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Keyword: ‘Archie Campbell’

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

Google Gaelic

01/03/2016 1 comment

archanddonMany have welcomed the recent addition of Scottish Gaelic to the number of languages served by Google’s automatic “Translate” tool. Many have also expressed concern at the way it may be misused, particularly when it comes to translating cheaply – and frequently badly – from English to Gaelic. As an experiment at Island Voices, we’ve taken one of our popular Gaelic videos in Series Two Outdoors and run the transcript from Clilstore through the Gaelic to English facility on Google. Here’s the result.

“I Archie Campbell. Here in Benbecula myself and my neighbor Donald Innes spent a day early summer on the heath the peat. We start with skinning with spades. This leaves mud peat is ready for harvesting. I cut off a piece with the first spade. Then I begin with the treisgeir.

It is the work of Donald being below the dumping of peats. They lie on the ground for a while to dry. As we move forward towards the marks left on the roof by the treisgeir. After a while we become accustomed to the work, and we will cut and build faster and faster.

After working hard all the morning comes the time to relax, with food and drink. It is a good time is also news. Not just hard work only in the peat. You can also talk to.

The evening to try Donald cut, and I myself will throw the peats. When we come to the end of the mud we were skinning in the morning is not the end of the work at all. That is just the first stage ready. Now we need the second piece removed. The triopsa, rather than stretching them on the ground I will make them garden. The holes in the garden which allows the wind to blow through the turf drying.

At the end of the first day I Donald how small or rùghain stacks with the peats lays on the ground – again to dry. I come back after two weeks for more work like this. With the first day we finished the building back to the house.

After two weeks on the peats slightly dry, and I have come back for more rùghain made. The peats much water is lost now, and they are easier to handle. At this stage no need for the peats in the garden moved, but even with that much work to do in building rùghain with the peats were lying on the ground. The next step will be bringing them home. Need for tractor.

Between all anything, it is a time of year for fuel to take home. But on a cold winter later in the year I think it was a good time to earn it.”

If you struggle with Gaelic, you can judge for yourself how much or how little that helps with understanding the piece. You can even compare it with our own English version of the same video clip.

Clilstore aims to help you with individual words you might not know. It’s up to you to figure out how they fit into the piece as a whole. Clearly, Google Translate does a less than perfect job of fitting all the words together, but you may feel that it helps a bit. If that’s the case, all you need to do with any of the Clilstore transcripts on this site is simply copy and paste them into Google Translate, and see where it takes you. Good luck!

Categories: CALL, Community, Video

Donald MacCormick: Highland Soldiers

09/02/2015 Leave a comment

DonaldBooksDonald MacCormick, the well-known book-collector, talks in Gaelic to Archie Campbell about the contributions and sacrifices made by Highland soldiers in the First World War, and the reputation they earned.

As the statistics he cites make clear, it came at a heavy price, especially amongst the pipers.

This is another short film, shot by Laura Donkers, made as part of the An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach project led by North Uist Historical Society, Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, which is collecting some very distinctive “island voices” that have a special tale to tell.

Categories: Community, UGC, Video

Gaelic Journeys

19/01/2015 2 comments


This page brings together most of the recordings made as part of the reciprocal visits between Scotland and Ireland under the Guthan nan Eilean/Guthanna na nOileán project funded by Colmcille. In the links columns you can click on the “Youtube” link to go directly to the recording, or on the “Wordpress” link to read the Island Voices blogpost about it. A “Clilstore” link will take you to a wordlinked transcript.

Table 1. Scottish visit to Ranafast (2013)

Title Language Content Links
A Gaelic Journey English The Scottish Island Voices Project (Guthan nan Eilean) visits Ireland. This version of the documentary has an English commentary. YouTube



Cuairt Ghaelach Gaeilge The Scottish Island Voices Project (Guthan nan Eilean) visits Ireland. This documentary has an Irish language commentary. YouTube



Cuairt Ghàidhealach Gàidhlig The Scottish Island Voices Project (Guthan nan Eilean) visits Ireland. This documentary has a Scottish Gaelic commentary. YouTube



Darragh Ó Dochartaigh Gaeilge Darragh recites a poem YouTube
Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh Gaeilge Shauna recites a poem Ipadio
Club Óige Rann na Feirste Gaeilge Bridanna talks to Caoimhìn about the youth club YouTube


Bóthar an


Gaeilge Aodh talks to Neil about stonework YouTube


Eairdsidh agus Nìall Caimbeul Gàidhlig Eairdsidh and Nìall exchange impressions YouTube


Table 2. Irish visit to Benbecula (2014)

Title Language Content Links
Eairdsidh Caimbeul ag caint faoin oileán Gàidhlig From the top of Rueval, Archie Campbell explains to the Irish visitors some of the historical background to the sights spread out below and beyond. YouTube


