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Didmhnaich 12mh An Giblean 2009
Sunday April 12th 2009
1) Gaelic signposting plan for hospitals
2) Comunn Gidhlig Ottawa launched / logo competition
3) Atlantic Gaelic Academy offers fluent level for September
- AGA now on Twitter
- online Verbs workshop May 2 - 3
4) An Comunn Gidhealach Ameireaganach 13th Annual Scottish Gaelic
Immersion - Colorado Springs, June 4-7
5) Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week 2009 - July 5 - 10
6) Md nan Lochan Mra - Ohio - June 26 - 28.
1) Gaelic signposting plan for hospitals
Aberdeen Press and Journal, April 8, 2009
Health centres in the Highlands could soon be signposted in Gaelic as
well as English.
Patient appointment cards and other information put out by NHS
Highland would also be in bilingual format under plans being developed
by the health authority.
But opponents yesterday condemned the idea as a waste of money and
called on the health authority to take "a reality check".
A Gaelic language consultant has just been hired to advise on what
action the health board needs to take.
NHS Highland was one of the batch of public bodies identified in
December by Gaelic language agency Bord na Gaidhlig as requiring to
prepare a Gaelic language plan.
The board is working to have a policy in force by the spring of next
A NHS Highland spokes-woman said: "The consultant is undertaking
various fact-finding exercises to establish our current Gaelic
language provision in terms of public ations, patient information and
staff knowledge and skills in the language.
"A draft policy will be prepared by August 2009 which will be
discussed by the board before being subject to a period of public
consultation." The spokeswoman said the consultant is being funded by
Bord na Gaidhlig and the exercise has so far not cost NHS Highland
So far, it has received 74,800 from the Gaelic promotional quango,
which has powers under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 to
require public bodies to prepare a Gaelic language plan.
The initiative was yesterday deplored by Caithness Highland councillor
John Rosie, a former member of the health authority, and a fierce
critic of Highland Council's bilingual policy.
He said: "Putting up Gaelic signs and producing bilingual literature
is not going to help one bit. "Someone really should take a reality
check and put a stop to this nonsense and madness."
He claimed public money and the resources of managers in both the
council and cash-strapped health authority are being wasted.
Caithness and Northern Sutherland Health Forum chairman George Bruce
said he planned writing to health board chairman Garry Coutts to
protest about the bilingual moves.
He said he is also keen to find out how much money the board could end
up spending to implement its policy. Mr Bruce added: "I want to know
what the likely cost will be to the population for the Highlands to
introduce something that is patently not wanted by large sections of
the community."
He said that in many parts of the region, Gaelic speakers would be
comfortably outnumbered by Poles. While there are no bilingual signs
or publications, Gaels are catered for on NHS Highland's website,
which can be translated into a number of languages.
Bord na Gidhlig spokes-man Hugh Dan Maclennan yesterday confirmed
that NHS Highland has received funding to prepare a Gaelic language
He said that the support is designed to get authorities Gaelic-
friendly but that eventually they would bear the costs of implementing
bilingual initiatives.
* * * * *
2) Comunn Gidhlig Ottawa launched / logo competition
We are Comunn Gaidhlig Ottawa, a new not-for-profit incorporation
formed to promote Scottish Gaelic language, music (celtic instruments
and choir) and culture in the Nation's capital. We have a lot to do to
get fully up and running but have already started working toward our
goals and are making steady progress. Included in our plans are
Scottish Gaelic classes, affiliation with music instruction through
The Ottawa City Piping College and a National Capital Mod. Please see
our web site at: for more information.
Are there any aspiring artists among you who would like to help us
design a logo?
It should include a mix of the following attributes:
- a mix of the colours and cultural symbols of Scotland and Canada,
perhaps Ottawa as that's where we are based
- be catchy and easy to remember
- may intigrate a Celtic weave into the design
- be round or square so it can easily be incorporated into a pin, onto
a banner, or other marketing merchandise
- have something Gaelic incorporated (perhaps the initials CGO)
- be related to our core mission: Gaelic language, Music, culture and
- you will agree to donate the design to CGO in exchange for the prize
with no further remuneration or royalties.
The competition will close on June 15th, and a winner announced on
July 1st. The prize will be a Gil Waugh book and CD and the winner
will be notified by email and/or telephone on or shortly following the
Canada day weekend.
* * * * *
3) Atlantic Gaelic Academy offers fluent level for September
The AGA is pleased to announce the addition of a Fluent level year to
its program offering. This level will be of interest to those who have
completed the Advanced level of the AGA program or its equivalent, and
who want to advance their conversation skills and knowledge of the
language, at an advanced level.
The Fluent level will concentrate on the reading, translation, and
study of Gaelic stories and literature. Each sentence of the stories
will have a sound file, by a native Gaelic speaker, attached; so that
students can listen to the whole story or individual sentences or
words. The program will also include a review and application of
Advanced Gaelic constructions. More information is available on the
AGA website, including enrolment information.
We are also pleased to announce that Donald John Morrison has joined
the AGA as an advisor. Donald John, a graduate of the University of
Edinburgh, is a native Gaelic speaker who was born, raised, and still
lives on the Isle of Harris in Scotland. He is well known in Gaelic
circles for his knowledge of the Gaelic language.
The AGA website has now been up-dated as well with information for the
next school year starting in September 2009.
ACA now on Twitter
If you want to follow AGA on Twitter, our user name is “Learn_Gaelic”.
Online Verbs Worksop
AGA will be holding a “Verb Workshop” on-line using our Voice over
Internet (VOIP) telephone system May 2 and 3. The registration
deadline is April 21. It will be open to all who are interested in
learning the Gaelic language.
The workshop will concentrate on teaching students the construction
and use of “Regular” and “Irregular” verbs, and will also cover a
short review of the verb “to be”. The workshop would be beneficial for
those starting to learn about Regular and Irregular verbs, and also
more advanced learners wanting a review of this important area. Those
attending should have a good understanding of the verb “to be”.
The workshop will be from 9:30AM to 4:30PM on Saturday and Sunday.
There will be a lunch break from 12:30-1:30PM each day.
The cost is $110, and materials will be provided prior to the starting
To register go to the “Registration Workshops” page on the AGA website
at Complete the registration form and make
payment by completing the Payment Method section at the bottom, and
click on “Submit”. You can also register and make payment by calling
the AGA office at 902-453-1503.
Registration and payment are required in advance of the workshops. On-
line deadline is April 21. Class sizes will be limited, so register
early to ensure a place in the class.
Other Information
The AGA uses a Voice over Internet (VOIP) telephone system for our
“Live” on-line classes. If you are not familiar with such systems,
contact our Computer Manager (Brian) at the email or phone number
below, and he will get you set up to do the workshop on-line.
For further information email or phone the AGA
office at 902-453-1503.
* * * * *
4) An Comunn Gidhealach Ameireaganach 13th Annual Scottish Gaelic
Immersion - Colorado Springs, June 4-7
An Comunn Gidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA) presents its 13th Annual
Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend, held for the third time in Colorado
and the first time in Colorado Springs, from Thursday June 4 – Sunday
June 7, 2009.
This event will feature some of the best Scottish Gaelic instructors
from Cape Breton and the United States. The immersion weekend is a
unique opportunity for learners of Scottish Gaelic to come together
with more advanced and native speakers in both a classroom setting and
informal gatherings. Whether you are a new learner with no experience
or an advanced speaker, the immersion weekend will provide
opportunities to speak Gaelic in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
We'll likely have informal afternoon, or at least evening events on
arrival day, Thursday, June 4th. We'll have a full schedule of
classes, workshops, and special events all day on Friday and Saturday,
and morning sessions on Sunday, June 7. Extracurricular activities
will include a cilidh on Saturday evening.
Our Teachers
Lewis MacKinnon was born in Cape Breton and raised in Antigonish
County, Nova Scotia. He's an accomplished Gaelic singer, who also
sings in Irish and English. He has recently published his first book,
a collection of original Gaelic poetry. As CEO of the Office of
Gaelic Affairs for the province of Nova Scotia, he s helping point the
way toward Gaelic preservation and development in North America. And
he's an expert in the teaching of Gaelic using the TIP (Total
Immersion Plus) method.
