, whose portfolio covers education and young people as well as Gaelic, said he would be prepared to order any recalcitrant body to comply by use of ministerial direction, but only as a last resort.

He was speaking in Inverness yesterday after the launch of Highland Council's strategy for Gaelic. Under the terms of the recent Gaelic Language Act, all public bodies are required to prepare such a document or persuade the authorities that it is inappropriate in their case. Highland
Council is the first to unveil its efforts.

It sets out how the council proposes to increase the number of Gaelic speakers in the Highlands, particularly through education, although it comes at a time of a chronic shortage of Gaelic secondary teachers. It also promises to enhance the use of the language and culture within the council itself.

Mr Peacock said the new body responsible for Gaelic, Bord na Gaidhlig, had powers to make sure that the different agencies were taking the preparation and implementation of their strategy seriously.

"If they are not being taken seriously, the bord will refer the matter to ministers. Ministers in turn have powers to direct public bodies if necessary, but we would hope this would not be necessary.

"The whole spirit is to encourage. But the act does make clear that when the bord asks for a plan, the public body has got a duty to provide that plan and implement it. So there is a clear legal force at work."

Mr Peacock, praising Highland Council for being the first in the preparation of its plan, said: "The Gaelic Language Act was a milestone for the future of Gaelic - but it was just the start. Language plans, like Highland Council's, will help to give people the chance to use Gaelic in their daily lives.

"Only by ensuring that people can both learn and use the language can we give it a sustainable future in a modern Scotland. I look forward to Highland Council developing their plan further in due course to meet the guidance Bord na Gaidhlig will issue." Mr Peacock also made clear his expectation that Highland Council would encourage the use of bilingual road signs throughout the area.
This was a reference to councillors in Inverness, Nairn and Caithness who have expressed opposition to such a move. But the minister said the single most important issue was supply of Gaelic-medium teachers, in order to expand the success at primary level into the secondary years.

"I am waiting for a report from a working party on this subject, which is due out later this month. It is looking at the impediments to more people going into Gaelic teaching and how we encourage more."

Highland Council's strategy commits it to responding positively to the demand for Gaelic medium education in the pre-school and primary years " . . . subject to viable pupil numbers (approximately four per year, with evidence of a sustainable roll) and to availability of accommodation and of Gaelic speaking staff".

In addition, "it will endeavour to provide as much Gaelic medium subject teaching as possible in secondary schools." Dr Michael Foxley, vice-convener of the council, said yesterday: "Things are improving in primary and we are producing 11-year-olds enthusiastic and committed. Secondary is where the huge challenge is. We need 15 Gaelic-medium subject teachers in Lochaber, for example, but we only have four . . . in fact, we are only producing one or two a year for the whole of Scotland."

3. Revamped Mod Circuit Comes under Fire from North Councillor (Scottish Gaelic)
EILIDH DAVIES. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 31 May 2005

Organisers of the Royal National Mod yesterday revealed the new circuit for staging the annual Gaelic festival - and Aberdeen could potentially be on it.

But a Highland councillor criticised the plan, claiming An Comunn Gaidhealach had not gone far enough.

From 2008, the event is to be rotated around a set number of locations, based on the five regions of Scotland where An Comunn Gaidhealach has its membership base.

An Comunn branches within each region will now bid against each other, whereas previously branches from all over Scotland bid against each other.

With Mod 2005 set to take place in the Western Isles, Mod 2006 in Dunoon and Mod 2007 in Fort William, the first opportunity to host the Mod under the new system will fall to An Comunn branches in the south-west of Scotland region for Mod 2008.

The planned Mod circuit will then return to Argyll in 2009, northern region in 2010, Western Isles in 2011, Argyll in 2012, northern region in 2013, and to the south-east region in 2014.
Mod promotion manager Murdo Morrison said: "There's eight branches in the north region, including Aberdeen, Inverness, Dingwall and Fort William, and any of one of these branches could bid to hold the Mod when it's being held in the north region.

"The decision to have a circuit makes it a more formal basis to work from. It will help with funding issues and it means local authorities can plan ahead to budget for the Mod."

An Comunn Gaidhealach president Angus MacDonald said: "It is something that our members wish to see happen."

But Lochaber councillor Michael Foxley said Highland Council must get a commitment from An Comunn that the Mod will be held in the Highlands twice every six years.

Mr Foxley said: "We have said we would give £40,000 towards each Highland Mod if it is held in the Highlands twice every six years. We want to get away from the bidding process and not have two areas in the Highlands bidding against each other."

He said the council had been involved in an exercise to identify areas which could hold the Mod in the Highlands. "We discovered places like Inverness, Aviemore and Fort William were suitable venues, but places such as Dingwall and Portree weren't suitable. However, with new schools being built in the latter two towns, it is likely that in the future they may well be suitable for hosting the National Mod."

4. Terracelt: Welsh and Irish languages help farmers to sell their produce (Welsh, Irish Gaelic)
Dafydd meirion, Penygroes 5/31/2005

An initiative using the latest technology to improve business opportunities and incomes for farmers in Wales and Ireland has been announced. Terracelt is an internet-based project which aims to provide farmers, rural businesses and the general public with a host of services all available on a single site, featuring Welsh, Irish and English languages.

A joint project between the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) and the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA), Terracelt has received a grant in excess of £350,000 (500,000 Euros) from the European Union's Interreg fund. The name Terracelt is derived from terra - the Latin name for earth or land - and celt, an abbreviation of Celtic.

"Being a trilingual site - using English, Welsh and Irish - it was felt a name was needed that could be readily understood by people of all languages and Terracelt fitted the bill," said FUW President Gareth Vaughan. ICSA President Malcolm Thompson added that "this is a site that is rooted in the Celtic lands of Ireland and Wales, and has a logo that is both stylish and modern reflecting contemporary life in both countries."
The site logo incorporates abstract symbols of both countries - the 'T' includes an extended highly stylised Welsh dragon wing while the 'C' embraces an Irish shamrock.

The Terracelt site will include video case studies of farmers who have successfully diversified in a variety of ways. It's hoped that other farmers will gain inspiration and also diversify to improve farm incomes.

An extensive marketing campaign will be organised to coincide with the Terracelt site going online later this summer. The intention is to make the Terracelt logo one of the most instantly recognisable symbols in Welsh and Irish farming.

Work on the site is already underway, and the finished project will be unveiled at the Royal Welsh Show in Wales and the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland. (Eurolang © 2005)

LINKS Farmers' Union of Wales Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association

5. Petition (Welsh)

To: English Country Cottages

We find it deeply offensive, and an insult to our nation's pride, that your company is marketing holiday cottages in Wales as English Country Cottages, and marketing Wales, and aspects of Welsh history in it's brochure, as part of England, and England's history.

Wales is a nation, not a region of England, with a distinct history, language, and identity. To appropriate the history and geography of our nation is a gross act of colonialism that will be vigourously resisted by all those who care deeply for the future of our country.

We therefore demand a full public apology from English country cottages, and that the offending brochure is withdrawn immediately, to be replaced by a separate brochure and website for Wales, as is currently accorded France, Ireland and Scotland.

Yr ydym yn ffeindio'n atgas y tu hwnt, a sarhad ar falchder ein cenedl, fod English Country Cottages yn farchnata tai haf yng nghymru fel tai haf Seisnig, a farchnata Cymru, ac agweddau o hanes Cymru, yn ei lyfryn fel rhan o Loegr, a hanes Lloegr.

Cenedl yw Cymru, nid ardal Lloegr, gyda diwylliant, iaith ac identiti hollol unigryw. I gyrmyd meddiant ar hanes a thir ein gwlad yw weithred gwladychiaeth y fydd yn cael ei wrthwynebu'n gryf gan y rhein i gyd sy'n gofalu am ein gwlad ac ei ddyfodol.

Felly mynnwn ar ymddiheuriad cyhoeddus llawn gan eich cwmni, a fod y lyfryn sarhaus hyn yn cael ei dynnu'n nol yn syth, i gael ei ailosod gan lyfryn a safle wê sy'n adnabyddu Cymru fel cenedl ar wahân, yn yr yn modd a Ffrainc, Iwerddon ac yr Alban.

The Undersigned

6. Radically New & Exciting Ways Of Learning Languages (Scottish Gaelic)

Today in Scotland there are some 56,000 fluent Gaelic speakers.

Notwithstanding, Fionnlagh M. Macleoid the CNSA Chief Executive declares that given the wherewithal, there is absolutely no good reason why there cannot be an extra 80,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland by the year 2030.

This optimistic assertion comes not only from Fionnlagh Macleoid, but also from the growing number of students seeking places on the new "Total Immersion Plus" (TIP) courses. Added to which, the expanding body of evidence regarding the new "TIP" language learning methodologies also makes the above claim easily achievable.

Fionnlagh Macleoid further asserts that within a 5, 6, 8, 10, or 20 week time frame: given the degree of intensity of student input, they can become conversationally fluent in Gaelic, well within 200 hours; radically different from the 2000 plus hours it presently takes.

It is no exaggeration to say, based on the above fact, that Gaelic language learning by way of the "TIP" methodologies, are helping Gaelic into taking a major leap forward; probably the first in several decades.

With regard to the ultimate objective, Fionnlagh Macleoid will personally conduct a series of 30 related meetings around Scotland, as well as taking the message overseas in some ten similar type meetings, over the coming year. The purpose of which is to raise the profile, explain and make understood "TIP" methodologies.

To conclude, Fionnlagh Macleoid also points out that the "TIP" methodologies travel very easily and therefore, have much to offer many other minority languages found throughout the World.

If any of this interests you and would like to discuss it further please contact Fionnlagh Macleoid on (.+44 (0) 1463-225469.

For further information regarding the above press release please contact Fionnlagh M. Macleoid:

Home (.+44 (0) 1542-836322
Work (.+44 (0) 1463-225469
Mob (.+44 (0) 7789826934
Email: [email protected]

Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
PMEmail PosterMy Photo Album               
Posted: 07-Jun-2005, 11:25 AM
Quote Post

Member is Offline

Wanderer and Vagabond

Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,141
Joined: 12-Mar-2004

Realm: Wytheville, Virginia


Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

June 5, 2005

1. Recruitment drive to end Gaelic teacher drought (Scottish Gaelic)
2. 100,000 visit the largest youth festival in Europe (Welsh)
3. Royal Mail Cash Boost for Gaelic College (Scottish Gaelic)
4. Manx Lesson for Teachers (Manx Gaelic)
5. New head for Welsh language TV channel (Welsh)

June 6, 2005

6. Inverness Gaelic Forum express disappointment at Highland Council Gaelic Plan (Scottish
7. Who is the real Highland Council? (Scottish Gaelic)
June 5, 2005

1. Recruitment drive to end Gaelic teacher drought (Scottish Gaelic)
Edinburgh Evening News. 3rd June, 2005.

A SHORTAGE of Gaelic teachers in Scotland has sparked moves to make it easier for students to learn the language.

Better career prospects, new routes into Gaelic teaching and courses to help student teachers develop their language skills are on the cards. Education Minister Peter Peacock told the annual Gaelic teachers' conference in Aviemore that the shortage must be addressed to meet demand.

The Gaelic Medium Teachers' Action Group, established earlier this year to consider recruitment and retention issues, will report to the minister later this month.

Mr Peacock said: "In recent years, we have seen massive improvements in the provision of Gaelic medium education. More and more parents are choosing to have their children taught in Gaelic. But this growth and success has brought with it problems - we need more teachers."

2. 100,000 visit the largest youth festival in Europe (Welsh)
Penygroes 6/3/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

Since it was established in 1924, the Urdd Eisteddfod for young Welsh speakers has almost exclusively been held in a large field with the competitions taking place in a large marquee, this year, however, the Eisteddfod will be held in the Wales Millennium Centre. Around 100,000 visitors and 15,000 competitors come to the Urdd Eisteddfod every year, the festival being the largest youth festival in Europe and one where everything is held in the Welsh language.

The competitions - which vary from singing to folk dancing, to pop singing to disco dancing - will be held in the new Centre which opened at the end of 2004 at a cost of £104m, and where the Urdd has a 150-bed residential centre for young people visiting the capital. A nearby cinema will be used to hold preliminary rounds which will, for the first time, be broadcast all week on S4C Digital as will all the main competitions.

"It is one of the most fantastic locations in the Eisteddfod's 80 year history," said the festival's director Siân Eirian. "As well as the competitive programme in the Millennium Centre itself, the whole of Cardiff bay will be part of the Eisteddfod experience, offering a feast of exciting possibilities for a great family day out. We have tried to make the best use of the Eisteddfod's superb location. With some of the roads surrounding the Millennium Centre closed off and stalls set up on the streets, this year's Maes [Eisteddfod field] is an experimental and innovative one, very different from the usual set up. Over the last few years the Urdd Eisteddfod has beenconstantly growing and developing while experimenting and innovating in numerous ways. This year is the perfect opportunity to try our hand at a totally different format."

The week-long festival is held in different areas every year, alternately in the north and south of the country, but if this year's experiment in Cardiff is successful, the Urdd hopes to return to the capital every four years.

Whilst it is the competitions in the Millennium Centre that are the main focus of the Eisteddfod, there are other activities on the Maes varying from plays and pop concerts to the opportunity to play football or rugby - and all through the medium of Welsh.
Although the festival was originally established for young Welsh speakers, by now a large number of the competitors and young visitors are those that are learning or have learnt the language, with many of the parents that accompany them not being able to speak Welsh. The Eisteddfod is therefore an opportunity for them to see the language at its best; they see that the language is relevant to Welsh life and that it is possible to hold modern activities through the medium of Welsh.

The main ceremonies in the Millennium Centre are the awarding of the chair and crown for literary excellence, but over the years the Learners' Competition has also become important. A medal is awarded to the young person who has learnt the language in a short time. This year 17 year old Harriet Petty was the winner. She was born in England but moved to north-east Wales, an area where the language is not strong, and learnt the language in four years. Her parents and younger sister is also learning the language.

"I think it is important to learn the language of the country you live in and to speak that language with the people," says Harriet. "I also hope it will help me obtain a job in the future."

But it isn't just the 15,000 that perform at the Eisteddfod that take part in the competitions. Since the beginning of the year, over 40,000 children and young people have been competing in regional eisteddfodau, and it is the winners from amongst these that compete in the Eisteddfod.

As well as the activities, there are also stalls around the Maes selling everything from Welsh books and records to T-shirts with Welsh slogans on them, and the Urdd Eisteddfod is one of three events that are the highpoint of the year for these companies; the other two being the National Eisteddfod which is held every August and Christmas.

And the festival is also an opportunity for protest movements to draw attention to their campaigns. At the beginning of this year's Urdd Eisteddfod, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) held a protest against the closure of small rural schools, which they say will be to the detriment of the language. (Eurolang © 2005)

3. Royal Mail Cash Boost for Gaelic College (Scottish Gaelic) nt&sourceNode=149205&contentPK=12578297
The Press and Journal. 09:00 - 04 June 2005

Royal Mail Group is again supporting the Gaelic college Sabhal Mor Ostaig with a £5,500 cash boost to ensure Gaelic courses and projects are run in local communities of Skye and Lochalsh.

An innovative course for fluent speakers of Gaelic, Cuir Peann ri Paipear (Put Pen to Paper) is now running in Portree, with tutor Gilleasbuig Ferguson, in partnership with Inverness College's Skye and Lochalsh FE Centre. This course, which was initially funded by Highland Adult Literacies' Group will soon be offered in other locations, subject to demand, with Royal Mail's funding.
Gaelic learning workshops for parents of Gaelic medium pupils will also be offered with Royal Mail support-including opportunities for family learning on the Sabhal Mor campus, in partnership with Highland Council, Bord na Gaidhlig and other agencies.

Alison Dix, head of lifelong learning at Sabhal Mor Ostaig said: "We are delighted that Royal Mail have again agreed to provide funding for Gaelic learning initiatives in Skye and Lochalsh, both for local people and for learners from other areas of Scotland. This has enabled us to expand our community provision and increase learning opportunities for fluent speakers, in particular.'"

4. Manx Lesson for Teachers (Manx Gaelic)
IoM Online. 02 June 2005

PUPILS at the Manx language school in St John's became teachers last week as they helped staff from other schools learn more Manx.

Teachers were given lessons in how to use the language in practical classroom situations with the help of staff and students at the Manx language school Bunscoill Gaelgagh and the Manx Heritage Foundation.

Foundation Manx language officer Adrian Cain explained: 'It's a course for training teachers who work in schools in the Island who speak Manx, but don't teach it.

'The idea is to encourage more teachers to learn more Manx and to use it in some shape or form in their school.'

During the five-day programme the teachers were given instructions in the language, had to ask for refreshments using Manx and were taught Manx songs and rhymes by children.

They also sat in on lessons to familiarise themselves with the terminology and learn how subjects such as maths and geography can be taught using Manx.

Mr Cain hopes the course will forge links between the Manx language school and other schools and that the teachers will become ambassadors for the language.

5. New head for Welsh language TV channel (Welsh)
Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 6/4/2005

The Welsh language television channel Sianel Pedwar Cymru (S4C) has appointed a new chief executive. Iona Jones is presently S4C's Director of Programmes. She succeeds Huw Jones who is leaving at the end of this year after almost twelve years in the post. Ms Jones is S4C's first female head and only the fourth chief executive in its 23-year history.

Iona Jones, 41, began her career in broadcasting as a journalist with BBC Cymru Wales, later becoming editor of current affairs strand Taro Naw and daily news programme Newyddion, produced by the BBC for S4C. She first joined S4C in 1995 as Director of Corporate Affairs before moving to ITV Wales in 2000, where she represented Carlton, the owner of ITV Wales and other regional companies throughout Britain, on the Communications Bill discussions and on other strategic matters.

She returned to S4C in September 2003 as Director of Programmes, restructuring the programme department and devising and implementing an innovative programme strategy that has placed an emphasis on creative excellence.

"It is an honour to be chosen as S4C's next chief executive and a privilege to be asked to lead the channel into the digital age," says Ms Jones. "Changes are already underway at S4C and within the sector at large and I look forward to working with all our partners to deliver results for the benefit of viewers and the creative industries in Wales."

Iona Jones was born in south-west Wales before moving with her family to Cardiff at the age of six. She attended the Welsh-medium schools Ysgol Gymraeg Bryntaf and Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari and later studied Economic and Social History at Exeter University. She completed a Post- raduate Diploma in Journalism at Cardiff University's Centre for Journalism Studies. She is married and has three children.

"The S4C Authority has found in Iona the strategic and creative leader needed to take the channel forward into the digital future," said Elan Closs Stephens, S4C's Chair. "She has had wide- anging experience and success in the broadcasting world and in her current role she has won the respect of the independent production sector as well as other major stakeholders. We look forward to an exciting and innovative future for the Channel under her leadership."
(Eurolang © 2005)

Link :

June 6, 2005

6. Inverness Gaelic Forum express disappointment at Highland Council Gaelic Plan (Scottish Gaelic)

5 June 2005

NB ? A Gaelic language version of this press release will be posted on the website this week.
For immediate use

Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Forum) today expressed their deep disappointment at the recently-launched Highland Council Gaelic Language & Culture Plan, describing it as being desperately unambitious and a missed opportunity for the revival of Gaelic in the Gàidhealtachd (Highlands & Islands).

The local authority's Gaelic Plan was launched last Monday (May 30th) by the Education Minister Peter Peacock, with a commitment to increase the numbers of Gaelic speakers in the Highlands, and to support and promote Gaelic as a community language in the Highlands, but there is some doubt over whether the plan itself can actually go about achieving this.

Inverness Gaelic Forum Development Officer, Brian Ó hEadhra said, "While we welcome the publication of a plan which seeks to increase speaker numbers and secure Gaelic's future as a community language, I simply fail to see how this plan will go about achieving these ends."

There is concern amongst Gaels that the plans falls down in a number of key areas. Firstly, the plan fails to set any measurement criteria against any of its objectives, "although the Council has published a four-year plan committing the local authority to increasing speaker number and promoting Gaelic as a community language in the area, such commitments are almost meaningless platitudes if there area no targets against which we can assess whether or not the Council has failed or succeeded against these aims. We would ask questions such as how many speakers and which communities?" said Brian.

The Council has also been criticized for its lack of ambition in the education sector, where it appears that the only exposure most schoolchildren in the Highlands will get to the native language of the area will be a the showing of brief video on the subject. Inverness Gaelic Forum felt this to be totally inadequate. "We recognise the importance of Gaelic Medium Education and are surprised and disappointed the council has failed to take this opportunity to make it the medium for all primary school education in areas such as on the Isle of Skye. For the vast majority of schoolchildren in the area though, it is desperately sad to think that yet another generation growing up in the Gàidhealtachd will have very little knowledge of the culture and language of the area in which they are growing up. I would go as far as to say that most of the schoolchildren in the Gàidhealtachd are being disenfranchised in this respect."

The council have also been roundly criticised in failing to take the lead on the introduction of bilingual signage across the area raising the language's visibility and profile in a simple but effective way. The Plan commits the local authority to introduce Gaelic road signs unless there exists 'no Gaelic cultural base', but the mention of such a condition has met with some surprise. "The local authority is Gaelic name is Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd, translated as the land of the Gaels (the Gaelic-speaking people). It is our strong Gaelic 'cultural base' which defines this area as culturally distinctive from regions in the Scottish Lowlands and it seems to me bizarre to say that area within the Gàidhealtachd have no Gaelic heritage, one can see from looking at census statistics for example that Gaelic-speaking communities survived even in parts of Caithness until into the 20th century."

Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Forum) is a community group based in Inverness which seeks to represent the voice and the views of the Gaelic community in the city.
Brian Ó hEadhra

Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis
5 Caolshràid Mhìcheil,
Inbhir Nis, IV2 3HQ

Fòn: 01463 234138

Post-d: [email protected]

7. Who is the real Highland Council? (Scottish Gaelic)
MURCHADH MacLEÒID. Scotland on Sunday. 5th June, 2005.

THERE is a lot of reason for encouragement in the new Gaelic language plan from the Highland Council. In addition to the aim of increasing the number of speakers of the language in the Highlands, the plan also promises Gaelic education where there is demand and gives a definition of what demand means.

Of just as much interest is the fact that the council will enter into contracts with outside bodies, such as the Pre-School Association (CNSA) to provide intensive Gaelic tuition for very young children, and a variety of other services such as after-school clubs.

The attitude seems to be a very Roosevelt-style "Whatever works" approach. Which is very far removed from the traditional bureaucratic antipathy towards the language which insisted that the public sector must provide everything or it would not happen, and if the public sector did not have the resources then nothing could go ahead.

Where many Gaels will have a problem is less with the plan than with the question of Highland Council's identity crisis. The authority's committee for Sutherland has recently, and bizarrely, voted against Gaelic road signs for the area, amid dubious claims that signs in the language might be dangerous. This is a region of Scotland where Gaelic is still spoken as a first language by some locals.

Inverness, too, has decided that while it likes the money that Gaels spend in its shops, the Gaels' language is not good enough for signs across the city.
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Hello everyone! Here is the latest installment of Celtic Lnaguages in the News. Please note that I have managed to get behind once again, so in order to get caught up, today's news will be posted in several posts (probably at least 3). Also, since I want ot get thses out quickly, they are not going to be as "tidy"as usual, isnce I'm going to post them "as is". Enjoy!

Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

June 8, 2005

1. Open Source Goes Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)
2. Skwardya release new CD (Cornish)
4. Gaels of laughter at no-can-doo (Scottish Gaelic)

June 9 2005

6. Conference calls for Charter to guarantee higher education in minority languages (Minority Languages)
8. Highland Council set a good example (Scottish Gaelic)

June 8, 2005

1. Open Source Goes Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)
By eGov monitor Newsdesk. Published Monday, 6 June, 2005 - 14:05

Scottish schools to access tailored open source office software

Open source office software which has been translated into Gaelic using
public funds is to be made freely available to schools in Scotland.

A beta version of the OpenOffice suite specially adapted to the Gaelic
language was launched on 2 June.
The open source software was said to have performed well in trials at a
school in North Lanarkshire, and the final product is due to be
to Gaelic language schools in the Autumn.

The translation project was funded by the Scottish Executive through the
education body, Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Chief Executive of LT Scotland, Bernard McLeary, described the move as "an
important stage in the development of the use of ICT within Gaelic

"It will allow Gaelic teachers and learners to use a bespoke software
package that is specifically tailored to their needs", he added.

The free open source software application from Sun Microsystems offers
features similar to commercial products such as Microsoft Office,
a word processor, presentation manager, a spreadsheet program and database

While OpenOffice has been localised into various languages, it is the
time that the software has been available entirely in Gaelic.

"This is a very important step for Gaelic education", commented Mairead
MacDonald, Director of Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, a Scottish
Executive-funded body which co-ordinates the production and
distribution of
teaching materials in Gaelic.

"By providing a Gaelic environment on the computer, has
an entirely new and welcome dimension to the resources available to

Related Links
OpenOffice website:

2. Skwardya release new CD (Cornish)
Warlinenn. Sunday, June 05, 2005

Arta is the name of the new CD from Cornish language rock band Skwardya
(capital K for Kernewek the language). There is the language at the
heart of
this collection. Every song is written in Cornish and it is obvious that
every song was conceived in Kernewek. This is the real thing -
Kernewek with
brilliant guitar riffs.

Arta starts lively with Leun a Vri and Geryow Hweg has a C&W flavour.
Stenkys is influenced by the Blues and has a sound something like Leneord
Cohen. But for me the best is Hevva! Hevva! The drums are great on this
track and there is, I believe, pipes in the mix.

Simon Glanville sings with Mathi Clarke taking the Celtic tongue to newplaces but the playing of Brian Miller shines on this album. The
values are high - Radio Cornwall should be playing this - Cornish speakers
are part of Cornwall but Arta is a CD for everyone.

reviewed by Pol Hodge

The CD can be bought through Kesson, Gwynn ha Du in
Liskeard, and from Matthew Clarke by emailing him here.
[email protected]

Highland Council Press Release. Issue Date: Monday 6 June 2005

An Comunn Gaidhealach (The Highland Association) and The Highland Council
have come together to produce a CD featuring 68 of the Prescribed
Songs and
Literary Pieces for this year's Royal National Mod.

The CD, a follow-up to the successful CD entitled Seinn O Ho Ro Seinn
was prepared for Mod 2004, has been produced by An Comunn Gaidhealach. It
features the voice of Fiona Mackenzie, Mairi Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship
Officer with The Highland Council who sings some of the pieces with Mary
Ellen Stewart, Development Officer for An Comunn providing the spoken

The CD, which is available priced £3, is intended to be used as a learning
aid for schools, choirs and solo competitors intending to participate
at Mod
2005 which takes place in the Western Isles from 14 - 22 October. A
third CD
will be available at Mod 2005 featuring the Prescribed Pieces for the
Mod 2006.

Fiona Mackenzie produced the first CD which proved to be extremely popular
and is delighted with the second production.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of The Highland Council's Gaelic Select
Committee said: "The CD will be an educational tool which will
encourage and
facilitate the participation of young people in the local and National
regardless of their geographical location. I also welcome the fact
that the
production of such a CD will be produced annually."

Murdo Morrison, Promotion Manager for the Royal National Mod also welcomed
the new CD saying: "The first CD was very popular and there has
already been
some demand for the second. In addition to being a useful learning
for Mod competitors, this has proved to be a very useful collaborative
project between An Comunn and The Highland Council through Fiona
Copies of the CD are available from the An Comunn Gaidhealach offices in
Inverness (01463 231226) and Stornoway (01851 703487) as well as from
Mackenzie on 01349 868256.


Contact Murdo Morrison (Mod Promotion Manager 07803 609774) or Fiona
Mackenzie (Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship Officer on 01349 868 256)

4. Gaels of laughter at no-can-doo (Scottish Gaelic)
The Scotsman. 6th June, 2005.

WE SEE that the first-ever piece in Gaelic ran in the Herald at the
although they had a problem trying to edit the copy when it arrived as
no-one in the office in Glasgow knew Gaelic.

It has been a long time coming. Our Gaelic editor, Ronnie Black, tells us
the Herald is only lagging about 80 years behind The Scotsman.

However, it cannot be said that The Scotsman has always had a smooth
run of
it in Gaeldom. Indeed, in the revered tome The Gaelic Otherworld,
edited by
our man Black, there is the tale of a Scotsman reporter being sent to
in 1886, when the Duke of Argyll had called in the Marines to serve
interdicts on members of the Land League. As they landed on a
Saturday, our
reporter suggested to fellow newspapermen that they delay sending their
dispatches until Monday, so as not to offend local feeling on the Sabbath.
But on the Sunday, he sent off his report to the mainland by carrier
His sleekit behaviour was discovered when the pigeon was mobbed by
and returned to the hotel at Scarinish, with the pages of The Scotsman
dispatch scattered across the island, much to the amusement of other

EILIDH DAVIES. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 07 June 2005

An Inverness Gaelic group has criticised Highland Council's Gaelic Plan,
labelling it unambitious and a missed opportunity.

Inverness Gaelic Forum claims the plan fails to set any measurement
against any of its objectives, and they also believe it does not go far
enough in the education sector.

They also accused the council of not taking the lead on the
introduction of
bilingual signs.

The local authority's Gaelic Plan was launched recently by the EducationMinister Peter Peacock, with a commitment to increase the numbers of
speakers in the region, and to support and promote Gaelic as a community
language in the Highlands. But the Gaelic Forum claim there is some doubt
over whether the plan itself can actually go about achieving this.

Brian Ó hEadhra, Inverness Gaelic Forum development officer, said: "While
we welcome the publication of a plan which seeks to increase speaker
and secure Gaelic's future as a community language, I simply fail to
see how
this plan will go about achieving these ends."

"Although the council has published a four-year plan committing the local
authority to increasing speaker numbers and promoting Gaelic as a
language in the area, such commitments are almost meaningless
platitudes if
there are no targets against which we can assess whether or not the
has failed or succeeded against these aims. Questions like how many
and which communities are going to be targeted need to be addressed."

The forum claims that it appears that the only exposure most
in the Highlands will get to the language will be the showing of a brief
video on the subject.

Mr Ó hEadhra said: "We recognise the importance of Gaelic medium education
and are surprised and disappointed the council has failed to take this
opportunity to make it the medium for all primary school education in
like Skye."

The council have also been roundly criticised by the group for failing to
take the lead on the introduction of bilingual signage across the area to
raise the language's visibility and profile.

The plan commits the local authority to introduce Gaelic road signs unless
there exists "no Gaelic cultural base."

Mr Ó hEadhra said: "The local authority's Gaelic name is Comhairle na
Gàidhealtachd, translated as the land of the Gaels, the Gaelic-speaking
people. It is our strong Gaelic 'cultural base' which defines this area as
culturally distinctive from regions in the Scottish Lowlands and it
seems to
me bizarre to say that areas within the Gàidhealtachd have no Gaelic

Michael Foxley, Highland council vice-converner said: "Some of the forum's
criticisms are valid and some are completely misplaced.

"I believe in two years time Highland Council will have made some very
impressive advances concerning Gaelic. I look forward to the Inverness
Gaelic Forum doing the same."

June 9 2005

6. Conference calls for Charter to guarantee higher education in minority
languages (Minority Languages)
Kolozsvár/Cluj/Klausenburg 6/8/2005 , by Áron Balló

The First European Conference on Higher Education in the Languages of
National Minorities was held in Cluj/Kolozsvár and online with
from all over Europe. They examined the possibilities of establishing or
extending higher education in the mother tongue of "national minorities"
based on the principles of the European Union and the Bologna Process and
they adopted a Charter of Higher Education in Minority-Languages in

The virtual conference was held in a closed session on May 26th. Last
at an on-line press conference, the organisers highlighted that the
initiative was the first of its kind and they are hopeful that European
institutions and governments will accept its recommendations.

The conference was organized by the Education Committee of the
Hungarian National Council (CNMT, an NGO for the autonomy of the ethnic
Hungarians in Romania), the Bolyai Society (SB, an NGO for re-opening the
Hungarian-language Bolyai state university in Cluj) and the Hungarian
Students Union in Kolozsvár (HSUK, OSMC).

Many so-called "national minorities" from Europe with their language
established in higher education were represented at the conference: Welsh,
Basques, Catalans, Swedes from Finland, Germans from Italy, Albanians from
Macedonia and Hungarians from Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Romania.
Universities from Switzerland and Ireland that teach in minoritised
languages also participated.

The conference found that some ethnic minorities with a structure of
education in their mother tongue were in a disadvantaged situation.
were the ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania (Romania) and Voyvodina (Serbia
and Montenegro), as well, as the Basques in France.

"Only 4.4% of those with a higher education degree were ethnic
Hungarians in
Romania, whereas this minority represented 6.6% of the total population",
conference Vice-President and teacher at the Babes-Bolyai University
in Cluj
(UBB) Péter Hantz told Eurolang. "At the same time, 6.7% of the population
had Hungarian, as their mother tongue. Only 4.3% of higher educational
students were ethnic Hungarians and only 1.6% of all students in Romania
were studying in Hungarian. No bilingual signs can be seen at the UBB,
likes to call itself a multicultural institution."

