Language Learners

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.

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.

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?

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.

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