Muriel Fisher is a native of Skye and currently lives in Arizona where
she teaches Gaelic through her Tucson Gaelic Institute, and at the
University of Arizona. She is also a feature correspondent with BBC
Alba and writes for Fios: The North Lewis Weekly. Muriel also teaches
during the summers at Sabhal Mr Ostaig.
Michael Mackay began studying Scottish Gaelic in 1997 and has become
fluent through the help of ACGA-sponsored events and through the
teachers and native speakers he has met through the organization. He
has appeared on the BBC Radio nan Gaidheal station for occasional news
interviews on Aithris na Maidne and the Coinneach Mr program, and
contributes to the Internet podcast program Gaelcast, together with
Liam Cassidy and Ed Bradshaw. Michael has been teaching Gaelic to
students across the country, both on behalf of ACGA and via Skype on
the Internet.
Our Location
The site is the very lovely campus of Colorado College in Colorado
Springs, Colorado. We think you'll find this a great setting, with
good facilities for our classes and meetings, a fine cafeteria, and
reasonable (but college dormitory-style) lodging.
Registering for the Event
You'll find the registration form here
We hope to see you there.
Other Information
Non-locals can fly into Colorado Springs itself, or into Denver with a
rental car (or perhaps additional travel by bus). We'll put more
details about this on the website soon. We also hope to provide our
own volunteer-based local transport between the Colorado Springs
airport and the college
* * * * *
5) Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week 2009 - July 5 - 10
Come to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, a state rich in
Gaelic heritage. Enjoy Scottish Gaelic language classes for beginner,
intermediate, and advanced speakers and singing classes covering a
range of traditional Gaelic song forms, including waulking, or
milling, songs and mouth music.
This year’s Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week will
run from July 5th through the 10th. The course will consist of
language and song classes at graduated levels. Other activities
include special interest sessions in the afternoon, an evening
cilidh, Gaelic videos, a silent auction, hikes in the beautiful
surrounding mountains and the North Carolina Gaelic Md which is held
during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games the weekend following.
The workshop is housed at Lees-MacRae College in Banner Elk, North
Carolina. Information about the cost of tuition, room, and board is
available on the Registration Form available here -
We are pleased to announce the following instructors for 2009:
Dr. Jamie MacDonald is a native of North Carolina and has spent many
years studying Gaelic language and song. He earned his Ph.D. in
Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh and has taught Gaelic
and Gaelic song in Scotland, Canada, and the U.S.
Margaret Callan is a talented Gaelic singer and scholar from North
Uist. She won the gold medal for traditional singing at the National
Mod in 1994 and she has released two albums. n 2008 Margaret graduated
M.Phil from the University of Edinburgh Department of Celtic &
Scottish Studies. Her thesis focused on the transmission of Gaelic
oral tradition in North Uist and it is to be published later this year
by Belfast University Press.
Anne Lorne Gillies is one of Scotland’s most venerable artists. A
fluent Gaelic speaker, she combines a passionate love of Gaelic song
with a deep understanding of Scottish history and literature. Her
published works include Gaelic children’s novels, film and television
scripts, autobiography, and the major award-winning collection Songs
of Gaelic Scotland (Birlinn, 2005.)
For more information on the week and instructors, see the above link.
* * * * *
6) Md nan Lochan Mra - Ohio - June 26 - 28.
Md nan Lochan Mra 2009, our seventh Ohio Md, will take place at the
Ohio Scottish Games, June 26-28.
This year Beathag Mhoireasdan will be our adjudicator. Beathag has
been an adjudicator and workshop presenter at the American National
Mod in Ligonier on many occasions and has also presented many
workshops on Gaelic song and waulking at many venues on the eastern
seaboard, including the Grandfather Mountain Song and Language
workshop. Beathag is especially well known for her workshops on drama
in Gaelic. She teaches Gaelic language workshops all over Europe and
is much in demand for translating services. She is a regular
instructor at SMO. She is an ardent proponent of the Gaelic language
and culture and demands the highest degree of performance from all her
students. More information at
For full information about this event as well as details about how to
enter the Md, see the above link.
* * * * *
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For more information about Scottish Gaelic language instruction in
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Is fherr an fhrinn na 'n t-r. / The truth is finer than gold.


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