Monthly Archives: January 2009

Trì molaidhean do Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Beachd a tha aig an amadan neach-ionnsachaidh a tha seo.1) Bu chòir do geàrr-chunntasan a’ bhùird rim faicinn air loidhne2) Bu chòir do coinneamhan a’ bhùird fosgailte don mhòr-shluaigh. 3) Bu chòir do tagadh a bhith ann gus ballrachd a’ b… Continue reading

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Caitligich Albannach: co-sheòrsachd ag adhbharachadh bàis tràtha

Tha an Eaglais Chaitligeach ann an Alba air ionnsaigh a thoirt air co-ghnèithich agus leasbaich a-rithist. Continue reading

Posted in Alba, An t-Saoghal, aona-ghnèitheach, Breatainn, Caitligeach, càirdeis, clann, Co-labhair nan Easbaigean, co-sheòrsachd, Creideamh, dùn èideann, eaglais, Eaglais Chaitligeach, easbaig, easbaigean, Peter Kearney, slàinte, uchd-mhacachadh, uchd-mhacachaidhean | Comments Off

Luchd-LGBT a’ togail casaid an-aghaidh Riaghaltas Bharain

Tha luchd-LGBT ann am Bahrain a’ togail casaid an-aghaidh an riaghaltas san dùthaich as dèidh dhaibh bacadh a chur air lìn-sòisealta LGBT. Tha làraichean-lìn sòisealta, a leithid Gaydar, gu math measail a-measg luchd-LGBT san dùthaich air sgàth ‘s gu bheil iad a’ toirt dòigh sàbhailteach dhan choimhearsnachd LGBT a bhith coinneachadh ri chèile. Tha mòran […] Continue reading

Posted in An t-Saoghal, bacadh, Bahrain, Gaydar, Lagh/Poilitigs, làrach-lìn, lìn-sòisealta, lìon-sòisealta, Riaghaltas Bharain, Saidheans & Teicneòlas | Comments Off

Eachdraidh Ghoirid a’ Chòmhlain

Eachdraidh Ghoirid a’ Chòmhlain
le Tim

Thòiseach Sìne ‘s mise a’ cluich ri chèile nuair a bha sinn a’ fuireach ann an Dun Eideann anns an t-samhradh, 2002. B’ àbhaist dhuinn cluich aig Banana Row Studios ann an Inbhir Leith bhon a bhiodh e gu math saor nan chuicheadh tu ann am meadhain na seachdaine. Cha bhiodh e ach coig punt gach uair, s’ mar sin b’ àbhaist do Shìne agus dhomhse agus do phung no thriùir eile ròcadh a-mach an sin gu tric.

Bha Sìne ag ionnsachadh nan drumaichean aig an àm agus cha robh am fuaim cho binn, ach bha e àrd! Aig an ceart àm, bha mi ri sgrìobhadh òran no dhà. Cha robh fìor chòmhlan againn fhathast ach bha e air m’ aire agus bha ainm agam, “Mill a h-Uile Rud.”

Nuair a thàinig sinn air ais don Stàitean, ann an 2003, thòiseach sinn ri cluich còmhla ri Sgrios (a.k.a Chris). ‘S e cluicheadair-beus fìor mhath a th’ ann an Sgrios agus leis an deagh bhuaidh aice, dh’fhàs sinn uileadh na bu dhìcheallaiche mu dheidhinn a’ chòmhlain. Chan eil dealan aig an talamh againn, s’ mar sinn, cluichidh sinn anns a’ bhothan choitcheann againn le bataraidh-bàta a neartaicheas sinn anns a’ bhaile bho àm gu àm.

Nuair a bha sia no seachd òrain againn, thòiseach sinn ri cluich a-mach. Cluichidh sinn anns a h-uile àite. Cluichidh sinn anns na clubaichean agus bidh sin ceart gu leòr, ach ‘s fheàrr leinn cluich anns na àitichean “fon talamh” aig na taighean-puinc. Bidh sinn mòran nas spòrsaile.

As dèidh an turais againn, chuir sinn romhainn CD a chlàrachadh, agus chòrd e rinn glan! ‘S e daoine ghasda a th’ annta, George agus Jeff, aig an stiùideo. Nam biodh barrachd airgid againn (‘s mar sin, barrachd ama), bhiodh an clàrachadh na bu sgiobalta, ach ‘s fheàrr leinn e mar a tha e: gairbh, onarach agus beò. Seo am beachd againn fhìn co-dhiu.

Rinn sinn turas math dha rìribh ann an Alba agus Roinn Eòrpa còmhla ri Oi Polloi anns an Earrach, 2005, agus tron t-samhradh, chlàr sinn trì òrain ùra. Chaidh fear dhiubh, Steòrnabhagh, air clàr-cruinneachaidh còmhla ri Oi Polloi, Atomgevitter, agus Nad Aislingean.

