Gàidhlig on the Go—LearnBots (from ANA Fall 2012)

In the first of a new series of posts of selected articles from our quarterly Bi-lingual e-zine, An Naidheachd Againne, Rudy Ramsey reviews the Learnbots “Gàidhlig on the Go” app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

LearnBots is a fun, and rather clever, way to learn and practice verb forms with the aid of a mobile device. Before I tell you about it, though, you need to do something for me. You know that “suspend disbelief” switch in your head that helps you enjoy science fiction? (You may be using it just now for political campaigns.) Well, you may want to turn it on for a paragraph or two.

LearnBots is an app that lets you drill yourself on verb forms. It teaches you the imperative, past, future, conditional, infinitive, and verbal noun forms of 101 different verbs, with conjugation, spelling, and pronunciation by a native speaker. What, no disbelief problems yet? Ah, I almost forgot. It uses images of a rather fanciful family of robots — including a man, a woman, a dog, and a hive of bees — to make things interesting and to visually tie the verb root to its meaning. And in my opinion, it works, at least as a motivational aid, and perhaps as a retention aid. I am absolutely certain, however, that some folks will see this as purely a gimmick. So your mileage may vary…

To read more of Rudy’s review, click here to download the article (PDF Format, Adobe Reader required). The article also contains a link to a thread about the article in the ACGA Forum, to allow discussion or questions.


An Naidheachd Againne, Fall 2014 Issue Is Available

The Fall, 2014, issue of our newsletter, An Naidheachd Againne, has been released.

Members should have received it, but they can also obtain it online, by logging in to the  ACGA Forum, and checking the Members Room.

Non-members can obtain issues through Spring 2014 in the Public Room of the forum, which requires no login, though you’re welcome to create an account and join our discussions whether you’re a member or not.

Information about joining ACGA can be found here.

“One of the best ever” – The US National Mòd for 2014

The 27th US National Mòd was held in the beautiful hills of western Pennsylvania, with new faces as well as friends that have come back year after year.

Our adjudicator this year: Lewis (Lodaidh) MacKinnon, who brought his own unique approach and some new ideas to the role.  The result?  Competitors and spectators alike expressed enthusiasm for his supportive and educational perspective.

We welcomed again the Royal Mòd Gold Medalists: from 2013, Eilidh Munro and Robert Robertson.  They were as happy to be here in the festivities as we were to have them!

Congratulations to Debby Biro for winning the US Mòd’s highest awards – the S.C.O.T.S shield from the Twin States for highest scores in the Prescribed category, and for the Marietta MacLeod award for highest overall scores!

For more pictures and news of the Mòd, visit the Mòd and ACGA Facebook pages!

The 2014 U.S. National Mòd Is Coming!

The Mòd is coming!

The 27th annual Mòd is just around the corner – September 19, at the Ligonier Highland Games, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A great time to listen to native Gaelic speakers, fluent learners, and adventurous newcomers tackling Gaelic songs, stories and poems in competition and at cèilidhs. A great time to soak up as much Gaelic as you can in a friendly, relaxed environment. A great time to be part of a Gaelic community – without the cost of a roundtrip airfare to Scotland!

Both Gold Medalists from Scotland’s Royal National Mòd will be attending our event. This year, we will have the honor to welcome the female and male medalists, Eilidh Munro and Robert Robertson, brought to us courtesy of The Gaelic Society An Comunn Gaidhealach, in Scotland.

We will be having Lewis Mackinnon from Cape Breton as our adjudicator this year. This will be a first here for Lewis as our adjudicator, and it will be a unique opportunity to meet and speak with the Office of Gaelic Affairs’ Executive Director, let alone to receive an adjudication from an accomplished Gael such as he! We welcome the opportunity to have him with us this year.

If you have ever wanted to see the Mòd or meet with native speakers, to compete and try out your Gaelic, or just to attend the games and take in the Mòd experience, sign up! Go to http://usmod.wordpress.com/mod-bulletin-an-cuairtear-ceolmhor/ and you’ll see what you need to do! You can direct any questions to macaoidh88@gmail.com.

We do ask that you send in your forms by September 14 so that we can get a good head count.

We welcome donations to support our efforts to continue holding Mòd Naiseanta Aimeiragaidh. Donations are tax-deductible in the United States as allowed by law. There is a donation page on the form mentioned above, and you can also donate on the AGCA website.