"The best solution to overcome this would be, according to a European
a separate Hungarian-language university", conference Chairman and teacher
at the UBB Political Sciences Chair Barna Bodó added.

This could be best carried out by simply re-opening the Hungarian-languageBolyai University (UB), a state-owned and financed higher educational
institution closed down by the communists in Cluj in 1959. He pointed out
that in the context of the Romanian higher educational system adapting to
the Bologna Process, the reorganizing of the higher educational system
was a
great opportunity to re-open a Hungarian language university. He
the present ruling coalition in Romania for not even mentioning the
Hungarian-language state university in its government programme.

The conference found that almost all ethnic minorities consisting of at
least 200,000 people in Europe had at least one higher educational
institution. The only exceptions were the ethnic Germans in
South-Tyrol, but
in this case Italy financed their studies at German-language
universities in
neighbouring Austria.

The Swedish minority of Finland and the Catalans had the highest number of
universities in their native languages. Likewise, the
Hungarian-speakers in
Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine had independent universities. The same
went for the Albanians in Macedonia, but that they had fought hard for
Albanian-language university in Tetovo.

Serbia and Montenegro was one of the negative examples, because no
Hungarian-language university existed there, just a few courses at the
University of Novi Sad / Újvidék.

The conference adopted a draft Charter of Higher Education in
Minority-Languages in Europe based on the European Constitution and the
regulations of the Bologna Process. Originating in the principles of the
European Constitution which "respects cultural and linguistic diversity",
the Charter recommended that European states make it possible for all
traditional ethnic minorities that had at least 100,000 members to have
higher educational institutions of their own. These universities or
would teach in the language of the respective minority, in the state
language and in a worldwide language as well. The Charter enumerated the
possibilities on how to set up or develop a higher educational system in a
minority-language and it recommended legislative solutions for states
on how
to achieve these goals.

However, by setting a lower limit of 100,000 the proposed Charter would
exclude some lesser-used languages and make them even more minoritised
as Scottish Gaelic (59,000 speakers)- even though it is taught at Scottish
universities and has a dedicated Gaelic-medium campus at Sabhal Mor Ostaig
on Skye.

The Charter will be presented to the European Parliament (EP) by MEP Kinga
GÁL (Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Alliance, Hungary) in order to make the
European Ministers of Education adapt educational policies accordingly and
the EP to enact a European framework law. The Charter would also serve
as an
initiative for a resolution or recommendation of the Council of Europe
(CoE), at the next session of its Parliamentary Assembly.
A real conference, and not a virtual one, will be organized on the same
topic next year. (Eurolang © 2005)

SIMON PARKER. This is Comrwall. 11:00 - 07 June 2005

Five eminent Cornish figures are among 140 names to be added to the latest
edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Henry Jenner, the
father of the modern Cornish language revival, along with his wife
Kitty Lee
Jenner, historian and Shakespeare scholar A L Rowse, slavery abolitionist
Mary Lloyd, and novelist William Golding have been included in the
work detailing the lives of all those deemed to have made a
contribution or
impact on the life of Britain.

Cornish language speakers and enthusiasts have expressed their delight
Jenner, who was born at St Columb Major in 1848, has been included.
with having discovered one of the first written versions of the Cornish
language while studying as a student at St Mary's College in Harlow,
he went
on to champion the idiom for the rest of his long life. In 1870, he was
appointed as assistant in the British Museum's department of
manuscripts and
through his work he was soon rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dickens,
Ruskin and Gladstone.

He delivered his first paper, The Cornish Language, at the Philological
Society in 1871, and his book, A Handbook Of The Cornish Language,
in 1904, was crucial to its revival as a spoken and written form.

On his deathbed in 1934, Jenner said the whole purpose of his life had
to inculcate in the Cornish people a consciousness of their Cornish

Pol Hodge said: "Jenner is rightly regard as 'The Father of the Cornish
Language Revival'. Without his pioneering work Cornwall would not be
included in the Celtic family. The Celtic Congress, Celtic League, Gorsedh
Kernow, Lowender Peran, all the Celtic dance groups, as well the living
Celtic language of Kernewek, all spring from Jenner. What a culturally
impoverished place Cornwall would be if it had not been for the inspired
genius of Henry Jenner."

Jenner's wife, Kitty Lee, a poet and fellow linguist, is also included in
the dictionary. Kitty Lee Jenner (n??e Rawlings), an author and
artist, was
born in 1853 at Hayle Foundry. She studied art at the National Art
School, South Kensington, and the Slade School of Fine Art. Her artwork
included European sketches and domestic watercolours, but greater
recognition came as a writer. The first of her six novels was A Western
Wildflower, and perhaps the most interesting was her last, When Fortune
Frowns. She was made a bard of the Welsh gorsedd in 1904, when shetook the
bardic name Morvoren.

Poet and Cornish language speaker Sir William Gerald Golding, who was born
at St Columb Minor in 1911, is best known for being the author of Lord Of
The Flies. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.

His father was a schoolmaster who had radical convictions in politics
and a
strong faith in science. Golding himself started writing at the age of
seven. He studied natural sciences and English at Brasenose College,
and his first book, a collection of poems, appeared a year before Golding
received his BA.

Lord Of The Flies, set in the near future during wartime, was turned
down by
21 publishers, until it finally appeared in 1954. The book became an
immediate success in Britain and a bestseller among American readers
in the
late 1950s. It tells the gripping story of a group of small British boys
stranded on a desert island, who lapse into violence after they have lost
all adult guidance. Lord Of The Flies was followed by The Inheritors,
Pincher Martin and Free Fall. He died at his home near Truro in 1993.

A L (Alfred Leslie) Rowse was born in Tregonissey, near St Austell, in
the son of Dick Rowse, a china clay miner, and Annie (ne?? Vaston). His
parents were very poor and virtually illiterate, but despite this he
attended St Austell Grammar School and won a scholarship to Christ Church
College, Oxford, in 1921.

He had planned to study literature, having developed an early love of
poetry, but was persuaded to read modern history. As an undergraduate he
developed a reputation for his devotion to speaking precisely correct
English and for his candour about his homosexual behaviour. He graduated
with first class honours in 1925 and was made a Fellow of All Souls'
College, the first such Fellow from a working class background.

He published 105 books, his subjects ranging from history and
Shakespeare to
volumes of poetry about cats. With the appearance of the first volume
of his
autobiography, A Cornish Childhood, in 1942 Rowse became a celebrity and
travelled widely, especially in the United States. In 1952 he retired to
Trenarren, his Cornish home, where he stayed for the remainder of his

Mary Honeychurch (later Lloyd) was born in Falmouth in 1795. At the age of
28 she married Samuel Lloyd, the owner of a colliery and iron foundry near
Birmingham and the couple had ten children between 1824 and 1839.

Despite this large family, Mary Lloyd found time to become a travelling
minister for the Society of Friends.

An active member of the Temperance Society, she set up a Provident Society
to encourage the poor to save for the future. But the campaign against
slavery was her main concern and she was a leading light in the Birmingham
Female Society until her death in 1865.

The latest additions are part of a continuing process of revising andupdating the Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography. The dictionary
currently consists of 63 million words and 50,436 articles telling the
stories of 55,257 people.

However, access to the archive is not cheap. Personal subscriptions to the
online edition ( cost £195 a year (plus VAT) or £50
VAT) for three months. The 60-volume print edition costs £7500.

8. Highland Council set a good example (Scottish Gaelic)
West Highland Free Press. 3 June 2005

There are at least two remarkable and praiseworthy things about the
Council's new Gaelic Plan, which was published on Monday.

The first is that it is actually more progressive, imaginative and
than the Scottish Executive's Gaelic Language Act, which brought it into

And the second is that this fine statement of intent has issued from the
same chambers in Inverness which were until a few short years ago home to
some of the worst anti-Gaelic prejudices in Scotland. Dochfour, where are
you now?

Highland Council's carefully-researched and well-presented bilingual
Language and Culture Plan" was the first in the country to be launched. It
is not a bad model for the others to follow. Its originators deserve

Perhaps most notably, Highland Council has now committed itself to
delivering Gaelic-medium education units to every primary school in the
region where there is demand from a minimum of only four pupils.

That bold clause is qualified slightly by reference to "evidence of a
sustainable roll" and "availability of accommodation and of Gaelic
staff", but it is otherwise clear. Highland Council has pledged to
make good
one of the previously-significant gaps in its GMU policy: the provision of
Gaelic-medium education to the area's smaller primary schools.

These schools are frequently in districts and islands with a relatively
strong residual Gaelic culture, but which have until now been beyond the
reach of Gaelic-medium education, to the detriment of all concerned. The
smaller schools - indeed, any school with four prospective GMU pupils
- now
have the opportunity, by responding to the council's pledge, to add an
stream, extra range, and probably extra teaching staff to their
faculty. It
is an opportunity not lightly to be dismissed.
Highland Council feels less able to deliver GMUs to order in secondary
schools, although we accept at face value its commitment to "provide
as much
Gaelic-medium teaching as possible" in that tier, with a target of one
language class and at least three general subject classes at secondary
which receive and cater for children direct from GMU primary education.

The council's other commitments are broad-ranging and impressive. The
involvement and encouragement of native Gaelic speakers in local language
projects; the support for pre-school Gaelic units; promotion of the Gaelic
arts; incentives for the use of Gaelic in the workplace (including, we are
pleased to note, a fresh look at reviving the old "Gaelic Essential" or
"Gaelic Desirable" qualifications in job vacancy advertisements). and of
course, a recommitment by Highland Council to the policy which has
done so
much recently to enlighten motorists in the north: fully-bilingual
place-name signage throughout the region.

It may be difficult to believe that such a positive and wide-ranging
statement of intent has issued from a body whose precessor three short
decades ago was campaigning viciously to prevent a single Gaelic road sign
being erected outside Portree. But it has. A sinner has returned to the
fold. We welcome it with open arms, and hope only that others will follow
Highland Council's example, and that their future actions can match their
excellent words.
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

June 11, 2005


June 12, 2005

2. Irish NGO, Pobal, call for Language Act (Irish Gaelic)
3. Two notes: (Breton)
4. Fight to save rural schools in Wales (Welsh)
5. Scots TV news set for regional split (Scottish Gaelic)
6. New at the Nova Scotia Archives site: (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Why do our schools neglect Scottish literature? (Scots)
8. Feis Ealain na Hearadh (Scottish Gaelic)

June 12, 2005

2. Irish NGO, Pobal, call for Language Act (Irish Gaelic)


The Cornish language organisation Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek launched
its new design and image for the twenty-first century on June 1st
. The event, promoted as Solempnyans a'n yeth Kernewek (a celebration
of the Cornish language), the Cornish Language Fellowship event intended
`to mark the progress of the language and to promote a fresh and dynamicapproach to its use today'.

By re-branding, Kowethas, who were founded in 1979, intend to bring
Kernewek closer to the general public by encouraging more and more
people to use the language in their everyday lives. Dr Loveday Jenkin,
Chair person of Kowethas, said at the launch, held at the Hall for
Cornwall in Truro, that:

`Kowethas isn't just for those fluent in Cornish ?. Kowethas is for
everyone, whether they know a few words or only one ? we must get
them to use the Cornish language as much as possible and show them
that Cornish is fun'.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, a Cornish branch member who went along to the
event, commented that the launch of the new logo and brand illustrated
the growing confidence within the Cornish language community. The
evening was fun and lively and successfully reflected the message
that Kowethas want to convey for the Cornish language itself.

The following Saturday, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek were out in Truro
selling Cornish language material and further promoting the language
to the general public.

(Prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot - 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

June 12, 2005

2. Irish NGO, Pobal, call for Language Act (Irish Gaelic)
Davyth Hicks, Bruxelles/ Brussel 6/9/2005

POBAL, the umbrella organisation for the Irish language in the north of
Ireland are calling for an Irish Language Act.

The NGO has been working for several months with advice and support frominternational language legislation experts, Robert Dunbar (University of
Aberdeen), Fernand de Varennes (Murdoch University, Australia) and Wilson
McLeod (University of Edinburgh) on a draft Irish Language Act for the
north. POBAL are now organising a series of consultation workshops for
speakers and the general public to discuss the proposals.

Chief Executive of POBAL, Janet Muller said: "We are organising the June
seminars in conjunction with local Irish language groups in Belfast,
Omagh, Enniskillen and Strabane. In conjunction with Comhairle na
Gaelscolaíochta, we are also organising a special meeting for teachers and
those with a particular interest in education and the Irish language.

"At POBAL's consultation meetings, we will present the draft and then
comments or amendments. This is a chance for the Irish-speaking
community to
have their say in this draft which we hope will lead the way on
for the Irish language in the north."

As well as the seminars, the public will get a chance to comment on the
draft in writing. POBAL 's draft is available on their website
( and the group will also be making written copies
They will be inviting responses over the next two months up until 12th

Janet Muller told Eurolang that: "In the autumn, we will launch our
completed draft. In Wales and Scotland there are Language Acts protecting
the rights of Welsh and Gaidhlig speakers. In the south, there is the
Official Languages Act 2002 and constitutional protection for the Irish
language. It is more than time that there should be a comprehensive Irish
Language Act for the north. POBAL is giving the Irish-speaking
community the
chance to lay down the law on what their needs are and how their rights
should be protected."

A public consultation meeting will be held on Monday 13th June at 8 pm in
the Cultúrlann, 216 Falls Road, Belfast. Pobal can be contacted at 028 90
438132. (Eurolang ©2005)

3. Two notes: (Breton)

TV Breizh denied terrestrial digital broadcasting once more
Mercator newsletter

The private television channel serving Brittany, TV Breizh, has again been
refused the possibility of terrestrial digital broadcasting by the Conseil
Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel, the authority which regulates broadcasting in
France. The political party Parti Breton has condemned the decision and
questioned the logic of making available in Brittany by terrestrial
broadcasting channels such as Télé Monte Carlo and Paris Première but
not TVBreizh, adding that the CSA appears to take an extremely biased position
against the channel.

Local Newspaper introduces Breton and English

Due to the increase of English immigrants to Ar Poc'her/Le Poher, a region
in central Brittany, the local paper has decided to include English
which were introduced in October 2004. In light of this, the paper has
decided to acknowledge the Breton language. Out of a population of 105,000
of the 80 communes of Ar Poc'her, about 15,000 speak Breton and about the
same number are English speakers. Thus about 14.5% speak Breton and 14.5%
are English speakers. The English and Breton material is published in the
back pages of the paper.

4. Fight to save rural schools in Wales (Welsh)

Penygroes 6/10/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

Many throughout Wales are worried that a number of small rural schools
have to close - with a detrimental effect on the Welsh language. The
councils say that a number of schools are too small to teach the pupils
effectively, but their opponents say that the closing of these schools
be to the detriment of the communities and since many of these schools are
in the Welsh language's strongholds that it will have an adverse effect on
the language.

The counties that are considering closing schools are Denbighshire in the
north-east, Powys in mid-Wales and Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire
in the
south-west. There is only a handful of children in some of these
schools and
according to the councils it is not possible to give them a complete
education in these, often one or two-teacher, schools. But the
opponents to
the closures say that report after report says that the children receive a
high standard of education, and the school's supporters say that any
gaps in
their education can be filled by teachers sharing their time between

Another of the counties' arguments is that these small schools are
to maintain and that a considerable amount of money is needed to spend on
them. But their opponents say that the schools should also offer their
facilities to the community in general, offering various courses and
becoming a focus for the village's activities.

Such was the opposition by parents in Denbighshire that the council has
reconsidered its plans to close or amalgamate 14 primary schools. Thechief
executive says that they are still reassessing the future of the county's
primary schools.

According to a Powys County Council document, 40 of its schools have
25% or
more vacancies. The council's aim is to reduce this to 15 schools with 15%
vacancies by 2007/8.

Already, the battle has been lost in Pembrokeshire, and the protesters
fought to keep Ysgol Hermon open have established a fund called Cronfa
Ysgolion Bychain Cymru (the Wales Small Schools Fund) to help other
fight closure. They intend to offer not only practical help, but also some
financial help to fight their battles through the courts if necessary.
A new
society called Cymdeithas Ysgolion Bychain Cymru (Society of Small Schools
in Wales) has also been established which includes six societies
working in
rural areas and has a total membership of 65,000.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) has been fighting
to save small rural schools for a number of years, with its members
assistance to pressure groups that have been established in the various
areas to try and save the schools.

It is in Carmarthenshire that the biggest battle is likely to take
place as
the council has up to 40 schools in its sights, most of them small rural
schools. Cymdeithas yr Iaith has already held a protest during the Urdd
Eisteddfod in the capital Cardiff at the end of May.

"It is possible that the first big battle will be on the future of Ysgol
Llansadwrn," said Ffred Ffransis, the society's education spokesman. "In
this small Welsh-speaking community, parents and governors are
standing firm
against the council's desire to close the school and to transfer the
to Ysgol Llanwrda. Cynically, the council has announced a substantial
investment in Ysgol Llanwrda for the following year, with the obvious
suggestion that the parents of Llanwrda will not get this investment
Llansadwrn is sacrificed. The lesson of divide-and-rule was learnt from
Pembrokeshire County Council."

With the increase in Welsh language education in the Anglicised urban
it would be a great shame if the language would lose further ground in its
strongholds. That is what will happen say opponents of the plans, but the
councils' argument is that they will be offering the best education to the
children and that their plans will not affect the language. It is likely
that there will be a great deal of arguing over this subject throughout
Wales over the coming months. (Eurolang © 2005)

5. Scots TV news set for regional split (Scottish Gaelic)
1. SHEPPARD. The Scotsman. 10th June, 2005.

SCOTTISH viewers are to get regionalised news programmes within 18 months,
it was announced last night.

Scotland's two main ITV areas, Grampian and Scottish TV, will create local
sections within their flagship regional news bulletins in the early

STV's Scotland Today will divide along east-west lines, with different
being seen in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In the Grampian region, different versions of the 6pm North Tonight
will be seen by viewers in Aberdeen and Highlands and Islands, and
those in
Perthshire, Tayside and Fife.

The Glasgow-based Scottish Media Group (SMG), which runs both ITV
, was cleared to create the services as the telecoms watchdog Ofcom
set new
targets for quotas of Scottish-made programmes.

Both 6pm programmes will open with the most important story for the
TV or Grampian region, switch to local opt-outs, and then return to
the main
transmission for sport. Only the main 26-minute evening programmes will be

In a separate development, Ofcom gave its approval yesterday for a
version of the ITV 10:30pm news bulletin.

However, that prospect appeared to be fading last night, as SMG argued it
needed public funding to subsidise the =A33 million-a-year cost.

SMG has already held talks with ITN, the national news provider for
ITV, to
discuss the creation of a Scottish 10:30pm programme with the same
look and
feel as that fronted by Sir Trevor McDonald.
Ofcom says that it is unable to provide any subsidy and believes localised
news services are a higher priority.

The regulator also set a date of January 2007 for the launch of a new
digital channel for Gaelic programming.

In return for providing a contribution of between =A3300,000 and
=A3500,000 over
the next three years, SMG will be allowed to reduce the amount of Gaelic
programmes it shows in peak period on STV and Grampian from 26 hours a
to six.

By 2009, when the Gaelic channel is up and running, neither STV nor
will be under any obligation to broadcast Gaelic programmes.

Ofcom said that STV and Grampian should both produce 5.5 hours of regional
news programmes a week. STV should also make 2.5 hours of non-news
programmes - for example documentaries and sport - every week, with
Grampian's 1.5-hour target reflecting its smaller transmission area.

Ofcom will also allow Scottish broadcasters to reduce the amount of local
non-news programmes they make, as Scotland starts the switchover to
television in 2008.

Vicki Nash, Ofcom's director for Scotland, said: "Audiences tell us they
value programming that reflects the distinct identity, culture and
of Scotland. We believe our proposals will meet that need."

Michael Matheson, the SNP's culture spokesman, said he welcomed the
of a digital Gaelic channel.

However, he said: "I am concerned many people will not have access to
it in
rural parts of Scotland after switchover."

* The threat of further industrial action at the BBC faded last night,
talks between unions and Mark Thompson, the corporation's director-
general.Union leaders suspended the threat of strikes after the BBC agreed a
framework to discuss plans to cut 4,000 posts.

6. New at the Nova Scotia Archives site: (Scottish Gaelic)

Gaelic Resources: Goireasan Gàidhlig

In 1845, Jacob D. Kuhn, editor of the Sydney newspaper Spirit of the
petitioned the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for financial assistance to
publish an agricultural manual in Gaelic. He stated then that the language
was spoken by no less than 100,000 people in the colony.

One hundred thousand Nova Scotians may have been Gaelic-speakers in 1845,
but this was an age when literacy rates were low, regardless of the mother
tongue; as a result, very few - perhaps only remnant elders from the
immigrant generation - could claim fluency in reading the language. The
response coming from government to Kuhn's petition was, perhaps
understandably, less than encouraging: "however desirable it might be
that a
large portion of our population might be enabled to read such Works in
native language, yet the [Agriculture] Committee cannot recommend the
publishing of such work should be borne upon the general funds of the

Sixty-five years later, the Dominion Census of 1911 enumerated 492,338
Scotians - of whom 145,535 listed Scottish as their ethnic origin; some
50,000 of them were still native Gaelic-speakers. In 1920, an enormous
petition was submitted to Premier G.H. Murray, noting that 29.8% of Nova
Scotians were of Scottish descent and claiming that "The great majority of
Nova Scotians belonging to the Scottish race still preserve the Gaelic
language and are deeply attached to the traditions embodied in its
literature." The petitioners asked that Gaelic be included in the
course of
study for secondary schools-but it was already obvious to government that
despite public interest in linguistic preservation, the number of
Gaelic-speakers in Nova Scotia was on the decline; providing
education services was not a priority.

By 1931, the number of Gaelic-speakers in the province had declined to
approximately 30,000. Nina Turner, writing in The Canadian Mosaic in 1957,
noted that by 1951 the number had dropped again, this time
dramatically, to
a mere 6789. With continued out-migration from the province and the
ever-increasing general assimilation of Nova Scotians into North American
culture, further erosion was inevitable.

A half-century later, a community-based initiative - partnered with
the Nova
Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage - carried out both a
survey and a series of public consultations to address issues aroundGaelic
culture and heritage. Their estimate for current Gaelic-speakers in the
province? Less than 500, many of them senior citizens.

Despite the decline of the spoken language in Nova Scotia, it was obvious
that traditions and culture rooted in the Gaelic connection have survived
everywhere - alive, vibrant, and enduring. One of the most significant
findings was the depth of community interest in linguistic
preservation. The
result of these consultations was a blueprint cultural document entitled
"Developing and Preserving Gaelic in Nova Scotia: Strategy for
Community-Based Initiatives" (2004). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
recently signed between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Highland
Council, Scotland, takes the initiative a step further by providing "a
mechanism to facilitate sharing of resources, ideas, skills and experience
for the benefit of both areas."

Over the years, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management has been a
leader in preserving, for future generations, a body of archival records
that document the province's rich Gaelic roots and the continuing culture,
heritage and traditions. The premier collection and most significant
research source held at NSARM is the Maclean, Sinclair family fonds,
acquired in 1953 from the estate of George Maclean Sinclair, Hopewell,
Scotia, and described then as "the finest collection of original Gaelic
material in Canada" (PANS Annual Report, 1954).

Other major sources for Gaelic research at NSARM include the Helen
fonds, with its emphasis on folk heritage and over 4000 songs and ancient
ballads sung or narrated by Creighton's informants, many of them
Gaelic; and
the Cape Breton's Magazine fonds, a rich late-twentieth-century collection
of documents, folklore, music and oral history.

The virtual exhibit presented here is a preview of what we hope will
an expanded 'Online Guide to Gaelic Resources at NSARM'. The Dalhousie
Review, Sun Life Review and Canadian Mosaic articles provide introductions
to Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia. The selections of photographs,
art, music sheets and textual documents show various aspects of the
province's Gaelic heritage, focusing on communities, talented
musicians and
singers, and associations with the famous Gaelic bard John Maclean.
Additional published sources and textual records give examples of the
language and the struggle to preserve it in Nova Scotia through education,
poetry, and the press.

7. Why do our schools neglect Scottish literature? (Scots)
CARL MacDOUGALL. The Scotsman. 11th June, 2005.

ARE WE THE only people in Europe who need to be educated about ourselves?
Nothing about us is good enough. Our language has been consistentlyundermined and denigrated and our literature is not considered suitable or
distinguished enough to be taught in our schools. Yet in Robert Burns we
have the world's most celebrated poet. James Hogg's Private Memoirs and
Confessions of a Justified Sinner is a masterwork of world literature.
Walter Scott invented both the historical and romantic novels. Conan Doyle
gave the world its most famous detective. Robert Louis Stevenson invented
the psychological novel. Hugh MacDiarmid was considered one of the
European writers of the 20th century; indeed, for more than ten years
MacDiarmid's death in 1978, two of Europe's leading writers were native
Scots, living in Scotland - he and Sorley Maclean. And Muriel Spark is
surely a candidate for the Nobel laureateship.

As if this wasn't enough, according to Edwin Muir our country's ballads
contain the greatest poetry Scotland has produced. "They bring us back
to the Scottish people and its part in the making of Scotland," he said,
"for it was the people who created these magnificent poems. The greatest
poetry of most countries has been written by the educated middle and upper
classes; the greatest poetry of Scotland has come from the people."

So we should stop giving prizes for Burns recitation then telling the
to speak properly, or call it slang when they use the words they were
rewarded for saying so well. The present thinking implies that since
standards have fallen it is a pointless waste of money sending books by or
about Scottish writers into Scottish schools. But, just as artists want
people to see their works and musicians enjoy playing to an audience,
writers would like to be read. Books by Scottish writers should be in
Scottish primary and secondary school. We not only need books by dead
Scottish writers, male Scottish writers, women Scottish writers,
middle-class Scottish writers or even muddled, crass Scottish writers, we
need the works of living Scottish writers to be made available so that
pupils can make informed choices, based on understanding rather than hope.

We have a language which for more than 250 years has been disparaged
by the
people who speak it. Supernational forces further threaten our voice,
because language is the last stand against globalisation. Scots has
miraculously withstood cultural onslaught from our neighbours and
generations of schoolteachers, but may not survive this present global
onslaught. Globalisation cannot deal with differences, it cannot
tolerate a
separate identity.

The real reason for using and encouraging our own voice, however, is
that it
can articulate things which cannot be articulated in English. Glaikit
doesn't just mean stupid, thrawn does not simply mean stubborn, nor does
scunner only express disgust - and driech does not mean dull.

The Scottish National Dictionary tells us the Inuit have more than 50
for snow. Consider then the following list of Scots words, in common
everyday usage: wastit, swacked, fozie, miroculous, craftie, hertie,
blootered, lumed-up, tosie, stotious roarin, tovie, steamin, chippit,
sappie, wambled, bleezin, soopie, swashed, blebberin, roarie mappie,
cornt,reezie, smeikit, stavin, styterin, fankled, molassed, troosert, drucken,
moidert, bladdert, drouthie, manky, bleezin, bellowses, fuddled, stotin,
slochened, mingin, swittlin, meisled, fleein, fankled, pished, minced,
poopin, boggin, blin, paloovious, legless, blitzed, niddle-noddled,
guttered, capernoitit, fittered, galraviched, fu.

There are others - mashed, rubber-leggit, wreckit spring to mind - nor
I considered the lexicon of phrases in everyday parlance, such as
"Daein the
stiff-leggit walk", or "Waltzin the alkie two-step", a variety of
words and
phrases which not only describe the condition, but states of that

How can a language with such precision be useless? And it can describe
a lot
more. Wouldn't it be good if we could find 50 words for success or
more than
50 ways of raising the profile of an underused and underdeveloped national
resource, our national literary talent? Scottish children need to be
comfortable using and developing their own confident voice, and understand
that, where a Scottish accent or dialect is concerned, there is
neither left
nor right nor wrong. And there is no more direct route towards this
than by
raising - and in some cases restoring - their birthright, which is the raw
material that has been the legacy of every Scottish writer.

* Carl MacDougall is a novelist and short story writer. This is an edited
extract from his Writers' Manifesto, presented at the Scottish
Parliament at
this week's launch of the cross-party group on Scottish Writing and

8. Feis Ealain na Hearadh (Scottish Gaelic)

Magaidh NicAonghais agus Ali Napier anns an Talla Choimhearsnachd, An
Tairbeart, Na Hearadh, 23/6/05, aig ochd uairean.


Maggie MacInnes and Ali Napier in concert in Tarbert Community Centre,
Harris, 23rd June at 8pm

Funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Scottish Arts Council

Contact: Chris E Lawson 01859520488
PMEmail PosterMy Photo Album               
Posted: 15-Jun-2005, 07:52 PM
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Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,141
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

June 13, 2005


June 14, 2005

2. Gaeltacht schools give in to English (Irish Gaelic)
3. Archdruid's resign call to Iwan (Welsh)

June 15, 2005

5. Ulster Scots 'needs more EC funding' (Irish Gaelic)
6. "Ya", a new weekly paper in Breton (Breton)

June 13, 2005



EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg today supported a proposal
which will give official and working status in the European Union
to the Irish language. It will now become the 21st official language
of the European Union. From 1 January 2007, all key EU legislation
will be translated into Irish. Plans to extend this to other legislation
will be reviewed in four years time.

The move has been welcomed by the Irish government. The Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, said it represented a particularlysignificant practical step for the language, and complemented the
Government's wider policy of strong support for Irish in Ireland.

However the real victory can be claimed by the many Irish language
groups who campaigned for the move in the face of a government initially
unwilling to act. As the Celtic League reported last year (Celtic
News No 1483 - EU LANGUAGE STATUS FOR IRISH). It was almost a 'Pauline
conversion' for the Irish government when it reversed an earlier stance
and agreed to seek full official status for the Irish language in
the European Union.

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
and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuseand monitors
all military activity within these areas.

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

Internet site at

June 14, 2005
2. Gaeltacht schools give in to English (Irish Gaelic),,...1650749,00.html
John Burns. Sunday Times. June 12, 2005.

THEY are paid to speak Irish, but the first official language has
disappeared from many Gaeltacht schools, a new study has found.

Although Gaeltacht teachers get an annual bonus of ?1,450, fewer are doing
their work entirely as Gaeilge. English is now the main language of
instruction in 40% of Leaving Certificate classes in Gaeltacht
schools, the
study found.

Some schools are not teaching in Irish at all, even though gaelscoileanna
receive a higher rate of funding from the Department of Education, getting
?155.50 per pupil compared with ?129.58 in English language schools.

"It is evident that teaching through the medium of Irish in Gaeltacht
post-primary schools is in a state of crisis," the report concludes.

The bizarre result is that many students leaving Gaeltacht schools, after
five or six years of being taught in Irish, are not able to speak the
language very well.

A quarter of pupils leaving primary schools in Gaeltacht areas have onlymiddling Irish, with about 10% having little or none. At Leaving Cert
18% of students have only reasonable Irish, and one in 10 have little or

The study concludes: "It would appear that the education system in the
Gaeltacht is better equipped to inculcate the use of English among
of Irish than it is to inculcate the use of Irish among first-language
speakers of English."

The academics from University College Galway and An Diseart who
compiled the
report warn that "it is likely very few primary or second level Gaeltacht
schools will still be teaching through Irish in 20 years' time". A
significant number of Gaeltacht schools "have already conceded defeat
in the
face of difficulties and have switched to teaching through the medium of
English". A number of others appear to be "wavering in their
commitment", it

The findings are further proof that English is swamping the designated
Gaeltacht areas - in Galway, Kerry, Donegal, Mayo and west Cork - despite
huge subsidies from the public purse. Instead of helping to support the
language, Gaeltacht schools seem to be undermining it, the study

English is not only used in the playground, it is also the dominant
in many schools in communications between teachers and parents, and as the
working language of the school board.

The study says that the definition of Gaeltacht schools is now
outdated, and
the status of the 143 primaries, with 9,556 pupils, should be examined.

The study was commissioned by An Chomhairle Um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus
Gaelscolaiochta, which advises the department. Muireann Ni Mhorain, the
chief executive, said the findings should be seen in the context of a more
multicultural Ireland, with a quarter of children in Gaeltacht schools
born outside Irish-speaking areas. She said extra staff were needed in the
schools, and better support for teachers.

"The question of teacher training has to be addressed," Ni Mhorain
said. "We
have to look at the low standard of Irish among teachers coming out of

"Something must be done to help competency in Irish. Universities must
address this, because that is where post-primary teachers qualify."

3. Archdruid's resign call to Iwan (Welsh)
BBC NEWS. Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
A former deputy president of Plaid Cymru has revealed he urged current
president Dafydd Iwan to resign over the extension of Pwllheli marina.

