The Gaelic-Haters Of Britain Are At It Again

Well, it’s been a busy week for those who despise the Scottish Gaelic language and the communities which speak it. From attack-stories on government support for language rights and education in Scotland to artificial outrage over specific schemes, teaching pupils and staff in Scottish-medium schools how to carry out CPR for instance, we’ve seen it all. Now here comes another fake controversy to end off the week (one hopes). Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public service body which manages Gaelic policies for the devolved government in Edinburgh, has had the temerity to advertise a tender for a team of linguistic specialists to carry out research and development into supporting and growing the indigenous language of Scotland. Shock! Horror! A government agency behaving in a professional and responsible manner! Naturally the paragons of Greater English nationalism in the so-called UK press are doing their very best to misrepresent and falsify the proffered contract.

First up we have the Deadline News Agency, who seem so disgusted with the idea of Gaelic equality that they can’t even bring themselves to spell the word with a capital “G”. That’s how angry they are!

“THE quango responsible for spreading the gaelic language across Scotland wants to spend £130,000 – teaching itself how to communicate in gaelic.

The Bòrd na Gàidhlig already has an annual budget of around £5m to promote gaelic – currently spoken by just 1% of the population – as “an official language of Scotland”.

But the board has been branded “ridiculous” for spending a six-figure sum to get advice on grammar, how it sounds, and guidelines on how to write it.

Critics have been left dumbfounded at the prospect of already “accomplished Gaelic speakers” spending taxpayers’ cash to be “schooled” in their own language.

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “…the Scottish Government needs to rein in this drive, which people suspect is politically driven more than anything else.

“The public will see it as ridiculous that those overseeing this SNP push need to be schooled in Gaelic at the cost of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”

Eben Wilson – president of Taxpayer Scotland – added: “This sounds horribly like a nice-to-have service at great taxpayer expense for something that recipients may not value all that much.”

Do the right-wing cranks in Taxpayer Scotland turn out the same carbon-copy condemnation of Scottish Gaelic with each new staged controversy? Of course there is similar journalistic excrement from the tabloid hacks at the Sun newspaper and the Britnat xenophobes at the Daily Mail. In reality, as indicated above, the advertised role from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, “Gaelic Corpus Development“, looks very different indeed from the supremacist propaganda above.

“The output Bòrd na Gàidhlig seeks is:

1) advice on Gaelic linguistics provided to a corpus steering group composed of accomplished Gaelic speakers,

2) a description of the main grammatical issues faced by the modern language, in agreement with the corpus steering group,

3) an online space for the coordination, evaluation and dissemination of new Gaelic terminology, and

4) an administration service provided for the corpus steering group, including interaction with the language community.

The anticipated outcome of the contract is:

– a framework for Gaelic corpus planning which earns popular legitimacy through engagement with the language community and through the marriage of popular, scientific and political interests, and thereby

– the beginning of the development of prioritised corpus resources in accordance with agreed language foundations, and therefore

– enhancing the acquisition and status of Gaelic use in numerous domains.

The successful team, with an individual or sub-team at high academic level under its direction for research and development, will demonstrate an ability to implement the scope and presentation of the tasks, and be equipped with knowledge and skills in the work methods and means chosen.

The successful study team is likely to have a prior knowledge of the subject area which will contribute to the authority and quality of the contract output. This includes professional or academic standing, and independence of judgement and interests. In particular, this includes knowledge of Gaelic linguistics and of the principles of corpus planning.”

Which is a world away from the lies being spread by the British news media. So let me say this on behalf of our fellow Gaels across the Irish Sea who have the misfortune to share an island with a bunch of racist pricks:

Pog Mo Thoin Ghaelach

 

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6 comments

  1. I don’t think this is really anything to do with Gàidhlig, rather the language happens to have been caught in the crossfire. Following the independence referendum, the SNP was supposed to wither and die, but instead its support went from strength to strength. This seems to have surprised and angered the BritNat establishment leading to a barrage of anti-Scottish propaganda, which by now has deteriorated to the level of “Four-legs-good, Two-legs-bad” bleating. Hence “SNP-BAAAD!”

    This went on, without any real effect, during the Westminster election campaigns of last year, and we’re all hunkered down for months more of the same up until the Scottish Parliamentary election this May coming. Trouble is, they’re running out of ideas, the Scots are becoming increasingly deaf to scare stories, exaggerations, and outright lies, and to say they’re now scraping the barrel hardly does justice to their predicament.

    Note that despite Gàidhlig having cross-party support, which should in effect make it a non-political issue, all these stories morph into SNP-BAAD! around the third paragraph.

    Gàidhlig of course faces all the usual problems of a minority language which for centuries was despised and repressed. However hopefully the “mì-rùn mór nan Gall” (great ill-will of the non-Gael) is largely a thing of the past. Most Scots are broadly supportive of the language, if only because it provides another basis for Scotland’s separate identity, and few are outright opposed to it.

    Hopefully trying to use it as a stick to beat the SNP with backfire like all the other SNP-BAAD! nonsense. Feumaidh sinn feitheamh is faicinn …

    1. Scotland is (hopefully) not a 1 party state and therefore it’s ok for the Scots to NOT support the SNP.

      1. Indeed, but in fact more than 50% do, and a few more people support the Greens and the minority left-wing independence parties. Compare this to the UK as a whole where the Conservatives (Tories) rule with I think less than 30% of the total vote.

        Also not all supporters of Gàidhlig are SNP or independence supporters, and not all indy supporters are pro-Gàidhlig, so it’s best not to link the two campaigns too closely. If you do you’re left with the intersection of the two groups, so that both lose some support.

  2. Well stated, Mr Fox. Good on you. I posted your previous article in a Scottish forum and received a very negative response from some quarters. Unbelievable that even some Scots don’t support their own indigenous language. Their comments were up there with the kind of tripe Orangemen come out with. A big time cringe factor at work. Subsequently, my post was deleted. From this I can only conclude that Gàidhlig is doomed. Very sad.

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