Current Affairs Education Politics

Scottish Gaelic Is Not Dying, It Is Being Killed

There is a typically dire, fact-free article on the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) in today’s Herald newspaper, penned by the writer Brian Beacom. In the highly partisan opinion piece the anglophone columnist attacks the decision by the devolved government in Edinburgh to commit more public resources to the needs of those adults and children who speak the country’s oldest living tongue. One which is arguably the nation’s sole surviving indigenous language, the historical position of the Scots vernacular (Scottish English) notwithstanding.

With a degree of knowing glibness, Beacom suggests that the future of Scottish should be left to the determination of natural selection.

“…perhaps we should let social Darwinism decide what happens to Gaelic. And if it has to go the way of Latin as a spoken language, so be it.”

But the current parlous state of Scotland’s native speech is not due to the outworking of innate forces beyond the control of humankind, of Mother Nature at her most winnowing. It is the outcome of the planned and deliberate intent of Man, the end result of centuries of linguistic persecution and destruction. The destruction of not just the language but of those individuals and communities who speak the language.

Which means that the decline of Gaelic is not some Darwinian act of unthinking evolution, of the weaker succumbing to the stronger. Rather, it is a premeditated act of political might, of intervention and intention over the course of a thousand years. And there is no reason why contemporary intervention cannot be used to halt and reverse that decline. Unless, of course, one agrees with the intention to kill Gaelic in the first place and wishes to see that cycle of linguistic and cultural ethnocide brought to a successful conclusion.

Which is a whole other type of social Darwinism…

57 comments on “Scottish Gaelic Is Not Dying, It Is Being Killed

  1. Bhí alt maith san Herald le C. Lewin ó Mhisneachd inné (25-04-2018) freisin faoi sin: “Radical Action is needed to save Gaelic”. 🙂
    C. Lewin has written a good piece on behalf of Misneachd (Scottish Gaelic radical group) in the Herald too, yesterday (26-04-2018): “Radical Action is needed to save Gaelic”. 🙂

  2. This may have been what set him off? Note, ALL PARTY support, even lack-lustre Labour and the Terrible Tories 😉

  3. Whats to stop the Irish speaking and writing Irish in Ireland? Absolutely nothing except the Irish people don’t want to speak or write Irish. The vast majority of them would rather be nibbled to death by geese than lose all chance of getting a decent job, learning real languages and emigrating out of the boghole as soon as they leave school or university. Scotland is ruled by the Scots the language they speak is up to them and whilst it may disappoint some Irish liars most Scots seem reluctant to speak and write in the Scottish language.
    We live in a small world and despite everything the Irish do, what a pity for them that its impossible to blow up a language, there are a few languages that dominate, those include Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French and English. English will probably lose out to Spanish in popularity but the honest fact, so unpleasant to the Irish, is that without one at least one of those languages you won’t get far in any career in or out of the boghole.

    • See, you not seeing the worth of Irish, of Scottish Gaelic or any other language otherwise than based on business value is understandable (though I would entirely disagree myself), but something that escape me is the need of folks like yourself to be rude, condescending and hateful. “Learning real languages”? Why say something like that? Irish and Scottish Gaelic are “real languages”. “The boghole”? Why the hatred? I know many young folks who are very happy to live in “the boghole”, and I met far more folks living in great globalised town that are unemployed and living on antidepressors and psychologist’s meetings.
      Indeed your world seems small… But we don’t live in a small world. My native language is spoken by 200,000 folks. I also speak Gaelic, spoken by 60,000 folks and Irish, spoken by 400,000. In my entire life, I’ll probably meet with 5 or 6,000 people all together, only about 1 to 200 will actually become acquaintances, friends or colleagues. So the 6-700,000 people I can converse with in Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Breton seem fine. Moreover, most of us won’t do business or international banking with China and Argentina. Most people live in their local community, work there for its local development, providing local services and helping local economy. Most of us have no use for Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, etc. So why the hatred? You don’t see the point, sure no worries. Go learn Mandarin and do business in Shangai, I wish you all the best. But let those who have other ambitions and plans live through them. 94% of folks who graduate with a degree in Gaelic in Scotland get a job, because as it happens in Scotland it’s more relevant than Chinese. You can’t say that of 94% of folks who graduate with French or English.
      So live you life, share your opinions freely on your perception of “usefulness” of language, but if you just end up despising and hating folks, then we’re not talking rational anymore, we’re just discussing your own feelings of rejection and hatred – and frankly, you can keep that part to yourself, nobody else’s care.

      • +1 Fench. I often speak Irish in work, though much more often English. I know scores of kids going to Gaeilscoileanna, etc, etc. There’s no compunction Pippakin. You don’t want to learn fire ahead. But why deny it to those who do, and why deny the reality that it is a cultural aspect of this state and this island (as by the way is English). By the by on the economic, if that’s the baseline Irish is a firm magnet for tourism etc. People go to Ireland because, well, y’know, it’s Irish, its signage, culture, etc, is infused by the language etc. Likewise with Scotland, likewise with Wales. This adds to our distinctiveness, both linguistic, cultural, visual (look at the public spaces around you and see how it is reflected in signage etc, in so many areas) and so on and yet we have the advantage of also being anglophone (no reason to deny it). Why the upset?

      • gruffydd williams

        Ti di tarro’r hoelen ar ei phen hefo’r ateb rhagorol yna . Such a wonderful reply . We come across such hatred when debating the Welsh language .

      • Well said Feñch, maith thú!.

      • I agree! I wasn’t born in Scotland, but my ancestry runs deep there. I am totally against doing away with the Scottish-Gaelic language. It’s a part of Scottish history, and she be kept alive! Alba gu bràth!!!

    • Tuathanach

      If you want to live in a dystopian nightmare in which there is only one country, one culture, one currency, and one language then yes, by all means: let’s cut all funding, stop all revitalisation efforts and let’s allow all indigenous languages (whether in Honolulu or Harris) to die out. The sheer fact that after (at least!) 400 years of worldwide colonisation by the destructive forces of capitalism, communism, and globalism there are still people speaking local languages, practicing local customs and religions, truly goes to show that culture is not as easily rooted out as the economic elites would like. Indigenous languages tend to preserve the spirit of a land or country before the aforementioned destructive forces set in – one of the many reasons why they are important.
      Calling Ireland or Scotland a boghole goes to show that someone out there is succeeding in convincing people that there is only one “proper” way to live your life, as a slavewage somewhere in a commuter town outside London. Believe it or not, more and more people are realising that there are other, healthier ways to live your life. In Ireland and Scotland, Gàidhlig and Gaeilge happen to be connected to these ways of life.

    • If you want to live in a dystopian nightmare in which there is only one country, one culture, one currency, and one language then yes, by all means: let’s cut all funding, stop all revitalisation efforts and let’s allow all indigenous languages (whether in Honolulu or Harris) to die out. The sheer fact that after (at least!) 400 years of worldwide colonisation by the destructive forces of capitalism, communism, and globalism there are still people speaking local languages, practicing local customs and religions, truly goes to show that culture is not as easily rooted out as the economic elites would like. Indigenous languages tend to preserve the spirit of a land or country before the aforementioned destructive forces set in – one of the many reasons why they are important.
      Calling Ireland or Scotland a boghole goes to show that someone out there is succeeding in convincing people that there is only one “proper” way to live your life, as a slavewage somewhere in a commuter town outside London. Believe it or not, more and more people are realising that there are other, healthier ways to live your life. In Ireland and Scotland, Gàidhlig and Gaeilge happen to be connected to these ways of life.

    • ar an sliabh

      A member and staunch supporter of a former colonising empire supporting the languages of oppressing colonisers, inclusive of the usage of arcane stereotypes. No real surprise.

    • Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong. The language is reborn today, this is just the beginning, you are not seeing the last of the Gaels.

