The Scottish Gaelic language is quite popular in Germany. A German reader asked me for advice because she was very interested in learning Gaelic but had encountered negativity from Gaelic speakers. I told her about the many connections between Germans and Gaelic, and asked several prominent German Gaelic speakers to give her advice.
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!