Ruabhal Gaeilge Nìall and the two Caoimhìns discuss geographical terms in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, from the top of Rueval. YouTube
Oíche Shamhna sa Ghaeltacht Gaeilge Sitting by the huge original fireplace in the historic Nunton House – on a dark and stormy night – Colm shares his childhood memories of what Scottish Gaels would call “Oidhche Shamhna” with Malachy. YouTube



An Fómhar Gaeilge Aodán Ó Cearbhaill i mbun cainte le Caoimhín Ó Dónaill faoin athrú a thagann ar an saol san Fhómhar YouTube



Béaloideas Gaeilge Niall Comer agus Conal Mac Seáin ag plé cúrsaí béaloidis YouTube


Niall Comer agus Malachy Ó Néill Gaeilge Smaointe fá Ghaeilge na hÉireann agus na hAlban á gcíoradh ag Niall Comer agus Malachy Ó Néill YouTube
Conal Mac Seáin Gaeilge Conal Mac Seáin ag meabhrú ar an seal a chaith sé ar Bheinn na Foghla YouTube


Aodán Ó Cearbhaill Gaeilge Aodán Ó Cearbhaill ag machnamh ar an turas YouTube


Colm Mac Giolla Easbuic Gaeilge Roinneann Colm Mac Giolla Easbuic a smaointe ar an seal a chaith sé ar Bheinn na Faoghla. YouTube
Caoimhín agus Gordon Gàidhlig,


Air an oidhche mu dheireadh bha còmhradh goirid “dà-chànanach” ann eadar Caoimhín Ó Dónaill agus Gordon Wells. YouTube

Eairdsidh Caimbeul Gàidhlig Seo Eairdsidh, a’ bruidhinn agus a’ beachdachadh air an turas a bh’ aige gu Èirinn an uiridh, agus air na tha ri fhaicinn agus ri dhèanamh air an eilean aige fhèin. YouTube


Casadh an tSúgáin Gaeilge Neil Comer of Ulster University is a man of many talents… Ceòl nam measg! YouTube




Great War

16/01/2015 Leave a comment

An fheadhainn tha làighe sàmhach

This page brings together all the recordings made as part of the “An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach” project commemorating the outbreak of the First World War – An Cogadh Mòr. You can find out more about it on the project blog, run by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath (North Uist Historical Society). In the links column you can click on the “Ipadio” or “Youtube” link to go directly to the recording, or on the “Wordpress” link to read the Island Voices blogpost about it. A “Clilstore” link will take you to a wordlinked transcript.

Speaker Language Content Links
Mary Morrison, Sheena Stewart, Archie Campbell English, Gaelic The North Uist Historical Society launched its project commemorating the First World War at Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy. Mary Morrison, Sheena Stewart, and Archie Campbell talk to Gordon Wells in English and Gaelic about how the day went and their hopes for future events. Ipadio


Marybell Macintyre Gaelic MaryBell MacIntyre from Sgoil Lionacleit talks in Gaelic to Gordon Wells about what a group of school students learnt from a visit to First World War sites, and how they were able to share their thoughts and experiences with community members back in Uist. Ipadio


John Smith English, Gaelic Mary Morrison and Laura Donkers recorded North Uist’s Reverend John Smith as he describes the 1923 dedication of the island’s war memorial. This is followed by two of his own poetic compositions. Youtube


Willie Macdonald English, Gaelic Willie Macdonald reads out extracts from the emotionally intense poetry of the North Uist bard Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, and discusses them in Gaelic and English. The conversation moves on to the impact on families of the losses suffered in the First World War, and the land raids undertaken by returning soldiers. Youtube


Alec Macaulay Gaelic Retired policeman Alec Macaulay talks in Gaelic to Archie Campbell about the land raids on the west side of North Uist that took place after the First World War, in which his own father was involved. Youtube


Catherine Laing Gaelic Cathie Laing talks in Gaelic of her memories of her grandfather and the lasting effect his experiences in WW1 had upon him, prompted by the one photograph she has of him. Youtube



Isa MacKillop Gaelic Isa MacKillop sings a song composed by her uncle, remembering his WW1 comrades after moving to Australia. Youtube


Norman Maclean Gaelic Norman Maclean’s grandfather was lost at sea during the First World War, while his mother was still young. Here he recites the words of his own Gaelic song for the pupils of Sgoil Chàirinis, which his mother attended as a girl. Youtube



Norman Johnson Gaelic Norman Johnson talks to Mary Morrison about the special role of the piper in many regiments in the First World War. He relates anecdotes heard from old soldiers in the war, and finishes with a special tune. YouTube


Donald MacCormick Gaelic Donald MacCormick, the well-known book-collector, talks to Archie Campbell about the contributions and sacrifices made by Highland soldiers in the First World War. YouTube


Ewen MacAskill Gaelic Ewen MacAskill talks about the impact of the First World War on various family members and the wider community, experienced both directly and through his mother’s position as postmistress, and therefore deliverer of telegrams. YouTube



The Road to Rueval and Beyond

24/11/2014 1 comment

GuthannagroupHere’s another video recording on the new Guthanna na nGael YouTube channel, set up by our Irish visitors on returning home after their recent visit to Benbecula. Here, from the top of Rueval, Archie Campbell explains to the visitors some of the historical background to the sights spread out below and beyond. They reached their viewpoint following the same road that Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora Macdonald took when escaping “over the sea to Skye”.