      The school in the clip above had just 23 pupils in 2002, today it has 377. There are now roughly 50,000 children attending Gaelscoils in Ireland, an increase of about 20,000 in the last 15 or so years. If this continues, as it almost certainly will, it’s quite conceivable that there will be close to 100,000 children attending Gaelscoils in the next 20 to 30 years.

      • Seán Mac Ḃloscaıḋ

        Doċreidṫe ‘s iontaċ álainn. Saor agus Gaelaċ!

    • C Hanrahan

      You know you’re at liberty to piss off from this “boghole” and back to wherever you came from any time you wish, don’t you?
      Seems to me you’d be better off for it. You’d certainly be no loss to Ireland.

      • Am I? Moving is a big and expensive business and in addition the right house in the right area is important. Debts need to be paid and I’m reluctant to leave until they are

      • no need to be nasty it achieves nothing to serious debate and is childish

    • Your information about Irish is about 30 years out of date. The Irish education system went down the road on independence of making Irish compulsory in schools and found the approach was unsuccessful. For years now, the Irish have followed the same route as Scottish Gaelic speakers, with more and more immersion schools being set up.

      I’m guessing here that you are Irish yourself, pippakin, Sadly, your attitude mirrors the anti-native language views of a certain section of the Scottish press, who are convinced that Gaelic is being promoted by the SNP in order to make Scotland a Gaelic-speaking country on independence. This is nonsense on a few levels. The normalisation of Gaelic was promoted by the Labour Party and the LibDems through the Gaelic Act of 2005. The SNP joined in much later – 2011, in fact. Gaelic speakers want what’s best for their children, not to take over the country. They pay their taxes and are entitled to have their kids educated in the way they want. Sadly, they are still fighting not just certain newspapers but some people who live within the Gaelic-speaking community

      I come from a family where 2 of our wee kids are growing up bilingual in English and Spanish (with a fair measure of Scots thrown in). This isn’t a political statement: their parents want them to be able to talk to their family in Chile. If our local council got off its high horse and set up Gaelic provision – or if the new Glasgow school was opening a wee bit sooner – they’d be there. These children belong to a large group of people right across the world: almost 60% of the world’s population is at least bilingual. Not because learning a language is a way to a good job but because the way to get on with your neighbours is to speak at least some of their language. The only people who seem to have a problem with that are English speakers, in the UK, Ireland and the USA.

    • Agree to some extent, I speak German as I had to go there in the 1980;s to get work as Ireland was a basket case. I have started relearning Irish just for my own interest and I enjoy it but unlike German there are very limited ways of using it on a daily basis and I think that forcing ot on school children has lead to to its decline, people need to select what is best for them.

      • The idea that people are being forced is one of the main reasons the Irish language is disappearing. Children of five years old should be completely unaware of any form of indoctrination and surely there are poems, stories and songs in the Irish language. No language should be forced and as a permanent fixture on the school curriculum there is no suggestion of force. The problem is the politicization of the Irish or any language its like sounding a death knell Think about it Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have been whining about the Irish language for as long as the Irish language has been losing popularity, and now one of their staunch supporters is trying the same thing on the Scottish and Welsh languages. If Sinn Fein and its supporters don’t stop they will end up killing all three languages stone dead.

        • Children in Irish schools are also “forced” to learn English, reading and writing, mathematics, geography, history and many other things. It’s called an education. Irish sits alongside those subjects. But it is also much, much more than a subject.

          The politicisation of the Irish began with the imposition of the English language and culture on the island of Ireland in opposition to its native language and culture. The Daily Mail, Newsletter or Breitbart UK are not sources of factual history.

          Protecting and growing the Irish language and those who speak the language has been a core part of Sinn Féin’s core policies since the early 1900s.

          I have been writing about the Welsh and Scottish languages since An Sionnach Fionn was launched in 2011. That is seven years. It is nothing new. I was also writing about them long before ASF was conceived.

          I vote Sinn Féin. I also vote Solidarity-PBPA. And I4C. I’m a left republican.

          I also criticise SF for its unimaginative and halfhearted Irish language policies.