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Cuirmean-chiùil A Chluich Sinn

The Firebreathing Kangaroo, Seattle, Disathairne, 6mh den Dùbhlachd,
le Wolves in the Throne Room

Massonic Hall, Port Townsend, Dihaoine, 26mh den Dùbhlachd,
le Boxcutter Hobo

Bha cuirm-ciùil eile an seo, ach chan eil cuimhne againn cuin a bha i.

2004

Turas Taobh Iar nan Stàitean 2004

Dirty Feet, Seattle, Dihaoine, 20 An Gearran

The Love Pit, Portland, Disathairne, 21 An Gearran
le Chased and Smashed

Liberty Hall, Portland, Didòmhnaich, 22 An Gearran
le Skeleton Coast agus Tex Fritter

House of Terror, Oakland, Diluain, 23 An Gearran
le This Is My Fist!,Wendy-O-Matik, agus Deathbyexess

The Compound, Santa Cruz, Diciadain, 25 An Gearran
le The Sourmash Hug Band

The Hole in the Wall, San Francisco, Dihaoine, 27 An Gearran

LA Arts and Action, Los Angeles, Disathairne, 28 An Gearran
Le Coccion (Mexico), agus Sin Remèdio

Star Shoes, Los Angeles, Diciadain, 3 Am Màrt

Wow, abair turas! Chluich sinn ann am bar-lethair ann an San Francisco, ann an taigh-hippy ann an Santa Cruz, agus ann an club snasail gleansach air Hollywood Boulevard.

Agus abair obair! Aig tòiseachd an turais, chluich sinn ceithir cuirmean-ciùil ann an ceithir làithean ann an trì stàitean. Dhraibh Sìne, Sgrios, Erin (an rathadaidh againn), agus mise le drumaidhean, glaodhairean, innealan-ciùil, agus a h-uile càil mar sin, 3000 mìltean ann an Honda Civic. Bha sinn an còmhnaidh tinn ‘s sgith agus cha d’fhuair sinn cadal ach air an làr.

Ach abair spòrs! Bha sluagh mòr aig gach aon cuirm-ciùil agus bha iad uileadh brosnachail dhuinn. B’e buaidh mhòr a bh’ anns an turas agus tha sinn gu math toilichte mu a dheidhinn.

Voyeur, Olympia, Diardaoin, 20mh den Mhàigh,
leis The Sourmash Hug Band

Boiler Room, Port Townsend, Disathairne, 22mh den Mhàigh,
leis The Sourmash Hug Band

2nd Ave. Pizza, Seattle, Dimàirt, 25mh den Mhàigh,
le FIYA agus The Sourmash Hug Band

The Firebreathing Kangaroo, Seattle, Didòmhnaich, 11mh den Iuchar,
le Pharmacy, Cabaret Con Carne, Pipsqueak, Government Issue Orchestra, Ghostmice

Flamingo Flat, Seattle, Dimàirt, 13mh den Iuchar,
le Her Toxic Map, Shoplifting, The Umbrellas

The High Street House, Bellingham, Dihaoine, 23mh den Iuchar,
le Gorest

Villa Kulla, Seattle, Dimàrt, 27mh den Iuchar,
leis The Sacred Truths

The Fire-breathing Kangaroo, Seattle, Didòmhnaich, Chiad den Lùnasdal,
le Rotten Living, Snuggle, agus John Denver’s Airplane

The Uptown Festival, Port Townsend, Disathairne, 21mh den Lùnasdal

Turas Albann agus Roinn Eòrpa 2005 ..>..>

..>..>

Baile Talla Còmhla Ri
17/3 Slèite Talla Mòr, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig MAC TV
18/3 Dùn Eideann Mercat Bar, Haymarket

Bikini Radio agus Atomgewitter

22/3 Steòrnabhagh! Rapal, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal Niall Iain!!!
23/3 Steòrnabhagh! Golf Club Dry Eyballs agus Dragging the Lake
1/4 Leiden Eurodusnie
(mu 19.30f)
Iedereen Zóôò Jotje, Urban Blight, Spam & Oi Polloi
1/4 Amsterdam

Afrika
(mu 22.45f)

Oi Polloi, Holland Beton Groep, Harakiri Maxima, Jmonfoux

2/4

Utrecht

De Storing, Fèis AFA
(tron là)

Oi Polloi
2/4

Wermelskirchen

Autonomes Zentrum Bahndamm
(air an oidhche)

Oi Polloi agus
Estrella Negra

3/4 Dusseldorf Juicy Bar Oi Polloi agus
Estrella Negra
4/4 Neubrandenburg Tabulos Oi Polloi
5/4 Wroclaw, A’ Phòlainn Wagenburg Oi Polloi
6/4 Nunchritz Kombi Oi Polloi
7/4 Hamburg Hafenklang Oi Polloi
8/4 Leverkusen Autonomes Jugend Zentrum
Konigsmord
Oi Polloi
9/4 Leuven, A’ Bheilg Squattus Dei Oi Polloi agus Comatose
11/4 Glaschu 13th Note Atomgewitter

