In Praise of Gaelic

In Praise of Gaelic

What is the loveliest sound to hear in the Highlands and Islands? Gaelic.

What is the loveliest sound to hear in Ullapool Bookshop? Two customers speaking Gaelic to each other, whether they are local people or islanders meeting up while browsing, before boarding the ferry back to Stornoway. It?s always a pleasure to hear, and please keep talking Gaelic even if there are non-speakers present!

It has been satisfying to expand the Gaelic sections in the shop recently: both books for adults and books for children.

Seasonal greetings to all those who support Gaelic, who include:

The wonderful publishers and distributors of Gaelic books, such as Acair Publishing Ltd, the Gaelic Books Council, Cl?r, Islands Book Trust, Grace Notes Publications, Sandstone Press, Birlinn, Polygon, Argyll Publishing, and Akerbeltz (Michael Bauer). The latter, for example, has lately not only re-published the Gaelic Bible, given us back Dwelly?s Dictionary in its original form, and written the magnificent Blas na G?idhlig, but set up Dwelly-D and Am Faclair Beag (on-line dictionaries) in collaboration with William Robertson. Yet Michael learnt Gaelic from scratch as a student.

Boyd Robertson and Ian MacDonald for the superb Teach Yourself Essential Gaelic Dictionary and other titles, and everyone who has generously compiled reference books designed to help learners.

Gaelic dictionary

All the wonderful authors who choose to write in Gaelic.

Sabhal M?r Ostaig and all those who have made the Skye College such a success.

All at BBC Alba and Radio nan G?idheal: wonderful affirmations of the language and the culture.

Brian Wilson for being instrumental, as a government Minister, in the founding of BBC Alba and of course, as an editor and journalist, for launching the West Highland Free Press, always committed to Gaelic.

Roddy MacLean and others who have shown that it is possible to bring Gaelic back to life within your own family.

Andreas Wolff, Michael Klevenhaus and other inspirational people