Archdruid of Wales Robyn Lewis said it would attract more non-Welsh
visitors and undermine the language.

Mr Iwan, the councillor responsible for development in Gwynedd, presented
the expansion plans to the authority.

But Mr Iwan said the language would not be threatened, and extra moorings
would bring "amazing income" to the council.

The redevelopment plans involve adding an extra 300 berths to the
council-owned marina.

Dr Lewis told BBC Wales' Maniffesto programme, broadcast on S4C, that the
decision to expand the marina was a stab in the back for the area.

Speaking on Maniffesto, Mr Iwan said Dr Lewis' fears were unfounded.

At their annual conference on Saturday, members of Cymuned, the Welsh
language pressure group, voted to condemn the decision by Gwynedd's
executive board and called on Dwyfor planners to refuse permission.

'Poor decision'

Like Dr Lewis, Cymuned fears expansion will attract more non-Welsh
to the area, to the detriment of the language.

Dwyfor's planning committee will consider a full application in September.

Cymuned chief executive Aran Jones applauded the Gwynedd councillors
who had
voted against the plans.

But, he added : "The council board has made a remarkably poor decision and
we are very supportive of the councillors who are calling for the decision
to be passed over to the full council.

"Report after report has shown that the proposed extension will not
create a
large number of jobs, and that the vast majority of the few jobs that will
be created will not offer a good enough salary to enable workers to
afford a
mortgage in Pwllheli.

"Quality jobs are what we need, not jobs looking after what is no more
a car park for wealthy people."

The proposed expansion of Hafan Marina has proved controversial.

Some people, however, have highlighted potential benefits. Pwllheli town
councillor Ian Roberts said the scheme would bring jobs and benefit future

"I support the development of Pwllheli marina for the simple reasonthat we
owe the future generation something to look forward to," he said.

"We owe them work at least. There are at least 30 young people learning
skills with the marina in Pwllheli at the moment - these people are the
future of the language.

"If they marry and have children and families, they are the future of the
language. There's no doubt about it."

IoM Online. 1 June 2005

PARENTS-to-be are being encouraged to consider giving their child a
traditional Manx first name.

Manx National Heritage and the Department of Health and Social
Security has
produced a booklet which features boys and girls names of Manx origin and
what they mean.

The booklet includes the more popular names - such as Juan (well born)
for a
boy, and Breeshy (shining) for a girl - and less commonly used names
such as
Fintan (a little fair one) for a boy and Blaa (flower) for a girl.

Health and Social Security Minister Steve Rodan said: 'I am delighted to
announce this excellent initiative, which supports the promotion of
the Manx
language and culture and is a good example of government working
together to
improve public information.'

The DHSS will make the booklet available at the Jane Crookall maternity
unit, GP surgeries and at the neonatal unit.

Copies will also be available at parentcraft classes and from the Manx
National Heritage website. The booklet is available in large print and
audiotape on request.

The name guide was produced in 2003 by the Manx National Heritage library.

Librarian archivist Roger Sims said: 'Since it first appeared on the Manx
National Heritage website and in hard copy the booklet of male and female
Manx first names has proved very popular and has encouraged many
parents both on and off the Island to choose traditional Manx first names
for their children.
'All the names listed were carefully selected by Manx National Heritage
staff and it is very gratifying to see that the booklet is not only being
well used but is helping to promote this important aspect of our national
identity internationally also.'

All names in the booklet are acceptable for the purposes of modern day
registration both on and off the Island.

June 15, 2005
5. Ulster Scots 'needs more EC funding' (Irish Gaelic)
Belfast Telegraph. 13 June 2005

MP's call after £12m given for Irish TV

By Brendan McDaid

DUP MP Gregory Campbell today called for the European Commission to
match a
£12m award for an Irish language television and films by giving a similar
amount to the Ulster Scots community.

The EC has authorised the release of the cash for the Northern Irish
Language Broadcast Fund in the UK.

Mr Campbell said that in the interests of equality the same amount should
now be awarded to similar projects in the Ulster-Scots language.

He said: "This type of announcement highlights what some of us in the
Unionist community have been saying: that European moneys ought to be made
available and more efforts ought to be made apparent so that they can
of moneys like this.

"There ought to be in Northern Ireland cultural terms moneys for
people with
a particular interest in the Ulster Scots identity and background and
in the
promotion of that identity."

The overall fund amount for the new EC project will be 17.7 million
euro for
the period 2005 until 2009.

The objective of the fund is to support the production of television and
film output in the Irish language.

Making the announcement an EC spokesman said:

"The Commission considers that since the aid aims to promote cultural
products and the Irish language, it can be authorised under EC Treaty
that allow state aids for the promotion of culture."
EC Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes added:

"The fund fosters broadcasts for Irish language speakers and I am happy to
approve state aid which promotes cultural and regional identity."

To qualify for funding, a minimum of 60% of the spoken word within a
production must be in Irish and every production must be subtitled in

It must further reach a substantial audience in Northern Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement contained a commitment to seek more
effective ways
to encourage and provide financial support for Irish language film and
television production in Northern Ireland.

6. "Ya", a new weekly paper in Breton (Breton)
Douarnenez 6/14/2005 , by Yann Rivallain

A few days after the Breton language day in Karaez, Breton speakers are
celebrating again today with the launch of a new weekly magazine in

Around five hundred subscribers will find the first issue of the new eight
page newspaper called Ya (Yes) in their letter boxes today. This new
addition to a series of other existing monthly and quarterly magazines in
Breton (Bremañ, Brud Nevez, Al Lañv or Al Liamm), is of historical
importance for the language as there have been no weekly papers in Breton
for decades.

"Ya will focus on news from Brittany, from Nantes to Brest and the rest of
the world" explains Yann-Fañch Jacq, writer and manager of the Keit
Vimp Bev
association which already publishes three monthly magazines for
children and
teenagers in Breton. The new weekly is written in a lively form of Breton
which is accessible to everyone, particularly new speakers and
learners who
until now struggled to find suitable reading material.

With pieces on young people and cannabis consumption written by a tolerant
and respected Breton priest, a cartoon strip, a recipe for an Algerian
an interview with an actress from the Strollad ar Vro Bagan theatre troupe
as well as reactions to the recent Breton 'Yes' and French 'No' to the
European treaty referendum, the first issue fulfils initial expectations.

"We're trying to show that Breton is also a daily language for
thousands of
people, Breton can be used in all situations, not only for serious issues"
explains Onenn Beuzec, press officer for the launch of Ya. The first issue
definitely carries the sense of optimism and dynamism that its initiators
had promised subscribers.

Launching any new media, let alone minority language publications, is a
difficult task. For Ya, Keit Vimp Bev benefitted from the experience
of the
Setmana, a successful weekly paper in Occitan in print for over ten years.Like the Setmana, Ya will be printed in Jirona, in Catalunya.

Two young Breton speakers have been recruited by Keit Vimp Bev to
the network of stringers which will gradually be built up. In the first
editorial column, Yann-Fañch Jacq invites readers to "send their comments
and suggestions for articles as a team as small will not be able to carry
all the weight on its shoulders only".

Beyond spontaneous contributions, the future of Ya is in the hands of the
thousands of people who speak or are learning Breton. The aim is to
have 800
subscribers by the end of the year. With hundreds of books in Breton sold
every year and thousands of pupils learning the language in bilingual
schools, Keit Vimp Bev can realistically count on a potential of 1,000
subscribers in the near future.

For more information contact "Ya", Keit Vimp Bev. 22, Grand Rue -
29520 Laz.
Telephone 02 98 26 87 12 or e-mail [email protected] .(Eurolang
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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June 16, 2005

1. Cornish Language to Receive £240,000 Funding from the Uk Government (Cornish)
2. Bards Told of 'Momentous' Year for the Cornish Language (Cornish)
3. Quantity Rules Ok! (Cornish)
4. European Funding to Establish Links Between Young People in Wales and Ireland (Welsh, Irish Gaelic)
5. Digital Gaelic Channel or Not? (Scottish Gaelic)

June 18, 2005

6. MEPs react to EU Council language decision (Scottish Gaelic)
7. Expansion in Welsh language courses at universities (Welsh)

June 19, 2005

8. Gaelic's Other Revival (Scottish Gaelic)
9. Executive Acts to Recruit Gaelic Teachers to Meet Demand (Scottish Gaelic)

June 16, 2005

1. Cornish language to receive £240,000 funding from the UK Government (Cornish) / Bruxelles 6/15/2005 , by Davyth Hicks

Cornish language activists have welcomed the news today that the UK Government is providing up to £240,000 of funding over the next three years to support Cornish language regeneration.

This will provide the match funding needed to support an application by Konsel Kernow (Cornwall Council) for EU Objective 1 funding, and according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister "demonstrates the Government's commitment to the principles of recognition and support, under Part II of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. "

Today's announcement provides Government endorsement for the Cornish language strategy, developed in response to the official recognition of the Cornish language by the UK Government in 2002.

In a press release Phil Woolas, Minister for Local Government, said: "Languages are part of our history, our culture, and our identity. It is right that we should nurture the Cornish language. The Cornish Language Strategy provides a realistic and reasonable vision for the development of the language over the next 25 years, commensurate with the capacity of the language movement to grow. I am pleased to endorse the strategy as providing the framework for implementation of the Charter, and to be able to confirm funding to support the application for EU Objective 1

Referring to the wording in the ECRML he said : "I believe that today's announcement demonstrates the Government's commitment to the resolute action to protect and promote the Cornish language that the Charter seeks. We look forward to working with the local authorities and the Cornish language organisations, through the Government Office for the South West and in line with our Charter commitments, to take the Strategy forward. "

Mr Woolas also acknowledged the leading role that Cornwall Council are playing in the strategy work, alongside the voluntary language organisations which have achieved so much to bring the language to the position it has reached today. "In taking the Strategy forward, it will be crucial that the skills and knowledge of these organisations are harnessed to the full." He added.

A key action will be to appoint a dedicated Language Strategy Co-ordinator to develop detailed implementation plans and begin the hands on work. Today's announcement will enable work towards the appointment to take place.

Welcoming the news Eric Brooke, the Executive Member for Community Services on Cornwall Council said, "It is now our responsibility to take the language forward. On 17 September a conference will take place which will build on the good work already done."

"I hope over the coming years that the Cornish language will become more accessible, allowing those who want to learn Cornish to learn Cornish." (Eurolang © 2005)

2. Bards Told of 'Momentous' Year for the Cornish Language (Cornish)
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS. This is Cornwall. 1:00 - 14 June 2005

The year has been "momentous" for the Cornish, declared past Grand Bard George Ansell at the annual meeting of the Gorsedd at Truro. "The language has been brought, blinking from the shadows into the broad daylight, to take its rightful place at the centre of Cornish affairs and has started on the long process of development, with full official support," he said.

One aspect of the process was working towards how Cornish would be written in official documentation and formal education. There are currently hundreds of Cornish language speakers but there is controversy on the spelling forms.

"It is becoming clear that there is a will to grasp the nettle and attempt a settlement of the spelling debate," he said. "We shall be aiming at getting a consensus on a fair and open process for examining the issues and reaching a conclusion acceptable to as large a majority of the Cornish community as possible."

This theme was taken up by the Grand Bard, Rod Lyon. He said a huge amount of work had been done in order to agree a strategy for the future of the language and "to ensure its healthy development and to gain further recognition and financial support from central government".

Praise for the great efforts came also from bard and county councilor Bert Biscoe, who stressed that this progress should be fully recognised and acknowledged.

There are nearly 500 bards worldwide and this year's Gorsedd will be held at Wadebridge on Saturday, September 3.

Mr Lyon spoke of the progress achieved by bards to strengthen, maintain and protect Cornwall's distinctive culture and identity, demonstrating the wide expertise they possess.

One important venture is that of the St Piran Trust.

"A colossal amount of work has been done to protect and make available as a truly visible monument to the public the remains on the sand dunes at Perranporth, of St Piran's Oratory, the second church there, and the nearby Plen-an-Gwary at Rose," he said.

"This is a truly mammoth task deserving the support of all the bards of this college."

Other highlights included the visit to the Welsh and Breton Gorsedds, the Jenner Day at St Erth and Lelant, the splendid events throughout Cornwall on St Piran's Day - particularly the first procession in Penwith - and the huge Lowender Kernewek festival in Australia. The Gorsedd website was growing in stature each year and the annual calendar and cards were proving popular, he added.
"There is a colossal amount of work carried on by the bards which spans the whole year," said Mr Lyon. "I look forward to another year of progress in Cornwall in which Cornish bards will once again strongly feature."

The book contest classes had been expanded still further this year, said Ann Trevenen Jenkin, a past Grand Bard.

There would be seven awards for books published on a Cornish theme, plus the overall Holyer An Gof prize and the Literary Salver.

"This year, books have come in from Australia and Canada as well as publishers in England and Cornwall," Mrs Trevenen Jenkin said. "It emphasises the global strength of Cornishness."

The presentations will be in July and she thanked sponsors Ottakars and Eden for their support.

Australian-Cornish author Rosanne Hawke will be visiting Cornwall during July and speaking at several schools and at the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth.

There were reports also from honorary treasurer David Lindo and honorary secretary Barbara Shaw. With her husband Keith, and Mrs Trevenen Jenkin, she took part in the Gathering of Australian Bards in Australia last month.

Bards were also asked to support the Poetry Cornwall Festival at Chacewater village hall from September 30 to October 2, the proceeds from which will go to the Campaign for a Cornish Assembly.

3. Quantity Rules Ok! (Cornish)
This is Cornwall.11:00 - 14 June 2005

Dydh da dhy'hwi, fatla genowgh hwi? Da lowr my a wayt. Lemmyn lies dallethor a wra govynn orthiv vy y'm klassow Kernewek prag eus lytherennow dewbleg yn Kernewek - wel An Quantity Rules yw.

Now lots of beginners ask me in my Kernewek classes why there are double letters in Kernewek. Well it's the Quantity Rules.

Mes pyth a hwarva mar nyns yw da gans dha wuru Kernewek teythyek? Nyns o an Quantity Rules dismygys gans neb akademek yn 1980ow. Nyns yns dismygys gans jynn-amontya. Nyns yw nowydh an Quantity Rules dhe Gernewek.

But what if your local Cornish language guru don't "like the look of it?" Quantity rules were not dreamed up in the 1980s by some academic. They were not invented by computer. The quantity rules are not new to Kernewek:
Vocabularium Cornicum, c. 1200 y'n jeves
kanna for kanna can, tin
commisc for kemmysk mixture
Pascon agan Arluth c. 1350 y'n jeves
dijskynna for diysynna to descend (verse 4)
lemmyn for lemmyn now (verse 6)
Ordinali c. 1400 y'n jeves
war benn for war benn on the end (PC 136)
lemmen for lemmyn now (OM9)
Beunans Meriasek 1504 y'n jeves
mar mynnyth for mar mynnydh if you want (1592)
omma for omma here (1605)
Bywnans Ke c.1525 y'n jeves
a vynnas for a vynnas wanted (1.02)
kimmes for kemmys so much (2.28)
Tregear Homilies c.1550 y'n jeves
henna for henna this (1a)
omma for omma here (1a)
Gwreans an Bys 1611 y'n jeves
a vydn for a vynn wants (1951)
ha bannethe for bennath blessing (1946)
tha vabm for dha vamm your mother (1920)
ha thymmo for dhymmo to me (1942)
Dzh??an Tshei An Her, 1707 y'n jeves
me a vedn for my a vynn I want (2)
ybma for omma here (2)

Ytho prag y hwren ni kavoes an Quantity Rules yn Kernewek a hedhyw?
So why have these quantity rules in Kernewek spelling?

Agas gweles nessa seythun - see you next week.

4. European funding to establish links between young people in Wales and Ireland (Welsh, Irish Gaelic)
Penygroes 6/15/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

Urdd Gobaith Cymru has received a grant of £183,174 towards a project aimed at establishing "a joint cross-border initiative, which focuses upon the cultural co-operation between youth agencies in Ireland and Wales". The two movements involed are Ogras in Ireland and the Urdd in Wales.

The grant has been awarded by Interreg, and the project, Two Countries, One Age, will be formally launched over the summer. Urdd Gobaith Cymru has appointed a development Officer to run the project; Nia Meleri Roberts has already started in her new post, and Caoimhín Ó Cadhla has been appointed to a similar role within Ógras.

The objective of the project will be to foster links between Ógras and the Urdd, and to arrange study visits where experience and good practice will be exchanged on aspects of youth work. The links will be forged on a member-to-member level, volunteer-to-volunteer level, and staff to staff level. This will ensure the success of the project in the long term. The project further aims to encourage young people to gain skills in youth work.

The joint aims and objectives of the project are to share good practice of the two youth organizations, to learn about each other's cultures and traditions, to increase communication between two countries by learning about each other's traditions by attending each other's festivals and thereby promoting mutual understanding and respect for their own languages and other languages.

A study visit programme will be established between young people in Ireland and Wales. Each visit will be based around a series of themes based on the culture and language of Ireland and Wales respectively. There will be a focus on inclusion of young people from socially deprived areas. Young People with disabilities will also be encouraged to participate.

"The Urdd has 3,000 members and Ógras has 400 members over 16 respectively and the project is targeted towards this age group," says Efa Gruffudd Jones, chief executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru. "However, the long term intention is that both organisations will have identified and trained, through this project, a group of young volunteer leaders who are willing to assist with the delivery of activities, and the setting up of clubs for the younger age groups. These young people will also have made strong links with Irish counterparts, so that the Irish/Welsh relationship will continue to the future. We look forward to working with Ógras and we intend to gain the support of other youth agencies working in Wales as the scheme develops therefore fulfilling this exciting project's objectives."

The project will concentrate on getting the young people of Wales and Ireland to work together, by establishing a long term relationship that will discuss such themes as the experiences of young people who speak a minority language.

The project will also encourage young people to learn new skills and to become interested in youth and community work so that they can develop as leaders of the future and to establish clubs for younger members. The young people will be taught about the culture and traditions of both countries, and there will be opportunities to visit festivals, such as the National Eisteddfod in Wales and Scleip na hOige in Ireland.

Understanding of and respect for their languages and other languages will be encouraged. The project also aims to discuss and to improve their understanding of environmental issues.

The project will be officially launched at the National Eisteddfod of Wales during the first week of August 2005. Then, 20 young people from Wales and 20 from Ireland will meet on study courses - five held in Ireland and five in Wales. There will also be a workshop on the Welsh Language, where the experiences of young people who speak a minority language will be discussed. Other workshops in Wales will be on the Arts and Welsh Culture, Welsh Traditions, the Media in Wales and Government in Wales.

Young people from Ireland will visit Wales for the first time as part of this project during the National Eisteddfod whilst the Urdd members will visit Scleip na hOige in November. (Eurolang © 2005)

5. Digital Gaelic Channel or Not? (Scottish Gaelic)
Highland Council Press Release. Issue Date: Wednesday 15 June 2005

At the end of last week OFCOM announced their plans for Gaelic broadcasting. They have given ITV permission to cut its commitments to regional TV programming. This means that Scottish Media Group will be broadcasting only 6 hrs of Gaelic programmes per year in peak viewing times instead of the present 26 hours.

OFCOM say that the best way to serve the Gaelic audience is through a dedicated Gaelic digital channel, instead of Gaelic programming on the standard channels. They agree that a new Gaelic channel should be set up by a partnership of the BBC and the Gaelic Media Service.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of Highland Council's Gaelic Select Committee said: "We welcome a dedicated Gaelic digital channel, provided that the channel is adequately funded as the quality of Gaelic programming must be equal to that of main stream programmes. This requires realistic and sustained financial support. Gaelic broadcasting and multi-media services support the work of Gaelic Education and the cultural sector, as it brings the language alive for people of all ages; Gaelic is being used within cutting edge technology.

I am very disappointed that SMG will not broadcast Gaelic programmes in peak viewing times. We know from statistics supplied by independent audience, they are ignoring the number of people watching Gaelic programmes during peak times is substantial.

"When SMG (Grampian) cease to broadcast Gaelic programmes they will loose a substantial amount of audience support. They are ignoring the voice of the community that they serve.

"It is also important that the issue of equipment, required to receive a digital channel, is addressed and that there is a system in place to ensure that all those who wish to continue receiving Gaelic broadcasts are not financially burdened as a result of this change. It is equally important that the government address the issue of Gaelic radio transmission and reception throughout Scotland and fulfil the expectations of the Committee of European Experts, in relation to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, that all of Scotland can receive Radio nan Gàidheal."
Dr Michael Foxley, Vice Convenor of The Highland Council said: "It is obvious that OFCOM has ignored the input they have received from the Gaelic community, their own research findings, the recommendations of the Gaelic Media Service, which reports to OFCOM and also the views of Highland Council.

"To deprive the Gaelic audience of programmes during peak viewing hours before the switchover to digital television is an affront to the Gaelic community, especially when there is no assurance that an adequately funded digital channel is going to materialise. This is a particularly bitter message in the month that the Gaelic Bill received its' Royal Assent."

June 18, 2005

6. MEPs react to EU Council language decision (Scottish Gaelic)
Brussel / Bruxelles 6/16/2005 , by Davyth Hicks

MEPs have broadly welcomed Monday's decision by Europe's Foreign Ministers to increase the provision for all 'official' European lesser-used languages in the EU institutions, and for Irish becoming an official and working language.

The deal, reported on Eurolang, stops short of giving Treaty status for these languages, the main difference being that legislation translated into these languages will not count as a legal authentic version.

The languages affected are only those with legal status in their member state and include Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Basque and Catalan, for example. It will exclude languages without legal status in their state such as Breton and Occitan.

Citizens will be able to correspond with the EU institutions in these languages, legislation adopted by co-decision by the European Parliament (EP) and the Council will be translated and publicised, and the languages will be used in debates at Council level - and eventually in the EP and the Committee of the Regions.

However, before the provisions can be implemented each member state has to give the go ahead.

Ms Jill Evans MEP, who has been leading Plaid Cymru's campaign for Welsh to become an official EU language, says that the deal opens the door for Welsh to have the enhanced status if the UK Government has the will.

While welcoming the news about official and working status for Irish Ms Evans said: "The UK Government must now take action during their Presidency of the EU and implement these rights for the Welsh language. Nothing stands in their way .. This could be a real and positive action for the UK Presidency.
"This deal sets a very important precedent and we in Plaid Cymru demand that the Welsh language gets the recognition it deserves in Europe."

Plaid's Parliamentary Leader Elfyn Llwyd MP added: "The UK Government has no more excuses on this - we expect to see urgent action to give the Welsh language the status it deserves in the EU. The major regulatory obstacles have now been removed and it is a question of political will. With the UK Government shortly to take over the Presidency of the European Union we expect to see an improvement in the status of the Welsh language in the EU over the next six months."

Eurolang spoke to Swedish MEP, Ms Ewa Hedkvist Petersen (PSE), who has Sámi speakers in her constituency, and where Sámi has official status. "I welcome it, I think its logical that if you can use Sámi in Sweden it makes sense that you can also use it in the European Union."

Catalan MEP Bernat Joan (EFA) considers it a positive step but insufficient. He said that "this represents a small step on a long journey. For my party anything less than full official language status is not good enough. But here we are, with today's agreement it becomes clearer that in this past year more has been done to improve the status of the Catalan language in Europe than in the past twenty years and that's very positive indeed. Also we have been able to highlight a real, legitimate problem which with today's agreement gains a certain recognition but is far from satisfactorily resolved."

Mr Joan pointed out that Monday's agreement is "in relation to the EU Council, but the battle at the European Parliament is not yet won and we must go on making the case for why our microphone should not be cut off when we address Parliament in our own language".

He added that "the implicit message once again in this negotiation is that if we as Catalans want to lead a full role in Europe we have to be a member state. If the Council believes that the official languages in Europe are those of the state, then it follows that what we now lack is a state of our own."

Scottish National Party MEP Ian Hudgton said : "In recent months I have been campaigning with SNP colleagues at Holyrood and Westminster for Scottish Gaelic to be given increased recognition in Europe. The Irish move gives those calls a boost."

Some press sources have mis-reported that the Council decision only applies to the Spanish co- official languages Basque, Catalan and Galician. However, an EU Council spokesperson confirmed to Eurolang on Tuesday that the Council conclusion does apply to all languages with 'official' status. The conclusion defines these 'official' languages, other than member state languages, as those that "have a status recognised by the constitution of a Member State on whole or part of its territory or of which the use as a national language is authorised by law". (Eurolang © 2005)

7. Expansion in Welsh language courses at universities (Welsh)
Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 6/16/2005

Pressure has been mounting over the years on Welsh universities to offer more courses through the medium of Welsh, with a number of students protesting about the lack of choice. Now two recently announced initiatives hope to expand the provision available.

The University of Wales Bangor will be spending an extra £50,000 next year on its Welsh language scheme. Over the past four years, the number of Welsh-speaking students at the University has risen by a quarter to a total of nearly 2,500. It is already the main provider in Wales of higher education courses in Welsh, delivering over 40% of the whole provision, and covering subjects in the Arts, Sciences, Education and Health.

"Despite the financial strictures upon higher education, the University is making a clear commitment to strengthening our Welsh Language Scheme and ensuring that we continue to develop Welsh language courses in Higher Education," said University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Merfyn Jones.

The latest discipline to start Welsh-language provision is the Department of Law, recognising the increasing importance of Welsh proficiency within the legal profession in Wales. The award of a Welsh-medium Teaching Fellowship to the department has enhanced the expansion of this provision. The policy has also been boosted by three new research scholarships aimed at attracting young academics to the disciplines of Music, Psychology and Biological Sciences.

The Welsh Assembly Government has set a target to increase the overall percentage of those higher education students following at least part of their course in Welsh from the current 3.4% to 7% by 2010. 1,070 are currently following at least some part of their course in Welsh in Bangor which is 10% of the total number of students. The University of Wales has announced ten graduate scholarships across Wales to promote Welsh language teaching. "The scholarships are awarded for four or five years and include an additional year of training for recipients once they have secured a doctorate to their relevant discipline," said a spokesman on behalf of the University of Wales.

Among the subjects where scholarships are offered are music, geography, history, French, biological sciences, psychology and sports science. (Eurolang © 2005)

June 19, 2005

8. Gaelic's Other Revival (Scottish Gaelic)
Glaschu/Glasgow 6/17/2005 , by Màrtainn MacLeòid

Following many years of decline, serious attempts are now being made to revive Scottish Gaelic in the Gàidhealtachd (Gaelic- speaking) areas of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Scottish Gaelic became established as a community language in many areas of Nova Scotia during the 19th century following the migration of thousands of Gaelic speakers from the Scottish Highlands to Tìr nan Craobh (the Land of Trees) as a result of the Highland Clearances and of new economic opportunities in Canada. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Nova Scotia earned a reputation throughout the Gaelic speaking world for its Gaelic verse and Highland music and culture. To support the language, Gaelic courses were established in St Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, in 1891 and a Cape Breton Gaelic college was established in 1938.

Having been strong as a community language for many generations, however, intergenerational transmission of the language largely stopped from the 1930s onwards. Today it is believed that there are fewer than 500 native Gaelic speakers left in Nova Scotia compared with more than 50,000 in 1901.

Serious attempts to reverse language shift in Nova Scotia, particularly in Cape Breton Island, started around twenty years ago. Since then, the number of Gaelic classes has increased and a bilingual newspaper Am Bràighe has been established. Building on this progress, the Gaelic revival has taken many significant steps since the millennium. In the year 2000, the Highland Village museum, Cape Breton established a Gaelic language plan and in 2002, Nova Scotia Province, Canada and Highland Council, Scotland signed a memorandum of understanding to promote links between Gaels in the two countries. The Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage has also appointed a Gaelic Development Officer for the area.

A detailed academic report was published on the situation of Gaelic by the Department of Tourism and Culture in 2002: Gaelic - an Economic, Cultural and Social Impact Study by Michael Kennedy. Building on this, another report: Developing and Preserving Gaelic in Nova Scotia was written last year by a steering group from the Gaelic community with support from the provincial government. This report put forward strategic recommendations to develop the language in the community, to increase the number of Gaelic speakers, to increase confidence, to increase opportunities to use Gaelic and to achive legal protection for the language. A steering group is now working towards the implementation of the recommendation.

Like the situation of Gaelic in Scotland, there is also a severe lack of Gaelic tutors in Canada. For this reason, Fionnlagh M. MacLeòid, director of Comhairle nan Sgoiltean Àraich recently visited Canada to deliver tutor training using new Total Physical Response methodology. Gaelic can be learnt both quickly and effectively in the manner according to MacLeòid. That this course will provide a foundation for more Gaelic classes, training courses and language development in Nova Scotia.

Canadian Gaelic speaker Rob Dunbar, a specialist in language planning, recently visited Nova Scotia on behalf of the Gaelic Language Board Bòrd na Gàidhlig, of which he is a member. According to Mr Dunbar: "In 2004, Bord na Gaidhlig sent me to Nova Scotia to represent the Bord at the launch of the report 'Developing and Preserving Gaelic Culture in Nova Scotia'. As a descendant of Nova Scotia Gaels, I was honoured to be there. We recognised that Nova Scotia was the last place outside of Scotland where the language is spoken in communities, and that Nova Scotia Gaels have preserved a rich and unique linguistic and cultural heritage that is valuable to us all. It is encouraging that the Nova Scotia government is taking steps to support the language, and we in Scotland should do what we can to assist them, as Gaelic and broader Scottish culture has benefited a lot from these communities." (Eurolang © 2005)

9. Executive Acts to Recruit Gaelic Teachers to Meet Demand (Scottish Gaelic)
MOIRA KERR. Press and Journal. 09:00 - 18 June 2005

The Scottish Executive is taking action to address the national shortage of Gaelic teachers as the popularity of the language soars in Argyll and other areas of the country.

The roll of the Gaelic medium unit at Salen Primary School, on Mull, will go up to 32 in August.

But Argyll and Bute Council's efforts to recruit a second teacher to cope with growing demand have so far proved unsuccessful.

Over on Islay, the council has been advertising, without success, for a teaching vacancy which arose at Easter in Bowmore Gaelic medium unit.

A parents' group at Salen agreed at a meeting on Thursday night to write to Education Minister Peter Peacock, urging the Scottish Executive to address the problem.

Group member Jacqueline Bennett, of Lochdon, whose two sons attend the Salen unit, said: "We have 29 children at the unit and it is going to go up to 32 in August.

"It's a lovely school. The Gaelic teacher and the head are very supportive, but one of the main problems is that there is a national shortage of Gaelic teachers.

"Gaelic education is a victim of its own success, so many people are wanting it. Parents want their children to be bilingual because there is so much more happening with Gaelic now. There are more job opportunities."

Appealing to suitable teachers to apply for the Salen vacancy, Mrs Bennett stressed that Mull was a great place to live.

She said: "We are only 45 minutes from the mainland and we have good services - including an NHS dentist."

Islay councillor Robin Currie has suggested that greater incentives should be offered to attract Gaelic teachers to the isles.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said a Gaelic teachers action group, which was tasked with looking at ways of addressing the recruitment problems, was due to report back to the education minister shortly.

She said that a host of new Gaelic teachers would be graduating this summer.
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Because of some things going on in my personal life, I have been unable to keep this thread going. I have almost 60 news stories in my e-mail box that need to cleaned up and posted here. However, No one has e-mailed to ask about the News, so I am wondering if anyone is reading them. If so PLEASE let me know. Keeping these news stories posted is a lot of work for me. I don't mind doing it if someone is reading them, but if not then I am wasting a lot of time on it. I am going to psot everything I have in my e-mail box, and if I haven't heard from anyone by the end ot the week, this News thread will be closed.


Part 1

Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

June 22, 2005

1) Proud Gaelic poet Davitt dies at 55 (Irish Gaelic)
2) Gaelic bred?!? (Irish Gaelic)

June 24, 2005

3) Am Baile wins top award (Scottish Gaelic)
4) War Detectives (Scottish Gaelic)
5) Ireland's loss: Michael Davitt, Irish language poet, dies suddenly (Irish
6) Sangschaw - Scots Cultural Competeition (Scots)
7) Making the Irish language work in Europe. (Irish Gaelic)
8) 3 articles ... (Welsh)
9) Braw idea for new chapter in Scottish children's literature (Scots)

June 22, 2005

1) Proud Gaelic poet Davitt dies at 55 (Irish Gaelic)
Associated Press
Monday, June 20, 2005

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Gaelic-language poet Michael Davitt, who led an influential 1970s literary movement in Ireland's native tongue, has died, the government announced Monday. He was 55.

"Michael Davitt has been described as the Bob Dylan of the Irish language. He was central to the transformation of the Irish language into a form which allowed true expression of contemporary Ireland," said Arts Minister John O'Donoghue. "The Irish language has lost a true champion and hero."

