Monthly Archives: May 2015

“All but a dead language”? “Never native to the North-east of Scotland”? Let’s play anti-Gaelic bingo again! Aberdeen is not in the Highlands or islands of Scotland, which are traditionally thought of as the Gaelic-speaking areas of the country. But as Art Cormack describes, Aberdeen and the surrounding areas have had Gàidhlig gu leòr (plenty of Gaelic) from the distant past right up through the present. And this is a linguistic legacy that north-easterners can be proud of.

Minority languages like Scottish Gaelic got 99 problems and information technology is one. Linguistically speaking, information technology (IT) is dominated by English. How on earth can minority language users carve out a space for their own technology needs and desires without having to use English or another dominant language? How can IT be used in minority-language immersion teaching, for example, if the interface is English? Who will identify the IT needs and desires of minority language users and work to fulfill them?

While you might expect nonprofit or educational organizations to be doing the work, quite a lot of this effort is individual. Here I present an interview with Michael Bauer, the human being behind many recent achievements and efforts in the world of Scottish Gaelic-medium IT. He gives his insights on the challenges of Gaelic software localization and the problems of English-Gaelic machine translation.

Many things can go wrong if you decide to get a Scottish Gaelic tattoo when you don’t speak the language. I’ll suggest the best ways to ensure that you get a good Gaelic tattoo, if you still have your heart absolutely set on getting one despite all of my warnings in Part 1.