Chan urrainn dhomh innse…tha mi bog balbh…a’ ròcadh agus a’ draibheadh agus a’ ròcadh agus ag ithe agus a’ ròcadh agus ag òl agus a’ ròcadh…baile às dèidh baile…Steòrnabhagh mar dhoineann mhòr…aig scuat anns a’ Phòlainn, aig taigh-seinnse chracte ann an Neubrandenburg, agus aig scuat eile, dìreach air chrith le daoine anns a’ Bheilg …gun cadal, gun rian, ach le tòrr Red Bull agus cofaidh agus spòrs. Bha sgioba Oi Polloi coltach ri ainglean, cho còir, cho fialaidh, agus an sgioba TBh cuideachd. Cha b’ urrainn dha a bhith na b’ fhèarr.

Samhradh, 2005

The Fire-breathing Kangaroo, Seattle, Didòmhnaich, 19mh den t-Og Mhìos,
le Snuggle agus Drunken Boat

Legion Hall, Port Townsend, Didòmhnaich, 10mh den Iuchar,
le Latterman agus Karate for Kids

Puget House, Olympia, Dihaoine, 5mh dhen Lùnasdal,
le Black Night Songbook (an còmhlan eile aig Sgrios)

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Faclan nan Ã’ran

El Castillito

Tha mi ceàrr,
Ach ga bruidhinn.
Ithidh mi salsa,
Cho teth ris a’ ghrian.

Tha thu ceart,
Ach gun fheum.
Dhiùlt thu Gàidhlig,
‘S rinn thu geum.

Cò tha ceart ‘s cò tha ceàrr?
Nach biodh cànan,
Cleachdte (beothail),
Mòran na b’ fheàrr?

‘S mise nam smaointinn,
‘S mise nam smùid,
Le salsa picante,
‘S cànan diùid.

Seo burrito nam làmh,
Sin cac nad bheul.
Sput e a-mach,
‘S innis dhomh do sgeul.


Mill a h-Uile Rud

Mol am brillian,
Bris uinneagan,
Mill a h-uile rud,
Rach air muin!

Seinn fo na rionnagan,
Upraid anns na sràidean,
Mill a h-uile rud,
Rach air muin!

Nach eil e ceart cho math,
Gun obair ri dhèanamh?
Nach eil obair làn caca?

Nach eil e dìreach an rud,
A th’ ann an fùcadh ar càireadean?
Fùc a h-uile rud, rach, rach!

Air an oidhche as teotha,
Ann an gleann bog fluich,
Seo am brillian sùghmhor.

Le pògan milis,
‘S teanga ealanta,
Ruithidh sùgh gu leòr.

Mill a h-uile rud,
Mill a h-uile rud,
Sgrios, sgrios, sgrios,
Rach air muin!


Air Achadh Bàn

Bidh a h-uile bod saor,
‘S pitean gu lèor,
Shìos air an achadh bàn.

Bidh an oidhche làn chìochan,
‘S thusa a’ feuchdainn,
Rud ùr air an achadh bàn.

So gabh beagan thòn,
‘S bidh rùiste airson,
A-nochd air an achadh bàn.

Ho ro he la
A-nochd air an achadh bàn.

Nigheanan ‘s gillean,
Lorg am brillian,
Gu tric air an achadh bàn.

Fon sean chraoibh,
‘S teine air a taobh,
Cèilidh air an achadh bàn.


Fèis-feise

A-null dhan eilean,
Rùisgidh sinn aig an traigh,
A ‘ snàmh anns a’ mhuir,
‘S air muin ri cheile ri taobh a’ bhàigh.

Fèis-feise,
A’ bheil thu a’ tighinn?
Fèis-feise,
Nar rùiste, nar sineadh,
Ri cheile sa ghrian.

‘S ann cho àlainn
A tha na càirdean againnsa,
‘S bidh uileadh an sin,
Le ròmagan fluiche ‘s slatan as cruaidhe.

Bidh na pungan deiseil,
Sa faireachduinn tapaidh,
Bidh na pugan deònach,
A’ seinn òrain san fhraoch purpaidh.

Na bi diùid,
‘S na gabh dragh,
Bidh sinn a’ snàmh an toiseach,
‘S mar sinn, cha bhi sinn cho salach.


Feumaidh Sinn Ruith

Cha robh Sgrios a’ dèanamh,
Dad sam bith ach a’ leum na leabaidh,
Le còignear eile.

Spòrs air a’ phlaide mhòir,
Ruiste, teth, mar bu chòir,
Cac! Cò thàinig gus an doras?

Oh cac, tha e duilich,
Feumaidh sinn ruith.
Seo am poileas a’ tighinn.

Cha robh Sìne a’ dèanamh,
Dad sam bith ach a’ leum air trèana,
Tha sin fÏor.

Spòrs ann an carbad-bocsa,
Le beagan cainb, dh’ fhàs iad losgte,
Cac! Cò thàinig gus an doras?

