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: