Still time to support ‘Anna Ruadh’

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The clock is ticking on the Kickstarter campaign supporting Anna Ruadh, a translation of Anne of Green Gables into Scottish Gaelic. Supporters have until midnight June 30 (Maritime time) to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign (click here).

As a stretch goal incentive, if the campaign raises CA$2,000 more than the original CA$15,000 goal, the cover illustrator will create original pen-and-ink chapter heading illustrations for the book.

Anna Ruadh is the latest Gaelic publishing project from Bradan Press of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and its founder, president and editor, Emily McEwan. Bradan Press came to life in 2016, with the publication of the Scottish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook, a “think before you ink” guide written by McEwan.

Since that colorful start, Bradan Press has produced several works, including two volumes of bagpipe music by collected by Barry Shears, and collections of Scottish Gaelic poetry by Lodaidh MacFhionghain, Marion F. NicIlleMhoire, Calum L. MacLeòid, and Marcus Mac an Tuairneir.

Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables has been translated into more than 30 languages, but not into Scottish Gaelic, even though Gaelic has close cultural and historical connections to the author and Prince Edward Island. “We feel this is a major oversight, connected to the way that Gaels and Gaelic have been deliberately erased from Maritime and Canadian culture and history,” McEwan said in launching the crowdfunding campaign.

Bradan’s goal is to create a translation imbued with the charm and appeal of the original, while subtly localizing the story to represent Maritime Canadian Gaelic culture as well.

Mòrag Anna NicNèill, originally from the Isle of Harris and now a resident of the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, will translate Anne of Green Gables for the publisher. NicNèill has translated five children’s books from Scottish Gaelic to English and has written four original children’s books in Gaelic.

The planned publication date for Anna Ruadh is June 30, 2020. Bradan hope to launch the book in Prince Edward Island following the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Fourteenth Biennial Conference, 25-28 June, 2020. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign will receive a variety of rewards, based on their contributions.

Visit Bradan Press and Kickstarter for more information.

 

YouTube nan Gaidheal #1: Can Seo

Since its launch in February 2005, YouTube has changed the way a generation consumes video content, and now it offers new ways to learn languages, including Scottish Gaelic.

There’s a vast and growing amount of material about Scottish Gaelic and in Gàidhlig available on YouTube, which is big enough now to challenge more traditional television, cable and streaming content for viewer’s interest. That material isn’t collated in one place, so you have to search for it, and sometimes it’s hard to find what you need.

In this series of articles, we’ll look at various resources available for Gaelic learners on YouTube.  Eventually, ACGA will have links to these resources on its website. (Shockingly, ACGA has only a couple of videos on its YouTube channel. We’ll have to address that as well.)

We’ll start with a resource that the oldest of ACGA’s grey-heads will remember, but many younger members may not know: The 1979 BBC Gaelic-learning program “Can Seo.”

Can Seo is a 20-episode Gaelic course for beginners that was broadcast in 1979, accompanied by a book and audio and videotapes. At the time ACGA was formed in the 1980s, Can Seo was the latest (really the only) multimedia course available. Distribution and use of the videos was tightly controlled by the BBC (unlike the book and cassette tapes, the videos weren’t available for purchase).

ACGA was licensed at the time to use a limited set of the videos in study groups. Thirty-five years later, all 20 episodes of Can Seo are available on YouTube. You can find them by searching for Can Seo. Much has changed in Gaelic education in 40 years, and there are more recent learning programs, such as Speaking our Language, available, but Can Seo’s lessons are still valuable, not only for the Gaelic content, but its views of life back in 1979!

— Liam Ó Caiside

 

Register now for ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Week

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Registration is now open for the 2019 ACGA Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song & Language Week, a five-day intensive exploration of Scottish Gaelic song, language and culture in the western mountains of North Carolina. This year’s program will run from Sunday, July 7 through Friday, July 12, followed by the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd.

Go to the GS&LW landing page for detailed information and to our online registration form.

The GS&LW returns to Lees-MacRae College for its 21st year, featuring instructors James GrahamTiber Falzett and Jamie MacDonald. James is a native of Scotland and winner of the men’s gold medal at the Royal National Mòd, while Tiber hails from Prince Edward Island and is the visiting lecturer of Scottish Gaelic Studies at the University of North Carolina. Jamie is a native of North Carolina with a Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh. He is a founder of the GS&LW week, a frequent teacher at the event, and organizer of the North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd that takes place during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

All three will offer instruction in Scottish Gaelic song and language, with classes running from Monday morning through Friday at noon. Lessons will be available for everyone from beginners to fluent speakers. There will be workshops as well focused on specific aspects of Gaelic culture, whether dance, music, song or story. We hope you will join us for what promises to be an exceptional program.

Glasgow Gaelic School Keeps Growing

Critics of Gaelic-medium education often decry it as serving “the middle class,” but the headteacher of Glasgow Gaelic School/Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu says that’s not true.

In a recent article in Scotland’s The Herald newspaper, Donalda McComb, said 15 percent of the Gaelic-medium school’s pupils come from neighborhoods classed as the poorest in Scotland, though 17 percent come from wealthy neighborhoods.

“Some 19 per cent of our school population are eligible for free school meals and every year that is increasing,” McComb told The Herald. “By now we should be over the perception of Gaelic as for middle class families. … “We encourage all families from the local area and beyond so that parents know what is ahead and it is unfair if people still see us like that.”

The school, which had 33 pupils when it was established in 2006, now has 343 students.

Òran Bagraidh: Reimagining a song and a language

It’s well-known, or should be, that Scottish Gaelic was once spoken well beyond the Hebrides and Highlands, as far south as the Scottish borders during the Middle Ages. That’s been obscured by history and historical myth-making that sought to de-emphasize the role of the Gaels in Scotland (how many times have researchers heard “Gaelic was never spoken here” from people in parts of Scotland pocked with Gaelic place names, and in some cases where Gaelic was alive within living memory or just beyond it? The answer, too many times.)

An ambitious artistic project last year attempted to leap and blur some of the dividing lines of history and revive a song called Òran Bagraidh, possibly a relic — the only one — of the Gaelic once spoken in Galloway in southwestern Scotland. Galloway. The song came to light in the book “From the Farthest Hebrides,” (MacMillan Company of Canada, 1978) a collection of songs edited by Donald A. Ferguson of Cape Breton and Aonghas Iain MacDhomhnaill, or Angus John MacDonald, originally of Knockline, North Uist.

(Although some of the songs in the book were later found to be inventions of MacDhomhnaill, scholars have given Òran Bagraidh “serious consideration.” Read this informative blog by Michael Newton for more background.)

Medieval Galloway was a place where many languages met — a form of Cumbric or Welsh, Irish or Gaelic, English and Norse. It’s fitting that the Òran Bagraidh project involved musicians and poets drawn from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. They met for a week-long collaboration at Barscobe House in Galloway last September, using the song as a “springboard” to explore “commonalities and differences between musical styles and languages, within the context of the historical diversity of Galloway.”

The group has since performed their version of Òran Bagraidh in concert and an album featuring the song and other original works by the artists was released February 2. The album, more information, and a longer video on the project is available on https://www.oranbagraidh.com/