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.
What does the remembrance poppy symbol have in common with the situation of Gaelic?
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.
I wrote and delivered a Gaelic message (or lay sermon) for an ecumenical Gaelic church service at the Log Cabin Church in Loch Broom, Pictou County, Nova Scotia in August 2012. It 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 also be interesting for non-Christian readers.
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.
You’re learning Scottish Gaelic, and you need to buy a dictionary. Which one is best for you? No dictionary is perfect, but there are good and bad Gaelic dictionaries out there. Based on my experience and an informal survey of some Gaelic language teachers and scholars, I recommend which Gaelic dictionaries to buy and why, which ones to avoid, and how to use a dictionary as a learning tool.
Nancy Dorian is well known in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, and Celtic studies for her research on East Sutherland Gaelic, language obsolescence, and the sociolinguistics of minority languages. Emily McEwan-Fujita reviews her 2014 book, an edited volume of her “greatest hits.”
If you’re learning Gaelic, it’s helpful to keep track of what other folks are doing out there so you don’t develop tunnel vision about the language community. One interesting learning resource under development is the eDIL, the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language. I interviewed Dr. Sharon Arbuthnot about the dictionary project. What does an Irish dictionary have to do with Scottish Gaelic? Read on!
With this post I’ve decided to poke a bit of fun at those of us who are learning Gaelic as adults. Based on my experiences of learning Gaelic over 25 years in Scotland and North America, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common types (or stereotypes?) of adult Gaelic learners. What kind of Gaelic learner are you?