Cha robh mise a’ dèanamh,
Dad sam bith ach a’ crochadh ri càirdean,
Cèilidh bheag nam bhothan.

Anarchista, Yo soy,
A’ cur crìoch na riaghailt’ air dòigh.
Cac! Cò thàinig gus an doras?


Dè mu a dheidhinn?

Chan eil mi leisg,
Chan eil mi dad,
Ach dubh, searbh sgìth,
Ri obair mar chac.

Air latha soilleir, brèagha.
Dè mu do dheidhinn?

Ann an taigh trèigte,
Ri Taobh na h-aithne,
Le nighean cho còir,
Bidh toileachas gu leòr.

An sin ‘s fad na h-oidhche,
Dè mu a dheidhinn?

Mise ‘s thusa,
A’ fuireach ri chèile,
Dè mu a dheidhinn?

Nì sinn spaghetti,
A-muigh air an teine,
Leigidh nar sineadh,
Ri solas na grèine.

Air latha soilleir, brèagha.
Dè mu a dheidhinn?

Nar seòmar shaor,
Nar leabaidh mhòir,
Fo sholas na gealaich,
Bidh toileachas gu leòr.

An sin ‘s fad na h-oidhche,
Dè mu a dheidhinn?

(Ho ri ràdh)
Nighean cho piseal,
Nighean cho gleusda,
Fuireach còmhla riumsa.


Spàrr nad Thòn E

Seall air a’ churran seo,
Nach eil e mòr!
Bheir mi dhuit e,
Nach eil mi cho còir!

Spàrr nad thòn e,
Thall’ is rach air do mhuin fhèin.

Seall air an zucchini seo,
Nach eil e tiugh!
Ach cha bhi e goirt,
Dhuitsa co-dhìu.

Seo cluich math:
Dèan anns an fhras e,
Beir air banàna,
‘S cuir nad mhàs e.


Caol Acain

Mar a chluicheas sinn twister-rùisgte,
Mar a chaitheas sinn an latha.
A’ tighinn beò air cainb agus hobnobs,
Nar cadail air an làr.

(He na)

A’ leaghadh Hakim Bey,
A’ ròcadh ri Minor Threat,
Sgioba cruaidh ri chèile ris an teine,
Air latha caran dorcha ann an Caol Acain.

Blas mòna nam bheul,
Feasgar fluich ‘s gun dath,
Air an t-sofa ann an seòmar gun solas,
Ri pògadh caraid blath.


Crath d’ Thòn

Tha mo bheatha dìreach fùcte,
Ach mi beò ann an gaol,
Beò ann an dòchas.
‘S thusa gu bhith rùisgte,
Gluais gam ionnsaidh,
‘S crath d’ thòn.

Crath d’ thòn, nighean, ‘ille,

Tha am poileas a’ cumail faire,
Ach dannsaidh sinn fhathast.
‘S tusa air m’ aire,
Gluais gam ionnsaidh,
‘S crath d’ thòn.

Cuiridh sinn an sofa às an rathad,
Cuiridh sinn an rèidio fìor àrd,
Dannsamaid fad na h-oidhch’
‘S an ùrlar gu neoni.

Nach eil teine teth nad shùil,
Nach eil mise ann an dùil,
Dèan an cobhar orm’s,
Crath air mo shon i.


Oran Sabaid Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

‘S ann aig Beurla a th’ an t-airgead,
‘S ann aig Beurla a th’ an taic,
Ach s’ ann aig Gàidhlig a tha SMO!
Gheibh sinn buaidh orra, nach faigh!

Dèan sabaid, SMO!

Nach eil sinn gleusda sa leabaidh,
‘S dhan taigh-seinnse luath fhèin,
Nach eil sinn slaodach aig a h-uile càil eile,
Ach nì sinn sa Ghàidhlig e, nach dèan!

Abair sgioba aig an t-Sabhal Mhòr,
Abair colaiste air leth,
Abair oileanaich snasail ‘s ghlic,
Ach ‘s e ar latha a th’ ann, nach e!

Steòrnabhagh

Tha eilean thall an-sin far a bheil na daoine allaidh,
Eilean Gàidhlig, Eilean Ròc.
Seòl mi air ais gu baile mòr na h-oigridh cracte,
Caledonian MacBrayne.

Steòrnabhagh

Ròcamaid an talla, gu fallus, fuil, ‘s fùcadh,
‘S na dannsairean air bhoile.
Dannsaidh sinn gun sguir, ròc cruaidh fad na h-oidhche,
‘S nar laighe còmhla fad an là.

Tha mi ga iarraidh (De?), Steòrnabhagh.

