Read the newest blog posts about Gaelic revitalization

The Ogham Alphabet

I interview linguist Dr. Conor Quinn about the Ogham alphabet, how it relates to Irish & Gaelic, and what to be aware of if you’re using it in a tattoo.

read more

Learning Scottish Gaelic

Maybe Scottish Gaelic is a part of your family heritage, or you’ve had a longstanding interest in Celtic cultures. Perhaps you were intrigued by a beautiful song, or by the words and phrases in Outlander. Whatever the reason, you may be thinking about learning...

read more

10 Gorgeous Gaelic Voices

Can a Gaelic song change your life forever? Here are ten of my favourite solo artists and groups who sing in Scottish Gaelic, with links to purchase their work and support the language. Perfect for gift-giving, or for learning more about Gaelic language and culture any time.

read more

Gaelic Crowdfunding

In the last couple of years, Scottish Gaelic language groups and organizations have started to use crowdfunding as a method of fundraising for language revitalization projects. Alternative methods are sometimes needed because in the English-dominant world there never...

read more

Too Old to Learn Gaelic?

A reader emailed me with this question: “Hello, I am interested in learning Gaelic. They stopped teaching it at secondary school the year we started, in 1959. I am also somewhat deaf and have to look at people’s mouths when they are speaking to me. Is it too late for me to learn Gaelic?” I’m so glad you asked this question! The short answer is: it is never too late to learn Gaelic! Read on to find out why learning a new language such as Gaelic provides a host of benefits…

read more

Gaelic Education in Nova Scotia Schools

This post offers a look at the current state of Gaelic education in the province of Nova Scotia. It also lets Nova Scotia parents know what they can do to try to get Gaelic taught in their child’s own school, if it isn’t currently offered there. For several years I've...

read more

Raising Gaelic in Nova Scotia

Two Gaelic flag-raising ceremonies on Wednesday, April 27 marked the start of Gaelic Awareness Month in the province of Nova Scotia. The first ceremony was for the city of Halifax and it took place in the Grand Parade at the heart of the city. Mayor Mike Savage and...

read more

Advice for German Gaelic Learners

  People are learning the Scottish Gaelic language all over the world. You might expect the countries to which Gaels emigrated in the 18th–20th centuries to be among the places where Gaelic language learning is the most popular. That is indeed the case, but...

read more

A Gaelic Nativity Play

I love the controlled chaos of a children’s Christmas pageant. Nothing ever goes exactly how it’s supposed to, but it’s always hilarious and heart-warming. In 2011 I wrote a Gaelic nativity play for Gaelic learners, motivated by the desire to integrate more family activities into the Gaelic events calendar.

read more

The Gaelic for Wendy

What’s the Scottish Gaelic translation for Wendy? Translating names can actually be complicated. Gaelic name translation raises larger issues about what can be translated, what could be translated but probably shouldn’t be, how we do translation, and why people want certain things translated. This post gives the history of the name Wendy that all the baby name books get wrong, and offers 6 different suggestions for translating Wendy into Gaelic.

read more

The Gaelic Family?

Today, as I write this, it’s World Communion Sunday. My church, the United Church of Canada, observes this ecumenical celebration. How does this relate to Gaelic? Bear with me. The Bible reading and sermon for today’s service was Matthew 12: 46-50. This passage reminded me strongly of a message (lay sermon) that I wrote and delivered for an ecumenical Gaelic service at the Log Cabin Church in Loch Broom, Pictou County, Nova Scotia in August 2012. My brief Gaelic sermon explains how Gaelic speakers might want to rethink our concept of a “Gaelic family.” Although my message was directed toward Christian attendees, the secular aspect of the message may be interesting for non-Christian readers to consider.

read more

Gaelic Awareness Training for Girl Guides

Earlier this year, I helped to create and deliver a training session on Scottish Gaelic language & culture awareness for the Harbourside Area of the Nova Scotia Council of Girl Guides of Canada. This post gives a bit of the back story on that session, and makes our training materials available to readers as a free download. The materials include activities for children and fact sheets for adult leaders.

read more