Ceòlas Course

03/08/2018 Leave a comment

Ceòlas have announced flexible availability on a four-week Gaelic immersion course starting on 20th August. Details can be found on their Immersion Courses page.

“Research by Soillse (G Wells, 2011) also shows the Uist community as a particularly supportive and encouraging environment for Gaelic language learning.”

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Categories: Classes, Community, Research

Singing on the pipes

20/07/2018 Leave a comment

Raw video from the Facebook page. “Guthan gu leòr aig geamaichean Uibhist a Tuath. A taste of the North Uist games, with plenty singing on the pipes.” The unmistakable soundtrack to Island Games.

Categories: Community, UGC, Video

Peatcutting: slow burner catches fire

08/06/2018 Leave a comment

Among the 200+ Island Voices videos on YouTube, the documentaries and interviews on peatcutting, featuring Archie Campbell, have constantly attracted a steady, if not eye-catching, stream of hits. Slow burning, you might say, like the stuff itself.

Well, there appears to have been a shift in the wind in the YouTube algorithms, judging by recent analytics for the English version of the documentary. This looks more like a muirburn out of control!

Suddenly, viewers all round the world – from the United States to Sweden, to Romania, India, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere – are taking an interest in how peats are cut in Benbecula. It’ll be interesting to see how many move on to listen to Archie talking about the process and the social customs attached to it in either English or Gaelic – all available on the Series 2 Outdoors page. And any Polish-speaking viewers can also get a version of the documentary in their own language – Kopanie torfu!

 

Categories: Video

Uist Guide for Gaelic Learners

08/05/2018 Leave a comment

A year has passed since Ceòlas’ Liam Alastair Crouse last spoke to Gordon Wells about his work in Uist. He took time out from helping with the latest immersion course for Gaelic learners at Kildonan Museum to talk about what he’s been doing. He’s not been idle!

Part of his work involves helping organisations (local and national) develop their Gaelic, particularly online. Here are some of the sites he mentions.

https://www.runnach.co.uk/
https://www.toradh.org/
https://www.taigh-chearsabhagh.org/gd/taigh-chearsabhagh-taigh-tasgaidh-agus-ionad-ealan/
http://digital.nls.uk/learning/iolaire/

He then goes on to mention the latest initiative to help Gaelic learners in Uist – a listing of likely places where you might hear and practise the language, together with some helpful tips on how to engage in Gaelic conversation. You can download and print off the guidelines here. It’s also available on the Ceòlas site here.

In the final part of the conversation with Gordon he talks about further plans for local development. Watch this space!

Categories: Community, Video

Gathered and Shared – Poems and Music

06/05/2018 2 comments

Many thanks to Loriana Pauli for sending Island Voices this new offering – a podcast she and fellow Uist-based students on the UHI BA in Applied Music made with the help of local poet Pauline Prior-Pitt. Originally broadcast by An Radio, we’re delighted to post the link here. It’s a nice mix of poetry and music, English and Gaelic.

In this short programme Loriana Pauli, Chloe Steele, Angharad Whittle, Peter Davidson, and Jordan Neill have put together images in words and music of some aspects of Uist’s working life and traditions.

Categories: Audio, Classes, Community, UGC

Learning Gaelic: Effort and Reward

15/04/2018 1 comment

This is a very nicely made video from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Multimedia centre, with Liam Alastair Crouse making some well considered points about learning Gaelic. It may not be the easiest task in the world – but the rewards for success are worth noting!

Categories: Community, Video

रीस्टोर प्रोजेक्ट – Re-Store Project

22/03/2018 Leave a comment

When language scholars talk about Gaelic, they often talk about other “minority languages” too, drawing parallels between what’s happening in the Hebrides and in other parts of the world. In Island Voices we’ve made a big thing of connections to Ireland, for example, with our “Gaelic Journeys” series. We’ve also made links to other Celtic languages (Welsh and Manx) as well as to Basque, another European minority language. And we’ve grouped these together with other languages across the world on our “Other Tongues” page. This page goes beyond European boundaries to include some Asian languages. And now we’ve added another one – Hindi.

“Cùm do shùil air taobh an Ear”, was Norman’s advice in “Saoghal Thormoid” (here at 22.22) – “Keep your eye on the East”. But, truth be told, this is not a new film at all. It belongs originally to Series 1 (2005-2007), being first made in English and Gaelic as usual, but with the Hindi version added soon after, following a visit to India by Gordon Wells for the University of the Highlands and Islands, during which time he made contact with the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan. He returned from India inspired by the environmental awareness displayed at Tilonia, the commitment to working with people on the ground in their own communities, and the energetic determination shown to do practical work, if need be outside established educational structures where they don’t suit local contexts. Clearly, material circumstances in the Hebrides are very different indeed from Rajasthan, but the Island Voices project has always been imbued with something of a DIY, self-reliant, “Barefoot College spirit” since that visit – which is partly why the Hindi version of the Re-Store film, which features a local voluntary project focusing on recycling furniture and books and the development of practical skills, was made so early (and sent on a disk to Tilonia as a token of appreciation).

As the official language of the Indian Union, with hundreds of millions of speakers, it obviously makes no sense to bracket Hindi as a “minority language” in that context – though it is also spoken by smaller yet significant numbers in other countries around the world, including the UK. Nevertheless, we’re happy to add it to our “Other Tongues” catalogue in Island Voices, as part of our “Sharing Gaelic Voices” theme. India is a highly multilingual nation, and it may well be that our efforts here in the Hebrides to support healthy interrelationships between our different languages could be usefully informed by closer study of the Indian context.

Here’s the film on YouTube.

As usual we have also created a Clilstore unit, so you can watch, listen, and read at the same time, and click on any word to get an online dictionary translation: Unit 6555

Finally, readers are reminded that the film paints a picture of the Re-Store Project in its earliest days. Things have moved on a lot since then, with purpose-built premises now located on the Cothrom campus in Ormacleit. Here’s some more recent news, including a link to a BBC Alba feature on “DIY le Donnie“.

Categories: CALL, Community, Video
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