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Sùil air a’ cheud chlàr aig Mill Mill a h-Uile Rud

Murchadh MacLeòid (mmacleod@scotlandonsunday.com)

Scotland on Sunday (4/7/2004)

THA Mill a h-Uile Rud, còmhlan punc Gàidhlig ann an Seattle air a bhi trang am bliadhna. A bharrachd air turas 3,000 mìle, a thug iad gu Los Angeles, tha iad air a’ cheud chlàr a chuir a mach, gheibhear anns na Stàitean e agus an còmhlan a’ feuchainn ri companaidh sgaoilidh fhaighinn dhith anns an Roinn-Eòrpa.

Is math as fhiach èisdeachd ris. Ach seo rabhadh: chan e Calum Ceannadach a tha seo air chor sam bith. Tha an ceòl seo gad bhualadh. Tha e luath, tha e cruaidh, agus tha e làidir. Seo ceòl far a bheil na freumhaichean punc nas treise seach na freumhaichean Gaidhealach. Seo punc, sgioba a tha làn faireachdainn, le ceòl a tha a’ seachnadh gleansa a’ ghnìomhachais.

Tha sia òrain air a’ chlàr, agus chualas a’ cheud fhear mar-thà ann an Alba air Radio nan Gaidheal. Sin, ‘Dè Mu Dheidhinn’ ‘siad a’ cheud òran agus a’ chòigeamh òran ‘Mill a h-Uile Rud’ an fheadhainn as fheàrr air a’ chlàr. Chan eil sin ag ràdh gu bheil an fheadhainn eile lag, ach dìreach gu bheil na dhà as fheàrr am measg na h-òrain ùra Gàidhlig as fheàrr a chula mise ann an ùine mhòr. Ged a tha barrachd ciùil Ghàidhlig ri fhaighinn a nis, ‘se faireachainn air leth a th’ann a bhi ag èisdeachd ri ceòl ùr nad chànain fhèin, gu h-àraid agus iad a’ feuchainn nòs nach cluinnear gu tric am measg nan Gaidheal.

Gu fortanach, tha Mill a h-Uile Rud air a’ mhearachd cumanta a sheachnadh far am bheil còmhlain-ciùil a’ smaoineachadh gun fheum iad gach diog de chlàr 74 mionaid a lìonadh.

‘Se a tha a’ tachairt gu bitheanta gu bheil ceithear òrain as fhiach aig a’ char as mò, agus chan fhiach an fheadhainn eile. Chan eil air a’ chlàr seo ach sia puirt, ach chan eil gin dhiubh nach fhiach. ‘Se seo fuaim còmhlan nach eil buileach abaich fhathast. Chòrdadh e riumsa a bhi a’ cluinntinn rud bhuapa nach biodh buileach cho luath neo cho cruaidh gus dearbhadh gu bheil iad comasach air fuaimean eile a chuir a mach.

Coltach ri iomadh còmhlan punc eile, tha e follaiseach gu bheil an fheadhainn seo a’ feuchainn ri uamhas a chuir air daoine le cuid de na cuspairean is facail a thathas a’ cur dha na h-òrain aca. ‘Se na h-ainmean a th’air cuid de na h-òrain eile, ‘Spàrr nad Thòin E’ agus ‘Feis-Feise’.

Tha aon de na h-òrain a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn drugaichean. Tha ùine bho shaoileadh daoine dad sam bith mu dheidhinn cuspairean mar sin ann am port Bheurla.

Chan ann tric a chluinnear an leithid ann an cànan nan naomh is nam bard. Ach tha fios gu bheil an leithid a’ dol air adhart anns na sgìrean againn. Chan eil càil a mhath dhuinn feuchainn ri bhi a’ smaoineachadh gu bheil sinn ann an saoghal nach eil an diugh idir ann.

Anns na linntean a chaidh seachad dh’fhàs iad ainmeil a bha seinn mu dheidhinn cùisean mar a bha iad an àite a bhi a’ feuchainn ri ràdh gun robh cùisean ceart gu leòr a dh’aindeoin is gun robh an saoghal aca ga spionadh as a’ chèile.

Dìreach mar còmhlain punc anns an fharsuingeachd, cluinnear tòrr fearg air a’ chlàr seo. Thathas a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn ùpraid a bhi anns na sràidean, a bheil feum ann an obair, dè tha e a’ ciallachadh a bhi a’ deanamh rud anns an t-saoghal seo co-dhiù.

Tha fios gur e ceòl a th’ann, tha fios gur e punc a th’ann, tha fios gu bheil e a’ còrdadh ri Gaidheil òga. Ach ‘se a’ cheist an e pàirt de’n dualchas Gaidhealach a th’ann an rud a rinneadh anns na Stàitean Aonaichte ged a thathas a’ cleachdadh ar cànan?

Saoilidh mise gur e pàirt de’n dualchas a bhios ann fhathast. Bha sinn a riamh beagan na b’ eadar-dhealaichte nar measg fhèin na bha feadhainn againn son gabhail ris. Tha linntinn bho bha Gaidheil a rugadh ann an coilltean an iar a’ deanamh bàrdachd ann an cainnt a bhuineadh do dhùthaich nach iad fhèin neo am pàrantan a riamh.