Davitt in 1970 founded an Irish poetry magazine called Innti that became synonymous with a new generation of writers committed to creating a modern poetic voice in Gaelic, a language that was overwhelmed by English in the 19th century. He incorporated aspects of 1960s American Beat poetry into his work alongside his own mixture of melancholy and political irreverence.

He wrote a half-dozen collections of poetry from 1982 to 1990. He also produced and presented Gaelic-language programs on RTE, the Irish state broadcaster, in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1994 he received the Butler Prize, the top literary award of the Irish American Cultural Institute.

The cause of death wasn't made public. No funeral arrangements were immediately announced.

© The Canadian Press 2005

2) Gaelic bred?!? (Irish Gaelic)
June 21, 2005

First Irish-language stand-up gig

Comics are planning what's thought to be the first ever stand-up show to be performed entirely in the Irish language.

On Friday, four comedians who usually perform in English will take to the stage of Belfast's Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, an arts centre on the Falls Road dedicated to keeping the Gaelic language alive.

One of them, Colman Higgins, pictured, said: "While there's been a thriving stand-up comedy scene in Dublin and Belfast for many years, this is the first time a show has taken place entirely in the Irish language.

"Like most people in Ireland, I couldn't stand the Irish language as a kid in school. But for year or two in the mid-Nineties I went to a group in Dublin who were into using the language as just a language, without the conservative or traditionalist connotations it usually has.

"I've been doing stand-up for years and was always interested in trying it in another language, so I jumped at this chance to give it a go. I've translated part of my set, but had to drop anything with puns. Higgins - who is taking a solo theatre show Bus-spotting to the Edinburgh Fringe - shares the Culturlann stage with Tiernan, Padraig Fox and Breda O' Donnell for the show, which starts at 8pm.

June 24, 2005

3) Am Baile wins top award (Scottish Gaelic)
Am Baile. News. 17 Jun 2005

The Highland Council Am Baile team were delighted to receive the Scottish Executive Delivering Excellence Award at the COSLA Awards 2005.

The Highland Council Am Baile team were delighted to receive the Scottish Executive Delivering Excellence Award at the COSLA Awards 2005.

Public Service Reform Minister Tom McCabe presented the award at the Executive sponsored COSLA Excellence Awards ceremony in Bishopbriggs. He said:

"I am happy the Executive is again associated with the COSLA Excellence Awards and congratulate all the winning projects. These awards allow us to celebrate particular achievements and overall delivery of high-quality public services to the people of Scotland.

"The winner of the Scottish Executive-sponsored Excellence Award, the website Am Baile, has opened up the history and culture of the Highlands and Islands to a worldwide audience. Much of the material on the website was hitherto unavailable due to the fragility of the historical documents and artefacts.

"More than 40,000 items were digitised with accompanying details translated into Gaelic by a team of dedicated staff. It has proven to be a huge success, and now receives over 19,000 visitors a month from users worldwide.

"It is the first project to use the Gaelic language in this way and represent the Highlands and Islands in such a way. It is delivering a successful, high quality public service to the benefit of Scotland and beyond.

"This is exactly the type of innovative public service that COSLA's Excellence Awards were created to honour. The Executive is committed to improving the delivery of public services in Scotland and these awards help celebrate the kind of standards we want to see in councils across the whole of Scotland."

Councillor Andy Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, said: It is worthy recognition of the skill enthusiasm and commitment of the team and reflects the high quality of services we are providing in Highland."
Am Baile was established with initial funding from the New Opportunities Fund and is now funded by The Highland Council and managed as part of Highland Libraries.

The Council also won the COSLA's Securing a Workforce for the Future award for its pioneering in-house social worker training programme, Growing our Own, and the Convention's Health Improvement Award with its imaginative Ross-shire based Healthways exercise and healthy eating programme for people of all ages.

COSLA Excellence Awards are in their ninth year and it is the fourth year that the Executive has sponsored an award.

4) War Detectives (Scottish Gaelic)
Am Baile. 16 Jun 2005

Am Baile has received National Lottery funding to develop an exciting oral history project describing the impact of the Second World War on the Scottish Highlands.

Am Baile has received National Lottery funding to develop an exciting oral history project describing the impact of the Second World War on the Scottish Highlands.

Over the next few months, pupils from twelve primary schools throughout the Highlands will be acting as Am Baile's 'War Detectives'. These young investigators have already begun gathering evidence, interviewing local people who either lived in the Highlands during the war or who belonged to the Highlands and had to go away to work or serve in the Armed Forces. They are interviewing people in their language of preference, be it English, Gaelic or a local dialect.

Maggie Johnstone of Am Baile comments: 'This is a wonderful opportunity to create a lasting resource on the way World War 2 affected people in the Highlands. Both the children and the older people taking part are getting a lot from the experience.' Jamie Gaukroger, Am Baile's Content Co-ordinator, adds: 'Preserving the memories and reminiscences of those who experienced life at that time is proving to be tremendously rewarding and worthwhile and will be of great value for generations to come.'

The interviews are being recorded and edited versions will be available as audio files with transcripts on the Am Baile website later this year. Transcripts in English and Gaelic will also be displayed in all Highland Libraries. In addition, the interviews will be accessible through the War Detectives website, along with the war reminiscences of people from all over Scotland.

War Detectives is a unique e-learning initiative that gives Scottish children the opportunity to learn first-hand from older generations about their experiences of living and working during the Second World War. It encourages schools and community participants to create a legacy of online learning resources, by helping primary school pupils to become 'War Detectives' and tell the story of the Second World War in their local area.

War Detectives is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and administered in Scotland by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS). It is part of Their Past Your Future Scotland, led by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC), a year-long programme commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

War Detectives

Their Past Your Future Scotland

5) Ireland's loss: Michael Davitt, Irish language poet, dies suddenly (Irish Gaelic)
Eoghan O Neill, Belfast 6/21/2005

Many tributes have been paid to Michael Davitt, one of the most prominent and innovative Irish language poets, who died suddenly at the weekend.

Aged only 55, Davitt died at his home in Sligo and will be buried in his native Cork. Michael Davitt was one of a generation of young poets who revolutionised modern Irish language poetry.

Brought up and educated in Cork, Davitt was much influenced by the poet Seán Ó Ríordáin. While a student at University College Cork, Davitt was among those who in 1970 set up the immensely influential poetry magazine, Innti.

The journal became a catalyst for the modernisation of Irish language poetry and a forum for some of the most talented young voices in Irish poetry. Indeed it inspired almost a 'movement' of poets. Davitt himself remained one of the most dynamic and distinctive voices of Irish poetry over the last 35 years.

His seminal collection, Bligeard Sráide, (1983), with it's urban and traditional themes being presented in urbanised traditional Irish was particularly groundbreaking.

Davitt's work enjoyed critical and popular acclaim and while he penned six collections of original poetry over the last 30 years he was not the most prolific of poets. Even so his poetry was always thoughtful and accessible and more than any other Irish language poet in recent times he introduced contemporary expression and syntax into modern poetry in Irish.

Writer Alan Titley described Davitt as 'the driving force behind modern Irish language poetry.' Fellow poet Gabriel Rosenstock said of Davitt, "thugsé an fhilíocht amach as póirsí dorcha na n-ollscoileanna go dtí an tsráid agus na pubanna" (he took Irish out from the dark porches of the
universities, out into the street and to the pub).

And in his tribute Arts Minister John O'Donoghue referred to the fact that Davitt had been described as 'the Bob Dylan of the Irish language.'

Throughout his life Michael Davitt worked in the Irish language medium, first with Gael - Linn in the 1970's in promoting the arts in Irish and later working for RTÉ in the 1980's until his early retirement in 1988. In 1994 he was presented with the Butler Award for Literature by the Irish - American Cultural Institute. He was also a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland set up by the Arts Council.
(Eurolang © 2005)

6) Sangschaw - Scots Cultural Competeition (Scots)

Promotit bi the Scots Language Society

10.30 am til 7.00 pm, Sunday 30th October 2005

The Corn Exchange, Melrose

The idea o Sangschaw cam frae takkin pleisure in the Mod. Whaurbyes the Mod ruises Scots Gaelic cultur weel an promotes - throu language, leiterature, sang, pipes an clarsach - the hants an history o the Gaels o the Heilans an Islands, Lawlanders (Borderers amang thaim) haes thair ain heirskep tae, wi a reinge o muisic, sang an letters sib til thon content o the Mod. Fiddle, cauld wind pipes, Scots sang, prose and poetry shuid mean as muckle til oorsels as Gaelic-wrocht cultur sen we ar sae sonsie as hae three leids makkin up oor Scottish identity - Scots, Gaelic an Inglis.

This year, syne, sees us tak a first step wi this Sangschaw event, a gaitherin ti ruise the Scots cultural heritage. It is ane o the aims o the Scots Leid Associe ti help fowk win at thair best Scots, an this is reflectit in the walin o prose, poems an sangs, alang wi the muisical aspects o this new gaitherin.

Clesses ither nor thaim that's listit on the entry form micht be brocht forrit in future years, an the organisers wad be gled o onie thochts an suggestions. This year, for instance, it wis decidit no ti pit forrit set pieces for the instrumental clesses, sen a puckle o thaim is for sindrie instruments wi sindert repertoires; sae performers is latten wale whit o thair ain muisic micht best mell wi the aim o the competeition: ti foster interest in Scots heirskep. The organisers can aye mak suggestions anent muisical pieces gin fowk needs that. Sangschaw is mair aboot a wey o daein an growein, raither nor haudin til onie rule-beuk, aimin ti bring on self-expression throu Scots, ti neibour fowks' ither cultural ploys in Gaelic an Inglis.

7) Making the Irish language work in Europe. (Irish Gaelic)
Released by: Clare Suttie
2005-06-22 06:22:03

Irish has been recognised as the 21st working language of the EU. Atlas supply translation services in Irish - as well as Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Cornish!


Making the Irish language work in Europe

While the arguments over the future of the European Constitution continue, London agency Atlas Translations is poised to benefit from a recent change to the list of languages used by the European Union (EU).

It was announced earlier this month that Irish, spoken by more than a third of Ireland's 4.1 million population, will become an official working language of the EU, the twenty-first language to be accorded this status.

This means that Irish can be used in communication within EU institutions, and translation of all the Regulations, Directives, and draft documents will be necessary. It is estimated that 2.5 million pages a year need to be translated for the European Commission alone.

Clare Suttie, Director of Atlas Translations, explained: "Legislation approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will now be translated into Irish, and interpretation from Irish will be available at European Parliament plenary sessions." There will inevitably be a huge increase in demand for Irish translators. "Atlas can call on its database of freelance translators and interpreters to provide fast, accurate translation services," says Clare.

Atlas, who have more than 14 years' experience, have a staff of 10 in their Covent Garden office but are able to call upon over 6000 specialist suppliers with skills in all the languages of Britain and Ireland -- not just Irish but also Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Cornish -- not to mention those of the countries that joined the EU in 2004, including Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese and Polish.

Notes for editors

Journalists seeking further information should contact Clare Suttie on 0207240 6666 in the first instance.

Atlas Translations was established in 1991, and is an established, professional company, with an excellent reputation within the language, communication and translation industry. Atlas Translations is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, the Association of Translation Companies and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. These bodies monitor the qualifications and competence of members, and define codes of practice.
Services include translation, proofreading, subtitling, localisation, interpreting, BSL interpreting, voiceovers, telemarketing, copywriting, indexing, transcription, Americanisation, brand checking, typesetting, deaf and blind communication services, Plain English, fact-checking, research, cultural awareness training and much more.

Atlas is able to offer a complete range of high quality language, communication and translation services from start to finish. Teams of experts, who are specialists in their fields, work only in their mother tongue. Hence Atlas attract major clients in numerous fields - banking, pharmaceutical, marketing and PR, computing, charities, museums and airlines - from Microsoft to Glaxo SmithKline. Atlas work in all languages -from American English and British Sign Language to Xhosa and Zulu.

Released by Atlas Translations 22 June 2005

Atlas Translations Ltd
14a Goodwin's Court
Covent Garden London WC2N 4LL
Tel - 0207 240 6666 Fax - 0207 240 6996

8) 3 articles ... (Welsh)

a) Radical changes needed to stave off Welsh language crisis, warns academic
Jenny Rees, Western Mail. Jun 23 2005

A RADICAL reappraisal of community education in rural parts of Wales is needed if the crisis facing the Welsh language is to be evaded, an expert will warn next week.

In the second of a series of lectures, Dwynwen Lloyd Raggett, head of Ceredigion County Council's Theatr Felinfach Community Education Centre, will take the podium during the Y Ffwrwm 2005 lecture series.

During the inaugural lecture, Prof Suzanne Romaine argued that mainstream education alone will not save a language.

Acknowledging the success of teaching Welsh as a second language in primary and secondary schools throughout Wales she warned that without the support of a strong social context these efforts could yet be in vain.

The Welsh-speaking heartlands of the west and north have been able to provide such a context. In the second lecture in the six event series Ms Raggett will argue that with the pervading economic, linguistic and cultural crisis threatening the very core of Welsh-speaking communities a radical reappraisal of community education in rural areas is required.
"Most rural schools in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire are called community schools," said Ms Raggett. "With so many under threat of closure or amalgamation it is a particularly apt moment to be looking at the potential of these village or area establishments as educational, cultural and economic powerhouses on a 24/7 basis."

She added, "Community education in the west of Wales has traditionally been the Cinderella of the education service. Realising its potential as a pacemaker designed to help these communities to meet the challenge of survival will require that it becomes a full member of the family.

"Nothing less than a fundamental change in status is needed if we are to meet this challenge."

The role of community education in developing sustainable Welsh communities, the second lecture in the six event series, will be presented at Theatr Felinfach, Ceredigion, on Wednesday, June 29 at 7.30pm. Admission will be free.

B) Tanni tells tales to promote fun new resources for young Welsh learners
Jenny Rees, Western Mail. Jun 23 2005

PARALYMPIC champion and award-winning Welsh learner Tanni Grey Thompson will be giving a Welsh storytelling session today.

The Sports Personality of the Year will be at the Wales Millennium Centre with her daughter Carys Olivia, three, to highlight the educational reading resources available to children through the medium of Welsh.

The event will promote resources published by CAA, Canolfan Astudiaethau Addysg/The Centre for Educational Studies - an educational publishing agency within the University of Wales Aberystwyth's School of Education and Lifelong Learning - which support learning Welsh as a second language.

Its latest resources include Camau Cwl, an innovative CD-Rom for Welsh beginners at secondary school level; Tipyn o G s, fun material for nursery and Key Stage 1 pupils, and Taith Iaith, multimedia resources for learning Welsh as a second language at Key Stage 3.

c)Death of leading Welsh guitarist
Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 6/23/2005

Wales and the Welsh language has lost one of its leading guitarists. Although Tich Gwilym was not a Welsh speaker, having been born in the anglicised south Wales Valleys, he contributed enormously over the years to Welsh language pop music as a guitarist and producer.
Tich Gwilym was the lead guitarist with Geraint Jarman a'r Cynganeddwyr, a band mainly of non Welsh speakers from south Wales who backed Welsh language poet Geraint Jarman - a band that helped to raise the standard of Welsh pop during the 1970s. Mr Gwilym was a great influence on young Welsh speaking bands of the time, which led to a resurgence in Welsh pop during this period.

One of the era's landmark records was the Cynganeddwyr's album Tacsi i'r Tywyllwch (A Taxi to Darkness), which heavily-featured Tich Gwilym's guitar work.

At the end of every Cynganeddwyr performance, Tich Gwilym would play the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, on his Fender Strat guitar, à la Jimi Hendrix's version of Stars and Stripes in Woodstock.

Y Cynganeddwyr, with Tich Gwilym, still made the occasional appearances, but over the last decade Tich Gwilym also toured Europe and Japan with folk singer Siân James. Not only was he interested in rock music, but he also had a small band playing Latin American music.

An evening of 1980s rock music in Caernarfon to launch a book on the subject at the beginning of July has now also become a night to remember Tich Gwilym 's contribution to the scene.

Mr Gwilym died in a house fire in Cardiff on 19 June, 2005. He was 54.
(Eurolang © 2005)

9) Braw idea for new chapter in Scottish children's literature (Scots)
Edinburgh Eveining News. 24th June, 2005.

A POPULAR children's author is spearheading a drive to encourage children to learn about their heritage by reading Scottish literature.

Edinburgh-based children's writer Joan Lingard has joined forces with other authors to launch the Braw project, urging schools to promote books written in Scotland to pupils.

Braw - which stands for Books, Reading and Writing - is the brainchild of Ms Lingard, the scheme's patron.

She dreamed up the project after she became concerned that reading Scottish literature was not being pushed enough by schools.

Ms Lingard said more must be done to make the country's young readers aware of Scottish writing.
And schools and the Scottish Executive must play a vital part in firing pupils' interest, she added.

Authors and writing exhibitions are expected to tour schools in every part of the country under the scheme, while books will be given away through the initiative, which was launched in the Capital this week.

The project is also set to promote writing as a worthwhile career which can be pursued in a Scottish child's own country, rather than hundreds of miles away in London.

Other authors involved in the Braw initiative include Keith Gray, Matthew Fitt, Nicola Morgan and Theresa Breslin.

Managed in conjunction with the Scottish Book Trust, Braw will be run from the company's headquarters in the Royal Mile.

Book Trust chief executive Marc Lambert said that it is "absolutely crucial" that more is done to make youngsters aware of the pleasures of reading.

Ms Lingard, who is based in the New Town, said that Scottish writing does not feature in classrooms enough.

"I feel that there has not always been sufficient support in Scotland compared to countries such as Eire and Norway," she said.

"I have found that many schools do not really know about half of the reading that is available.

"I would have expected it to be pushed more.

"A lot of schools use book forums from south of the Border and get a cut from them, which does not encourage children to read Scottish books.

"Perhaps more needs to be done as part of teacher training - maybe they should be made more aware about how they could offer support.

"It's important for them to be aware of the literature of their own country so that they can identify with it.

"It is part of their roots.

"I don't want them to be too narrow, but children should really be aware of their own heritage."

She added: "It could also encourage them to feel that they could be writers if they want to, and shows them that writers don't have to be based in London to be successful. The Scottish Executive should encourage Scottish reading too - I hope that it will give us some support.
"It is important that we go into all schools everywhere and not just in the central belt - this is essential."

The project is still in the early stages and a final programme has not yet been worked out.

However, it is expected to include authors' tours and exhibitions.

The Scottish Arts Council has provided lottery funding, while the Scottish Book Centre is supporting the project.

The group is now looking for further sponsorship from other organisations. Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, said: "There is not enough Scottish materials in schools or libraries, we almost distance ourselves away from it.

"This is also about reading for pleasure and getting that message across at as early an age as possible."

Gavin Wallace, head of literature at the Scottish Arts Council, added: "Scottish writers are increasingly writing books that inspire and catch the imagination of young people.

"Braw will help to introduce more young people in Scotland to their work while also supporting writers' careers."

This post has been edited by WizardofOwls on 02-Aug-2005, 09:33 AM
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

Part 2

June 26, 2005

1) HCF 10th Anniversary CD (Scottish Gaelic)
2) National Eisteddfod faces up to a tough future (Welsh)
3) Language demo at marina expansion (Welsh)
4) Language debate dominates Irish media (Irish Gaelic)
5) An end in sight for the high fares? (Scottish Gaelic)
6) Books round up (Scots)

June 27, 2005

7) Multiculturism and Irish official in the EU (Irish Gaelic)

July 1, 2005

8) Cur-Seachadan Samhraidh/Summer Activities (Scottish Gaelic)
9) In Ireland, few safe havens for an ancient tongue (Irish Gaelic)

June 26, 2005

1) HCF 10th Anniversary CD (Scottish Gaelic)

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 17:03:31 +0100
Subject: HCF 10th Anniversary CD
From: "Festival Team"

The Hebridean Celtic Festival Trust are delighted to announce the forthcoming launch of their 10th anniversary CD Imeachd : Odyssey.

Reflecting the amazing and creative odyssey of the Hebridean Celtic Festival over the last 10 years, this fabulous compilation CD features many major artists who have performed at the Festival:

Runrig, Capercaillie, Cliar, Hothouse Flowers, Instinkt, Waterboys,Afrocelt Soundsystem, Slàinte Mhath, Finlay MacDonald, Dòchas, Mary Smith, Dougie MacLean, Shooglenifty, La Bottine Souriante, Mary Jane Lamond, Baka Beyond, Sharon Shannon.

Available from 1 July exlusively to festival fans for the next month, this fabulous collection is priced at £12.99 plus shipping. Preorder now from or pick up your copy during this years sell-out festival.


Kind regards,
The Festival Team
[email protected]

2) National Eisteddfod faces up to a tough future (Welsh)
Gareth Morgan, Western Mail. Jun 25 2005

THE National Eisteddfod must tread a careful line between "selling out" and gathering important funds to safeguard the future, marketing experts have warned.

John Jewell, a lecturer in advertising and consumer society at Cardiff University, is among those warning that it must try to keep its integrity in the face of mounting money pressures.

Yesterday the Welsh Language Board met to discuss the cultural event's financial situation, looking at the Grant Thornton report into Eisteddfod funds.

The report reveals that the National Eisteddfod of Wales (NEW) has a funding deficit of £111,000 and needs an additional £188,000 a year to survive. At the meeting in Caerphilly, the board heard that the festival needs a major increase in public funding and an agenda for future discussions was set out.
Last year, the Eisteddfod made a loss of £291,000 after the event was held in Newport, while the 2003 National Eisteddfod in Maldwyn generated a surplus of just £3,000.

Public sector funds are vital for the Welsh cultural event, but are not unlimited.

Private sector cash could also be key - as long as it is handled sensitively.

"A huge company like Coca-Cola could wipe out the Eisteddfod's debts immediately but it would then be asking - what are we getting out of this?" said Mr Jewell last night.

This year's event in North Wales will already be the most branded Eisteddfod in history.

Record levels of private sponsorship have been attracted for the festival in Eryri - this income will stand at £400,000 compared with £300,000 last year.

A record number of stalls have also been attracted to the Maes - more than 400, exceeding the previous record of 327.

"The Eisteddfod does of course need sponsorship in today's corporate climate, but it is rather alarming that it has to submit itself to market forces," said Mr Jewell.

"It is the same with football teams and stadiums - like when Arsenal move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, or the furore over White Rock in Swansea.

"I see it as an unfortunate dilemma, to survive without further dilution, but marketing companies would say that you cannot stand apart.

"Even charities have to adapt."

Alastair Croft, head of client services at Cardiff PR company Golley Slater, agreed.

He said, "From Coke to Mini, if it were going to be sponsored it would have to fit the Eisteddfod audience. And these companies would want their pound of flesh.

"It could become the 'Something Eisteddfod' with a brand name inserted.

"But whether commercialism goes with all that is great about the Eisteddfod, is another thing."

Despite the recent drive towards more sponsorship, the Eisteddfod is currently aiming its thoughts towards the public sector.

Elfed Roberts, director of the National Eisteddfod, said, "The Eisteddfod in Eryri this year promises to be the most successful ever. The local fundraising target has already been met, and we have attracted record levels of private sponsorship.
"I now look forward to working with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Language Board to secure long-term, sustainable funding for the Eisteddfod."

The WLB said it would want further meetings after considering the Grant Thornton report.

Meri Huws, chair of the board, said, "It is positive, because we now have a clear financial picture. It will set out the agenda and we have the facts in front of us, instead of lots of emotional debate and shifting figures."

More public sector funds could be on the way with the Welsh Local Government Association also discussing the Eisteddfod yesterday.

Alex Aldridge, WLGA leader, and Meryl Gravell, presiding officer, said the 22 councils had unanimously reaffirmed their commitment to the festival's long-term future.

3) Language demo at marina expansion (Welsh)
BBC NEWS. Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK

Police were called to a demonstration blocking the entrance to Pwllheli marina in north Wales on Saturday.

Around 20-30 members of Welsh language pressure group Cymuned took part in the action.

Cymuned opposes Gwynedd council's decision to add an extra 300 moorings at the council-owned site.

The protest ended at around 1200 BST, and police said that a handful of protestors were to be reported for alleged obstruction.

At the same time as the Cymuned's action, there was a counter protest from people who support the plans, which they say will bring 20 new jobs for local people.

Earlier this month, Cymuned's annual conference voted to oppose the plans over its fears that non-Welsh speakers will be attracted to the area.

The scheme, which has been backed by the board of Gwynedd council, is due to go before the full council on Thursday.

A police spokesman said vehicles had been used to block the entrance of the marina.

Richard Evans, the chairman of Cymuned's executive committe said that reports had shown "the damage the extension would do".
"We now feel we have no choice but to take action in order to reveal the real depth of feeling on this matter," he said.

"We are prepared to protest in this manner over and over again in the coming months."

Dwyfor's planning committee will consider a full application over the scheme in September.

Last-minute decision

Backers of the scheme include Pwllheli town councillor Ian Roberts, who said the scheme would bring jobs and benefit future generations.

"I support the development of Pwllheli marina for the simple reason that we owe the future generation something to look forward to," he said.

The development was proposed at the council meeting by development portfolio leader and Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Iwan. Plaid made a last-minute decision to back the scheme.

It is believed that 22 of Plaid's 28 Gwynedd Council members had initially rejected the proposals.

However, all but four are thought to have decided to support the expansion after an extra £1.5m to ease the impact of the development was proposed.

4) Language debate dominates Irish media (Irish Gaelic)
Belfast 6/25/2005 , by Eoghan O Neill

Despite the Irish language being somewhat neglected by journalists and commentators in Ireland in the past, it is at present one of the hottest topics in the media. The campaign for official status for the language in Europe, the cost of implementing the Official Languages Act, and the decision to affirm the Irish language name of a popular holiday resort as the sole official name, are presently the stuff of much controversy and debate.

While last week saw much reporting and congratulations after the success of the language in Europe, this week it was the implementation of the Official Languages Act which was under the spotlight. A front page article in the Irish Times questioned the cost of implementing elements of the Official Languages Act.

Under the title 'O Cuív's language Act set to eat into public body budgets' the article predicted a cost of millions of euro a year for the 642 public bodies who will be obliged to produce Irish language versions of their advertisements.

The story was of a similar nature to other media reports in recent times which have questioned the cost of having an Official Languages Act to guarantee services in Irish to citizens who speak Irish. The fact that this report made it to the front page of the influential Irish Times however ensured a period of claim and counter-claim.

The Irish Times article quoted a spokesperson for the national airline, Aer Lingus, as saying that the costs involved 'were not a small amount of money. We are in a competitive environment...this is not an anti-Irish language issue for us, it is far from that but is an issue that adds to our costs and not our competitors.'

In it's editorial the newspaper suggested that Minister Ó Cuív's approach to the issue risked alienating people from the Irish language. A message which prompted Seosamh Mac Donnacha, head of the Irish language promotion body, Foras na Gaeilge, to publicly defend the Act.

Mr Mac Donncha expressed the view that the way the newspaper had covered the story revealed a basic misunderstanding of the importance of the Act to Irish speakers, and to the implications of implementing the Act.

He reminded the Irish Times that the Irish language was afforded status as the first official language in the Constitution and that the state as such had a responsibility to support it. And he further stated, 'The cost of implementing the Act can be significantly reduced by making the best
use of staff already available in the civil service, by evaluating Irish language competency when recruiting and by making the best use of bilingual design techniques when producing forms, reports etc."

And as a final thought, "It would appear from today's negative coverage that there is an opinion amongst The Irish Times editorial team that although the Irish language is valuable the State should not afford it any extra protection." A controversy, which is set to run.

The decision of Minister Ó Cuív to designate An Daingean as the sole official name of a town in County Kerry which was previously also known as Dingle has also fuelled the talk shows, the letters pages and the commentators. The designation is a result of the implementation of the Place Names Order (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) 2004 which gives legal status for the first time to Irish language versions of place-names in the Gaeltacht.

The issue has split locals in An Daingean, which is in the Gaeltacht, with some of them arguing that the town has been branded internationally for 30 years as Dingle and that the loss of that name would be detrimental to

Others welcomed the move which they say will emphasise the town's Gaelic identity and attract tourists. It's not clear as to which of the two camps are in the majority but the Minister is certainly not for turning, pointing out, "It's An Daingean, full stop. If you are in the Gaeltacht, one would imagine the first brand you would sell is the Irish language. The Irish language brand is the brand."

He emphasised that many visitors to Ireland come specifically to experience a culture and life which is distinct and different and that affirming the name An Daingean would enhance this.

While the various controversies rumble on English and Irish-speaking tennis fans have had a meeting of minds. It is the general consensus of all those who admire Wimbeldon that TG4's scoop in getting the broadcasting rights in Ireland is a fantastic bonus. In previous years Irish followers of Wimbledon have been somewhat discomforted by the British channels fixation with the British hopefuls and their constant references to Henman Hill. Cnoc Henman is rarely mentioned in TG4 reports. (Eurolang © 2005)

5) An end in sight for the high fares? (Scottish Gaelic)
MURCHADH MacLEÒID. Scotland on Sunday. 26th June, 2005.

Who has not heard the old saying: "The only politicians which ever did us any good was the one that went down with the bottles of whisky?"

But maybe the Scottish parliament and the Executive is about to do something else which will make a big difference for good to the Highlands and Islands with their scheme to help bring down air fares to the Highlands and to have them run services more frequently and at more suitable times.

Which of us did not encounter people in the Lowlands who were shocked at how rarely planes fly to the area and also the fares which are charged? Some cost more than a pound per mile. You would think that you were driving them along the M25 under Alistair Darling's scheme to impose road-charging.

The most-commonly touted scheme is a plan which would see airlines given some subsidies in order to run services to the Highlands and Islands. And in order to get the financial support they would have to agree to deals about the fares and how often their services would run. Another possibility would see extra cash given to bring down landing charges.

It is claimed that the scheme would cost about £12m and that it would bring benefits of about three times that to the Highlands and Islands.

The only thing which it has against it is that the civil servants are dubious about the scheme and that they think that it would cost a lot more than the £12m which have been mentioned.

Yeah right.

They were the ones who told us that the new Scottish parliament building would "only" cost £40m, and who allowed the project to go out of control.

They were the ones who were years opposed to the good of the Highlands and the Gaels. The ones who told Sarah Boyack that she could not allow Gaelic road-signs to be erected in the Highlands lest they would kill us all. Those who attempted to water down the Gaelic bill. The ones who said from the very beginning that there was no need for there to be a Gaelic officer in the shiny new Scottish parliament. They are the ones who are unwilling to have civil service jobs moved to the north.

They were the ones who told Donald Dewar that he could not remove the tolls on the Skye Bridge. Who now insist, that we must, absolutely must, place the Cal-Mac routes out to competitive tender.

They should not know all about projects which will not work. If they tell you that something will not work, then it is probably an indicator that it will be just fine.

Obviously, there are questions about the fine detail of the scheme. Should the services between Stornoway really be subsidised given that there are now a large number of connections between the Lewis and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness? There are two companies battling it out on the route to Edinburgh, and there are two airlines and a ferry service competing for custom to Inverness. Might it not be better to save the money for Stornoway and instead use more of it for services to Uist, Islay, Tiree, and Orkney and Shetland instead of using it for an island where competition seems to be working reasonably well? One thing I can never understand is the reluctance to have a service to connect Lewis to Inverness, Edinburgh, or Glasgow later on a Saturday. One thing about the people of Lewis, they don't mind working very late on Saturday.

But the people of other islands should mind very much about how difficult it is for them to travel to the cities and then get back on the same day. If we can afford ministerial cars so that those who tell the rest of us to walk all the time instead of being lazy can be ferried around, then there should also be some way of keeping air services going to some of our most isolated communities. Other countries manage to get away with it. Indeed, the rules actually allow countries to designate isolated areas so that their air routes can be subsidised to support the communities.

There are some looking for other ways to use the financial support. Some wonder whether it might be better to use the cash for marketing and for resources at the airport - something like the scheme which operates to attract foreign airlines to Scotland.

But that would be little other than a waste of money. No-one needs to be told that the services exist, the problem is how expensive they are and how seldom they operate.

There is also the idea of using the money for cash-back schemes for islanders to give them money back when they buy the tickets to cut the cost of travel for them. But that would be a very difficult scheme to administer and the money could run out quickly, and it would do nothing to attract tourists to the Highlands and Islands. It would be an invitation to fiddle the system, who would decide who deserved the cashback? And moreover, if the people of Glasgow and Edinburgh are stumping up for this through their taxes why on earth should they not receive some benefit in the form of cheaper travel to their own country? It is only sensible and fair.

The reason that the subsidy for airfares or landing charges makes more sense than the other schemes is because it would give the airlines the incentive to push on and try and make more money by attracting more passengers. It would work just as Caledonian MacBrayne receives a lump sum and is then free to make extra money through it operations.

The people of the Highlands and Islands have been too long without the benefit of the travel revolution. It is time that changed, and changed quickly.