          • You’re right about one thing to a certain degree all children are ‘forced’ to learn whatever is taught in schools so either Irish children are refusing to learn which I don’t believe or the teachers of the Irish language are absolute rubbish which I do think is very likely the case…

  4. Even a sort of ‘Darwinian’ competition could only be fair given a level playing field. It has to be remembered that for several generations in Scotland, Gaels and their language were despised and suppressed. As a result they became ashamed of their speech. Which in turn meant they tended not to use it in front of strangers, so less people heard it, which then meant fewer were inspired/interested/motivated to learn it. Just another part of the well known “Scottish Cringe”.

    So surely it’s only fair that remedial action be taken to remedy the situation, to bring things back to a more even keel. To begin to turn the situation around. And surprisingly perhaps it seems to be succeeding. So what’s not to like?

  5. Pól Ó Gríofa

    Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.
    A country without a language is a country without a soul.
    Pádraic Pearse

    • You’re wrong when I moved to Ireland getting on for ten years ago I was keen to learn Irish but I very soon learned that the Irish language is enslaved both by academics and Irish republicans.Of the two the academics are the least harmful they do keep the Irish language in chains but that is the only harm they do to a language that should be free to grow and change. The harm the Irish republicans do is far worse no language can be politicized and survive I certainly would never learn or speak a language to support or to appear to support a political or terrorist movement

      The Scots rule themselves if Scottish people want to learn Scottish they will do so without the ‘help’ of Irish republicans. I don’t hate the Scots I’m bored with them.

      I wouldn’t dream of denying anyone the right to learn any language they choose, as for the Irish language I believe it is and must continue to be taught from the age of five onward in every Irish school, what the Irish language must not be is imprisoned in old words and old meanings.

      Not from the English you don’t the English don’t care what language the Irish, Scots or Welsh speak The Welsh language is losing popularity but I don’t think the English language is at fault if anything its probably the internet English is the language of the internet and that may have an unconscious affect on people

      Understand this if an Irish republican blog is supporting the Scottish and Welsh languages its not for any love of Scotland or Wales The Irish victim card is worn out and it never was credit worthy The Scots and the Welsh know full well the reason their languages are losing popularity and English has nothing to do with it, its not a case of either or they would learn English anyway

      I knew one would crawl out from under its rock. Scotland was never a colony it wanted to join the UK. Wales too has always been free to choose. Had the Irish not chosen to attack the British slap bang in the middle of WW1 they would have been free to have an election which is what most people would have supported but being Irish its easier to blow people up than actually work for a cause.

      See my reply above

      There’s nothing not to like the Scots will do as they please

      I take absolutely no interest in any quotes from paedophile Patrick Pearse

      • While it seems obvious that you feel very strongly about this for some reason, I’m afraid that to me at least, you’re not making a whole lot of sense. What exactly is your problem? If you wish to influence the way a given language develops, then you need to learn it and use it; teach it even. If you neither learn it nor use it, then may I politely suggest that it’s none of you [insert expletive of choice] business. Why add heat to the debate when you can’t throw any light on the matter? Were you jilted by a Gaeilgeoir or something? I just don’t see how you have a dog in this race?

        • I have no intention of influencing any language I consider the very idea impertinent not to mention arrogant and abusive to which ever language is being abused. The Irish are hypocrites and the worst of them are Irish republicans do you really think Anwhatsit here takes time off from painting his toy soldiers to care about the Scottish or Welsh languages and if he, its got to be he no woman would play with toy soldiers beyond puberty, getting back to the point If he is proclaiming the rights of the Scottish and Welsh languages he is not doing so for the Scottish or the Welsh he’s doing it because he hates the English his problem is to have any chance of being read or listened to he has to write or say it in English its an open wound which all Irish republicans use to promote their victim card and its the most hypocritical of all. The Irish spent centuries fighting, bombing and otherwise murdering Scottish immigrants to Ireland and suddenly they’re worried sick about the Scottish language, ridiculous, dishonest and as usual hypocritical. Both Scotland and Wales are self ruling if they want their languages to be taught in schools they will be. As for the rest of your little rant its also typically Irish…

          • “I have no intention of influencing any language” !?!?
            Then you will need to keep silent or at least never speak where anyone can hear you and never write anything that will be read. Isn’t it obvious that whenever you use language you’re making choices. The choice of which language to use, your choice of words and phrases and structures and so on. A language is a bit like a network of paths in woodland or on a hillside. The routes that are well used are kept clear, those neglected get overgrown and forgotten, and once in a while someone will break out a new trail which may or may not prove useful or popular.