Cha do thogadh Eduard Dwelly le Gàidh

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How to learn Gaelic

It is a sad fact, but most people who set out to learn Gaelic fail, and that is a shame because Gaelic is actually an easy language to learn. I’m no rocket scientist, the truth is, I am really slow at learning languages, but I learned to speak Gaelic fluently and so can you. Here I want to share some tips and tricks that will save you lots of time and will help you learn to speak Gaelic as fast as possible. I promise, you can learn Gaelic and it really isn’t that hard, you just have to know the tricks. There are some common pitfalls you need to avoid as well and I want to pass this information on to other learners so more and more people can be successful at learning Gaelic. If you are trying to learn Gaelic or thinking about learning Gaelic, please read on:

Learning Gaelic is Not Like Learning French or Spanish

Learning a small, local language like Gaelic is fundamentally different from learning a massive, international language like French or Spanish. Most people come to grief when they try to learn Gaelic because they approach it like French or Spanish, and you just can’t learn Gaelic that way. I will start by outlining the three basic strategies you will need to follow to learn Gaelic to fluency. These strategies flow naturally from the very different approach you will need to take in order to learn a small, local language like Gaelic and I will outline that different approach for you as we go along.

Three Key Strategies

1) The first key strategy is to get yourself on the right course, a course with a carefully structured syllabus that is designed to bring you to fluency. If you live in Scotland you can find dozens of weekend courses, evening courses and week-long courses and you can take these courses until you are blue in the face and pushing up daises and you will never learn Gaelic to fluency. These courses aren’t pointless (see guideline 2) but they are dangerous. They are often poorly taught, poorly designed and while they are good for introducing you to a little Gaelic, if they are all you do, they will doom you to forever drift around from course to course as a ‘permanent learner,’ fluency always out of your grasp.

Luckily there are a number of solid, well-designed courses on offer these days, all with the aim of bringing their students to fluency. The first step to fluency in Gaelic is to make one of these courses the backbone of your Gaelic-learning project.

a) An Cùrsa-comais. This is the course Sìne and I did. Ruairidh (Deke) from Oi Polloi did it as well and Ruairidh (Roddie) from Atomgevitter is starting on it this fall. It is a full-time, year-long course offered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye and Lewis Castle College on Lewis. Most people don’t have the time to do a full-time, residential course, but if you have the opportunity, this is the best option without a doubt. Also, your Gaelic needs to be at an intermediate level before you can start the course, but the Cùrsa-inntigidh (below) can get you there.

b) An Cùrsa-inntrigidh. This is the distance course offered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and it leads into the Cùrsa-adhartais. Combined, these two courses are designed to bring their students to fluency and since they are phone and internet based courses, you can do them from anywhere in the world. By itself, the Cùrsa-inntrigidh can also be used to qualify for the Cùrsa-comais (above).

c) Ùlpan. This new course is being offered by CLI throughout Scotland. Based on the highly successful courses for Hebrew in Israel and Welsh in Wales, these courses will be run with specially-trained tutors following a proven syllabus.

d) TIP or Total Immersion Plus. These courses are offered throughout Scotland and Nova Scotia and are based on the Total Physical Response method that is used successfully to teach dozens of languages.


2) The second key strategy is to take charge of your own language learning. If you want to learn a mega-language like Spanish or French, you can be quite passive about it in the early stages. You can sit in class for a few years until you feel a little confident and then book a trip to Madrid or Paris and force yourself to learn the language by throwing yourself into a situation where you have to speak it. You cant learn Gaelic or other smaller languages like that. You have to be much more aggressive right from the start.

There is nowhere on the planet where you have to speak Gaelic. All Gaelic speakers are bilingual and will speak to you in English if you are shy about it. Right from the start you have to grab your Gaelic learning by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. Aggressively seek out every possible learning activity in your area and add these to your core course. Do a little bit of Gaelic every day. Learning any language as an adult is not about a big heroic effort, but little efforts each day over a sustained period. These learning activities could include:

a) Those weekend, evening and week-long courses I trashed in Key Strategy 1. As I said above, they are not useless, far from it. I have taken these sorts of courses over the years and I got a lot out of them. If they are used as supplements, they can be quite helpful – they just won’t do as a core course.

b) Radio nan Gaidheal. You can get RnG all over Scotland now almost 24/7, and on the internet you can listen to it around the world. Put it on in your car and listen to it on the way to work. Listen to it as you do the dishes. Listen to it in the morning as you dress. Don’t worry if all you understand in the beginning is, “Blah blah blah agus blah blah blah ach…” if you are listening, you are learning the sounds. Every day you will understand a little bit more.

c) Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh. This is a great program on RnG that is available on the internet as well. This is a ‘letter’ written by Ruairidh MacIlleathain each week, aimed at intermediate learners, designed to showcase and explain key grammar, idioms and vocabulary. I used to read these letters over and over, listen to them, and read them out loud until I had them almost memorized. Invaluable. Ruairidh MacIlleathain also publishes An Litir Bheag aimed at more beginning learners.

