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Topic: Political will gives Gaelic hope for the future  (Read 4079 times)

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Political will gives Gaelic hope for the future
« on: September 25, 2004, 04:44:11 PM »
GAELIC supporters say there is now a "prevailing optimism" about the
language with a political will to secure its future.

The second draft of the long-awaited Gaelic Language Bill will be
unveiled next week in the latest milestone for the language, which
was recently thought to be in terminal decline.

Yesterday, Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG), the Gaelic development body,
published its first annual report since being set up in April 2003,
when it assumed responsibility for funding 13 Gaelic bodies. Since
then it has approved funding applications worth £754,363.

BnG is drawing up an operational plan for Gaelic development, to be
published in the next few weeks, ahead of a national plan for the
language in 2006.

The language bill, expected to be on the statute books next year,
will promote the use of Gaelic and give more rights to speakers to
use it in a wide range of situations.

Last week, Peter Peacock, the education minister, announced tough new
measures to press local authorities to provide Gaelic education where
parents want it.

Councils will be required to set minimum levels of demand to trigger
an entitlement to Gaelic teaching.

Duncan Ferguson, the BnG chairman, said: "This is an exciting time.
We feel the creation of BnG has contributed to Scottish life and
culture. We feel there is a prevailing optimism about Gaelic
development at the moment. In the past year we have seen real
progress as an organisation in giving a strategic lead to language
developments and to the existing Gaelic bodies.

The most recent census showed the number of Gaelic speakers had
fallen to its lowest level ever - 58,969 - down by 7,426 or 11 per
cent on 1991.

But supporters remain positive, saying the rate of decline has
slowed, with the decrease nearly half that of 1981-91, when 13,329
speakers were lost.

They have also been buoyed by figures showing that 65,674 individuals
claim to be able to speak, read or write Gaelic and that a further
26,724 can understand the language.

Allan Campbell, the chief executive of the BnG, said although the
Gaelic-speaking population is declining, he has felt more hopeful
about the future of the language in the last two or three years than
at any time in the previous decade.

"What has changed, and what is hugely significant, is the political
commitment to Gaelic. Last week, the education minister nailed his
colours to the mast yet again in terms of Gaelic. He and the First
Minister did that when they launched the draft bill a year ago.

"All of that, and the creation of BnG are immensely encouraging. At
the end of the day, unless there is political will then we will not
achieve holistic planning.

"What has happened in the last couple of years is that some of the
logjams in the system have been removed and, in my view, there is
genuine reason for hope."

Mr Campbell said: "It [the bill] will enable the development of
language schemes across the whole public sector in Scotland, so
people, for the first time, will be able to receive services through

"These are incredibly important steps. But once we put all these
things in place we must motivate the Gaelic community itself to take
advantage of all these benefits and use them, as it is the Gaelic
community which will ensure the survival or the demise of the



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  • Scotland...Here I come...
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Gaelic Charmed...
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 02:50:08 AM »
Thank you for the stats on Gaelic language. Gaelic is the most beautiful of all languages I have ever heard. If anyone wants to hear the beauty of Gaelic songs, listen to the Glasgow based group 'Capercaillie' with singer Karen Matheson.

I have every intention of learning the Gaelic language, most especially after moving to the land of my heritage, Scotland. I believe that anyone moving into another country should respectively learn the spoken language of it's people.

I also intend to follow in the footsteps of Gaelic supporters.
Co ni mire rium?
I love Scotland, I have Scottish blood running through my veins...and I will live in Scotland!

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Re: Political will gives Gaelic hope for the future
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 02:14:23 AM »
I'd like to learn Gaelic too because I come from a very Scottish family (even if we just seem to cherish stereotypes).  However, I am mixed because it is hard to learn a language if there is nobody to share it with.  I learned Indonesian as a kid when to school in Jakarta (something I have in common with Obama) but I get to use it about once every five years.  If I can find some way to actually use it (chat groups, meetups in pubs, etc.) in the London area then I will.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Teddy Roosevelt

Tier 1 granted ~ 28/3/09

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