The Mòd Committee hope you will be able to join us in Ligonier, or if not, that you will consider making a donation.

Leis gach deagh dhùrachd,

Comataidh a’ Mhòid
Mòd Naiseanta Aimearagaidh 2014

2014 Gaelic Song & Language Week, Grandfather Mountain


Interested in Scottish Gaelic, the ancient and revered tongue of Scotland that’s spoken and  sung today? Please join us for the 16th Annual Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, July 6-11, 2014, at Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, NC.

An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (The American Scottish Gaelic Society, ACGA) brings you three distinguished Gaelic Instructors for a week of educational and fun-filled classes at Beinn Seanair (Grandfather Mountain, in Gaelic). Christine Primrose is a Scottish Royal National Mòd gold medal winner for Gaelic song. Angus MacLeod is a revered story-teller and has worked in short Gaelic films. They will be teaching the intermediate and advanced classes. Nicholas (Neacal) Freer, a Gaelic learner and experienced teacher, will conduct the beginners’ classes.


Christine Primrose is a native of Carloway, Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. As part of growing up in a traditional Gaelic community, she began singing at a young age. Christine is a Gold Medal winner for Gaelic singing at the Scottish Royal National Mòd for 1974 and her recent accolades include “Gaelic Singer of the Year” at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards in 2009. Her tours have taken her worldwide, including Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, taking her distinctive voice and the Gaelic language to a wide audience. She is also in demand as a tutor: she currently tutors on the (BA) Gaelic and Traditional Music Course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. We are delighted to have her join us at Beinn Seanair.

Here’s a fun clip of Christine in “Kitchen Music”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkpvDIXovt8 where she not only makes the meal, but sings for it, too!

Another clip of Christine performing Mo Cheist Am Fear Ban’ / My Darling Is the Fair One http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ne4UIEWjXE&list=PL280DBF3DE164A29F

Here’s an interesting article about Christine: http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart663.htm


Angus MacLeod Photo

Angus MacLeod is a Gaelic speaker, singer, storyteller, artist, writer and actor. He was born to Gaelic speaking parents in a Cape Breton Gaidhealtachd. He learned  Gaelic on his own through song and by speaking with local elders, augmented by classes at various institutions in Nova Scotia. Angus began teaching in 1998. Since then he has taught Gaelic language and song at the Gaelic College of Arts and Crafts, St.Francis Xavier University, and Cape Breton University and at many venues throughout Canada and the U.S. Along with being a performer for Celtic Colours Festival for many years, Angus has appeared as an actor in three Gaelic short films. Angus was the first instructor in North America to use the Total Immersion Plus methodology for teaching Gaelic. He is presently Vice-President of, and a teacher with, the Atlantic Gaelic Academy as well as teaching in-person classes in Cape Breton, online classes as a private instructor and writing a bi-weekly Gaelic / English blog for Celticheart.ca.

He is a renowned story-teller and also an accomplished Gaelic singer who conducts Gaelic song workshops in Nova Scotia. We offer him the heartiest of welcomes to Beinn Seanair.

Click here to see Angus in the first Gaelic language short film made in North America, Faire Chaluim MhicLeoid / The Wake of Calum MacLeod  http://vimeo.com/7221607

Here’s Angus in a excerpt from the 2012 Gaelic rendition of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart / An Cridhe Cabaireach  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqU51d_ZTlA


 Nick Freer Photo

Nicholas (Neacal) Freer has been a student of Gaelic since 1988 and began teaching beginner and intermediate level students in 1995. A keen student himself, Neacal has attended the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s (Nova Scotia), Sabhal Mor Ostaig (Skye), as well as studying with Morag Craig at Cothrom Na Feinne. He served as US National Gaelic Mòd Chair from 2004 to 2010. He has won multiple gold medals in story-telling and been interviewed on Reidio nan Gaidheal. Several of Neacal’s students have gone on to compete at the Scottish Royal National Mòd and in the US National Mòd. Known as an energetic teacher who adds humor and merriment to the learning experience, we are pleased to have Neacal join us this summer.


Please join us for this wonderful week of Gaelic fun and learning! We hope to see you there!

If you can help us promote this great event, please contact John Grimaldi at iainmartainn at aol.com.

Registration is now open. Please visit http://www.acgamerica.org/events/grandfather-mountain/info to register.