6) Books round up (Scots)
STUART KELLY.Scotland on Sunday. 26th June, 2005.


ASLS. John Corbett and Bill Findlay, eds

This excellent volume contains five classic plays in Scots translation, ranging from Robert Kemp's Molière in the 1940s to Peter Arnott's Brecht in the 1990s.

The great virtue of such an undertaking is the extent to which a Scots version can reveal aspects of the original lost in a standard rendering.

For example, we have Douglas Young's Aristophanes, recapturing some of the exuberant wordplay and wildly diverse registers of the Athenian original, and Victor Carin's adaptation of the Venetian demotic of Carlo Goldoni.

Rather than appearing a dry academic exercise, these plays crackle with vigour.

Also try: James Robertson, Fae the Flouers o Evil

June 27, 2005

7) Multiculturism and Irish official in the EU (Irish Gaelic)

In a message dated 6/27/2005 5:34:44 A.M. Central Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:

De:: Carmen Rodríguez
Fecha:: vie jun 24, 2005 3:29 pm
Asunto:: Multiculturalidad e Irlandés oficial en la UE pirrakitas
Sin conexión Sin conexión
Enviar correo-e Enviar correo-e
A chairde,

La oficialidad de la lengua irlandesa en el marco de la UE está dando lugar a no poca controversia en Irlanda. Envío como información y reflexión esta carta aparecida en el Irish Times de hoy. Tá súil agam go mbeidh sé suimiúil daoibh(espero que sea de su interés).

Beir bua agus beannacht

[email protected]

A Eagarthóir, a chara,

As members of a group of Irish-speaking immigrants to Ireland, iMeasc, we wish to strongly dispute the insinuation in the Irish Times' editorial of June 20th that English, to the exclusion of Irish, will be the sole language of choice for immigrants to Ireland. Our recently formed group currently has over twenty highly-fluent Irish-speaking immigrants as well as Irish citizens with at least one immigrant parent on its list, and we are in the process of actively collating further members. Almost all of our group are working at a professional level with the Irish language in areas as diverse as teaching, community work, translation, journalism, broadcasting, an Irish- anguage cafe, IT, retail, universities, drama, street theatre and puppetry. It is also worth noting that a number of our group were highly fluent or at least had some fluency in Irish prior to ever settling in Ireland.

Lest our efforts be tiresomely and patronisingly dismissed as "trying to be more Irish than the Irish", iMeasc was formed directly out of deep concerns as to where repeated attempts in the national media to use immigrants as a weapon against the Irish language, and on a lesser level, native Irish culture, could lead. The immigrants in our group are all working extremely hard in their diverse contributions to Irish-language life and culture in Ireland and deserve not to be dismissed as bizarre and slightly amusing, but on the whole irrelevant, aberrations, but taken seriously as a growing reality within modern Ireland.

Is mise le meas,

Ariel Killick (Cathaoirleach)
Alex Hijmans
Henry Leperlier
Andreas Vogel
Tony Pratschke
Chantal Kobel
Cóilín Ó Floinn
Déirdre D'Auria
Gearóid Ó Maelearcaidh

609 South Circular Road
Dublin 8
[email protected]
086 3440 668

July 1, 2005

8) Cur-Seachadan Samhraidh/Summer Activities (Scottish Gaelic)

Lorgaidh sibh fiosrachadh an cois am post-d seo mu thachartasan òigridh (Inbhir Nis) air an cuir air adhart bho Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd an t-samhraidh seo.

Please find attached information on Inverness Gaelic youth activities offered by the Highland Council this summer.


Sgoil Shamhraidh Mhealanais, 3-5 Lùnastal (August) 2005

Mu dheidhinn

The Sgoil Shamhraidh is a three-day teaching event for adults and children held in Melness, North West Sutherland offering workshops, evening activities and a tutor/participant cèilidh on the Friday night. The summer school is open to both adults and children, offering to adults all day Gaelic classes with intermediate and advanced students getting the opportunity to learn some of the local dialect through informal cèilidhs with local speakers as well as using taped material. Come along and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, plenty of Gaelic and friendly people!

For three days tuition the costs are £35, or £7.00 a session for adults. £25 for children for the three days.

Cuspairean air fad

Gaelic (beginners and intermediate) - Roddy MacLeod
Gaelic Duthaich Mhic Aoidh (upper intermediate/advanced) -Brian Mearns
Pipes/chanter - Sandy Forbes
Accordion - John Sikorski
Whistle - Marissa Melville
Gaelic Singing, adults and kids classes- Deirdre MacTaggart
Ceilidh & step dancing - John Sikorski
Drama - Ruaraidh Nicolson
Group work - Rhona Sutherland
Airson barrachd fiosrachadh, feuch is cuir fios gu Catriona NicLeòid
air 01641 561 255 neo cur post-dealain gu: [email protected]
Applications to be recieved by July 1st.

Brian Ó hEadhra - Oifigear Leasachaidh
Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis
c/o 5 Caolshràid Mhìcheil,
Inbhir Nis,

Fòn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]

9) In Ireland, few safe havens for an ancient tongue (Irish Gaelic);_ylt=Al...HBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-

By Ron DePasquale, Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
Thu Jun 30, 4:00 AM ET

INIS MEÁIN ISLAND, IRELAND - On this tiny, wind-swept island at Europe's western edge, a shopkeeper makes a proud gesture toward the radio, which blares the midday news in an ancient, dying language.

Irish Gaelic is still the native tongue of some 55,000 people who live mostly along the west coast. But it is under siege. Even Inis Meáin, one of three Aran Islands off the coast of County Galway famed for old-fashioned ways, is no longer a safe haven.

"Irish is in trouble," says Cuomhán Ó Fátharta, Inis Meáin's sole shopkeeper. "When I was young, you had to learn English in school because there was no TV. I couldn't really speak English until I was 12, but now the kids are all picking it up young."

As Ireland's mother tongue struggles to survive, the government has stepped up its contentious efforts to save the language, known here simply as Irish.

The European Union (EU) gave Irish a symbolic boost when it recognized it as an official language on June 13, three decades after Ireland joined the union. Road signs in the scattered Irish-speaking towns and islands - known collectively as the Gaeltacht - have posted place names exclusively in Irish since April. And new Gaeltacht housing developments must reserve homes for Irish speakers.

Critics call these tactics costly shenanigans that only engender resentment against a language that schoolchildren must study for 13 years. The minority who become fluent have little chance to speak Irish outside the Gaeltacht.
"For the majority of students, the Irish language now exists for the sake of perpetuating its own death grip on the school system," columnist Louise Holden wrote recently in The Irish Times.

Yet on Inis Meáin, Mr. Ó Fátharta says the road sign kerfuffle won't last. Tourists will adapt, he says, and such forceful government action is essential to sustain the language. He points to the success of state-supported Irish-language radio and TV, which have grown in popularity, and the invasion of students who come to County Galway to study Irish every summer.

"People want to learn the language," he says. "That's why they keep coming."

In mostly English-speaking Galway City, pubs serve as a place for people to speak Irish. At Taffees, where traditional Irish bands play every night, an encouraging sign at the bar says, "Irish spoken here." Yet many native Irish speakers feel uncomfortable speaking their language outside their hometowns, a self- consciousness that experts say prevents the spread of Irish as a spoken language.

Irish has been declining for centuries, since families hoping to better their prospects made children speak English instead of Irish. Hoping to reverse that trend, the nation's founders made Irish the primary language and a core school subject after independence from Britain in 1921.

Yet today, just 43 percent of Irish citizens say they can speak the language, and only 1.4 percent are native speakers.

Michael Faherty, who rents bicycles to tourists on Inis Meáin, says he is realistic about the language's hold on the young. "They're turning to English now," he says as he fixes a bicycle to a background of traditional Irish music. "It's more fashionable."

Irish language activists want a bilingual nation. Some blame a curriculum that focuses on grammar and rote memorization, rather than teaching conversational Irish. Others say that the complex language must be modernized, following Israel's success in reviving Hebrew.

The growth of Irish-language schools, or gaelscoileanna, has lifted hopes for the language's survival. Outside Gaeltacht areas, 52 Irish-language elementary schools have been created since 1993, bringing the number to 120. And more books are being translated into Irish; students can now read Harry Potter in the old language.

The lucrative field of official Irish translation is also booming, thanks to a law passed two years ago that requires all government documents and services to be provided in Irish. The new EU designation created a need for dozens more well-paid Irish speakers to translate EU documents and interpret at parliamentary and ministerial meetings. Yet the government says it can't find enough to keep up with the work.

An elderly woman on Inis Meáin, wearing a traditional long dark skirt and shawl, spoke wistfully about her native language.
"I don't know who will speak the Irish after the old people are gone," says the 80-year-old woman, who did not give her name. "The youngsters are all learning English, too much English."

Copyright © 2005 The Christian Science Monitor

This post has been edited by WizardofOwls on 02-Aug-2005, 09:39 AM
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

Part 3

July 3, 2005

1) British Government has"no current plans" for UK lesser-used languages to be used in Europe (All Celtic Languages)
2) Report recommends Scots language support (Scots and Scottish Gaelic)
3) Gaelic MP calls against English only rule in UK Parliament (All Celtic Languages)
4) Microsoft has Gaelic LIP on (Irish Gaelic)

July 5, 2005

5) Dodds furious at money for Gaelic (Irish Gaelic)

July 10, 2005

6) A bilingual Wales is a step closer, says Welsh minister (Welsh)
7) The schoolchild who forget to do his homework (Scottish Gaelic)

July 11, 2005


July 12, 2005
9) History of the Celtic Languages (All Celtic Languages)

July 3, 2005

1) British Government has"no current plans" for UK lesser-used languages to be used in Europe (All Celtic Languages)
Brussel / Bruxelles 7/1/2005 , by Davyth Hicks and Màrtainn MacLeòid

The UK Government has stated that it has "no current plans" to allow the usage of the Britain's lesser-used languages in the EU institutions despite a recent EU Council ruling giving the go- ahead. In contrast, Catalan, Basque and Galician can be used because Spain has already given its assent to the new provisions.

On Wednesday Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar, SNP) tabled a written question in the UK Parliament asking "whether the Government will implement the EU linguistic regime, agreed at the General Affairs Council of 13 June, with respect to any of the UK's languages in addition to English."

Douglas Alexander, Minister for Europe, replied that : "The General Affairs and External Relations Council of 13 June adopted conclusions, on a proposal from Spain, for a degree of official recognition in the EU of all languages that have official status in member states, either through their constitutions or national law. This means that member states may enter into administrative arrangements with the EU institutions over which languages may be used in relations with them, with the member state meeting all the direct or indirect costs incurred."

He continued that : "Member states have agreed that any such arrangement should not have any effect on the otherwise efficient functioning of the institutions or on the legal status of the existing official languages of the Union. At the moment, Spain is the only country to have requested such arrangements for its regional languages. The Government have no current plans to make similar provisions for UK languages."

In the Scottish Parliament SNP MSP Rob Gibson tabled a similar written question to on Wednesday asking whether the Scottish Executive would be asking the UK government to implement these new provisions.

Scottish Minister Peter Peacock replied that : "The EU Council of Ministers has recently adopted a set of conclusions about the administrative arrangements which might be made to facilitate the official use of lesser-used languages. Scottish Ministers will be seeking further clarification on the practical implications of such arrangements in order to establish whether they would offer any practical benefits for Scottish Gaelic speakers and how the potential of diverting scarce Gaelic language resources to such activity would impact on other Gaelic development priorities."

Commenting on the Scottish Government's more ambiguous response, Rob Gibson told Eurolang that: "The Scottish Executive, in contrast to the UK government, does not rule out the possibility of Gaelic gaining the same status as Catalan, Basque and Galician for use in the European

"However the priorities for using scarce resources for Gaelic should be removed by providing sufficient cash to meet both domestic and international development of Scotland's oldest tongue," he added.

Questioned on the issue Sinn Féin (GUE) MEP Bairbre de Bruin told Eurolang: "I was glad to see that the Spanish government requested administrative arrangements with the EU institutions over which languages may be used in relations with them, in respect of Basque, Catalan and Galician, although I would also have supported these languages being given the same status as Irish.

She added that "I feel that, at the very least, the British government should now seek to make the same arrangements for Welsh speakers and speakers of Gaelic in Scotland."

Speaking to Eurolang, Aran Jones, leader of the Welsh NGO Cymuned, said that the move displayed "an arrogant attitude towards the lesser used languages of Britain," he questioned whether the UK statement was "legally acceptable under the 1993 Welsh Language Act," which gives equality of status of Welsh with English in Wales.

Mr Jones stated that : "Cymuned calls upon the Government to re-think this issue at once, and calls upon the Welsh Assembly Government to publicly declare that this government decision is both wrong and immoral."

Currently the UK state holds the European Presidency, it will be of interest to see if it can display some European credentials and at least seek to match the Spanish initiative with its lesser-used languages. (Eurolang © 2005)

2) Report recommends Scots language support (Scots and Scottish Gaelic)
Màrtainn MacLeòid, Glaschu / Glasgow 6/29/2005

A high powered Scottish Executive appointed taskforce has recommended enhanced status for Scotland's indigenous languages Gaelic and Scots.

The Cultural Commission, which reported last week, was charged with reviewing Government support for culture in Scotland. The review took a broad view of culture, investigating areas as diverse as the arts, creative industries, architecture, libraries, museums and the languages of Scotland.

The group's final report "Our next major enterprise?" makes a series of recommendations including a £100M increase in culture spending, a Culture Bill by 2007, and the creation of a new cultural agency, Culture Scotland, and new Culture Fund.

The Commission refers to Gaelic and Scots as "national treasures" which both strengthen the Scottish identity and the distinctiveness of Scotland internationally. To protect and develop the languages, the establishment of an Institute for the Indigenous Languages of Scotland is recommended to provide coordination on language initiatives, to provide information about Scotland's languages and to stimulate research and develop language policy. The institute would be charged with preparing a National Indiginous Language Strategy for the development and promotion of Gaelic and Scots.

In the field of education, it is suggested that all schools in Scotland should encourage awareness of Gaelic and Scots and respect for linguistic diversity.

While the report makes recommendations for both languages, those relating to Scots are by far the more radical. The Commission states that the Scots language should receive the same level of funding as Gaelic. At present funding for Scots can be measured in thousands whereas Gaelic funding comes to several million.

It is also recommended that a question relating to Scots be inserted into the census in order to formally measure the number of Scots speakers. The status of Scots should also be enhanced by key institutions and bodies making use of the language in a variety of physical and virtual spaces through signage, websites and publications. (Eurolang © 2005)

Links: The Cultural Commission -

3) Gaelic MP calls against English only rule in UK Parliament (All Celtic Languages)
Màrtainn MacLeòid, Glaschu/Glasgow 6/28/2005

Angus Brendan MacNeil MP has called for the relaxing of rules which prohibit the use of languages other than English in the UK Parliament. The recently elected Scottish nationalist Member of Parliament for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) constituency is unhappy that he may only use a few words of Scottish Gaelic in Parliament at present before parliamentary rules dictate that he must turn to English.

Mr MacNeil, a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Barra, used a few short sentences in the language in his maiden speech on 26th May in which he referred to Gaelic as the language that made Scotland a distinct entity and mentioned its close links with Irish and Manx Gaelic.

The nationalist member is now calling upon the UK Parliament to allow more substantial use of the language in its daily work as is already the case in the devolved Scottish Parliament where members may use Gaelic both in committee and in the chamber.

Mr MacNeil is asking Parliamentary authorities to consider providing simultaneous translation equipment to allow the use of Gaelic in committee, starting initially with the Scottish Standing Committees. If successful, translation facilities could then be provided in further committees and in chamber business.

It is intended that allowing the use of Gaelic would raise awareness of the UK's other indigenous languages amongst parliamentarians and would also encourage learners as well as native speakers to use the language in Parliament. At present Mr MacNeil is the only fluent Gaelic speaker in the House of Commons.

Any move to lift restrictions on the use of languages other than English in Parliament would also be likely to benefit the other autochthonous languages of the UK. The use of Irish and Cornish, like Gaelic, are currently not allowed in Parliamentary procedures. With Welsh the situation differs; its use is permitted in the Welsh Grand Committee, the Welsh Affairs Committee and in Parliamentary proceedings held in Wales. However, as is the case with Gaelic, the use of Welsh is not permitted in chamber. (Eurolang © 2005)

4) Microsoft has Gaelic LIP on (Irish Gaelic)
By ElectricNews.Net. Published Thursday 30th June 2005 07:27 GMT

Users of Microsoft Windows and Office can now install an Irish Gaelic version of the software.

The Gaelic Language Interface Pack (LIP) can be downloaded from Microsoft's site or, free of charge. The packs are supported by Microsoft and Foras na Gaeilge, an agency responsible for fostering the use of Gaelic among the population in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Microsoft and Foras na Gaeilge developed the interface, localising over 600,000 terms across both products. The interface also benefited from extensive consultation with Gaelic speakers and community groups, who helped with vocabulary selection and testing processes. The software was launched by Eamon O Cuiv, the Republic of Ireland's minister for community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs.

"Under the Official Languages Act we made a commitment to ensure better availability and higher standards of public services through Irish," Minister O Cuiv said in a statement. "This initiative will aid that endeavour immeasurably making it easier for our public servants to work through Irish."

The Windows XP pack is available from Wednesday, but only for users who have installed SP2. The LIP that translates Office 2003 into Irish Gaelic will be available from the beginning of the academic year.

Microsoft and Foras na Gaeilge support the product and users can get support by calling 01-4502113 or emailing [email protected]

The initiative is part of Microsoft's Local Language Programme, which aims to increase access to technology to all by enabling people to work through their native language.

The Irish Gaelic version is not a full localisation. Users install the local language version on top of an English-language version of Windows XP and Office and approximately 85 per cent of the programmes are translated.

Ireland is one of Microsoft's localisation hubs and its European Product Development Centre (EPDC) is located in Sandyford in Dublin, translating more than 100 Microsoft products into 27 languages. Microsoft employs 1,600 people in Ireland.

Microsoft launched an Irish Gaelic spell-checking function for Office XP in 2003. The product was developed by Irish software firm Carlow Answers.

© ElectricNews.Net

July 5, 2005

5) Dodds furious at money for Gaelic (Irish Gaelic)

By Michael McHugh. Belfast Telegraph.
29 June 2005

A furious row erupted last night over an alleged imbalance in official funding for Irish and Ulster Scots bodies.

The DUP accused the Government of discriminating against unionists after it emerged the Irish language has received millions of pounds more in official aid.

Supporters of the Irish language point out that the body responsible, Foras Na Gaelige, has responsibility for a wider range of groups and speakers, whereas the Ulster Scots Agency is primarily concerned with a minority of speakers in Northern Ireland and border regions.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has learned that since 2001, the Ulster Scots Agency received £5.9m as opposed to £14.5m for its Irish counterpart.

He said: "It is absolutely scandalous that there should be such an imbalance.

"It is a legacy of years of government giving priority to Irish culture. Now they are being challenged on this by the Ulster Scots community, the DUP and by the wider unionist community."

Some of the difference has been blamed on the relatively late arrival of Ulster Scots development bodies.

SDLP Irish language spokesman Patsy McGlone said the wider responsibilities of the Irish Language Agency justified the extra funding.

"The Irish language has a lot more speakers and has to cater for a well-established network of people across the island, whereas the Ulster Scots Agency has had to develop from scratch. Ulster Scots only caters for one of the provinces, whereas Foras Na Gaelige has to cater for all of them," he said.

"There is over-demand in terms of the Foras Na Gaelige budget. If you look at it per capita Ulster Scots is probably well enough catered for."

The British government pays a quarter of the funding for Irish with the Republic the other three quarters. The local administration provides three quarters of the budget for the Ulster Scots Agency.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure said: "The difference of levels of funding for the Ulster Scots Agency and Foras Na Gaelige reflects the stage of development of both Ulster Scots and Irish," he said.

6) Second Annual Cornish Weekend in America (Cornish)

Forwarded Message: ---

When: Thursday, 4 August through Sunday, 7 August 2005
Faculty: Ben Bruch (Brogh) , Bard of the Cornish Gorseth, Harvard PhD in Celtic Languages and Literature, and KDL (Kernewek dre Lyther) North American faculty.
Where: Berkeley Springs, WV

Join us in the picturesque Appalachian Mountain resort town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, for the second annual Cornish language weekend in America. The weekend will be led by Ben Bruch, Harvard PhD, Bard of the Cornish Gorseth, and North American faculty, KDL. The weekend will provide an opportunity for intensive review of Cornish through speaking and study, as well as Cornish music, food and fellowship with other students, all in a charming setting only two to four hour's drive from many north-eastern metropolitan areas. Please contact Ben at [email protected] for more information. A review of last year's weekend, both in Cornish
and English, and information about Berkeley Springs in English can be found at the links below.


A-dro/About Berkeley Springs:

July 10, 2005

6) A bilingual Wales is a step closer, says Welsh minister (Welsh)
Penygroes 7/8/2005 , by Dafydd Meirion

It has been "another great year for the Welsh language" according to Alun Pugh, the Welsh Assembly's Minister for the Welsh Language in a recently published report. He adds that "it shows that we have continued to make good progress in reaching our goal of a truly bilingual Wales."

The second annual report into the Welsh Assembly Government's Iaith Pawb [Language for All] strategy and the Assembly's own Welsh Language Scheme details the progress made to promote and sustain the language across the whole spectrum of Welsh life.

Although the 2001 Census figures showed the first increase for decades in the number of Welsh speakers throughout Wales, campaign groups say that while progress has been made, there has been a sharp decline in the language's heartlands.

"Who would have thought five years ago that Welsh would appear on the UK passport or that Microsoft Office would be available in Welsh," says Mr Pugh, who has himself learnt the language. "These examples show how the Welsh language is now featuring in our daily lives - a sign that we are moving closer to a bilingual Wales."

"We are also investing in education, from early years right through to higher education and adult learning, giving far more people the opportunity to learn a little or improve fluency throughout their lives. We want all people in Wales to be proud of the Welsh Language, knowing that we will only achieve a bilingual Wales if we promote the language positively to all."

According to the report, the highlights of Welsh Assembly Government's Welsh language initiatives in 2004-05 include: 19,476 registered adult Welsh learners (exceeding the target of 18,300), Welsh appearing on all UK passports from 2006 onwards, Welsh language interface packs for Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003 launched, a 16% increase in sales of Welsh language books, Welsh now taught to all pre-school children in English medium settings, the Potentia initiative having helped create 250 jobs for Welsh speakers in 209 business start-ups, 212 Welsh medium early years' practitioners receiving training (exceeding the target of 150 by 2006-07, and on course for at least 450), a 99.7% take up by primary schools of free Welsh medium classroom materials as a result of an investment of £580,000, £3m to increase the numbers of Higher Education lecturers able to teach in Welsh, and 5,500 National Health staff having undertaken the Welsh Language Awareness Training Programme since its launch in Autumn 2004.
But the Welsh language pressure group Cymuned, although welcoming these achievements, says that if the heartlands of the language are not secured, then they are worthless.

"It is still the same old thing spouted by the Assembly Government," says Aran Jones, its chief executive. "Although we welcome the increase in the number of those learning Welsh, if the situation continues, there will be nowhere for them to practice their newly-acquired linguistic skills. We need measures to strengthen the Welsh-speaking communities, which are at present rapidly shrinking."

The report also outlines the Assembly's performance in relation to the commitments in its own Welsh Language Scheme, especially on corporate identity, publications and signage. These include, for the first time, place names in England being depicted bilingually on road signs in Wales, a new contract for pharmacists to ensure the provision of services in Welsh and the new local government performance framework to include a statutory indicator on Welsh medium education. (Eurolang © 2005)

7) The schoolchild who forget to do his homework (Scottish Gaelic)

Scotland on Sunday
Sun 10 Jul 2005

Murchadh MacLeòid

Few of us can be so perfect that we do not recall the feeling when we have done the homework before we are asked to hand in an essay or assignment and the lesson is about to begin.

We hurriedly attempt to fill in a couple of questions and scribble down some sentences as we hope against hope that the teacher has not noticed that we exist. And then, just as we think that we have got away with it, the teacher's eye lies up on us and we are asked to answer the question without us being ready, or we have to hand in the half-prepared essay. And these patched-together last-minute essays will contain reams of words and information with little if any connection to the original subject. At least they fill in the page. But they do not answer the questions.

That is how you feel as you come to read the UK government's latest report on how they are dealing with their obligations under the Council of Europe's Charter on Minority Languages.

This really is something which has been thrown together. There is plenty of information which has nothing to do with the matters in hand inserted in order to make sure that there are enough words on the page. You have a feeling the whole time that this is a production put together in the hope that all the talk will make us forget how little has really happened.

You have be tough to get through this. Often you encounter reams of words which seem that they have been constructed especially to encourage you to fall asleep. Before you get through what the Scottish Executive is doing for Gaelic and for the Gaels, you plough through the history of the Scottish Office and an account of the restructuring of Scottish local government 10 years ago, you are told of how lawyers work in Edinburgh, and the fact that the Scottish Socialists and the Greens are represented in the new Scottish parliament. The Europeans will make little of this.

Moreover, the Europeans will make little of dismal way in which the officials have dealt with some of the points which were raised by the Council of Europe's team of experts two years ago after they had come to see how well the UK was dealing with the rights of the speakers of minority languages.

Two years ago, the experts were critical of the situation of the Gaels of Scotland. At the time, the government insisted that we should not place too much weight on the report because much had changed since the information underlying it had been gathered. Moreover, they said, the Gaelic Bill was now on the way and it was going to sort out everything just fine.

That was just government talk. The truth was that little had really changed. In addition, it was far from clear how the bill, an act as it now is, would deal with the gaps.

What is grimmest is that little has happened about many of the points which were raised two years ago. The experts were concerned how inconsistent and variable the provision of Gaelic education could be. The word they used was "patchy." The situation has improved somewhat in that there is now more Gaelic education available. But the point raised by the experts is still valid, that the service is still patchy and inconsistent.

Concerns were raised as to how few classes there are for people who have learnt some of the language. That is one of the problems faced by learners of all languages, but it is especially acute as far as Gaelic is concerned. There are very many people out there who have a smattering of the language. Fluent speakers who have never learnt to read it. Some who did a couple of years of classes.

There is nothing in the government's new report which explains what has been done to address this lack which was raised two years ago. The Gaelic Board is now here and examining this issue among a thousand other things. But this lack shows why we needed the Gaelic Board a long time ago.

There is nothing in the British government's report which explains how they are helping facilitate the training of Gaelic-language journalists. Although they were told two years ago that they were making no progress in this respect, they give no coherent answer as to what progress they are making in this regard.

They were asked two years ago to do more to boost the language in the written media and in newspapers. There has been some progress. But none of it is down to them. Quite apart from the question of how the government should be involved with the newspapers and the media - which is something they get up to anyway - it was the government itself which accepted the obligation to boost the language in the media, newspapers included.

Looking at the government's report, it is clear that there has been some progress. They deserve praise for what they have done. They are trying, they are making some real efforts, there is serious work going on to find more Gaelic teachers and train them to go into the schools. That is the most encouraging thing which emerges from this report. In another way, this report is like a scholar sitting an exam for which they are not ready. Some things are being done. The Board has not been around long enough to sort out all the problems. There might be a lot more progress to report after six more months or another year.

Maybe, but it is clear from reading this report that Scotland's Gaels are not being dealt with in a way that would be sensible or fair by international standards.


July 11, 2005



The UK Government pledge of up to £240, 000 of funding over the next three years to support Cornish language regeneration, has led some in Cornwall to call for the standardisation of a written form of the Cornish language to ensure that public money is not wasted.

It is being argued that if public money is spent on supporting the different language organisations, each with their own spelling system, factionalism within the Cornish language movement will be exacerbated. Indeed, the Council of Europe has stated that "standardisation is a crucial step in the teaching of a language" and has, in the past, urged state authorities to "engage in a standardisation process" for fragmented languages.

Professor Ken Mackinnon has stated that standardisation must be completed before official usage begins and Professor Keith Atkinson has stated that this will never be achieved internally but will require the assistance of external experts.

The Cornish Branch of the League has experienced first hand how the lack of a standard orthography for the Cornish language, is used as an excuse by some to shirk their responsibilities. In their ongoing campaign to encourage Town and Parish Councils in Cornwall to use the Cornish language on public signs and in an official capacity, the Cornish Branch have received replies from Councils who have refused to act. Camelford and St Blaise Town Councils for example have responded by saying that they will not use the Cornish language until a standard orthography has been decided upon.

However, the vast majority of Councils, who have replied, have commented that they will use the Cornish language on new signs and whenever they need replacing. Kerrier District Council have recently sent a letter to all their local Council's advising that they propose a Cornish name where possible and feature this on the street sign, with the name in English underneath.

Some Councils on the other hand have replied stating they have no intention of using the Cornish language, for other reasons. Newquay Town Council (in Carrack District) for example, states that `dual language on signs ? is not conductive to driver or public safety' (Merrifield, MG, Deputy Town Clerk, Newquay Town Council, 8th June 2005, Re: Inclusion of the Cornish Language on Signs, Letter to R Tal-e-bot, Celtic League, Cornish Branch).

The Cornish Branch of the Celtic League support the use of the Cornish language, whatever spelling system is employed.

(Report prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, 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

July 12, 2005

9) History of the Celtic Languages (All Celtic Languages)

Hallo, a h-uile duine,

I have added a new article to my website, "A Brief Summary of the History of the Celtic Languages," which can be found here:

Le beannachdan* Croman mac Nessa *
=*~-*~-*~ /|\ ~*-~*-~*=

"Goilfead go prap a's ní fá Dhia, acht Fionn, a's an Fhiann, gan bheith beó."
--- Oisín
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Posted: 03-Aug-2005, 07:30 PM
Quote Post

Member is Offline

Wanderer and Vagabond

Group: Celtic Nation
Posts: 5,141
Joined: 12-Mar-2004

Realm: Wytheville, Virginia


Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

July 18, 2005

2) PC BID TO KEEP GAELIC ALIVE (Scottish Gaelic)
5) Cornish language returns to Cornish mouths (Cornish)
6) Free CDs to raise awareness of Welsh language pop music (Welsh)

July 20, 2005

7) Announcing the 2nd Annual Gaelic Immersion (Scottish Gaelic)
8) Teacher stages remarkable recovery to write Wallace play (Scots)

July 22, 2005

9) New report strongly in favour of Agency for Linguistic Diversity and Language Learning (General Language)

July 18, 2005

1) GAELS TAKE WALES BY STORM (General Celtic) Council Press Relase. Issue Date: Tuesday 12 July 2005

The small town of Llangollen in North Wales was last week taken by storm by a party of Scots participating in the prestigious International Eisteddfod Festival of Music, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

For the first time, the culture of the Gael was represented in both competition and in concert at the Eisteddfod, which attracted upwards of 60,000 visitors over the week. The Festival is and international and multicultural celebration of music in all its forms, classical, traditional and folk, and is in its 59th year.

Representing Scotland and Gaelic was the Gaelic vocal harmony group "Fionnar, a group of seven young Gaelic singers and musicians established by The Highland Council's Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship.

The Mairi Mhor Fellow, Fiona Mackenzie from Dingwall, said of the trip: "Fionnar were absolutely delighted to be invited to go to Llangollen, by the Director, Mervyn Cousins. This is the first year that there has been a section for Celtic Music and we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to bring Gaelic music and song to the Festival. The girls, who come from Ross-shire, Inverness, Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and Ardrisaig have worked very hard over the past few months preparing for the trip and it was a great chance to experience the musical cultures of so many

The group were successful in the competitions which they took part in, taking two 1st places and two 3rd places. They won the Folk Song Group with a prize of an Eisteddfod trophy and a cheque for £500, against choirs from around the world including Georgia in Russia, India and the Ukraine. Eilean Green of Achiltibuie took 3rd place in the Celtic Instrumental Solo competition on Bagpipes and Fiona Mackenzie took 3rd place in the prestigious Celtic Vocal Solo competition which was won by Fionnar member, Davina Macintyre of Ardrisaig.

Fiona said: " To win at the International Eisteddfod has been a huge honour for all of us but more than that we are very excited just to have had the chance to perform on the massive stage that is the International Eisteddfod, Royal Pavilion. We were bowled over by the reaction of everybody to the group and their individual talents and how excited everybody was by our culture, particularly with our display of waulking songs. Everyone was keen to hear more about the Gaelic Culture and how involved our young people are. The Director would like us to return next year to represent Scotland in the Festivals 60th Anniversary year."

Also at the Festival representing the fiddle tradition of Scotland was the Kiltearn Feis Rois Fiddlers under the baton of Alpha Munro of Evanton. The group performed in the Celtic Massed Ensemble class and took 2nd place earning great praise from audience and adjudicators alike. They were also the stars of the Friday night concert in the Pavilion delighting the audience with pipe and fiddle sets.