            ASF is free to comment as he likes on whatever subject happens to interest him. Likewise we are free to read, comment or just ignore his blog. Again I don’t see why this bothers you, or indeed how at all a silly bigoted and ill-informed article in a Scottish newspaper has any real connection to Irish politics, although for reasons that entirely escape me you seem compelled to keep dragging in the IRA etc.

            Clearly we’re just not speaking the same language!

            • “While it seems obvious that you feel very strongly about this for some reason, I’m afraid that to me at least, you’re not making a whole lot of sense. ” That’s putting it very mildly Marconatrix. Pippakin, it’s depressing to see you lapse into an anti-Irish rant and some utterly ahistorical or simply historically wrong stuff. And to what purpose?

              • I dislike seeing languages abused for political purposes. The very idea that IRA supporting fascists care if the Scottish language is ever spoken anywhere is ridiculous It wasn’t so long ago that IRA supporters were screeching that Ulster Scots wasn’t a language and shouldn’t be taught in northern schools and suddenly here is an IRA supporting blog promoting the Scottish language, presumably as long as its not taught in Irish schools.

              • With all due respect, Pippakin, you have an unfortunate habit of making claims, allegations and accusations in your comments with very little in the way of facts to back them up.

                “…suddenly here is an IRA supporting blog promoting the Scottish language, presumably as long as its not taught in Irish schools.”

                An Sionnach Fionn went live in May 2011 and the first article on the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) was published in June 2011.

                In August 2011 an article was published supporting the teaching of Scottish Gaelic in Ireland.

                Just because you choose to believe that something is so doesn’t make it so. Certain facts are immutable.

              • An Sionnch Fionn
                With absolutely no respect whatsoever I remind you that Gerry Adams has been bleating about the Irish language for twenty years or more As for the sudden affection for the Scottish language that considering the reason for thirty years of kidnappings, rapes, torture and murder is to say the least unbelievable.
                I’m bored with so many lies.

              • Tha mi nam beachd gu bheil i as a ciall …

      • It was the English that politicized the Irish language. It was the policy of successive English administerial rule in Ireland to wipe out the Irish language in the first place. They believed that if the “wild Irish” learnt English they would become “civilised” and become good little englanders. To speak Irish in spite of English colonial rule in Ireland is rebelling politically against that policy. The British government had no intention of giving up the North of Ireland and in fact supplied arms to Unionists. So to blame Republicans is disingenuous. To make your outlandish statement that Irish people blow things up as being easier is obsurd. Britain has been blowing things up continuously since they discovered gunpowder, recently they have blown Libya and Syria to smithereens. I suppose being English, it’s easier to blow countries up?. I learnt Welsh because I love the Welsh people and their language, and more so because I would love to see their country free from English domination. Scotland was forced into the marriage with England. The Highland clearances were politically motivated to endorse demographic domination by England over Scotland and replace Gaelic speakers with sheep.

        • The English speak English they are not proud of speaking English and it doesn’t make any of them more or less patriotic. If the Irish want to work with or for the English they will speak English. You could have written your wee rant in Irish you chose to write it in English. Scotland was not forced into becoming part of the UK Scotland chose to join having bankrupted themselves and to this day the Scots get more per head of population than the English.

