Scottish Gaelic

This post offers a look at the current state of Gaelic education in the province of Nova Scotia. It also lets Nova Scotia parents know what they can do to try to get Gaelic taught in their child’s own school, if it isn’t currently offered there.

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.

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?

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