New Gaelic classes start in Motherwell

PIC ALAN WATSON - DALZIEL HS - GAELIC LESSONS
PIC ALAN WATSON - DALZIEL HS - GAELIC LESSONS

DO you remember watching Dòtaman as a kid and wondering, what on earth is he saying? Times & Speaker reporter Stacey Mullen did, so she set out to seek interpretation -

It is quite shocking really when you consider I am a proud Scot and yet I could not then and still can’t speak a word of our native tongue Gaelic.

It gets worse! You could hand me the latest edition of the French newspaper Le Monde, and I am fairly confident I could understand what was making the news that day.

Ask me to follow Gaelic road signs up north, however, and I’d be stranded!

Like me, most of you are probably thinking that Gaelic is dying out and given that we’ve got this far without it, why need it now?

But people across this area are trying to keep the language alive by attending classes organised by North Lanarkshire Council’s learning and leisure, proving that there is still life in our native tongue yet.

I attended one of these classes last week as a beginner to see what all the fuss is about, and what I learned proved that Gaelic is a language worth preserving for further generations.

Entering the class and announcing, “I’m hear to learn Gaelic,” got me in the bad books straight away, as I was quickly corrected by teacher Davina Matthews that I was in fact pronouncing the subject matter wrong - something that is more common than you probably think.

Scottish Gaelic is pronounced ka:lik, where as when you are talking about Irish Gaelic, you would say geiɪliɨk.

As the lesson begins and we start looking at the basics, it quickly becomes clear to me that Gaelic is like nothing else I have ever seen.

Having studied French, Spanish and Italian through school and university, you pick up a lot of similarities between the languages because at the end of the day they are derived from Latin but with Gaelic, there was no reference point for me.

For full story, see January 27 edition of the Times & Speaker