d) The local Gaelic choir. I know, this is coming from a punker, but honestly, even if you don’t go for the music particularly, the language learning you can get out of a good choir-master is worth it, particularly if the choir master is a bit of a drill sergeant about pronunciation, which most of them are. Gaelic speakers are kind of like the French in that they are sticklers about pronunciation. If you get the sounds right in the beginning, you are well on your way to sounding really fluent in the end. I am still correcting mistakes I made in pronunciation early on and I wish I had spent more time on this in the beginning. But don’t make the mistake of just mouthing the sounds though. Take the songs home, get out your dictionary and grammar books and figure them out. Traditional Gaelic songs are great storehouses of loads of good idiom and vocabulary. If you know what the songs mean, all those words and phrases you learn in the songs are also yours to use in your dayly conversations.


3) The third key strategy follows naturally from the second and will be your most important strategy both as a learner and as a fluent speaker later on because it goes to the heart of what it means to speak a small, local language: speak Gaelic at every possible opportunity. That may seem obvious but it is more challenging than it sounds. As I explained above, all Gaelic speakers are also fluent English speakers and will speak English with you unless you make an effort to speak Gaelic with them. Your success as a Gaelic learner and your success later on as a fluent speaker will depend on your ability to create a network of Gaelic-speaking friends and family around you in your life.

Virtually all Gaelic speakers will be very happy to speak Gaelic with you but you will need to handle this carefully. Most native speakers are not used to speaking Gaelic with people they haven’t known for years and years. They may not be sure how to handle learners. They may have encountered some beginning-level learners, but few or no fluent learners. They may keep speaking English because they are trying to be polite. Also, not all native speakers are necessarily very confident about their Gaelic outside of very specific social situations. They might have a hard time understanding your accent or a learner’s vocabulary which may be different from the vocabulary in their local dialect.

Other learners are often no easier. They may suffer from a crippling lack of confidence. They may not understand how important it is to speak the language to learn it or they may be afraid of making mistakes or embarrassed by their lack of progress. In all cases the best approach is to patiently and non-judgmentally come back to Gaelic. If someone really seems reluctant, leave it for a bit and then try a little Gaelic again later on. Whatever you do, don’t shame people for their language choices and don’t correct peoples’ grammar unless they ask for help. If you keep coming back to Gaelic with a positive attitude and a smile on your face, you will eventually convert almost everyone to speaking Gaelic with you.

Gaelic speakers are human beings and so there are a few jerks out there who will be nasty to you if you try and speak Gaelic with them. Unfortunately, language learning can leave you feeling kind of vulnerable and so this nasty 1% can permanently discourage some learners. Don’t let them. Charge ahead and speak Gaelic. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t even think about the mistakes. There is no way past this vulnerable period but straight through it. If you put off speaking, you will just put off the problem. With a smaller language, you don’t gain confidence and then speak. It works the other way around. You speak to gain confidence.

Building up these Gaelic-speaking networks of friends and family is not only the best way to learn Gaelic, it is also how we as fluent speakers get the chance to use the language, and finally and most importantly, it is also how we keep Gaelic going and growing as a language. There is nowhere for Gaelic like Paris for French or Madrid for Spanish. We have to make Gaelic happen in our lives or it doesn’t happen at all.

Gaelic is so cool and so fun to speak. And Gaelic needs as many new speakers as possible. Gaelic needs you! I really wish you the best in learning Gaelic. It’s not hard. I did it and it was one of the best things I ever did. I am always thankful that I took the time and that I made the effort to learn Gaelic. It pays off every day. You can do it too! Post your questions or reactions to this here and good luck.

Ròc na Gàidhlig, Tim


PS.

Most of this advice comes from my own experience learning Gaelic, but I also consulted the results of research Alasdair ‘Falt Fada’ MacCaluim did for his PhD. Mòran taing Aladair chòir, ròcair meatailt a tha thu!

MacCaluim, Alasdair (2002) Periphery of the periphery? Adult Learners of Scottish Gaelic and Reversal of Language Shift. PhD Thesis. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.



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An dà chòmhlan ‘punc’ a tha a’ seinn sa Ghàidhlig

An dà chòmhlan ‘punc’ a tha a’ seinn sa Ghàidhlig
SEONAIDH MACÀDHAIMH

The Scotsman

THA dà chòmhlan chiùil “punc” a sheinneas sa Ghàidhlig an impis cuairt a thoirt dhan Roinn Eòrpa – a’ Bheilg, an Ã’laind, a’ Ghearmailt ’s a’ Phòlainn. Nochd clàir bhon dà chuid Oi Polloi agus Mill a h-Uile Rud san dà bhliadhna sa chaidh, anns an robh a’ Ghàidhlig air a cleachdadh ann am faclan nan òran, notaichean a’ chòmhdaich agus air an làraich-lìn.