          • The breaking point for Scotland was the Darien Venture. A huge amount of Scotland’s GNP went into that and it failed, not because it was a bad idea but because the settlers, once arrived, were denied contact with settlers from other areas of the UK – no trading, no barter – and eventually starved.
            The second great event was the Revolution of 1745. It failed too for many reasons. It was followed by a long period of suppression and occupation, during which Highland dress was forbidden for a time and eviction and deportation became almost the norm in some parts of Scotland.
            The last straw was the Education Act of 1872 which stipulated that education would be delivered through English. In the 1950s, I was taught by people who spoke Scots but were obliged to force people like me to adopt two languages: Scots outside and English inside the school. I hear many tales of Gaelic speakers being belted in school for speaking their native language.
            Your ignorance of economics needs to be corrected: Scotland doesn’t ‘get’ more per head of population than the English. The last figures I saw, Scotland sent 67.3billion quid to the Exchequer and got 27.9 billion back. That’s per year. If Scotland isn’t wanted in this union, we’ll go but we’ll take our tax revenues with us.

        • Tristan, mae’n gwastraff o amser i ymryson wrth yr anwybodus. Mae hi’n siarad oddi ar ei ben ôl, mae’n debyg 😦

          • Well as someone who has an English parent and born in England I’ve got to say that’s incorrect. Many English in my experience are proud of speaking English, but it’s an odd stick to beat people with. I don’t think someone who doesn’t speak Irish is less patriotic, but I would query anyone who dismisses the language out of hand. And it’s notable that you don’t engage with any of the practical reasons put forward as to precisely why Irish adds to the cultural richness of this island (as Welsh does to Wales, etc…). Indeed I’d argue that the interactions between Irish and English which add a further layer too. Again, to dismiss all that out of hand with language about ‘bogs’ and so on… depressing, short-sighted, naive too.

      • >‘enslaved’, in ‘chains’ ? You have a bizarre view of Ireland, pippakin. As for ‘I don’t hate the Scots I’m bored with them’ – frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re bored with us. You need have no contact with us at all. Our business is not yours.
        As for the other languages of the UK – like Welsh – not being under attack from English, I think you’re mistaken: the Guardian once published a quite vicious letter from a reader in which he wondered what purpose Welsh served and looked forward to seeing it driven from the face of the earth. I noticed that the writer was from Cornwall, another Celtic enclave where the language has indeed been driven from the face of the earth. But I wondered what caused this hatred for another people’s language. And I wonder why you feel so bitterly anti-Irish.

        • I’m bored with the ever lasting whinging from the Scots if they want to leave the UK all they have to do is vote for it in their next referendum and frankly I don’t give a monkeys if you’re bored with me or the English. Maybe that’s what hurts the Irish, Scots and Welsh most the English don’t care
          The Welsh language was strong until relatively recently if its losing popularity now as much as some Welsh, Scots and Irish might want to blame the English the Welsh disinterest in their own language is up to them it cant be blamed on the English I had friends and relatives who grew up speaking Welsh. One letter to the Guardian really even with the most racist view in the world cant be blamed for what the Welsh are doing or not doing.
          I don’t hate the languages I think all three should be taught from age five in all schools in all three countries. I think there are two main reasons people have lost interest in minority languages they are fed up of being told they must learn the language to be really Irish Scottish or Welsh and they don’t want to be defined by what some racist politicians and their supporters think should be their language.. Its nonsense and its dangerous racist nonsense at that

          • One moment you’re lamenting Irish republicans stirring up the Scots, the next you’re lamenting that the Scots won’t leave the UK. Make up your mind.

            • An Sionnach Fionn
              The people who politicize the Irish language are the same people trying to politicize the Scottish and Welsh languages and blame the English for the diminishing support of those languages, but the English are not involved in Irish, Scottish or Welsh education the English don’t care what language you speak. It won’t work. You said above that the Irish language is a full part of the Irish school curriculum its been that way almost since independence AND IT HASN’T WORKED. I think that’s partly because the academics who control the teaching of Irish are at fault but much more because ever since Gerry Adams started using the Irish language as a political toy he has diminished it. What language people speak must never be a political issue but he can’t STFU about it and he makes damn sure its always reported in English! And, no you can’t go back to the year dot and whinge that the fact no one wants to speak Irish today is the fault of what happened hundreds of years ago that’s so ridiculous its more than childish its infantile.