Fiona added: " Both myself and Alpha were excited at being given the chance to take our traditions to Wales and hopefully the links between our Celtic cultures will be further strengthened by our visit. The Festival was a perfect example of how musical cultures can bring countries and peoples together in a spirit of friendship and harmony."

2) PC BID TO KEEP GAELIC ALIVE (Scottish Gaelic)

The Daily Record
Jul 15 2005
Hi-tech boost
By Magnus Gardham

Daily Record Friday, July 15, 2005 Page 32

THE world's first Gaelic word processor has been developed in a bid to bring the ancient language into the 21st century.

It includes a Gaelic spellchecker covering almost 20,000 words and a specially designed keyboard.

Graham Dunbar, whose Islay-based company IleTec Computer Solutions devised the package, said there had already been a lot of interest.

Graham, who was born and raised in London but whose Scots-born father spoke Gaelic, said the new word processor was called Sgriobh, which means 'to write'.

He added: 'We are aiming this at Gaelic speakers who compose and compile documents in their everyday life, particularly at the younger element because they are using this technology all the time.

'We hope it goes some way to making Gaelic relevant to 21st century life. I really don't think the language will exist for long if it does not embrace modern technology.

'A language like Gaelic which does not have this kind of facility is doomed. It will become simply an interesting historic and cultural aside.'

Graham, who runs his business in Bowmore on Islay, said: 'People seem to be excited and pleased that we are doing this and they believe the language can only benefit He added that the idea was first suggested to him at the National Gaelic Mod in Largs three years ago.

He added: 'We have had letters from MPs and MSPs who are very supportive of the idea.'

A spokesman for Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college on Skye, said yesterday: 'It is a very good idea and anything like that would be very useful to the language

Highland Council Press Release. ISSUE DATE: WEDNESDAY 13 JULY 2005

The Highland Council is being recommended to back the Royal National Mod to the tune of £120,000 to ensure a sound financial footing for the event when it is held next in the Highlands ? in Lochaber in 2007 ? the year that Scotland celebrates Highland culture.

The Council's Budget Working Group is recommending that the Council set aside £40,000 in each of the next three financial years as a contribution towards the costs that An Comunn Gaidhealach (Mod Ltd) incur in running the prestigious event.

The 2007 Mod will see the introduction of a cyclical arrangement for areas to stage the Mod. The Council has led discussions with other local authorities and agreement has been reached with An Comunn for a six year cycle of venues. This will see the Mod held in the Highlands twice, in Argyll and Bute twice, in the Western Isles, once, and in other areas of Scotland, once.

The Mod will therefore take place in the Highlands in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2116.

Councillor Michael Foxley, Vice-Convener and Chairman of the Budget Working Group, said: "We have worked with An Comunn to agree this cycle which will see the Mod in the Highlands every 3rd year. We have also offered assistance with resolving any problems with venues or

"This regular circuit of Mod venues will assist local councils and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise network to budget their support for the event and make it easier for the hosting communities to fund raise.

"The Budget Working Group is happy to recommend three-year funding, which will ensure a package is in place for the next Highland Mod, at Lochaber in 2007. The Mod is now a major international festival and will continue to grow and grow."

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of the Council's Gaelic Select Committee said: "I am very pleased that through this arrangement Highland communities will have the opportunity to host the Mod on a regular basis and benefit both culturally and economically from doing so.

"The Highland Council will work with An Comunn and the hosting areas to ensure that each Highland Mod is a successful and well organised event."

THis is Cornwall. 11:00 - 05 July 2005

"ANYBODY who really believes that Cornwall would benefit from having a language of its own should spend a week in Aberystwyth - that will show them how complicated life becomes in such situations." - The Skipper, Packet Newspaper 11ves mis-Metheven GWRA prederi a-dro an milvilyow a beuns spenys gans Konsel Kernow war an yeth Sowsnek. An yeth ma yw fest gokki awos bos y lytherennans yw travydh dhe wul gans y leveryans ha tus yn Newcastle a lever aga Sowsnek yn furv dyffrans yn tien dhe dus yn Loundres. Den vydh yn Pow Sows a woer po a yll ewnverhe fatell dhe leverel an taves koynt ma.

Think about the millions of pounds spent by Cornwall County County Council on the English language. This language is so stupid because its spelling is nothing at all to do with its pronunciation and people in Newcastle pronounce their English in a completely different form to people in London. Not a single person in England knows or can agree how to say this strange language.

Lemmyn milvilyow a vydh spenys dyski an flows ma dh'agan fleghes ni yn agan skolyow yn Kernow. Hag ynwedh yma towlenn herdhya neb rannyeth vyghan a Sowsnek war agan fleghes henwys British English hag ena yma American English, Black English, Australian English, Indian English??? Ass yw skoell a arghans!

Now millions will be spent on teaching this rubbish to our children in our schools in Cornwall. And also there is a plan to force some minor dialect of English on to our children that's called British English and then there's American English, Black English, Australian English, Indian English??? What a waste of money!

Prag yth ov vy mar erbynn an yeth sowsnek? Wel, kepar ha The Skipper my a wrug kavoes tokyn rag lywya re uskis. Ow thokyn vy o yn Sowsnek heb ken ytho erbynn KK ov vy spenya diner war Sowsnek. Mar kwrons dyski Sowsnek yn skolyow kernewek ow gwiryow mabden a via difolys yn-dann lagha europek.

Why am I so against the English language? Well, like The Skipper, I had a ticket for speeding and my ticket was only in English - so I'm against CCC spending a penny on the English language. If they teach English in Cornish schools my human rights will be violated under European law.

For Cornish language classes call Maureen Pierce on 01579-382511, Pol Hodge on 01726-882681 or Jori Ansell on 01736-850878.

5) Cornish language returns to Cornish mouths (Cornish) option=com_content&task=view&id=2408&Itemid=32&lang=en

Truru / Truro, Saturday, 16 July 2005 by Davyth Hicks

The Cornish language took a small but significant leap forward this week with the publication of the Gerlyvrik.
Gerlyvrik is Cornish for "mini-dictionary", but the book contains 4,000 Cornish words and phrases and 4,000 English translations ? all in a format not much bigger than a matchbox.

The dictionary is published by Yoran Embanner of Brittany and Cornwall's Kesva an Taves Kernewek (The Cornish Language Board) and is a fine example of the two Celtic countries renewing and strengthening old friendships.

It also contains a hundred new words from the recently discovered 16th century miracle play Bywnans Ke, making the publication the most up to date Cornish dictionary.

The dictionary costs £4, available from good bookstores now.

6) Free CDs to raise awareness of Welsh language pop music (Welsh)

Ten thousand Welsh language CDs have been produced to raise the awareness throughout Wales of the wealth of talent that exists in the Welsh language pop music scene. These CDs will be distributed free throughout Wales over the next few months.

Ten thousand Welsh language CDs have been produced to raise the awareness throughout Wales of the wealth of talent that exists in the Welsh language pop music scene. These CDs will be distributed free throughout Wales over the next few months.

The songs on the CD, entitled Dan y Cownter (Under the Cownter) - by various bands and solo artists - were chosen by Huw Stephens, a DJ with both the BBC's Welsh language radio station, Radio Cymru, and the British BBC Radio One.

Dan y Cownter is the idea of the Welsh Music Foundation and the Welsh Language Board.

"It is very important that we and the Welsh Language Board create more awareness of Welsh language music amongst the potential audience, bearing in mind that research shows that it is lack of publicity and not talent that is the problem on the Welsh language scene," says Guto Brychan, Welsh Language Officer with the Welsh Music Foundation. "There are so many good events, clubs, record labels, promoters and performers that deserve to be heard, and that is the point of Dan y Cownter - spreading the news to every corner of the world."

There are dozens - probably hundreds - of Welsh language or bilingual bands and artists in Wales, very few of the them full-time, professional bands. There are about a dozen record labels, and the BBC's Radio Cymru plays mainly Welsh language pop. The Welsh television channel S4C features many Welsh language bands and solo artists in its various programmes and from time to time has pop music programmes.
The CD is available throughout Wales, through BBC Radio Cymru's C2 evening pop music programme, through schools, youth projects, the various language initiatives and the youth movement, Yr Urdd. Copies are also available by e-mailing: [email protected]
(Eurolang © 2005)

July 20, 2005
7) Announcing the 2nd Annual Gaelic Immersion (Scottish Gaelic)

October 15-16, 2005

The Scottish Club of Tulsa, along with its Gaelic Studies Group, will host the Second Annual Gaelic Immersion Weekend October 15-16, 2005 at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

We are thrilled that Muriel Fisher, a native Gaelic speaker, has agreed to come back and teach the course for the second year. Muriel is a wonderful teacher, both knowledgeable about her subject and very skilled at conveying that knowledge in an effective and entertaining way. She grew up on the Isle of Skye and did not learn English until age six. She peppers her teaching with stories about her childhood, which adds an invaluable cultural aspect to the language course. She is not just a native Gaelic speaker, however, she is also an accomplished and sought after teacher. She is founder and director of the Tucson Gaelic Institute (established in 1983) adjunct professor of languages at the University of Arizona(1996-present) language instructor at Pima County Community College (1993-present); and instructor at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic College.

All those who speak Gaelic, are learning Gaelic, or are interested in learning Gaelic are welcome. Registration for the weekend is $90, which includes the registration fee, the course materials, and lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. Seats are limited, however, so send your registration form and fee in soon. Questions may also be directed to Chris Merle, [email protected]

[2005 Flyer (PDF)] [2005 Registration Form(PDF) ]

Note- As the time gets closer, we'll post information on places to stay. There is a cluster of hotels of various price ranges at 31st & Memorial where I-44 and US 64 (Broken Arrow Expressway) intersect.

8) Teacher stages remarkable recovery to write Wallace play (Scots)


The Scotsman
Tue 19 Jul 2005

A FORMER teacher, who was left unable to read, write, speak or even understand conversation following a brain haemorrhage, is preparing to see her first play for adults staged.

Gill Bastock, 41, from Kippen, Stirlingshire, suffered the haemorrhage in 2000. After years of rehabilitation, her play Oor Wallace will be shown at the Smith Museum in Stirling next month as part of the events marking the execution of William Wallace.

Mrs Bastock was working as a teacher at Cullen, but while undergoing an operation to remove an arterial venous malformation, a condition in which blood is prevented from getting to the brain by a tangle of vessels, she suffered a haemorrahge and spent several weeks in the intensive care unit of Stirling Royal Infirmary.

"The first I became aware of the problem was when I tried to have a conversation with somebody," she said. "I thought I was using the right words and being very clear, but nobody could understand me because I wasn't able to string sentences together or use the right words."

She could not understand others either: "It was as if people were speaking Italian to me. It was particularly bad if there was a group of people talking. But even if it was just one person, it could be very hard."

Mrs Bastock also lost the ability to write. It was only with rehabilitation that she slowly began to regain her powers of communication.

"The speech therapist would show me a flash card with the image of an umbrella on it. I knew what it was, but for the life of me I couldn't tell her.

"I was saying that it protected you from the rain and other sorts of associations, but I just couldn't actually say what it was." Once home and with the help of her husband and sons, Paul, 15, and Steven, 18, Mrs Bastock pushed herself to regain her faculties. As part of her rehabilitation, she was encouraged to write poetry.

Having joined a creative writing group, Mrs Bastock moved on to writing short stories, before trying her hand at drama scripts. This led to two children's plays being staged at the Tollbooth in Stirling last year. She was then asked by the Friends of the Smith Museum, a civic group supporting Stirling's history and heritage, to write a script as part of its Wallace celebrations.

"I didn't accept it immediately, as I was terrified," she said. "But it's been fantastic. I've been involved every step of the way, from the casting to the costume choosing.

"I'm just obsessed with words nowadays and being involved in the literary world and the media, it's fantastic." If successful, it is expected that Oor Wallace will tour Scotland.

Dr Deborah Dewar, neurosurgeon at Glasgow University, said the brain has a large capacity to repair itself. "The brain is what we would describe as 'plastic'," she said.
"That means its cells can make new connections when old ones go wrong. This means that the undamaged parts of the brain can take up new roles."


WRITTEN in broad Scots, the plot of Oor Wallace revolves around a couple - William and Marion Wallace - who visit modern-day Stirling as part of a birthday treat. They spend their day learning about the history of the 13th-century rebel, which results in the couple having very different dreams about him.

Wallace's life is related to Marion by a barmaid who lived in his times. She tells Marion what Wallace is really like, from a woman's prospective, physically and mentally, portraying him as a romantic leader of men.

William's dream takes a much more traumatic line. He meets Alec, who fought in the battles of Stirling Bridge and Falkirk, and his recollections of Wallace are much darker, relating to his execution 700 years ago.

Below is an extract of Gill Bastock's script:

ALEC: Haw Willie, it's jist brilliant tae see a friendly face; brings back aw the guid times. (pause). Och, ah wiz in France. (Looking embarrassed)

WILLIAM: Ye were whit?

ALEC: (Recollecting) Aye, well ah wiz asked tae go wae some folk tae tell King Philip o' France whit Edward wiz up tae. (Very sincere) We dun it guid mind, we worked oot a treaty so thon Frenchies wid help us oot if the English attacked us and likewise. (He bursts out laughing). Haw William, huv ye no seen they French wummin?

The play runs on 29 and 30 September at the Smith Museum.


9) New report strongly in favour of Agency for Linguistic Diversity and Language Learning (General Language)
Brussel - Bruxelles, Tuesday, 19 July 2005 by Davyth Hicks

A new Report published last week has come out strongly in favour of establishing an autonomous Agency for Linguistic Diversity and Language Learning. The feasibility study follows the almost unanimous backing from the European Parliament in 2003 for an Agency in a Resolution led by Michl Ebner MEP.
The study, based on 85 interviews with different NGOs, experts, state-run language organisations and civil servants, found that a total 74% of those consulted favoured an Agency. The next most favoured strategy was for a network of European linguistic diversity centres, but with only 16% of support. While both options would build on exisiting structures to avoid duplication of effort, most stakeholders felt that an Agency would be in a better position to deliver. The network solution was seen as a possible disadvantage for smaller language communities because it would rely on the more well established and powerful language groups.

Nearly all respondents agreed that the scenario for no action is not an option. Those most against an Agency were civil servants working for ministries in the EU 15 member states.

The main conclusions of the study found that the case for having an agency is strong noting the growing importance of language diversity across Europe. The study anticipates the cost of an Agency to be around 11 million euro per year.

The study noted the positive function of EBLUL, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the ECML in the field of European regional or minority languages. However, it pointed out how there has been little of no interaction between state-run language organisations, such as the British Council or Cervantes, with either regional and minority language organisations or the immigrant language sector.

The study showed some in favour of working for all languages in Europe, including immigrant languages, in contrast to those who favoured working for indigenous languages only. A smaller number wanted the Agency to cover state languages only, even though some of these last could be included as lesser-used and endangered languages (for example, Estonian and Maltese). Asking whether all languages should be covered, immigrant languages had the least support, with regional or minority languages gaining the most.

Respondents felt that the Agency should have a clear mandate as a centre of expertise and that it should work closely with the language communities.

The study pointed out the added value of an Agency; it would put language issues and conflicts into a European context and take them out of member state politics, giving the Agency, and thelanguage issue, a neutrality. This may be useful in conflict prevention, would lead to better cross-border cooperations and the easier integration of new member states. Overall it would underline the importance of linguistic diversity at the heart of European governance.

Some 21% of respondents identified a need for the Agency to be able to enforce linguistic human rights, such a function would be welcomed by speakers of threatened languages facing hostile member states.

The report concludes by pointing out that there are clear needs and gaps that an Agency would fulfil, and that while the Commission "may have realised important achievements in the field," it "is not in a position to provide solutions to all of these needs and gaps. Neither can it ensure the required continuous efforts in all policy domains to implement the Treaty provisions, due to the way it is structured."

It warns against previous achievements being lost if current structures working for linguistic diversity are dismantled of if the continuity of finance for organisations in the field are not guaranteed.

The study adds that : "While dedicated EU funded programmes such as Lingua are going to disappear in 2007, following the `mainstreaming' approach chosen by the Commission, there are no adequate structures in place to monitor this `mainstreaming'."

According to the study further justifications for an Agency are because : "There are signs of incoherence between the stated EU policy in favour of linguistic diversity and multilingualism and the de facto running of the work and funding of related operations."

It adds that : "There are signs of incoherence between EU supra-national policy and individual member states' policies and/or practices."

The study stresses the importance of continuity in language policies and planning in the face of short term decisions being made out of political reasons. It underlines the need for an Agency to ensure continuity, a pre- requisite in any reversing language shift effort. In this respect the proposed Agency would complement the continuity of the Commission's work to date.

The Commission hopes to respond to the study during September according to a spokesperson. Ongoing reaction to the study from language communities across Europe will be published by Eurolang over the summer. (Eurolang © 2005)

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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

July 24, 2005

1) KERNOW - AN GAN (Cornish)
2) A Hebridean book festival: an idea whose time has come? (Scottish Gaelic)
3) An audience with the aos dana of our contemporary society (Scottish Gaelic)
5) An Daingean or Dingle? (Irish Gaelic)

July 24, 2005

1) KERNOW - AN GAN (Cornish)
This is Cornwall.
11:00 - 19 July 2005

Dydh da dhywgh hwi. 'Ello to ee. Lemmyn mir orth hemma. Now aav a geek at this: Ow tremena Pons Tamer, y'n tiredh henhwedhel maMyghtern Arthur ha'y dus orth Dintagell

Gwrekk kellys yn tewes 'vel boekka.

Hemm yw Kernow, howlsplann ha mor

Kernow, ma hwans mos war neb kor, tre dhe Gernow.
Kalesbolgh hwath nag yw kevys yn dowrow Dosmari an poll

Dre Halfowydh ha Tavern Jamaka, Hag a-hys dhe'n Men-an-Toll.

Ty yn Kernow, howlsplann ha mor

Kernow, 'ma hwans mos war neb kor, tre dhe Gernow.

A welydh ta lestri fenishek ryb Porthia

Yth yw saw kast an golow, saw kast an golow, kler an nosow.

Klyw kri Tregegel alenna yn Marghasyow

Dhe Garrek Loes yn Koes, gwel marthys da

Dydh Furri yn tre Hellys, bejethow pur lowens dres nivera.

Ty yn Kernow, howlsplann ha mor

Kernow, 'ma hwans mos war neb kor, tre dhe Gernow.

Pan anallydh ta ayr kernewek, ty a vlas prysyow passys

Gwel gwikoryon frank ow mos erbynn an tonnow Atlantik

Ha travydh yw re uskis.

Ty yn Kernow, howsplann ha mor

Kernow, 'ma hwans mos war neb kor, tre dhe Gernow.

Ty yn Kernow, howsplann ha mor

Kernow, 'ma hwans mos war neb kor, tre dhe Gernow.

Pyth yn dhe ifarn yw oll a hemma? What in the hell is all this all about?

Kan pur dha yw skrifys gans Ken Mackrall a Gammbronn ha kenys gans Marc
Lloyd Ellery a Sen Ostell. Ynwedh yma unn furv performys gans Bond an
Dre Kammbronn. An SD re beu gwrys rag sevel arghans rag Karrklavji Ayr
Kernow ha RNLI Kernow.

It's a spot-on song written by Ken Mackrall of Camborne and sung by Marc Lloyd Ellery of St Austell. Also there is a version performed by
Camborne Town Band. The CD was produced to raise money for the Cornwall
Air Ambulance and RNLI Cornwall.

Klyw Kernow An Gan yn Kernewek ha Sowsnek - Hear Cornwall The Song in
Cornish and English -

2) A Hebridean book festival: an idea whose time has come? (Scottish Gaelic)
WHFP. 22nd July, 2005.

A few summers ago I was sitting with a couple of Lewismen on a London rooftop. As you do.

For reasons that have since escaped me, the talk got round to books, to the Hebrides, to book festivals and then to the idea of a Hebridean Book Festival involving the whole of the Western Isles and also possibly Skye.

This notion was simply and unashamedly founded on the Midsummer Football Tournament, which since the 1990s has migrated annually between its four participants ? Lewis and Harris, the Uists, Skye and Lochalsh and (these days) the exiles of Glasgow Island.

For the sake of a literary festival, we can forget about Glasgow ? it already has one of its own. But a peripatetic Hebridean book festival, which does the rounds from one island venue to another each year while retaining its unique identity, bringing with it a regular boost in income and interest to its host district? well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It seems like an even better one now. It seems in fact like one of those ideas whose time has come. Which is why I was delighted to hear of a meeting in Stornoway last week which may prove to ignite such an event.

The meeting was between Roddy Murray of An Lanntair, Marc Lambert of the Scottish Book Trust (who happened luckily to be in the islands on holiday), John Randall of the Islands Book Trust, the journalist Torcuil Crichton and the writer Kevin MacNeil. Its intention was to delineate the basic framework of a Hebridean Book Festival, with a view to a further meeting of all interested parties in September. Given the line-up at last Tuesday's meeting, given the involvement of people like Roddy Murray, it is difficult to imagine that the project will not now
fly. It has the most perfect launching pad.

Writing from the Hebrides in Gaelic and in English has (as this column is lucky enough to reflect month after month) never been stronger ? or more generously acclaimed.

I am talking, crucially, of writing from rather than writing of the Hebrides. We have enough of our own writers to fill the itinerary of a top-quality festival. To list them all is probably unnecessary, as well as being fraught with the danger of missing one or two out.
But I'll give it a shot. Nobody alive and sentient in Scotland can in recent years have failed to hear of the Gaelic fiction of South Uist's Angus Peter Campbell. We have Lorn MacIntyre's tales from Mull, the works in Gaelic and English of the Lewismen Norman Campbell and Alasdair Campbell, the kids' books of Mairi Hedderwick, the creative writing of Donald S Murray, the genaeological and local history books of Bill Lawson in Harris and Frank Thompson in Stornoway, the Gaelic comedy of North Uist's Norman MacLean, the romantic fiction of new Skye writer Linda Gillard, the travel and fiction of Kylerhea's Alastair Scott, the historical work of Mangersta's Joni Buchanan, the bilingual work of Ronnie Black, the bestselling cookery books of Claire Macdonald and Shirley Spear, the ouevre of Kevin MacNeil? and that's without hardly making a dent on the poets, much as one would like to make a dent on the poets.

There is enough homegrown headline material there to fill any decent litfest. But literary festivals are not only about showcasing local talent. They ? the local talent ? provide its character and its continuity and its backbone. Any good-to-excellent book festival is recognised also by the visiting writers it attracts as guest stars.

As Torcuil Crichton says: "A Highland/Gaelic/Celtic festival is exactly what would be expected in the Western Isles, which is why I want to make sure it has a strong national and international flavour ?and not simply of international minority languages. What I would like is Monica Ali talking about the experience of writing a bi-cultural British novel, on the same stage as Kevin MacNeil talking about writing a bi-cultural Hebridean novel."

And here the Hebrides are in an immensely strong position. Think of the curiosity value; think of the international goodwill that could be tapped. Think of the Scottish, British, Irish and international authors who could be attracted to such an event in, say, the incomparable spring, summer or autumn of the Uists ? or Barra, or Harris, or Skye, or Lewis.

I am fully aware while writing this of the birth this year of Aos Dana, the literary component of the laudable Feis an Eilein in Skye ? as well, of course, of the hundred feisean and other events, some of which feature literary sideshows, which now light up the Hebridean calendar.

This notion is not to detract but rather to complement such ventures. It would ideally be a dedicated literary festival, lasting perhaps a week, with a complete morning-to-evening itinerary as varied, as witty, as lively and as irresistible as anything at Edinburgh or Hay-on-Wye.

The advantages of such a festival, successfully achieved, could be immense. It could boost the tourist economy during a quiet spell. It would attract considerable favourable press and television and radio coverage. It would naturally assist the growth industry of modern Hebridean writing itself.

I hope, finally, that if this project does go ahead, it may be possible to extend it beyond Na h'Eileanan an Siar. In so many ways Skye and the Western Isles have been separated ? through local government, two parliamentary constituencies and most public service providers.

But despite this, the instinct of their peoples is still to get together, to unite. This is evident from the football pitch to the marriage ceremony. When Uist footballers meet their cousins from across the Minch in an annual tournament, they are reaffirming a very old and deep-rooted connection.

And nowhere, I would argue, is this surviving link more evident or more valid or more valuable than in the written word. The Hebridean Book Festival may ultimately decide to go ahead without Skye. I hope, for reasons that go back far beyond that London rooftop meeting early in the third millennium, that it does not. I hope that in the near future, Sleat will pick up the phone to dial Stornoway.

3) An audience with the aos dana of our contemporary society (Scottish Gaelic)
West Highland Free Press. 22nd July, 2005.

There's a fascinating new strand in this year's Feis an Eilein, which began in Sleat on Tuesday 12th July. It has the ancient Gaelic title Aos Dana.

In origin, the aos dana were the bards, reciters, genealogists, musicians, soothsayers ? in short, the intellectual and cultural leaders ? of the old clan system. According to the lexicographer Edward Dwelly, they sat among the great ones in the chief's high hall. They were respected for their learning and talents and feared for their satirical tongue, so they could get virtually whatever favours they asked for.

What might our own local contemporary aos dana have to say to us? I have been along to a number of their presentations to find out.

On the festival's opening day, Maggie Macdonald, archivist at the Clan Donald Centre, introduced us to the centre's collection. The archive comprises printed materials, estate papers, maps and photographs, some of which are incorporated in the museum's permanent display, together with the appropriate local census returns for the very first national census in 1801 and the 10-yearly returns between 1841 and 1901.

There are currently around 8,000 books in the collection. The earliest, dating back to 1642, is the delightfully-titled "The Scots Scouts Discovered by their London Intelligencer", recalling a time when the Scots and English spied on each other. (Fifty years later, Daniel Defoe of "Robinson Crusoe" fame, paid a visit to Scotland as an English government spy). Among other prize items are first editions of Martin Martin's "Description of the Western Isles of Scotland"; Boswell's and Johnson's accounts of their 1773 visit to the Hebrides; and the Welshman, Thomas Pennant's account of his trip the year before. There are also copies of the old (1790s) and new (1840s)
Statistical Accounts of the various parishes, usually compiled by the local ministers. A more recent account of Skye is the various editions of a Pocket Guide produced during the 1930s by the well-known Kyle chemist and photographer, Duncan Macpherson.

Surviving papers relating to the running of the Macdonald estates in Skye and North Uist include financial records, letters and rent rolls. These last show that right into the nineteenth century rent was still mainly paid in kind (corn, half a sheep, butter, cheese). The crofters struggled to pay up. But so did the big sheep farmers. The cheviots did not prove to be the looked-for panacea for the economic ills of the chieftains.

Another type of holding of considerable interest is the various maps. These go back to the pioneering 17th-century cartography of Johann Blaeu & Co of Amsterdam, and continue through to early commissioned Macdonald estate maps ? for example, Matthew Stobie's in 1764; John Blackadder's in 1811 (essentially a blueprint for the introduction of crofting); and an 1889 feuing plan for Portree. There are also plans for the restoration of Kingsburgh House, the Big House at Corriechatachan, and even Duntulm Castle. These were drawn up in the 1920s and '30s by Donald Macdonald Miller, an American whose Skye forebears went out to North Carolina in the 1770s. It was during the early decades of the twentieth century that Lt Col Macrae Gilstrap was carrying out the restoration of the castle on Eilean Donan. It would certainly have been interesting if someone had been able to fund Donald Miller's schemes for Skye!

A VERY DIFFERENT take on the Macdonald past was presented on Wednesday evening by Bryan Sykes, Professor of Genetics at Oxford.

Prof Sykes has excellent Skye credentials. Even his name is an anagram of Skye's! He now has a home here ? Somhairle Maclean's old house, no less. His two best-selling "popular" accounts of his work in genetics ? "The Seven Daughters of Eve" and "Adam's Curse: A Future Without Men" ? were largely written at Peinachorran, during which time his son, Richard, attended Portree Primary School.

Prof Sykes even hinted at a possible deeper Skye connection. He has traced his own lineage to "an original Mr Sykes", Henri del Sike of Flockton, West Yorkshire; but he is also a genetically identifiable descendant of Tara (one of the seven "clan mothers" of today's Europeans). Tara's descendants "are particularly numerous in the west of Britain and Ireland".

The construct of Eve's seven European "daughters" was established through a study of patterns in the mitochondrial DNA which we all inherit from our mothers. And it was on this mDNA that Prof Sykes focused in the first part of his talk. "As a geneticist," he told us, slyly producing a swab from his inner pocket, "my tools are DNA and a brush."

Prof Sykes explained how, around 10 years ago, he first came to use DNA to settle disputes about history and pre-history. Before that, DNA had been valued as a predictor, particularly of
genetically inherited disease. But, he believed, DNA evidence could also be used retrospectively. He first had to demonstrate that usable DNA could be retrieved from long-dead bodies. This he proved from skeletons from an archaeological dig near Oxford. Subsequently, by making use of techniques he and his team had developed, it was possible to show that a body, preserved in the Alpine ice and carbon-dated to 5,000 years ago, was definitely of European stock. It was even possible to find someone with matching DNA in modern Dorset!

Further afield, there was the unresolved issue of the provenance of the Polynesian islanders ? did their canoes three thousand years ago point westward from the Americas, as Thor Heyerdahl tried to prove with the Kon Tiki raft or, as others believed, eastwards from Malaysia? First, the mDNA of modern Rarotongans and, later, their Y chromosomes, passed down the male line, proved Heyerdahl mistaken. Perhaps an even bigger prize was being able to show that Neanderthalers did not evolve into Homo Sapiens ("whatever the mechanism and whatever the reason", they simply died out); nor are the majority of today's Europeans descended from technically superior incoming farmers from the Middle East. Instead, most of us still carry the persistent genes of the much earlier hunter-gatherers.

Appropriately for a talk given in the Somerled Room, adjacent to Armadale Castle, Prof Sykes devoted attention to the Macdonald clan progenitor. Two-thirds of the Sykeses of West Yorkshire who had offered a sample of their DNA for analysis, he pointed out, had been shown to have the same (or nearly identical) Y chromosome "fingerprint". Studies of other groups who share a surname had likewise shown the same tight association.

Would the five living chiefs of the branches of Clan Donald also bear a common Y chromosome? Would people today with the surname Macdonald (or the related MacDougalls and MacAlisters) share this chromosome with their chiefs? And, if so, could it be claimed that
their common ancestor was the great Somerled himself, a 12th-century warrior of considerable charisma, possessor ? like the illustrious Genghis Khan ? of a conspicuously "energetic" and successful male gene? Fascinatingly, the answer to all three questions was: Yes!

On factoring in the known average rate of genetic mutation over the generations, it seemed clear that the Y chromosomes of a surprising percentage of modern Macdonalds ? chiefs and clansmen alike ? converge upon a progenitor of around Somerled's date. Who else could it be but Somhairle Mor himself?

One further interesting result emerged from genetic analysis. Somerled's full name was "Somerled GilleBride". Somerled seems to be some sort of nickname ? Somerlidi, Norse for "summer traveller", a Viking reference, if ever there was. The other name implies a Celtic origin. Traditionally, he has been traced back to an Irish Celtic background ? maybe even Conn of the Hundred Battles. However, the genetic evidence, based on Y chromosomes prevalent in modern Scandinavia, points to an unambiguously Norse heritage.

Prof Sykes added that ? somewhat ironically ? there is evidence that the Macleod chiefs, who have proudly claimed descent from a Norse progenitor, Liotr, are in fact just as unambiguously Celtic in origin!

I have space for just one more of the many gems from this talk. Genetic data from the Northern Isles indicates that the Norsemen took their own womenfolk with them, rather than taking, by force or otherwise, Orcadian or Shetland wives. By contrast, from what we know of Skye, there are fewer examples of typically Norse rather than Celtic mDNA (the female marker), and rather more Nordic Y chromosomes (the male marker). This suggests that Skye's Viking settlers did, in
fact, wrest or woo the local women away from the local men.

"Who am I? Where do I come from?" are eternal questions. The answer to the latter illuminates the former. In the case of the old aos dana, your genealogy was in their memory. At Clan Donald Centre, it's in map, manuscript and microfiche. At Oxford Ancestors Ltd, Prof Sykes's own company, it's in your mitochondria and Y chromosomes. To judge by last week's two feis presentations, a strong interest in Skye genealogy has survived down the generations. This week, the poet and the musicologist get their turn.

John Swan

IoM Online. 14 July 2005

CASTLE Rushen High School spoke out to help mark Manx national week last week.

Manx language officer Adrian Cain successfully persuaded 800 students to speak to each other in Manx.

He reckoned it was the first time for about 150 years that so many people had spoken Manx simultaneously.

During a week of events, Robert Kelly, president of the national North American Manx Association, spoke to humanities groups about Manx people emigrating and settling in Chicago, and his research into his family's origins in the Island.