Archie also points to the settlement where another more contemporary Flora Macdonald was raised, and alludes to the bilingual book “Còco is Crùbagan” (with Gaelic audio) that she wrote about her upbringing there. It comes well recommended for any learner of Gaelic!

(Flora was also one of the earliest contributors to Guthan nan Eilean, featuring in the Craigard English and Gaelic documentaries, as well as providing an interview herself.)

Categories: Community, UGC, Video

Alec Macaulay and the Land Raids

04/09/2014 Leave a comment

AlecandArchieRetired policeman Alec Macaulay talks in Gaelic to Archie Campbell about the land raids on the west side of North Uist that took place after the First World War, in which his own father was involved.

A serious business, but not without some lighter moments, as Alec relates…

Alec was recorded for the project “An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach“, run by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Categories: Community, UGC, Video

Virtual St Kilda

12/05/2014 3 comments

St Andrews Virtual St Kilda ExperienceThe Virtual St Kilda exhibition is up and running at Taigh Chearsabhagh, and the “mystery voice” is now revealed as that of regular Island Voices contributor, Archie Campbell, who also prepared the Gaelic version of the bilingual introduction. The project is headed up by the St Andrews University Open Virtual Worlds research group, working closely with local groups in Uist.

The exhibition gives you hands-on interaction, via an Xbox controller, with a digital re-creation of the St Kilda of the 1880s. You can walk around Village Bay (or fly over it!), exploring inside and outside various buildings. Clicking on various objects will take you to additional information, and the project is further enhanced by additional video work with island children offering imaginative interpretations of scenes and stories, ably facilitated by Mary Morrison – to whom Island Voices followers need no further introduction…

The film below was edited together by the St Andrews team.  It integrates their own digital reconstruction and video work with stunning natural footage from UistFilm, as well as, flatteringly, some re-purposed shots from Island Voices’ own St Kilda documentaries in English and Gaelic. Archie’s voiceover is truly bilingual, alternating regularly and consistently from Gaelic to English. It’s a very interesting and still experimental format, so comments and suggestions are most welcome.

More sample videos are available on the Open Virtual Worlds group’s Vimeo channel, and you can read more about the group’s work here.

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, Research, UGC, Video

Uist Radio Inaugural Meeting

17/08/2012 Leave a comment

“An Radio” takes another step forward with the announcement of its inaugural meeting on the 29th of August.

The group has its OFCOM licence, most of the start-up money required, and will be appointing a paid development worker over the next few months. Various options for premises are being looked at in Benbecula. Nominations for directors are now being sought. Click on the poster for Neil Campbell’s contact details.

As Neil explained in his recent Island Voices interview, there will be space for both English and Gaelic material in this new community venture. It will be a while yet before An Radio goes on air, but anyone who wants to have a go at sound recording for online publication is welcome to try their hand through Guthan nan Eilean. Using Ipadio it couldn’t be easier! We’ve already had some nice examples from Archie Campbell and Loriana Pauli, for example.

Phone or text Gordon Wells on 07879 644984 if you’d like some help to get started.

Categories: Community

New Blogs on the Block

15/05/2012 Leave a comment

Local community voices are finding some interesting new platforms from which to make themselves heard. In addition to the recently launched Guthan/Voices page on Am Pàipear several new blogs have been started, (including audio-blogs!).

Gaelic tutor Archie Campbell started writing “Cò ach esan?” with Blogspot some months back, but has just recently started adding Ipadio phonecasts – which allows him to complement his texts with recorded speech. That’s very helpful for Gaelic learners who need to hear what the language actually sounds like.

Loriana Pauli has just started writing “From the Water’s Edge” in English on WordPress, but also including audio links from her new Ipadio channel.

And the Gaelic learners in Berneray now have a class blog, “Guthan Bheàrnaraigh”, also on WordPress. The first written contribution is by Rita Dix, on her 1985 meeting with Prince Charles.

All these “new voices” promise to provide interesting material to share – whether directly from their own sites or channelled through Am Pàipear, our local community paper. If anyone else locally would like to try out making their own contribution but is unsure how to get started, then please contact Gordon Wells on 07879 644984.

Categories: Audio, Classes, Community, UGC
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