“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.
A satirical look at anti-Gaelic prejudice and stereotypes in the Scottish and British media — why won’t these tired old lies about Gaelic just die already? In the meantime, download the free gamecards and let’s play bingo with them!
Celtic Life International, which is based here in Nova Scotia, published my article on the use of Gaelic in Disney/Pixar’s film “Brave” in their Spring 2013 issue. The online version also includes a sidebar with the interesting transatlantic history of the Gaelic song “Tha Mo Ghaol air Àird a’ Chuain” which was featured in a trailer for “Brave”. I’ve also created a free YouTube playlist with real examples of how Gaelic was used in the film, including a trailer. The playlist features introductions and analyses that expand on some of my points from the article.
A group of Nova Scotia Gaels smuggled a wool blanket into a downtown Halifax shopping mall — you won’t believe what happened next! Learn this one weird trick for feeling proud of your minority language and culture!
Farmer’s Dairy released some new ice cream flavours for summer 2013. The names of the flavors were inspired by distinctive cultural, culinary, and natural features of Atlantic Canada. The first one that grabbed my attention was “Fiddler’s Reel Brownie” – a “blend of ooey-gooey fudge brownies and thick marshmallow swirl, wrapped in a rich chocolate ice cream. A reel treat for taste buds.” Thinking about the short Nova Scotia Gaelic film “Fiddler’s Reel” and Nova Scotia’s Gaelic culture, I got to wondering what it would be like if this ice cream had a trilingual label in English, French, and Gaelic?