Gàidhlig on the Go. uTalk ( from ANA Winter 2012)

In our fifth reprint from our Quarterly members e-zine “An Naidheachd Againne”, Rudy Ramsey reviewed u-Talk Scottish Gaelic — a learning aid for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

uTalk Scottish Gaelic is another iPhone app that’s worth a look. This is a vocabulary practice app, but it’s more motivating than the usual flash-card approach.uTalk starts with a Word Practice mode, in which it presents a series of words or phrases with both the Gaelic and the English in writing, a picture of the object or situation, and an audio of the spoken Gaelic…

To read more, please click the link below (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.

http://download.acgamerica.org/Reprints/ANA_Reprint_5_GotG_2012-4.pdf

The Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans

The “Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans” is a ceremony, usually but not always part of a church service, in which God’s blessing is sought for the tartans worn by the Scots. This “tradition” appears to have begun in World War II as a Scottish-American event, though it has now spread to many parts of the Scots’ world. The history is interesting, and there are at least some tenuous connections to practices among the highlanders after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

Though these ceremonies were originally found only in Presbyterian churches, they’ve spread to other denominations, and are even sometimes found at Highland games. They can be performed at any time of the year, but are especially common on Reformation Sunday (last Sunday in October), St. Andrew’s Day (November 30), and Tartan Day (April 6).

From time to time, we receive requests for a Scots Gaelic blessing for use at a Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans service. This is a very natural request, but because this isn’t an ancient tradition, there’s no old Gaelic prayer or blessing available for the purpose.

Catriona Parsons

We asked Catrìona Parsons, who is a native speaker, one of the world’s best-known teachers of Gaelic, and a friend of ACGA, if such a blessing existed. Her response was to write one for us. 🙂 It’s short enough to be feasible for non-Gaelic-speakers. We think it’s lovely, and it should work quite well wherever folks want to do the blessing in Gaelic.

Here’s the blessing in Gaelic.

A Dhè, beannaich na Gàidheil agus na
h-Albannaich bho ’n d’thàinig sinn;
Beannaich sinne, ’s na breacain a tha
sinn fhathast a’ cur oirnn;
Agus beannaich an dualchas a tha sinn
a’ cumail suas.
AMEN.

Here’s a translation to English

O God, bless the Gaels and the Scots from
whom we are descended;
Bless us, and the tartans we still wear;
And bless the heritage that we uphold.
AMEN.

Here’s a link to an audio file that can be used in the actual service, or used to learn to speak the blessing.

Here’s a rough pronunciation guide intended for English speakers who don’t know Gaelic. Be aware that such guides often produce terrible results when used as the sole learning aid, but if you look at this while listening to the audio, you’ll likely be able to distinguish sounds that would otherwise be elusive.

Uh yay, byaunich na gale uh gus na halapanich vown d’ hanug sheen;
Byaunich sheen ya, sna brechkun uh ha sheen hahst uh coor orn;
Uh gus byaunich uhn duelchus uh ha sheen uh koomuhl soo us.
Ah men.

Be aware that: the “ch” is as in “Ich” in German.
“byau” rhymes with “meow”.
“gale”: like English “gale”. Definitely no “y” sound, though, as “gyale”.
“vown”: say “own” with a “v” in front.
“d’”: say “duh”, but shorten it to just the “d” sound.
“hahst” Say “hah”, but stretch the “ah”, then add “st”.

If you actually use this blessing in a Kirkin’, please let us know. 🙂

 

Mo Chuimhne air Leòdhas (from ANA Winter 2012)

In the second of our re-prints from our newsletter, An Naidheachd Againne, Catriona Parsons tells us about the place she was born – Aignish, in the district of Point on the Isle of Lewis.

Rugadh mi ann a’ baile beag air taobh an ear Leódhais. ‘S e Aignis ainm a’ bhaile bhig seo, “Aignis air a’ mhachair” mar a chanas an t-òran. Tha Aignis ‘na laighe ann a’ sgìre an Rudha, agus chan eil eadar an Rudha agus an còrr dhen eilean ach aoidh chumhang ris an canar Am Bràighe…

I was born in a village on the east side of the Isle of Lewis, by the name of Aignish—“Aignish on the machair”, as the song goes. Aignish lies in the district of Point which is tied to the rest of the island by a narrow isthmus called the “Bràighe”…

To read more, please click the link below (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.

http://download.acgamerica.org/Reprints/ANA_Reprint_2_Lewis_2012-1.pdf

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.