Monthly Archives: March 2015

What is Gaelic? My regular blog readers already know, but it doesn’t hurt to keep putting the basic facts out there. Increasing positive awareness of Gaelic is an important part of language revitalization. This post provides four different basic answers to the question, “What is Gaelic?”

Sometimes you set your sights on learning a text by heart that is not repeated very often in your immediate environment. For someone who is new at learning the Scottish Gaelic language, and is of Christian belief or heritage, the sacred symbolic text of the Lord’s Prayer might seem like a natural thing to learn. I’ll explain why that isn’t necessarily a good idea, and talk about when and how to learn the prayer.

In Nova Scotia, you might have noticed that we have a Gaelic flag. The Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia, in cooperation with the Nova Scotia Office of Gaelic Affairs, developed and presented a new Gaelic symbol and flag on behalf of the Gaelic community in 2008. A flag for the Gaelic community might seem odd from an “old world” Scottish perspective. The pan-Celtic flag incorporating flags of the “six Celtic nations” uses the Scottish saltire. So why does it make sense to have a separate Gaelic flag here in Nova Scotia?

A few years ago, someone criticized my work, saying that Gaelic language revitalization wasn’t rocket science. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, because she was right. Language revitalization isn’t rocket science — it’s far more difficult. Rocket science, or any type of engineering, formulates and solves problems. Get the math right, solve the problem. On to the next problem. Something breaks or goes wrong? Find the math or programming mistake and fix it. Human error is a factor, but the math is reliable. Language revitalization, on the other hand, is not so simple…