A good-humoured group of students braved the Tynwald Day weather and took part in the schools parade, while a number of other pupils were involved in the uniformed organisations attending the ceremony.

On Friday a special assembly began with the Manx National Anthem and had the Lord's Prayer said in Manx, traditional music, bonnag sampling and a Manx dialect reading.

5) An Daingean or Dingle? (Irish Gaelic)
Baile Atha Cliath, Wednesday, 20 July 2005 Beigesteuert von Eoghan O Neill

The ongoing controversy as to the appropriate name for a county Kerry seaside town took a dramatic new twist this week when the Kerry County Council decided to organise a plebiscite on the issue.

On Easter Monday 2005, under the Place Names (Ceantair Gaeltachta) Order 2004, Minister Éamon Ó Cuív replaced the anglicised name 'Dingle' with An Daingean. The move fuelled controversy which has raged in the national and local media ever since.

Some local business people say that the move will damage the town's substantial tourist trade, a trade built, they say, on the brandname Dingle rather than An Daingean.

Other locals welcomed the move arguing that as part of the Gaeltacht it is appropriate that the town should be identified and marketed as An Daingean rather than Dingle.

At this week's meeting of Kerry County Council it was decided to ask the county solicitor to start a process to allow people in the town to have their say in a plebiscite.

A list of electors will be brought before the September meeting of the council and a date will then be set for the vote, probably in the autumn.

Should a majority favour the anglicised version, the council will then ask the government to change the name on signposts to Dingle. While the council do have the legal right to ask the voters their opinion on the issue the Government will have the final say. And Minister Ó Cuív appears to have set his mind on An Daingean rather than the anglicised form.

It is not yet clear if any vote would be confined to the town itself or whether the surrounding Gaeltacht areas on the peninsula will also be allowed to vote on the issue.

The plebiscite in An Daingean will be watched with keen interest in the other Gaeltachtaí. Within the next few years the criteria for inclusion in the Gaeltacht and the boundaries of the Gaeltacht itself are to be reassessed.

There is concern that a vote to demand Dingle rather than An Daingean would have an impact on the town's future inclusion in the Gaeltacht and on Gaeltacht funding which the area receives at present. This fear was voiced by mayor of Kerry, Toireasa Ní Fhearíosa, at Monday's council
meeting and it could yet prove to a major factor in the autumn vote. (Eurolang © 2005)
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

July 24, 2005

1) Is it really too cold for T-shirts? (Scottish Gaelic)

July 26, 2005

2) Queen learns the Gaelic language (Scottish Gaelic)

July 27, 2005

3) I Can Not Be a Traitor (Scots)

July 28, 2005

4) A Newsletter From The Inverness Gaelic Forum (Scottish Gaelic)
5) Highland 2007 (Scottish Gaelic)

July 29, 2005

6) £1m for Welsh language courses at universities (Welsh)
7) Breton: "We can't wait any longer, we are losing 20 000 speakers a year, the house is on fire." (Breton)

July 31, 2005
8) Aos Dana II: The bard and the musicologist (Scottish Gaelic)

July 24, 2005

1) Is it really too cold for T-shirts? (Scottish Gaelic)
Scotland on Sunday
Sun 24 Jul 2005

500 years ago it was written that there were two kinds of Scots, the wild ones and the tames one, the Gaels and the Lowlanders. We were strange, scary, and uncivilised in our clothing, our habits, and fighting style and our language. The Highlanders with the Claymores and the untidy hair, while they were tidy and ordered with their little shops and businesses.

But this is the day of the Cappuccino Gaels in the suits. Many of us have become part of the system as we try to make things work.

There is no doubt that there is more of a place for the Gaelic and the language in the system as it stands today, but that is not to say that we do not need the younger radicals campaigning for the language and the culture.

30 years ago, Gaelic students were setting light to copies of the Mod programme because it contained too little of the language. 20 years ago, some were campaigning outside broadcasting stations to call for TV in Gaelic. In addition, there were those who "defaced" English road-signs with paint. But in this day we have become well-mannered as a people. I recently chatted to a former university colleague about old times and he raised the subject of the students of today.

He said: "They are not even dressed in an interesting way. They are all the same way. There is nothing interesting about them any more." There is nothing unusual about remarking that things are not the way they used to be.

But this was a Free Church minister shaking his head about how quiet and orderly the students of today are.

One thing is for sure, if ministers in the Highland Presbyterian churches think that the students are not unhinged and disruptive enough then something has changed dramatically in recent years.

I do not mean that everything should be left only to the young radicals, but through the years their campaigns have added to the rights which Gaels have been allowed. Were it not for them it would be easy enough for the powers that be to have ignored the needs and the rights of Scotland's Gaelic speakers.Maybe we think that we no longer need to bother. When some were setting Mod programmes alight there was no system of Gaelic education. There was nothing on television or radio. We were the hidden minority. We were barely allowed to exist.

But now we have Gaelic schools, the government is making major efforts to increase the number of teachers in Gaelic education. We have a comprehensive radio service. What we do not have is a service on the television. As far as the state of rights and services in the language is concerned, we are basically where the Welsh were at the beginning of the 1970s.

But that is the point. The reason things do not seem so bad right now is that the situation was so wretched up to now. 30 years ago, things were better for the Welsh then they are for us now, and they were still on the streets campaigning, they were still heating up the holiday homes, and some were willing to go on hunger strike and lay down their lives for a television service in the language.

When the Gaelic television money was established 15 years ago, it happened because Gaels in suits were able to convince ministers and officials in suits that it was acceptable and fair for there to be Gaelic media and that there should be a certain amount of television in the language.

But all the time, those lobbying on behalf of the language could be sure that there would be young campaigners in their T-shirts out on the streets if they did not get what they were looking for from the government. The shadow of the demonstrators was always over any talks.

But where are they today? There are still conversations on-going about the place of Gaelic as the government and lobbyists discuss the possibility of setting up a digital channel in the language. These steps are going slowly. They are going far too slowly. They are years behind schedule. And Gaels suspect that the Department for Culture and Heritage is trying to quietly forget the policy and hope that we do not notice.

It damages the campaign for the language that ministers and officials do not need to worry about people being out on the streets protesting if there are no rights for the Gaels.

Because that is what we are talking about, the rights of the Gaelic-speaking people of Scotland who live right here right now. This is not about the state artificially resurrecting a language. This
is about people living in the UK and who have been here for generations, who want the same rights as would be normal in any other European country.

What has happened to us that we are so quiet at this time? There are plenty reasons still to campaign. Many in authority are still implacably opposed to us. Is the reality that every Gael is now a part of the system? So many of us now have jobs in the Gaelic world. Many of us rely on the state and on public funds for our incomes. We are no longer angry because we are happy with our money and our suits.

Or is the chilling reality that the campaigners are not there because we have too few young Gaels around?

One might quip that the Highlands and Islands are too cold for T-shirt wearing radicals. We still need them.

© 2005

July 26, 2005

2) Queen learns the Gaelic language (Scottish Gaelic)
Grampian TV. 25/07/2005 16:22

It's emerged the Queen is learning the Gaelic language. Her majesty's interest's been welcomed by agencies fighting to secure its future. They say it's never to late to learn as we have been finding out.

The Queen seen here at St Andrews last month is said to have surprised a member of the Royal Protection Squad who has Harris connections and can speak Gaelic. In a visit earlier to the West Highlands she apparently turned to him and said: Ciamar a tha sibh - how are you?

Gaelic development agencies say it just goes to prove that we now have the Queen's Gaelic as well as the Queen's English. Other members of the Royal family have also given the thumbs up to the language. Prince Charles here giving his backing and support during a fact-finding visit
to Sabhal Mor Ostaig - the Gaelic College on Skye.

Officials at Western Isles Council say they would be pleased if the Queen used Gaelic at the State Opening of Parliament or even during her Christmas Day speech. Language promoters say this latest Royal patronage is to be welcomed and shows it's never too late to learn a new language.

Reporter: "Tha mi fhin ag ionnsachadh Gaidhlig cuideachd. Agus 's docha gum bu choir dhomh iasad an leabhar seo don Bhan Righ airson nuair a theid i an laithean saora gu Balmoral an ath-mhios."

(The above translates): I'm also learning Gaelic myself. And perhaps I ought to give a loan of this book to the Queen when she goes on holiday to Balmoral next month.

July 27, 2005

3) I Can Not Be a Traitor (Scots)

-----Original Message-----
From: Philip A (Andrew)

Announcin the stairt o a three-pairt series that will, at some pynt, braidcast ma version o a bit o Blin Hary in modren Scots (a hairt-brakkin romance and a bonnie fecht in Lanark, read by
schuil bairns fae the toun):

THURSDAY 04 AUGUST 11:30am - 12:00pm
(Repeated SUNDAY 07 AUGUST 5:05pm - 5:30pm)

BBC Radio Scotland

Mark Stephen explores the story of William Wallace, betrayed by a fellow Scot, studying the death of a man and the birth of a legend.

July 28, 2005

4) A Newsletter From The Inverness Gaelic Forum (Scottish Gaelic)

This is a newsletter (email) from the Inverness Gaelic Forum

We have a bilingual policy (Gaelic & English) but now and again info is sent to us in only one language.
If anyone is in doubt that Gaelic was ever spoke in Caithness, read this!
Interesting Article:

I think this is an interesting article on the continuing struggle for equality for our language.
Your chance to question language policy/discrimination in the UK . . .

22 July 2005

Dear Colleague,


I am writing to let you know about work that is underway to examine the causes of persistent discrimination and inequality in British society. The Government has asked me, in a personal capacity, to Chair the Equalities Review Panel which will be undertaking this work. I am joined on the Panel by Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Carol Lake, Nick Pearce and Sir Bob Kerslake.
We have been asked to produce a report for the Prime Minister in Summer 2006 setting out analysis of the long-term and underlying barriers to opportunity that face many individuals and groups in society, based on evidence of what works at home and abroad. Through this analysis and through practical recommendations, the report will improve the Government's ability to tackle issues such as the pay gap between different groups, and the disproportionate risk that some groups face of living in poverty or having a below average chance of educational success.

Our intention is to undertake detailed research and evidence gathering over the course of the next few months. The Panel is particularly interested in gathering evidence of successful approaches to reduce inequalities in, for example, education, employment and health (within the statutory, private and community and voluntary sectors) and will be collecting case studies of good practice as well as meeting with delivery and policy partners as part of a round of visits. Suggestions for visits by the Panel and/or the Review team as well as case studies should be sent to:

[email protected]

If you do not have access to email please send comments to:
The Equalities Review Team, Room 03.32, 22 Whitehall, London SW1A 2WH.
Tel: 020 7276 5436
Fax: 020 7276 1008

Following this work we intend to publish an interim report in the winter that sets out our initial analysis and proposals for full consultation. In the meantime we will publish information on the work of the Panel, including minutes of the Panel meetings, on our website

The Department for Trade and Industry is leading a linked work stream that has begun in parallel to the Equalities Review. The Discrimination Law Review is considering the opportunities for creating a fairer, clearer and more straightforward equality legislation framework, which produces better outcomes for those who experience disadvantage. It is anticipated that this work and the recommendations of the Equalities Review will lead to proposals for the reform of the legislative framework for equality via a Single Equality Bill. The introduction of such a Bill during this Parliament was a manifesto commitment.

A wider reference group of equality stakeholders and experts, co-chaired by the Chair of the Disability Rights Commission and the Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission will provide independent advice and input to both reviews. The terms of reference and membership of this group are also enclosed.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Phillips
Equalities Review Panel
2-10 September 2005

PRESS RELEASE ? For Immediate Use

11th July 2005

Momentum Building for the Blas Festival

Barely had the line-up for September's Blas Festival been finalised when it began to attract considerable interest from potential festival-goers both in this country and particularly from abroad. Significantly, the first tickets sold for Blas events were bought by a couple from South Carolina in the United States who, to mark a family celebration, are travelling to Talla Stafainn in Skye on 2nd September to see Dàimh, Dòchas and the Cèilidh Trailers.

Blas's programme, which features nearly forty events to be staged in different communities throughout Lochaber, Caithness & Sutherland, Ross-shire and Skye & Lochalsh, is brim full hugely talented exponents of Gaelic and Highland traditional music. As was envisaged from the outset, young musicians from the area are well represented in this programme. So also are performers from overseas whose cultural and musical traditions are complementary to those of the Highlands. They all meld together in an exciting programme which will entertain and inspire audiences while also giving them insights into Highland culture and the Gaelic language.

Festival managers were sure that Blas's particular blend of youth and experience with the strong emphasis on Gaelic and highland culture would prove very attractive and the wave of interest since the details of the Festival programme were released seems to bear this out. Enquires about the programme and individual events are flooding in with a considerable number of these from overseas. "We felt that what Blas offers audiences would be attractive", according to Artistic Coordinator, Brian Ó hEadhra, "but what we did not expect so soon was such a strong international response. We did anticipate that overseas visitors who were already in the Highlands would find out about Blas and attend performances. This will no doubt happen but it appears that many are already planning their trips to the Highlands to some extent at least around Blas events. "

Full details of the Blas programme can be accessed though the Festival's newly re-vamped website on

Editors' Note:

Blas is funded by the Highland Council and the Millennium Commission, through its Urban Cultural Programme. The Council has contracted Fèisean nan Gàidheal to develop and organise the festival.

Blas is an initiative to establish a new festival to celebrate Highland music and to promote interest in and the use of Gaelic. The festival will take place from Friday 2nd September until Saturday 10th September 2005. Blas takes it name from the Gaelic word meaning, among other things, flavour, relish and experience, all of which are essential ingredients for a successful and memorable festival. This initiative is particularly apposite at this time given that 2007 is to be the Scottish Year of Highland Culture, and it is expected that Blas will be one of the centrepieces of the 2007 events.

For further information on the Blas Festival contact:-

Brian: [email protected]
Cailean: [email protected] or 01478 612199
Gaelic Summer Activities
Fun and games in Gaelic for young people age ten upwards.

Young people in the Inverness Area who are either fluent or learner Gaelic speakers are being offered a programme of Gaelic Summer Activities during the holidays

Organised by The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service, with support from Bòrd Na Gàidhlig, the activities open to young people aged from 10 years upwards.

Activities include drama, mountain biking, canoeing, computing, first shinty, story telling, trampoline, arts and crafts, culminating with a family barbecue.

The activities are designed to cater for both fluent and learner Gaelic speakers. Young people, who are fluent in Gaelic, will attend sessions conducted entirely through the medium of Gaelic, but separate group sessions will also be available for young people who are learning to speak Gaelic.

Still to come in the activities programme are Canoeing at Loch Morlich Watersports near Aviemore on Thursday 14th July from 10am ? 12noon; and at Charleston Community Centre in Inverness First Shinty on Friday 15th July 10am-12noon, and Drama on Monday 8th, Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th August 10am-12:30.

The Gaelic Activities Programme will end with a family barbecue on Friday 12th from 7-9pm at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Anyone interested in attending any of the events should contact:
Dolina Grant on tel: 01463 724203 or e-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]---------------
Inverness Gaelic Playscheme

Camron Youth Centre, Planefield Road, Inverness

8-12 August 200510am-12pm. £1.50 per day. £1 for subsequent children.

There will be a Gaelic playscheme running again this summer for children about to enter primary 1,2,3, and 4. The Playscheme will have a varied programme of activities including arts and crafts, stories, games and baking - all carried out through the medium of Gaelic.

Dawn Morgan
01349 866785
Just announced!

Lasair/Dana Residential Gaelic Drama Summer School

The three week long course aimed at 18/23 year olds is to be held in Connemara, Ireland from Monday 29th August to Saturday 17th September. All travel costs, accommodation costs and tutorial costs are borne by Lasair/Dàna so that the students don't have to pay a penny.

For further information on the course and details please contact Simon Mackenzie on

[email protected]

Mobile no. 0771-429-0902
Gaelic Conversation Group

Blackfriars Pub, Academy Street, Inverness

Every Wednesday night at 9pm.

This is an informal group who meet for Gaelic conversation and fun. There is cèilidh dancing in the pub on this night as well.
This email is from the Inverness Gaelic Forum. If you would like your name removed from this mailing list please return this email with 'Remove' written in the 'Subject' box. Many thanks.
Brian Ó hEadhra - Oifigear Leasachaidh
Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis
5 Caolshràid Mhìcheil,
Inbhir Nis,

Fòn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]

5) Highland 2007 (Scottish Gaelic)
Do you have a suitable project for Highland 2007?

Is Gaelic at the heart of 2007? Chi sinn.

Highland 2007 ? Public Meeting: what is planned and how to apply for funding.

Tuesday 30th August, Town House, Inverness, 7.30pm ? 9.30pm

All are welcome to this public meeting to find out what is planned for Highland 2007 and how to apply for funding. There will be a series of brief presentations followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

· Introduction to 2007 - Alison Bell (Marketing and Communications Manager)

· 2007 celebrations: a brief on upcoming projects ? Cathy Shankland (Arts & Heritage Manager)

· Regional Programme ? Torquil MacLeod (Funding Manager)

· Community Programme ? Gavin Bowie (Capital Programme Manager)

· LEADER Plus ? Making the cash go further - Audrey Anthoney
Brian Ó hEadhra - Oifigear Leasachaidh
Fòram Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis
c/o 5 Caolshràid Mhìcheil,
Inbhir Nis,

Fòn: 01463 234138
Facs: 01463 237470
Post-d: [email protected]

July 29, 2005

6) £1m for Welsh language courses at universities (Welsh)
Penygroes, Thursday, 28 July 2005 by Dafydd Meirion

The Welsh Assembly Government has announced a package of measures aimed at supporting the development of Welsh medium provision in Higher Education. This includes almost £1m over three years to expand the provision. Over the last three years, Welsh speaking students have been protesting at the lack of Welsh language courses at Welsh universities, and have been calling for a Welsh language federal college where all the courses would be in Welsh, being taught from various colleges using the latest technology.

The initiative includes developing the existing Welsh Medium Development Unit into an enhanced Welsh Medium Development Centre; supporting expanded marketing work through the Development Centre; training programmes for new and existing staff and induction training for new staff; an options appraisal of models for future sustainable Welsh medium provision; and a study of the costs of Welsh medium provision.

This package will be around £300,000 per academic year for the next three years, with the activities intending to support the Welsh Assembly Government's Reaching Higher target of 7% of students undertaking some element of their course through the medium of Welsh by 2010. This would double the present number.

"I am pleased to be able to announce further measures to support Welsh medium provision in Higher Education amounting to almost £1m over three years," said Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning. "Our vision, set out in Iaith Pawb [the Assembly's language initiative], of a truly bilingual Wales is a bold one. Education at all levels is a key component for success and we are tackling both sides of the equation - supply and demand.

"Following the report by a steering group, I have agreed to proposals from the sector to strengthen Welsh medium teaching by supporting the establishment of a Welsh Medium Development Centre, building on the existing Welsh Medium Teaching Unit. This will support the continuing development of Welsh medium provision collaboratively across the higher education sector in Wales. Working with institutions, the centre will undertake wide ranging marketing activities as well as work to improve the staff capacity, develop learning and teaching activities and disseminate best practice. These elements are essential for the short and medium term growth in provision."

There will be a study into the costs associated with delivering Welsh medium provision, with this feeding into considerations of funding for such courses over the longer term.

"To date, Welsh speaking students have been able to benefit from pockets of Welsh medium excellence. The challenge for us all is to develop a more strategic approach towards developing and sustaining high quality Welsh medium teaching and learning," added Ms Davidson.

But students at one of the Welsh universities, Aberystwyth, have described the sum as "pitiful". "Obviously, any extra money is good news. But it is not enough," says Stephen Hughes of Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth [Aberystwyth Welsh Language Students Union]. "In a field where hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on higher education every year, an extra sum of £300,000 a year for Welsh education is pitiful, if not laughable. Welsh medium lectures of a high standard are available in all of Wales' higher education institutions, and we feel that co-operation between those institutions is the only way to improve the situation. The technology exists for students in numerous institutions to have lectures together via video link."

The Assembly Government's announcement follows an announcement made in November 2004of funding of £2.9m for Fellowships and Teaching Scholarships. "This is another step towards meeting the challenging targets set out for achieving our vision of Wales set out in Iaith Pawb. Taken together, these announcements mean almost £4m additional funding to develop Welsh Medium Provision in Higher Education," says Ms Davidson. (Eurolang © 2005)

LINKS National Assembly for Wales Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth

7) Breton: "We can't wait any longer, we are losing 20 000 speakers a year, the house is on fire." (Breton)
Kemper, Breizh / Brittany, Tuesday, 26 July 2005 by Yann Rivallain

After a number of lectures on media, culture, the Breton language, and popular culture, the final session of the Summer University of the Quimper music festival on Friday concentrated on the possibilities to support minority language and cultures through European integration. However, minds focused on the current situation of Breton which is facing a sharp decline in numbers of speakers.

Philip Blair, head of the regional and local democracy unit at the Council of Europe explained how the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) was now having a real impact in countries where it has been ratified. He also explained that the Charter had been an incentive to pass further national legislation to protect minority languages.

Several participants, including Bernard Poignant, MEP for the Westen circumscription of France, in which Brittany is incorporated, felt however that the prospect of a future ratification by France ? which implies a modification of the French constitution - was now extremely unlikely.

Kristian Guyonvarc'h, vice-president of Brittany's regional council agreed and added that "the constitutional court is not a legal court but a political one. The fact that they consider that the Charter is incompatible with the constitution and at the same time said nothing about the articles in the proposed European constitution which referred to regional languages and cultures is a clear proof that their conclusions are political rather than based on real legal terms".

Pointing toward Breton cultural organizations, such as the Cultural Council of Brittany, Bernard Poignant suggested that the struggle now moved to "the organization of a parliamentary debate on the regional languages of France, to call for a specific language law as in other European States".

Patrick Malrieu, President of the Cultural Council of Brittany shared the feeling of frustration of most participants, "We can't wait any longer, we are losing 20 000 speakers a year, the house is on fire".

Jean-Pierre Thomin, a regional councillor in charge of the Breton languages showed more optimism. He stressed that "customs in most cases preceded the law. If we keep bringing the language into new areas, show a clear determination, the law will finally adapt to the situation on the ground.

He explained that "while in danger, the value of the Breton language was increasing steadily in the population and in the economic sector, such as the building industry which is targeting Breton speakers to meet their needs."

On a European level, Jean-Pierre Thomin called for the establishment of a fund for endangered languages, on the model of the Regional Structural Funds, one of the success stories of the integration process. "We must push for a language FEDER fund to help the weakest languages converge towards the stronger languages".

Referring to the current Breton language development plan, Henri Giordan, an expert on regional languages in France said that "while Brittany deserves credit for setting-up the first language planning policy in a French region, such an institution cannot do everything. It can't do alone what the government should be doing".

He felt that French regions should adopt a much more targeted approach, selecting a few areas for action, such as huge marketing campaigns on the benefits of bilingualism and the value of those languages. "If we keep trying to do a bit of everything without the resources needed, the impact will remain minimal".

Henri Giordan also stressed that policies set-up by the European Union in the 90s to support minority languages had all been abandoned and that there was now "not a centime available for minority language projects", adding a degree of pessimism to an already bleak panorama.

Philip Blair stressed the importance of inter-regional cooperation at a European level to unlock the situation and go beyond institutional obstacles at national level. Most participants agreed that the European constitution, refused by the French and Dutch, could have helped minority language speakers.

The session concluded with a few proposals and a strong feeling of frustration among the public, mostly language activists. "Will we still be here in ten years referring to the same legal technicalities [ECRML, language laws?] as we were doing in the same room ten years ago?" Asked a disillusioned speaker of Breton.

"We cannot afford to be", replied Patrick Malrieu, "the clock is ticking and if nothing changes now it will all be too late". (Eurolang © 2005)
July 31, 2005

8) Aos Dana II: The bard and the musicologist (Scottish Gaelic)
West Highland Free Press. 29th July, 2005.

JOHN SWAN reports on the talks given by Angus Peter Campbell and JohnPurser during Feis an Eilein last week

The organisers of this year's Feis an Eilein, which ran in Sleat from 12th-23rd July, threatened to end it with "howling pipes, guitars, a thundering bass and an almighty good rhythm". My own encounter with the festival was somewhat more sedate. I chose to focus on parts of the new aos
dana strand.

As I indicated in my report last week on earlier contributions by Clan Donald Centre archivist Maggie Macdonald, and the innovative geneticist Professor Bryan Sykes, I was well rewarded for the long journeys to Sleat. Last week's modern aos dana were the bard Angus Peter Campbell and the musicologist John Purser.

In the past, I've had the privilege of sitting in the presence of WH Auden, Ted Hughes, Sorley Maclean, Murdo Macfarlane and - more recently - Seumas Heaney. To these I now add Angus Peter Campbell. In every case, I have found it difficult afterwards to encapsulate the "message". I've concluded that - just as with their poetry, which cannot be satisfactorily "explained" in any other words than itself - where poets appear in person, the messenger is, in a very real sense, the message. So it proved with Angus Peter Campbell, whose presentation at the feis was very much a bardic performance, complete with fine musical contributions by his two young daughters.

Though my full appreciation was hindered by the limitations of my Gaelic, I felt that we were being taken behind the scenes, as it were, in the creative process. We were allowed to share the current concerns, frustrations, angers even of a man of whom the fear an tigh, Tormod Domhnalach, said in his summing-up: "It's not often you get the poet, novelist, critic and actor combined in the same person."

Angus Peter's talk wove together rich strands from the world's literature. He referred to the Cuban-born Italian novelist, Italo Calvino, whose early work included short stories based on his experiences as a resistance fighter during World War II. In time of war, everyone experiences their own drama; a war to end fascism leads to the rebirth of freedom of speech; and afterwards there is a craving to recount one's experiences. But - and this is the writer's dilemma, which seemed to me to be at the heart of what Angus Peter was telling us - it's one thing to remember, another to create. In trying to capture the memories through the creative process, you run the very real danger of destroying the reality of the memory. "The writer after writing is the poorest of all men."
Angus Peter's presentation included readings from his own Gaelic novels and poetry, including very recent work; from the autobiography of the Colombian novelist Gabriel Maria Marquez; and reference to the Nova Scotian novelist Hugh Maclennan. He also quoted Sorley Maclean's "Hallaig", which includes the lines: "Tha iad fhathast ann a Hallaig. Chunnachas na mairbh beo." ("They are still in Hallaig. The dead have been seen alive.") Here, if anywhere, is a successful poetic recreation of a past that has been swept away, but whose memory has been preserved in great writing.

Yet Angus Peter, towards the end of his talk, symbolically cast his text aside and called upon his daughters to play for us. Tellingly, this time, though it was a haunting shieling song that they performed, it was without the words, on strings only. Where words fail, we can always turn to music.

FITTINGLY, on the Wednesday evening, under the urbane guidance of musicologist John Purser, those gathered in the Clan Donald Centre's Somerled Room did just that. This modern member of the aos dana came armed with a CD player and a selection of discs, and we explored just a little of Scotland's music.

In his book of that title, published in 1992 by Mainstream and BBC Scotland in conjunction with a 30-part radio series, John Purser claims that "Scotland. has produced a music which is acknowledged and enjoyed worldwide. Be it the bagpipes in New Zealand, Auld Lang Syne in Moscow and Hong Kong, Gaelic song in Canada or country dance in the USA, the world still marches, laments, sings farewell and dances to our tune."

Though described by the evening's chairman, Norman Gillies, as "a Renaissance man and polymath", John Purser is a master of self-deprecation. "I don't even have a degree in music," he confided. Perhaps this was his saving grace. "The history of Scotland's music has no street cred whatsoever. Students have emerged from our music departments with doctorates but with no knowledge of Scotland's music." (His own doctorate is in English Literature.)

He recounted the genesis of the "Scotland's Music" project. In 1990, he reminded us, Glasgow was European City of Culture. Without this, he believes, BBC Scotland would never have commissioned the programmes. He paid full tribute to Neil Fraser and Martin Dalby who, on behalf of the BBC, allowed - indeed encouraged - the project to escalate from a series of half- our introductions followed by an hour's illustrative playing, first to 26 and then to 30 90-minute broadcasts in which commentary and performance were interwoven.

For those who didn't hear the series, there's good news: plans are afoot for a new set of up to 50 programmes for radio (John is a great proponent of the magic of radio). There may even be a short series of TV productions about Scotland's music. The new BBC Director General's forthcoming swingeing staff cuts are supposed to free up cash for more adventurous programme-making. Well - let him put his (i.e. our!) money where his mouth is.

John Purser is particularly happy with the opening of his book, where he quotes an 11th-century Gaelic text in support of the commonality among all living things. Classical and traditional music, jazz, even birdsong in his view are all part of a single pattern of sound. "Birds," he claims, "were the first musicians." His love of music appears boundless.

He enabled us to share just a little of his tastes when he let us hear, most memorably, a radio recording of the pipe tune "MacNeill is lord" played by John Burnet on the pink sands of Mingulay against a background of Atlantic combers. This piece, he informed us, would have been played to the islanders in the old days when their landlord or his agent came to collect the rent!

"Pibroch has to be listened to slowly - like the waves coming ashore," he maintained, adding: "There's not another instrument in the world that could contend with such waves."

John singled out a number of significant contributors to the earlier development of our music: Captain Tobias Hume, for one (in some ways a precursor of Bach); Sir John Clerk of Penicuik (who wrote outstanding cantatas and who attempted to court a new wife by cheekily sending her a flute with a risqué love poem inside so it couldn't play till she'd retrieved - and hopefully read - the poem); and General John Reid, who managed to compose fine flute sonatas in the midst of such adventures as fighting the Jacobites and the American secessionists. At the end of a long life, he left a bequest to Edinburgh University which was used to fund Scotland's first chair of music in 1839.

John Purser is currently working on a book about Erik Chisholm, conductor, virtuoso pianist, composer of the breakthrough "Pibroch Concerto" (of which we heard an inriguing extract), and ultimately emigrant to South Africa where he became Professor of Music at Cape Town because his home country, Scotland, could offer no post worthy of his talents.

Erik Chisholm died in 1965. Perhaps he would have stood a slightly better chance of recognition in Scotland today. If so, it would be in no small part due to the efforts of John Purser. It's worth noting that in the very week John gave his talk the BBC Proms in London featured James Macmillan's specially-commissioned work for organ and orchestra, A Scotch Bestiary, and are scheduled to celebrate Scotland's fiddle music in a performance by Blazin' Fiddles this Saturday.

Angus Peter Campbell's presentation ended with a poet invoking the power of music. John Purser's presentation on music ended with his reading his own very moving poem, "The confession of the organist to his mirror". Words and music; music without words; words about music. These were among the riches of the aos dana strand of this year's Feis an Eilein. Our aos dana have spoken - and spoken eloquently to us. Under this banner, the feis committee have instituted a highly-worthwhile series. The challenge will be to maintain this year's very high standard.

9) New Book Chronicles a Gaelic Life on Margaree Island (Scottish Gaelic)
INVERNESS, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ -

With the publication of "An Innis Aigh" My Life on Margaree Island, Duncan MacLellan provides a glimpse at a vanishing way of life while seeking to preserve for future generations the importance of Gaelic language and customs.

Mr. MacLellan is the last surviving child of Angus Y MacLellan who in 1912 accepted the post as lighthouse keeper on Margaree Island. He arrived on the Island with his wife Maggie and two children. Together he and Maggie raised a family of seven children in the splendid isolation of Margaree Island.

Lighthouse operations played a critical role in the economy and the safety of coastal Nova Scotia. The MacLellans were frequently cut off by weather conditions from the mainland. This fostered a strong sense of family, a reverence for nature and a passion for Gaelic songs and poetry within the family. These qualities are all reflected in the gentle and humorous stories Mr. MacLellan tells.

Angus Y MacLellan retired from Margaree Island to Inverness in 1946. He was well known in Cape Breton as a poet, songwriter and a fierce promoter of the Gaelic language. His work has been rendered into songs and recorded by famous Gaelic singers such as the Rankin Family.

Mr. MacLellan was inspired to write this memoir by a wish to preserve "the culture and family values passed from generation to generation across great oceans from the old world to the new world". In many respects the story of the MacLellan Clan is emblematic of many lives of families throughout Cape Breton. It makes a modest but important contribution to the social history of Nova Scotia and to the preservation of Gaelic within it.

"An Innis Aigh" is available through several Cape Breton distributors, including the Bear Paw in Inverness. Copies may be ordered by email linda.oliver or from Margaree Island Publishing, PO Box 2010, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J-1T0.

For further information: Linda Oliver, 902-685-3873,
[email protected]

This post has been edited by WizardofOwls on 06-Aug-2005, 05:22 PM
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I am pleased with the Welsh language funding in higher education, but feel that the focus of the Assembly should be on primary and secondary education, where technology and tactics really lack. Students are being taught Welsh by teachers who do not speak Welsh. My Welsh-medium secondary school is in fact due to close.

Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i´m gwlad
Tra môr yn fur
I'r bur hoff bau
O bydded i´r heniaith barhau
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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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

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

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

This is the Celtic News part 1, posted on September 13, 2005.

Please note that several installments will follow this one as I have lots of news to catch up on. .

August 1, 2005

1. Anger at new rules aiming to 'simplify' German (Misc Language)

August 2, 2005

2. Ffaith, a new pressure group for the Welsh language (Welsh)
3. Breton language gets worldwide attention on BBC Radio 4 (Breton)

August 4, 2005

4. Book Launch for Reproduction of Famous Gaelic Song Book at Highland Village (Scottish
5. Breton language policy launched in Wales (Breton)

August 6, 2005

6. No Welsh speaking communities by 2020, says language group (Welsh)

August 7, 2005

8. Multiculturalism: It was around a long time ago (Scottish Gaelic)

August 1, 2005

1. Anger at new rules aiming to 'simplify' German (Misc Language)
The Scotsman
Tue 2 Aug 2005


A RAFT of changes designed to simplify what Mark Twain once called "that awful German language" legally took effect yesterday across Germany, Austria and Switzerland, seven years after they were first introduced.

But the reformed rules have been bitterly disputed, with critics arguing that languages should be allowed to develop naturally and not be directed by bureaucrats.

Most schools and public offices have already been using the new rules, which were aimed at breaking up some of German's notoriously long words and eliminating excessive and confusing comma regulations.

They also changed some spellings and cut back on the use of the old German letter for a double "s", ß.

And some compound verbs that were previously written together are now split. For example, "radfahren", which means "cycling", is now written "Rad fahren".

But leaders in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia said they were waiting for clarification on the new grammar rules by the German Spelling Council before fully accepting the reforms. Germany's 14 other states and the bordering countries of Switzerland and Austria yesterday accepted the new language rules.

Schools and public institutions will now have to disregard old rules, which were scrapped in 1998.

The Nobel Prize winning Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek has signed a manifesto demanding that the reform be cancelled.

August 2, 2005

2. Ffaith, a new pressure group for the Welsh language (Welsh)
Penygroes, Monday, 01 August 2005 by Dafydd Meirion

With the Welsh Language Board being abolished in 2007, a language forum has been established to ensure that the Assembly Government of Wales - which will take over its functions - works for the benefit of the language.

The forum, called Ffaith (Fact), has members of all the opposition parties in Wales, and it intends to meet for the first time in the autumn. This meeting will discuss how the Assembly Government can increase the number of Welsh speakers.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Plaid Cymru's member for East Carmarthen and Dinefwr - one of the language's heartlands - says that it will be an "ideas powerhouse" and that it will be needed once the Language Board disappears. It is expected that people who are not members of the Assembly will also join Ffaith. The group intends to hold lectures and write papers on the situation of the language, and that members of the various parties "will set a non-political agenda to ensure that the recommendations in Iaith Pawb [Language for All - the Assembly Government's Welsh language policy] are carried out".

"At this stage it is difficult to see that the Assembly Government has any strategy to reach the target set in Iaith Pawb on increasing the number of Welsh speakers by 5% by 2011 [the date of the next Census]," says Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

Another member of Ffaith, Liberal Democrat Nick Bennett, says that a forum such as Ffaith is needed "to look for facts from all over the world to see what works in strengthening minority languages". He adds that the intention is not to criticise the Assembly Government "but to gather evidence and to raise the level of the debate on the Welsh language".

The next step is to ensure a source of non-political funds to pay for the work of Ffaith.
(Eurolang © 2005)

3. Breton language gets worldwide attention on BBC Radio 4 (Breton)
Boulvriag / Bourbriac, Sunday, 31 July 2005 by Yann Rivallain

Several million listeners of the prestigious "Today" programme on BBC Radio 4 got a taste of the Breton language and music on Saturday morning. The BBC crew were broadcasting live from Bourbriac, in the Breton-speaking Tregor area of Brittany. While the original idea was to cover the issue of the integration of hundreds of English-speaking newcomers to Brittany, the BBC journalists broadened the perspective by inviting several Breton and English participants to talk about Breton language and culture.

Roy Eales, a former journalist at The Economist, who has published several poetry books and now resides in Brittany, read a poem called Fest-Noz. This poem about the traditional Breton dance evenings and the Breton language was then read out to BBC listeners in Breton by Fañch
Perru, a Breton teacher and poet, making history as the longest text in Breton read to such a wide

As French radios were busy covering the huge traffic-jams that clogged French roads up on a busy holiday week-end, the BBC team alternated between breaking news on the London bombers and interviews in Bourbriac.

When asked about the feeling of the general public toward English-speaking incomers, as editor-in-chief of the magazine ArMen, (also our Eurolang correspondent and author of this article) explained that "the waves of newcomers is certainly a striking phenomenon, but to the vast majority of Bretons it is not a problem. Newcomers to Brittany, whether they are British, French or whatever are welcome here. If they respect and take interest in our Celtic identity, culture
and the Breton language, most will actually find that they are doubly welcome".

Most English-speaking people interviewed by the "Today" team said they had never experienced any hostility from Breton people, including those who staged a demonstration against speculation and empty second homes in Bourbriac a few months ago. Most people concentrated on the quality of life they enjoyed, while one English participant welcomed the new Breton language development plan and bilingual education.

While asking a participant to say "goodbye" in Breton, Carolyn Quinn, the presenter suggested that Breton education could be better integrated into the local community.

The very popular "Thought for the Day" item written by Rev. Rob Marshall, a Yorkshire man who lives in Brittany, also refered to cultural and linguistic diversity : "Cultural diversity was, of
course, always God''s purpose in creation. Many different peoples in a variety of lands. The gift of languages. The natural local world in all its splendour and diversity. Regional foods and delicacies to give real pleasure and enjoyment?"

The two hour programme, half of which concentrated on Britto-Breton matters, concluded with a two minute Breton gavotte, played live on the biniou (Breton bag-pipe) and bombarde (ancestor of the oboe) by the Cornic brothers, two young Breton speakers and acclaimed traditional

As the well-known BBC beeps marked the end of the programme at 9.00 am, the pipes faded away leaving many participants thankful to the BBC for allowing a seriously endangered language such as Breton to become global for a short while. (Eurolang © 2005)
To listen to Roy Eales poem in English and Breton on today, click on the following link to the BBC Radio 4 web site

August 4, 2005

4. Book Launch for Reproduction of Famous Gaelic Song Book at Highland Village (Scottish Gaelic)

At 2 pm on August 25th, the Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach, will host a book launch celebrating the reprinting of An Òranaiche/ The Gaelic Songster. This extensive collection of popular Gaelic songs is well known to Gaels on both sides of the Atlantic. An Òranaiche was collated and first published by Archibald Sinclair, Glasgow, Scotland in1879. The book became a valued reference work for many households in Scottish Nova Scotia and well- worn copies of the original remain in use to the present.

Production of An Òranaiche in a second edition was undertaken by Antigonish Gaelic bookseller Trueman Matheson, owner of Sìol Cultural Enterprises, with contributions from volunteers who advised and assisted in text editing. Among the dedicated to this important project were Effie Rankin, Catrìona Parsons, and Dr. Kenneth Nilsen of St. Francis Xavier's Celtic Department.

The second edition of the Gaelic Songster is an impressive compendium of Gaelic songs enhanced by a CD giving examples of airs over twenty one tracks representing songs found in the book. Selections include melody settings from Nova Scotia and Scotland and are sung by local singers in traditional manner without musical accompaniment.

The Highland Village Museum will pay tribute to Archibald Sinclair and Trueman Matheson's second edition of An Òranaiche in the Tuning Room, backstage from 2 pm to 4 pm. Performing guests joining in the launch will include the Iona Gaelic Singers, Mary Jane Lamond, Jim Watson, and friends. This is a special event for all with an interest in Gaelic singing and this landmark collection of Gaelic songs now once again available to the public. Light refreshments will be served and all are welcome. Admission is free.

The Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach is located in Iona overlooking the spectacular Bras d'Or Lakes. It is a part of the Nova Scotia Museum family. Ur beatha an Clachan.

Contact: Seumas Watson, Manager of Interpretation
Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach
(902) 725- 2272 [email protected]

Shannon MacKenzie, Public Relations Coordinator
Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach
(902) 725- 2272 [email protected]

Trueman MathesonSìol Cultural Enterprises
3841 Highway 316, P.O. Box 81,
St. Andrew's, NS, CANADA B0H 1X0
Phone/Fax: (902) 863-0416

5. Breton language policy launched in Wales (Breton)
Felinheli, Wednesday, 03 August 2005 by Dafydd Meirion

Today (3rd August) at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Breton Regional Council launched its language policy for the Breton language. At the meeting was Jean Pierre Thomin, a member of the Breton Regional Council with responsibility for language policy.

He was welcomed to the Welsh Language Board's unit at the National Eisteddfod by the board's chief executive Meirion Prys Jones. Mr Jones said that the Welsh Language Board had increasing contacts with Brittany and he emphasised how important it was for the two countries to co-operate.

M Thomin started his address in Welsh before turning to Breton with his comments being translated into Welsh by Iwan Kadored from Ofis ar Brezhoneg. He said that the Breton Regional Council was inspired by the National Assembly of Wales' language policy, and he added that the Breton language policy was the first ever document on a minority language to be accepted by the French Government. It was also the first bilingual document adopted by the Breton Regional Council.

He then gave a brief outline of the position of the Breton language and why a language policy was needed. He said that 60 per cent of the speakers were over 60 years of age, and that 10,000 speakers died every year. But he added that 10,000 children were learning the language in the schools, although the language was not being transferred within families to the younger generation. He added that there was not much Breton on radio and television.

But he was certain that there was a better future for the language. He said that the percentage of children learning Breton was increasing by 10 to 15 per cent every year - being ten times what it was ten years ago. He added that many societies were arranging activities in Breton.

He said that the need for a language policy arose during last year's elections, and when the socialists came to power a group consisting of 20 per cent of the councillors was formed to formulate a policy. Members of the group held meeting with societies and bodies who were promoting the language.

The language policy was accepted in December 2004, and it is seen as a historic step forward. Amongst the aims of the policy is to increase the official awareness of the language and for Breton to become one of the official languages of Brittany. The Breton Regional Council has also asked the French Government to sign the European Charter on Minority Languages. The policy has three objectives, said M Thomin, which are to keep the language alive and retain the number of speakers, give the people of Brittany the opportunity to use the language - spoken and written, and to give the Breton language the opportunity to be accepted in every part of society.

The policy also has the aim of increasing the number of children learning the language in schools from 10,000 to 20,000 by 2010. The Breton Regional Council will offer assistance to classes that teach Breton and also to teachers to train them to teach the language in schools. The Breton Regional Council, also, realises that it is important that children are offered the opportunity to speak the language outside school, and they will offer assistance to organisations that arrange activities in Breton.

M Thomin added that it was important that local authorities used the language in public life, and that there was co-operation between the Breton Regional Council and Ofis ar Brezhoneg to promote the language.

He said that little use was made of the language on radio and television, but that the Breton Regional Council was trying to persuade local independent radio stations to use more of the language. It will also work with television companies to produce more Breton programmes. The Breton Regional Council has already supported a weekly Breton magazine that was launched a month ago.

It is also aimed to make Ofis ar Brezhoneg an official body similar to the Welsh Language Board.

He added that the language policy had gone as far as was possible under the circumstances. Until fairly recently, some Bretons were ashamed of their language, said M Thomin. It was only recently that things had started to change, and he added that by now many activities were being held in the language.

Meirion Prys Jones added at the end of the meeting that he hoped Ofis ar Brezhoneg would become part of the Network of European Language Boards, as it was a powerful medium to help and promote languages.

The meeting closed with a rap in Welsh and Breton by Aneirin Karadog. (Eurolang © 2005)

LINKS Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg Ofis ar Brezhoneg National Assembly of Wales The Breton Regional Council

August 6, 2005

6. No Welsh speaking communities by 2020, says language group (Welsh)

Felinheli, Friday, 05 August 2005 Ysgrifennwyd gan Dafydd Meirion

There could be no Welsh speaking communities by 2020. That was the message from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) during the National Eisteddfod in north-west Wales this week.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales is an annual festival celebrating Welsh culture and language.

Some members of the society went on a fast - some for the whole week, others a day at a time - to draw attention to the situation in which, although there has been an increase in the number of speakers, the percentage of Welsh speakers in the language's heartlands is declining, in some areas rapidly.

"During the Eisteddfod week, we have the freedom to live our lives using the Welsh language as a natural part of our daily lives," says Steffan Cravos, chairman of Cymdeithas yr Iaith. "However, should present trends continue, there is a real danger that by 2020 the Eisteddfod field will be the only place where this will be possible. Without a period of urgent campaigning by the people of Wales, it is possible that the Eisteddfod field will be the only Welsh speaking community left within fifteen years."

During the week, Cymdeithas yr Iaith members have been asking people to sign a national petition calling for a property act which would secure housing for local people and a language act that would give people the "right to use Welsh in every part of their daily lives." During a rally on the Eisteddfod field, members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith heckled Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of the National Assembly of Wales.

Mr Cravos added that, "We call on the Assembly Government to introduce these measures... We also call on local authorities and other public bodies... to begin to administer and operate through the medium of Welsh. This is a necessary step in order to ensure that the Welsh language is not simply seen as a language to be translated, but also as a medium that is central to the public life of the communities." (Eurolang © 2005)

Use: Immediate
Issued: Wednesday 3rd August, 2005

Adults who want to learn Gaelic in Inverness area will be able to enrol in a new series of language classes this month with classes starting in September.
Organised by The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service and Inverness College, the classes are being funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Classes begin on 12th September, with students progressing through eight levels, or alternatively joining at an appropriate level. Five of these levels will be offered from September to December 2005 with a further three being offered between January and Easter 2006.

Highland Councillor Roderick Balfour, Chairman of the City of Inverness Area Education Culture and Sport Committee said: "I'm delighted that Margaret Mulholland our Community Learning and Leisure Officer who has special responsibility for Gaelic has organised Gaelic learning classes for people of all levels of ability, whether you are a complete beginner or someone that wishes to `brush up' on your language ability. This is exactly what is required for learners and it is also one of the many targets set out in the Council's Gaelic Language and Culture Plan, which was recently launched in the City. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bòrd na Gàidhlig for their financial assistance and also Inverness College."

Iain MacGillechiar Lecturer at Inverness College said: "We are pleased to be working with Highland Council in putting together a co-ordinated range of learning opportunities for learners of Gaelic."

Donald Morrison, Bòrd na Gàidhlig's Development Manager said: "Gaelic learners feature as an important element within the Bòrd's strategic plan to expand the Gaelic speaking community. This scheme brings together a suite of linked classes that provides potential Gaelic learners and improvers with a clear progressive pathway towards the achievement of fluency. It is particularly fitting that Gàidhlig is, once again, accessible to allcomers in the Highland City of Inverness."

Level one will be offered on a Tuesday night at Charleston Community Centre led by tutor Brian O hEadhra, a Gaelic learner and well-known musician.

On Mondays at venue still to be decided - level two classes will be with tutor, Gwen Bowie who is a former Gaelic Medium teacher.

Level three classes will be on Wednesday nights at Hilton Community Centre. The tutor will be Mary Ellen Stewart from North Uist who is presently working with An Comunn Gàidhealach as a Development Officer.

Level five and level seven will be offered on Wednesday nights at Inverness College. The tutors will be Siùsaidh Hardy, the Director of Clì Gàidhlig and Iain MacGillechiar, Gaelic lecturer at Inverness College.

Classes for levels four, six eight will take place early next year at venues to be confirmed.

To enrol in any of the classes contact Inverness College tel no. 01463 273000.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Mulholland, Gaelic Community Learning & Development Officer,
The Highland Council, Education, Culture and Sport Service, Town
House, High Street. Inverness IV1 1JJ tel: 01463 724203

Marketing Department, Inverness College, 3 Longman Road, Inverness,
IV1 1SA by telephone on 01463 273807 email: [email protected]

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Darach House, Stoneyfield Business Park, Inverness
Tel: 01463 225454, Fax: 01463 716217, email: [email protected]

Date Last updated : 04/08/05

August 7, 2005

8. Multiculturalism: It was around a long time ago (Scottish Gaelic)

Scotland on Sunday
Sun 7 Aug 2005

Murchadh MacLeòid

It used to be said about the Communist world that the most unpredictable thing was always the past. You knew what the current situation was, you knew what was predicted for the future. But because of the ways that the views of the state chiefs changed, you never knew who is history it was safe to praise.

The same is happening in the Highlands. With all the views which are flying around one cannot be sure whether the Highland Clearances really did happen. All those empty villages in Rossshire and Sutherland must be things which I saw in my sleep. And don't even get me started on the places where it is now claimed that "there was never any Gaelic" such as Perthshire, Inverness, Sutherland, Lochinver, Stornoway, and Ross-shire.

The same lack of surety seems to have gripped David Davis of the Tories, along with many others, through recent weeks.

We hear that multiculturalism has gone and that it was nothing but 20 years of madness in which people lost their minds by thinking that people could all be different if they wanted to be.
In this new version of history, everyone in the UK was as identical as 50m herring. One language, one faith, one way of life one philosophy. We all know that it was not quite like that. Multicultural Britain is nothing new. What is new is the fact that those in authority acknowledge that there are different kinds of people in the country. British soldiers went to the Somme, British sailors went to Murmansk, and they came from a country which had many cultures.

They speak Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, and English as first languages. The officers had no idea what to do with the Free Kirkers or Free Presbyterians when it came to church parade. They belonged to a nation with many cultures, languages, and ways of life. And it worked.

Lewis boys went into battle with English who had no idea what the peat-cutting tool looked like, who had never tasted sheep's head soup, stuffed fish heads, salt herring, and who knew nothing of the Presbyterian Catechism. If David Davis believes that we should all be of one culture, then what does he mean with that? When will the British culture courses include information about St Columba, the differences between the various words used to describe various sorts of piles of peats, and how to make herring in oatmeal? I raise these point in order to show the flaws in many of the answers to the problems of radical young Muslims in the UK.

Those named in connection with suicide bombings had no lack of English. They were much more integrated with mainstream UK society than were the Gaels who went to the First World War.

And though the government wanted to get tougher on making sure that we were all of one language and culture, and the like, there is no guarantee that it would succeed. Government spent hundreds of years and millions of pounds trying to exterminate Gaelic, Irish and Welsh. In the words of John Major, We're still here.

And what kind of rage would our leaders create by dictating that the other languages and cultures would have to be wiped out? We never liked it when the people of Highlands and Islands were being taxed to pay for an education system which aimed to exterminate us as a people. It is hard for us to recall now, but until the situation for the Celtic languages got better, there were enough people who discussed violence as an option. The warring sides in Ulster and Bosnia spoke the same languages. Fat lot of good it did them.

This talk of forcing people to become more British will simply make the problem much worse. If radical preaching, the language of the old country, and the traditional culture are made into forbidden things then they will only become more attractive to unhinged young people. And in the world of the internet people cannot be stopped from connecting to these things. And which of us was not years being told about how bad cigarettes were for us? And millions smoke. It was claimed for years that the people in the old Communist countries knew nothing but the system they lived under and that they would not even understand the desire for freedom. And they struggled for freedom and for change despite the many years of oppression. People simply cannot be cowed or ordered as some of us would like.

The history of the Highlands also gives a lesson to those who will want to control Muslim places of worship to ensure that they preach what the government wants them to. 200 years ago, the government hoped to use the established church to keep the Gaels down by having them not oppose the Clearances and the oppression. All they did was strengthen the other churches. Again the internet will mean that those who want radical preaching can get it if they want it.

Many of the so-called solutions will make the problem worse. They will turn a few score fanatics into hundreds or thousands. Let us not forget the lessons of history.




A key member of the Welsh Language Board has called for a series of new laws which he says are needed to create a bilingual Wales. Professor Colin Williams called for language laws to be extended to include parts of the private sector including banks and insurance companies.

The move would complement steps in the public sector as since the 1993 Welsh Language Act, that sector has had to provide a bilingual service.

As usual when such calls are made critics of the move have said extending language legislation to the private sector would be "impractical" and in what must surely be recorded as the most patronising response the Conservative MP and AM for Monmouth, David Davies, said that calls to extend the Welsh language legislation in this way undermined 'goodwill towards the language among non-Welsh speakers'.

Mr. Williams made his call in a speech to the National Eisteddfod which is being held at the Faenol estate, near Bangor.

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

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Here is the latest on Celtic Languages in the News.

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August 13, 2005

1. Call for Welsh police forces to co-operate on the language (Welsh)

August 14, 2005

7. Sign language a problem! - says AGM (All Celtic Languages)
8. Gaidhlig College Director briefs Annual General Meeting delegates (All Celtic Languages)
9. Celtic TV in spotlight at Annual General Meeting (All Celtic Languages)

August 13, 2005

1. Call for Welsh police forces to co-operate on the language (Welsh)
North Wales, Thursday, 11 August 2005 by Dafydd Meirion

North Wales Police have launched a CD on the Welsh language for prospective police recruits. On the occasion of the launch, the Welsh Language Board called for cooperation between North Wales Police and other Welsh police forces to develop a Wales-wide language strategy and to continue to work hand in hand with the Language Board.

The call was made by Meri Huws, chair of the Welsh Language Board, at an event held to discuss "Policing Through Minority Languages". The event, organised by North Wales Police, was also attended by Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Donall O' Cualain of An Garda Siochana (Irish Police) and Alun Puw, Minister for the Welsh Language, Culture and Sport in the Welsh Assembly.

Chief Constable Brunstrom, who has learnt to speak Welsh fluently since he joined the force in 1999, launched a CD that is to be placed in application packs distributed to all individuals who have expressed an interest in applying to become a police officer in the North Wales Police Force. "The CD launched today lists the basic Welsh language requirement that we will expect of all candidates applying to become police officers," said Mr Brunstrom. "There are two official languages within Wales, Welsh and English, and we as a police force have made significant steps to make North Wales Police a bilingual organisation and a Welsh language policy is already in place."

At present, about a quarter of the police in north Wales speak Welsh, whilst the proportion of Welsh speakers throughout the area is 36%, with much higher concentrations in the north-west. The aim of North Wales Police is for 36% of its officers to be able to speak the language. The force was the first in Wales to appoint an officer to try to recruit Welsh speakers.

Meri Huws, chair of the Welsh Language Board, congratulated North Wales Police on the launch of the CD and the work undertaken by the force with regard to the Welsh language. "North Wales Police are setting an example and as a board we want to congratulate them. I urge other
public bodies and businesses in the private sector to look at how North Wales Police work as they are leading the way." (Eurolang © 2005)

This is Cornwall. 11:00 - 09 August 2005

At the beginning of September, as the Horner whets her lips to call the Bards of Gorsedh Kernow to their annual ceremony, this year at Wadebridge, a group of Australian-Cornish bards will meet at the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth to describe the life, events and experience of the Cornish-descended community in Australia. Each year the Gorsedh elects new Bards, chosen for their skill in Kernewek (the Cornish language), or to honour outstanding service to Cornwall and Cornish culture, or to recognise outstanding service to Cornish communities and identity elsewhere in the world.

As September approaches, Bards gather from all over the world.

In Australia the biennial Kernewek Lowender festival brings together people of Cornish descent from all over the country. Many travel to Australia to take part. This year former Grand Bard, Ann Jenkin, carried her unique message of "a modern global Cornish community bonded by culture and origin" to the festival.

She has invited her hosts to share their perceptions of Cornish life in Australia with Cornwall. The event in Redruth, billed as the Dehwelans Lecture 2005, will feature:

Lilian James, from Melbourne, who was recently awarded the Order of Australian Merit for her services to promoting the Cornish language in Australia.

Bill Phillipps, from Victoria, a leading member of the Australian federation of Cornish Associations.

June Parrott, from Victoria, who specialises in cultural activity and Celtic customs.

Rev Ted Curnow, who has been working as a minister in Hayle and St Ives for two years, will describe his impressions and experiences as a Cornish- Australian "coming home".

It's A Cornish Life - Down Under takes place at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth, on Thursday September 1 at 7pm.

IoM Online. 11th August, 2005

THE arts have helped in the revival of Manx, but much work needs to be done.

That is the verdict of delegates who attended the International Celtic Congress in Oban, Argyll.

Supported by the Manx Heritage Foundation, 25 delegates from the Island joined those from Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at the event.

The Celtic Congress is a non-political organisation working to protect and develop Celtic languages and cultures.

Its latest meeting focused on the role of the arts.

Anne Kissack told how choirs and music groups played a part in the revival of Manx Gaelic and presented some of the poetry composed by children at the Manx medium school in St John's.

Mactullagh Vannin and Share na Veg performed at the meeting.

The Welsh delegates focused on drama and theatre, the Cornish on poetry and the people of Brittany looked at the use of the Breton language in advertising posters.
Brian Stowell said: 'The general message was that the art has to be of high standard and not just a vehicle to promote the various languages. As Anne Kissack said, the Isle of Man is generally behind the other countries as regards the use of our language in the arts, but we will catch up in many areas.'


SUE RESTAN. Press and Journal.

09:00 - 11 August 2005

A New all-Gaelic distillery is planned for the Isle of Skye.

One of the smallest whisky companies in Scotland is hoping to expand by converting a redundant farm building at a cost of over £3million.

And it is hoped that the new development, which includes a visitor centre, will attract around 60,000 visitors per year and create at least seven new jobs.

Skye-based Praban na Linne Ltd has applied for planning permission for change of use of an agricultural building on Cnoc Farm, Teangue, on the Sleat peninsula.

It has also applied for listing building consent as the dilapidated property, on a farm complex, carries a Grade C listing.

Praban na Linne, of Eilean Iarmain, Sleat, currently produces two blends and one malt under the title The Gaelic Whiskies, but the whisky is distilled, blended and bottled in Edinburgh.

Company chairman Sir Iain Noble explained that they now want to expand into distilling their own whisky.

He said: "This is a natural progression for us. It is also a good use for an old building that is otherwise in danger of becoming derelict.

"We would initially hope to employ seven people. However, if the visitor centre proved successful and we got involved in corporate entertaining, the figure could rise to 10 to 15 plus seasonal staff," he said.

The former merchant banker added that all their products were labelled in Gaelic and business was conducted in the language whenever possible. "Our ambition is that all staff at the distillery would be Gaelic speaking, in which case it would be the only Gaelic speaking distillery in Scotland," he said.

The company's agent John Sanders, of Simpson and Brown Architects in Edinburgh, said: "The existing farm complex at Torabhaig is considered ideal for a distillery. The building is in the form of a quadrangle, adjacent to a ruined mill building in a fine scenic site with a view to
Caisteal a Chamuis (The Old Castle).

"It has not been used for agricultural purposes since about 1975. To use it for a distillery would be an ideal way of rescuing a redundant farm building that is no longer suitable for agriculture."

It would also incorporate a display of the existing smugglers still, currently displayed at the company's specialist whisky tasting and sales centre at Eilean Iarmain. Mr Sanders added that the proposed design would ensure the preservation of the character of the old steading, which was built around 1800.

A Highland Council spokesman said the application was unlikely to go before the Skye and Lochalsh Area Committee before October.


KEN JONES. Press and Journal.

09:00 - 11 August 2005

The go-ahead will be sought today for the start of a formal consultation process to resolve a row over the future of a village's English and Gaelic units, which has already split a community.

Highland education bosses say there are capacity and accommodation issues at the Lady Lovat Primary School at Morar which must be resolved.

But they have already been warned there could be "irreparable damage" unless there is careful handling of the controversy over the school's minority 13-strong English stream and the 37-pupil Gaelic unit.

The council's education, culture and sport committee is being asked at its meeting today to set in motion formal consultations with councillors and parents.

It follows concerns by the schools inspectorate who, despite praising the quality of education, said there were "important weaknesses" in accommodation.

Since then informal discussions have taken place with parents and the wider communities of Mallaig, Arisaig and Morar over accommodation and capacity issues.
A steering group was also formed to "agree and present their aspirations and recommendations" with a view to a resolution being put in place for the new enrolment next January.

However, some parents admit there has been a "deep-rooted split" over some of the proposals.

Among them is the transfer of either the Gaelic unit or the smaller English stream to the primary school at Mallaig, where there is spare capacity.

However, the school's Comunn nam Parant Rathad nan Eilean group claims splitting the Gaelic unit would be detrimental to their youngsters' language and social development in an area with a strong Gaelic tradition.

They have voted not to split the Gaelic unit in any way or move it to Mallaig but to maintain the status quo at Morar.

English-stream supporters deny the village has a Gaelic tradition - and claim that those pressing for an all-Gaelic school are from outwith the village or incomers.

It is claimed a survey had shown that 91% of villagers, including English-stream parents, wanted the school to cater for both, not just Gaelic, as it had done so since 1915.

English-stream parents have voiced "huge disappointment" that the council has not made more money available to provide additional accommodation, enabling the school to be taken forward as a flagship for mixed English-Gaelic medium education.

They are also concerned that a 15-pupil maximum has been imposed on the number of English-stream pupils but not Gaelic learners, who come from Arisaig, Mallaig and Morar.

Press and Journal. 09:00 - 05 August 2005

A brand new music festival for the Highlands in which pride of place is given to tradition, youth and Gaelic is hitting the road next month.

The Blas Festival will feature some of the best acts from this country and from other complementary traditions, and by staging performances in many of the remoter villages of the area it will reach places others don't. It will feature nearly 40 different shows in 35 different
locations throughout the Highlands and is concentrated into what promises to be a great week of music, conviviality and crack.
The festival's new website details performers and performances, provides useful links for those intending to travel to concert locations and, most importantly, has a facility for ticket purchase online, through the new HI-Arts initiative

According to Brian O hEadhra, artistic director for Blas, the completion of the programme and the launch of the website are important and necessary steps in bringing to fruition the aims and aspirations for the festival.

He said: "From the outset Blas aimed to create a festival that celebrates traditional music in the Highlands and promotes interest in and the use of Gaelic.

Blas is funded by the Highland Council and the Millennium Commission, through its Urban Cultural Programme. The Council has contracted Feisean nan Gaidheal to develop and organise the festival.

August 14, 2005

7. Sign language a problem! - says AGM (All Celtic Languages)

Celtic League Press Information

The problem of road signage and public signage in general was the subject of several resolutions passed at the CL's AGM at Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaidhlig College on Skye. Resolutions from the Cornish and Manx branches of the CL called upon the public authorities in the Celtic countries to recognise their duty to preserve and promote their national languages and the usage of them in signage. Delegates to the meeting expressed anger and irritation at the increasing propensity in some of the Celtic countries to crudely translate or, in some instances, rename areas and roads in English or French.

JB Moffatt, Secretary General

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

For more information, telephone the General Secretary Bernard Moffatt on: 07624 491609
For comment in Manx, contact Mark Kermode on 07791302236
For comment in Welsh, contact Robat ap Tomos on 07765187557
For comment in Irish, contact Cathal O Luain on 00353 87248031

Internet site at

8. Gaidhlig College Director briefs Annual General Meeting delegates (All Celtic Languages)

Celtic League Press Information

Iain Taramod Macleoid, Director of Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaidhlig College on Skye, attended the opening session of the Celtic League Annual General Meeting held at the college and provided a
comprehensive presentation to delegates about the current work and role of the Sabhal Mor Ostaig college in promoting Gaidhlig across Scotland and around the world.

He stressed the collaboration ventures that were under way with other institutions throughout Scotland and internationally. Delegates were impressed by the facilities at Sabhal Mor Ostaig which are to be further enhanced and provide crucial support to the Gaidhlig language at this pivotal point in the language's development.

JB Moffatt, Secretary General

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

For more information, telephone the General Secretary Bernard Moffatt on: 07624 491609
For comment in Manx, contact Mark Kermode on 07791302236
For comment in Welsh, contact Robat ap Tomos on 07765187557
For comment in Irish, contact Cathal O Luain on 00353 87248031

Internet site at

9. Celtic TV in spotlight at Annual General Meeting (All Celtic Languages)

Celtic League Press Information

The Celtic League Annual General Meeting held at Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaidhlig College on Skye addressed the provision and extension of Celtic language TV programming across the Celtic countries. One resolution from the Breizh (Breton) branch called for the inclusion of TV Breizh on the French digital chanel TNT (Tele Numerique Terrestre).

In addition, a resolution from the General Secretarypledged the Celtic League's support to calls from political leaders and communities groups to extend all Irish TV broadcasting (including
TG4) to the Irish expatriate community in Britain. Both resolutions were unanimously endorsed.

JB Moffatt, Secretary General
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

For more information, telephone the General Secretary Bernard Moffatt on: 07624 491609
For comment in Manx, contact Mark Kermode on 07791302236
For comment in Welsh, contact Robat ap Tomos on 07765187557
For comment in Irish, contact Cathal O Luain on 00353 87248031

Internet site at
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