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Scottish Gaelic And Glasgow University

Sign of Albain or Scotland
Sign of Albain or Scotland
Alba – Albain – Scotland

The University of Glasgow or Oilthigh Ghlaschu is celebrating its historic links with the Scottish-speaking communities of Scotland thanks to a project called Sgeul na Gàidhlig aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu, as reported by the Scotsman newspaper:

“ONE OF Scotland’s oldest universities has had a continuous presence of Gaelic speakers for more than 500 years, a new study has found.

Researchers found that the Gaelic presence at the University of Glasgow dates back to the 15th century, 450 years before Gaelic was available as a subject of study at the institution.

The findings were made during research for the Sgeul na Gaidhlig aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu’ / ‘Gaelic Story at the University of Glasgow’ project which reveals the “untold history” of the language at the institution.

It found that Gaelic speakers educated at the university have contributed to a wide range of disciplines over the centuries, ranging from medicine, astronomy, mathematics and science, to philosophy and theology as well as Celtic and Gaelic Studies.

A new online resource containing findings from the study will be launched at a public lecture at the university tomorrow evening.

Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, Professor of Gaelic at the University of Glasgow, who led the study, said: “This unique project has revealed the extraordinary contribution made by Gaels down through the centuries to society both at home and abroad.

“Although Gaelic is often hidden from view and silent in official records, Gaelic was a central part of the lives and identities of hundreds of thousands of people living and working in the West of Scotland throughout the ages.

Gaelic is now spoken by 1 per cent of the population but it was spoken by up to a half of the population when the university was founded in 1451 and the University of Glasgow has always had a Gaelic minority.

This untold history deserves to be told, not least for the outstanding role models it provides for younger Gaels.”

You can read more about the research project through these links: Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) or English.

7 comments on “Scottish Gaelic And Glasgow University

  1. Rather depressing to read the various anti-Gaelic posts in the Scotsman – one thought the language crossed all religious and political divides (indeed, Na Eilean Siar delivered one of the proportionally largest “No” votes in September)? Also, if Lallans can fight its corner against the hegemony of Standard English, then Northern nationalists may in turn treat Ulster-Scots with a greater respect.


    • ar an sliabh

      I don’t know much about the Scotsman, but the press and media nowadays are really blatantly only publishing those select materials that support whatever agenda they are following, even when it conflicts with reality. Including removing posts, or skewing numbers to indicate non-representative “public” sentiments. As for the “Western Isles,” that is mostly old folks who were scared for their pensions due to masterful manipulation. I like their “bi-lingual” site.


      • That’s why you should get your info from multiple sources and try to figure out the truth yourself.
        That’s why I’m following this blog despite the fact that it’s obvious that the author is heavily biased.


  2. It’s refreshing to see a university celebrating its links with Gaelic-speaking communities rather than ignoring or even scrubbing their history of any traces of them.


    • CBC, I agree and some of the universities in Scotland have been quite progressive on the recognition of Scottish Gaelic (bilingual studies, signage and forms, etc.).


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