  6. For a full and informed response to the Herald article, see here :

    “Of course by writing this article I’m a part of the Gaelic mafia, and am trying to oppress and silence a poor wee journo who is only expressing his opinion. It’s just a pity then that his opinion is based on outdated stereotypes, prejudice, and a deep lack of any actual knowledge of his subject matter. Maybe people wouldn’t correct and criticise him if he knew what he was on about. Just sayin’.”

    “The author of this article seems to have set out to allow us to play Gaelic Stereotype Bingo, and we all got an taigh làn. That’s the full house in Gaelic, in case you were wondering.”

    • The most beautiful thing about the English language is that it happily adopts, adapts and even steals any word or collection of words that become either trendy or useful such words join the English language effortlessly and when their use is done disappear just as effortlessly.
      All languages should be as easily adaptable as English and most are. A long time ago I read that there was no word in the Chinese language meaning adult love, not sex, love. I bet there is now and that word may have its origins in English or another language but it will be indisputably Chinese.
      No Irish republican supports any language not even the Irish language and that is what is so annoying they are trying to use an actual language to further their own ambitions and its disgusting

  7. Isn’t the connection between patriotism and a national language obvious?

    • Seán Mac Ḃloscaıḋ

      One would think so…

      If it happened in Finland, it can happen in Éire!

    • No, its ridiculous what you’re saying is you cant be proud of being English unless you speak English and you cant be proud of being Irish unless you speak Irish and contort your name into some word that has nothing to do with the Irish language. Language is not a political tool making it such has destroyed any chance of full revival in the north and made it unpopular in the south. No one wants people to think they support Sinn Fein because they speak Irish. It should be a criminal act to politicize a language

      • Language is political. It’s how people express ideas. If Gaelic wasn’t a political weapon, the press in Scotland wouldn’t spend so much time ridiculing it.

        • No, language is not political the same language is spoken by all politicians of all political persuasions there is no reason for the English to try to stop Scots or anyone else from speaking their own language and its a bit rich to blame the English when Scots have had their own parliament for years and control their own education system

  8. Seán Mac Ḃloscaıḋ

    Yeah – any time you have to cite “Social Darwinism” as ameans of achieving a possible solution, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance you’re being an asshole.

  9. Margaret MacArthur

    Gaelic was my first language. It neither impeded my progress (growing up and attending English speaking schools) to a professional career nor my social development. Gaidhlig has enriched my life. A second language should be encouraged, not only for its enjoyment but for the development of our minds.

    We are all aware of the genocide against the Highlanders and their subsequent immigration to America. For as much as our ancestors suffered, we have benefited by living free in Canada and the U.S., and being allowed to speak our language and preserve our culture. When James the 6th of Scotland became King James the 1st of England and Scotland, the fate of the Scottish Highland Culture was sealed; subsequently substituting English for Gaidhlig as the language of the courts. I am gratified to find a resurgence of interest in the preservation of the language by the schools and colleges in Nova Scotia. The whole world will benefit!!

  10. BTW, I’m told the WP supported the Irish language act in the North at their last Ard Fheis. If the WP can transcend their traditional … erm.. antipathy to SF (some of which I understand, some of which I really don’t, and I speak as an ex-WP person myself) in order to support this measure then I’d suggest that all the stuff about IRA above comments is really for the birds.

  11. Here are two threads which display the two opposing attitudes to Scotish Gaelic, but I warn you the first is depressing to say the least. When you’ve had your fill of that, turn to the second for a welcome antidote 🙂

    • Wow. Those BBC comments…

      • Enough to make your hair curl, no?
        I imagine there’s some psychosocial theory that explains it all. How the oppressed deny and suppress their oppression and turn to oppressing others rather than fighting back. Or as we say in Scotland, “In some The Cringe is strong!” Do you get much of this in Ireland, did you ever?

  12. Run rig mor nan Gall? As God-Emperor The Donald had a teuchter Mother from Lewis you can see the language lost in one generation. You can’t expect leaflets at the buroo in six East European languages and money for Gaelic.

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