An Naidheachd Againne: Prospects for Gaelic in 2030; Carina MacLeod interview

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The latest edition of An Naidheachd Againne (“Our News” or “The News At Us”) is available to members of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA). The quarterly newsletter — now in its 26th year — is a leading source of information in and about Scottish Gaelic around the world, published by our association in North America. Most of the articles, news stories, columns, and features are bilingual, with some features, such as the serialized fantasy novel, Sgoil nan Eun, published only in Gaelic.

Th2019-12-06_Alba2030_BannerPice Spring 2020 issue starts with “Alba 2030 : Buaidh is Piseach / Prospects for Gaelic in 2030,”an important article by Dr. Wilson MacLeòid (McLeod), professor of Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh. In December, about 60 people, MacLeòid included, gathered at the Scottish Parliament to discuss where they expected or hoped the language would be at the end of this new decade. There are few opportunities for concerned Gaelic speakers to gather together in this way, he notes. Here’s an excerpt:

“Chan eil e idir furasta fàisneachd a dhèanamh a thaobh na bhios an dàn don Ghàidhlig san àm ri teachd Anns na 1950an bha mòran eòlaichean glè dhubhach mu chor a’ chànain, agus iad an dùil gum biodh i marbh am meadhan an 21mh linn. ….

.. It is by no means easy to make predictions about the future prospects for Gaelic. In the 1950s many observers were very pessimistic about the outlook for the language, with some predicting that Gaelic would die out by the middle of the 21st century.”

Fortunately, the status of Gaelic is in many ways much more secure in the early 21st century. But is it sustainable? That’s a question MacLeòid addresses in this issue’s lead article.

Other articles and features of this issue of An Naidheachd Againne include reviews of recent books, including Dr. Michael Newton’s “The Everyday Life of the Clans of the Scottish Highlands” and John Murray’s “Reading the Gaelic Landscape,” an interview with Carina MacLeod, the Gaelic-speaking comedian and actress from the Isle of Lewis, and information about the 2020 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, scheduled for July 5-10 in North Carolina.

As always, there’s information about upcoming events, online learning resources, interesting websites, grammar and conversational Gaelic, and more. To receive the newsletter, simply join ACGA, following the link on this website. The cost for an annual membership, which includes four issues of the newsletter, is only $35. If you’d like to review back issues, visit our free archive.

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.

Registration Open for 20th Annual Gaelic Song and Language Week

BeinnSeanairThey say time flies, but it’s still hard to believe we will be gathering in North Carolina this July for the 20th Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, held from July 9 to 13 in Banner Elk, just before the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 12-15.

Every year since 1998, An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach has held a week of classes taught by some of the finest Gaelic singers from Scotland and Nova Scotia, and some of the finest Gaelic language teachers from Scotland, Canada and the United States.

This year we will welcome Margaret Bennett, folklorist, Gaelic singer and teacher, and we’ll welcome back Catrìona Parsons and Jamie MacDonald. We look forward to spending a week with them at Lees MacRae College in Banner Elk, in the mountains of North Carolina.

Lodgings are provided at the college’s “Virginia” dormitory, with check-in the afternoon of Sunday, July 8. Meals are provided through the college, though students may opt to eat off-campus in Banner Elk or other nearby towns as well (see the registration form).

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The week is an unparalleled opportunity to dive deep into Scottish Gaelic song and language, with classes at three levels for learners ranging from absolute beginners to fluent speakers. Students can mix and match classes and teachers and subjects as they please.

The week also features special events such as sessions on Highland folklore, movies in Gaelic, hiking and evening cèilidhs and song sessions. We hold a popular silent auction. In recent years we’ve had sessions on dance, types of songs and songs from specific islands and regions.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games — now celebrating their 63rd year — follow the event. The Grandfather Mountain games feature the North Carolina Provincial Mòd, a competition in Scottish Gaelic song judged by our Song and Language Week instructors.

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We hope you’ll join us! Tiugainn leinn! For more information, go to the Events section this website and the Grandfather Mountain GSLW page. To register, click here.