B’e ainm a’ chlàir aig Oi Polloi Carson? agus siud a’ cheist a bh’ agam dhan t-seinneadair, Alasdair MacChoinnich. “Thòisich sinn ri seinn ann an Gàidhlig bliadhna no dhà air ais oir bha sinn a’ smaoineachadh gun robh e gu math cudromach ar cànan a chur gu feum ’nar cuid chiùil oir bha sinn riamh air son taic ’s brosnachadh a thoirt do mhion-chultaran oir se rud math agus prìseil a th’ ann an iomadachd.”

Chan e dìreach an ceòl luath, neartmhor, beothail a tha gan sgaradh bho chàch ach na tha iad ag ràdh. Tha faclan MaHR gu mòr a’ deiligeadh ri feise. Chan eil càil as ùr ann a-seo, tha gu leòr bàrdachd aig na Gaidhil a tha ’n dà chuid àrsaidh ’s drabasta. Ach car son? Se Tim, a bhuineas do Sheattle, seinneadair MaHR. “Tha sinn beò ann an cultar a tha fhathast làn eagail ’s nàire a-thaobh feise. Tha e doirbh smaoineachadh air rud cho bunaiteach, cudromach ri saorsa-feise. Tha mi an dòchas gum bi latha ann nuair nach eil e iongantach a bhith a’ seinn mu dheidhinn feise.”

Fad bliadhnaichean tha cuid againn air a bhith den bheachd gu bheil Runrig ùr a dhith oirnn. Ach chan ann ás a’ Ghaidhealtachd a tha iad seo ach á Dùn Èideann ’s Ameireaga. Mur i a’ Ghàidhlig cànan am màthar car son a tha iad ga cleachdadh? Tim a-rithist. “An uair a dh’ionnsaich sinn Gàidhlig, chuir sinn còmhlan Gàidhlig air dòigh gun a bhith smaoineachadh gur e rud àraidh no neònach a bh’ ann idir. Tha e fada nas spòrsaile bhith seinn sa Ghàidhlig ’s tha a’ phlanaid loma-làn chòmhlanan-ciùil Beurla.”

Dè bu mhath le Tim cluinntinn ’nar cànan? Leithid Iain Lom ann an dreach as ùr? “Tha feum againn air barrachd ciùil ùir. Is dòcha gun obraicheadh hip hop gu math le cho cudromach ’s a tha bàrdachd ann an saoghal na Gàidhlig.”

Tha Niall Iain Dòmhnallach, prìomh ghuth a’ phrògram rèidio Rapal, dèidheil air ceòl punc na Gàidhlig cuideachd. Chan ann air lùths a’ chiùil a-mhàin a tha e measail ach onarachd nam facal. “Is toil leam cumhachd na h-òrain ’s gu bheil iad, anns a’ chumantas, air an clàradh ann an dòigh robach, amh, agus gu bheil e follaiseach gu bheil iad a’ faireachdainn a h-uile facal a bhios iad a’ seinn.”

Cha mhotha gu bheil Niall Iain frionasach mu bhrìgh nam facal aig MaHR. “Chan eil e a’ cur dragh sam bith ormsa g’eil iad a’ seinn mu feise ’s poileataigs. Se rud nàdarrach a th’ ann am feise – tha sinn an-seo air a sgàths! ’S bha còmhlain riamh a’ seinn mu poileataigs!

“Tha an cothrom aig còmhlain ùra Gàidhlig mar na dhà seo a bhith gu math cudromach ann an saoghal nan Gaidheal. Tha an t-uabhas de dh’òrain ’s ceòl Gàidhlig a’ nochdadh ann an stoidhle tradiseanta ’s chaidh a’ mhòrchuid dheth a sgrìobhadh bho chionn bliadhnaichean! Ged se dualchas luachmhor a th’ anns na h-òrain sin car son nach fhaod daoine a bhith a’ clàradh òrain Gàidhlig ùr ann an cruth pop, reggae, indie, punc-roc neo rud sam bith eile?”

Tha MacChoinnich a’ coimeas cor nan Cuimreach. “Tha an t-uabhas chòmhlain-ciùil roc acasan a tha a’ seinn sa Chuimris. Tha feadhainn ac’ air a bhith gu math soirbheachail.”

Dh’fhaighnich mi do Niall Iain car son nach eil òigridh nan eilean a’ dèanamh càil an-diugh coltach ri Oi Polloi, MaHR no eadhon Runrig. “Se ceist dhuilich a tha sin. Tha mi fhèin den bheachd gur e as coireach nach eil còmhlain ann a leanas iad mar eisimpleirean. Tha feum ac’ air role models. Math

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Ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig

Tha mi air pròiseact ùr a thòiseachadh aig Learning Gaelic far am bi mi a’ cur òraid ùr gach seachdain. Cuideachd bidh facal ùr ri ionnsachadh gach latha air Twitter aig Facal an Latha. Bu toigh leam podcast a dhèanamh cuideachd a bhios a’ dol c… Continue reading

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