Tha mi glè sgìth oir chan urrain mi nam chadal a-raoir.
Sin uile e!
This may be a stupid question, but I am wondering with all this talk about getting Scottish Gaelic added to DuoLingo, why hasn’t Bòrd na Gàidhlig set about creating an app specifically for learning Scottish Gaelic in a fun, and engaging way? An app which can be released worldwide on Android and iOS suitable for mobile phones, tablets, and the web? Make it free for those downloading from Scotland, and charge a small/minimum subscription for anyone outwith to continue to fund updates, if needs be. Alternatively, it could be funded with advertising from Scottish producers.
It would be nice if it wasn’t a translation based app, but an audio-visual immersion experience, so that anyone wishing to learn Scottish Gaelic would not need to know English first. Topics on the environment, history, and culture (old and new) of the Gaels and Scotland could be explored at the more advanced levels.
The structure of the language is such that it does not necessarily fit into a pre-set mould for learning, so why not create something unique? Why invest in another printed dictionary – which will probably cost the purchaser dearly – but not engage with popular technology?
It just seems like a missed opportunity.
This was one of the (many) thoughts that I had whilst waiting for the Sandman last night.
I grew up in a Catholic household, my mother converting to marry my father. I won’t say my parents didn’t rant about things, but I never heard a bad word said about ANYONE based on race, religion, gender, or orientation.
My father, having grown up in the country had the habit of hospitality, i.e. all who come are welcome, fed and given a bed, and my mother followed suit. My father would probably have given you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
I don’t remember a single prejudice being expressed at home. Going to two primary schools populated by Nuns, and attending mass regularly, I never heard a prejudice expressed in school or church either, and, again, hospitality was given freely.
In my younger days, we lived in an area populated by first, and second generation emigrants from Europe, and Asia, and we enjoyed, and celebrated the mix of cultures.
What’s my point? My point is that I am grateful for my upbringing. My parents, my family, my teachers, my church never turned their backs on anyone because of an (irrational) fear of ‘other’. No matter how little they had to offer, it was offered and given freely with love. All were welcome. I wish everyone had the chance to grow up in such an environment because the world today might be a better place for it.
I do have hate in my heart, but it is a hate of prejudice, bigotry, and xenophobia. I just can’t comprehend it. My friends come from all walks of life and have different experiences of the world to me, and I love that every, single one of them brings something different to the table for us in which to partake. This is how I was raised: to celebrate both what we have in common, and what makes us different.
Do I judge people? Yes, but I don’t judge based on anything other than how they treat other people, animals, and the world in general. Do I judge them on their views? Yes, if those views involve hurting another person, or the world in general. I measure folk against the people around whom I grew up. I don’t think that the bar is set too high.
I really have no idea how people see me, but I hope that I live up to my own standards, the standards instilled in me by my upbringing. I hope, too, that the human race continues to learn, to grow, to embrace one another.
Oh, how I hope.
Learn Gaelic have recently added some extras to the “Speaking Our Language” content on their website. Each episode now includes a listen, and repeat, or “can seo” section, and quiz to aid in learning the materials.
Above are four sets of lyrics for the Gaelic version of “Silent Night”.