Norman Maclean’s World in a Week
On consecutive days in the last week of April Gordon Wells recorded a series of Gaelic conversations with famed writer and entertainer Norman Maclean, in which Norman spoke reflectively of his memories and impressions of Gaelic life in Glasgow and the Hebrides from the middle of the Twentieth Century up to the present day.
The five videos, ranging between 35 and 55 minutes in length, will soon be posted online starting on Monday, 7th November. Word for word transcriptions will be made available simultaneously on Clilstore, enabling instant one-click vocabulary checking for Gaelic learners*. All in all there are 27,000 words and over three and a half hours of listening material in this collection, forming a unique new resource for serious study by learners and researchers. But Norman is a master raconteur, and there are plenty songs, jokes, and stories along the way. So, while it’s certainly an education, entertainment galore is also guaranteed for the more casual listener!
Over the week the conversations ranged over a wide variety of topics. In broad terms, however, each day had a different central focus:
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The “Saoghal Thormoid” project is a collaboration between Soillse, the inter-university research partnership which supported the recordings through its Small Research Fund, and Guthan nan Eilean (Island Voices). All recordings are free to access.
Update: All recordings in both the “Saoghal Thormoid” and “Sgeulachdan Thormoid” collections are now available on the “Norman Maclean” page.
*Clilstore also provides links to automatic Google Translate versions via the “unit info” tab. While machine translation from Gaelic to English is still at a very rudimentary stage, these versions can give at least an impression of the gist of the conversations for those viewers who have yet to start learning the language of Eden…