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Norman Maclean: BBC Tribute

12/10/2017 Leave a comment

If you didn’t catch the broadcast on BBC Alba, here’s a link to their programme on Norman on the iPlayer. 28 days left to watch!

“Tormod – Na Bheachd Fhèin/Norman – In His Own Words”

Categories: Community, Video

Norman Maclean – if he turns up!

16/12/2016 Leave a comment

normansblogThere’s a treat in store for anyone who’s seen and liked Norman Maclean‘s work on Island Voices (or elsewhere). Norman is starting his own blog – “If he turns up” – and is inviting readers to give it a shot. It will consist of slices from his newest title, not yet published – “A Half-Breed Looks Back”.

“I’ll do this on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until I have evidence, one way or another, that there is measurable demand for my stuff. Please share with anyone who may be turned on by my ramblings about slum life in 50s Glasgow, undergraduate lowlights and a veteran entertainer’s return to the Hebrides.”

Here’s his first post – Ready, Steady, Go!

Nach sgaoil sibh an naidheachd seo, a chàirdean!

Categories: Community, UGC

Norman Maclean’s World in a Week

24/10/2016 Leave a comment

norman

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:

Monday Sinnsireachd
Tuesday Foghlam
Wednesday Coimhearsnachdan
Thursday Cruthachalachd
Friday Gàidhlig

For the latest information on the release dates for these videos you can subscribe for e-mail notifications in the side panel, or try following Island Voices on Facebook.

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…

Categories: CALL, Community, Research, Video

Norman Maclean

22/11/2015 Comments off

1. Saoghal Thormoid

 

norman

On consecutive days in the last week of April 2016 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 range between 35 and 55 minutes in length. Word for word transcriptions are also available 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. Over the week the conversations ranged over a wide variety of topics, including potentially uncomfortable perceptions and depictions of identity. In broad terms, however, each day had a different central focus, as shown in the table below.

The “Saoghal Thormoid” project is a collaboration between Soillse, the inter-university research partnership which funded the recordings through its Small Research Fund, and Guthan nan Eilean. The hyperlinks in the third column of the table will take you to relevant Island Voices pages. The WordPress post gives a one-paragraph summary of the day’s conversation, with onward links to the materials. The Clilstore link provides a full scrollable wordlinked transcript with embedded video. The YouTube link supplies the free-standing video alone without supplementary material.

A volume including synopses and all transcripts in printable format (with a foreword by Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin) is also available here.

  Topic Island Voices Links
Monday Ancestry WordPress post

Clilstore transcript

YouTube video

Tuesday Education WordPress post

Clilstore transcript

YouTube video

Wednesday Communities WordPress post

Clilstore transcript

YouTube video

Thursday Creativity WordPress post

Clilstore transcript

YouTube video

Friday Gaelic WordPress post

Clilstore transcript

YouTube video

Views expressed by participants in Soillse research do not reflect any official opinion of the Soillse partnership.

 

2. Sgeulachdan Thormoid

 

Norman6landscape

This collection of six Gaelic stories (plus an introduction) was created by Norman Maclean – Tormod MacGill-Eain. The recordings were made during visits to his house by Gordon Wells in October 2015. In the “links” column you can click on “Youtube” to go directly to the recording of the appropriate story. A “Clilstore” link will take you to a wordlinked transcript. You can click on any word to take you directly to an online dictionary to find its meaning.

Island Voices/Guthan nan Eilean is massively indebted to Norman, both for the recordings themselves, and for consenting to place the scripts at the project’s disposal. The copyright rests with the author.

Title Content Links
Facal-toisich Norman explains how he came to put this series together and place it online, in the context of Johannes Gutenberg and the history of publishing. YouTube

Clilstore

Mìorbhailtean ann am Barraigh Michael from Bornish, South Uist, faces a difficult situation, but is given hope of a miracle. YouTube

 

Cabhag The story of Cabhag’s canine heroics in an unsettling encounter on a misty mountainside YouTube

Clilstore

Hàllain Politics, Verbosity, Love, and Death. The romantic story of Fionnlagh Phàdruig a’ Chnuic and Peigi Iain Bhig YouTube

Clilstore

Dòmhnall Phàdraig agus Màiri Claire 40 years married “as happy as two shoes”. Màiri Claire knows how to deal with her partner’s crisis of confidence YouTube

Clilstore

Bodach nan Serviettes A grand dinner for the pensioners of Harris, with libations galore YouTube
A’ Bhean-Uasal NicÌomhair à Cnoc an t-Soluis air a’ Bhac A noble Lewis lady undertakes a long journey to Tibet for a special meeting with a special person YouTube

Clilstore

Categories:

Norman Maclean: Òran do Sgoilearan Chàirinis

02/10/2014 1 comment

TormodCarinishNorman Maclean’s grandfather (also Norman – Tormod Ailein) was lost at sea in the First World War, when Norman’s mother was still young.

In another contribution to the “An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach” project, Mary Morrison arranged for Norman to visit Sgoil Chàirinis, where his mother was a pupil, to recite this specially composed Gaelic song, and help the children learn to sing it.

In the video clip below Norman gives a crystal clear rendition of the words.

With his kind agreement, a written version is also made available on Clilstore so you can listen and read at the same time. Click on this link – Unit 2307 – to go to the transcription.

Categories: CALL, Community, Video

Norman Maclean and Am Pàipear

19/04/2010 2 comments

Seo an treas eisimpleir de stuthan ùra airson Guthan nan Eilean. Tha an t-ùghdar Tormod MacGill-Eain a’ bruidhinn ri Eairdsidh MacAoidh a sgrìobh pìos fada mu dheidhinn sa Phàipeir.

In the piece above writer and entertainer Norman Maclean talks in Gaelic about how he came back to live in Uist. In the piece below he talks in English about creative writing, and refers to some of the issues with which he has struggled.

As with all Island Voices materials the full package will include word-for-word transcripts of all interviews, and short documentary clips in both Gaelic and English giving a plain language introduction to the full Am Pàipear story.

Categories: Video

Norman’s World – In Print!

13/06/2017 1 comment

 

For all that the Guthan nan Eilean project is about recording “Island Voices”, and so capturing and curating speech, there are those who still prefer to read – and not just online but off paper. With that in mind, the Soillse-supported “Saoghal Thormoid” series featuring Norman Maclean in conversation with Gordon Wells has now been made available in printable format.

This document, “Saoghal Thormoid – Norman Maclean: Synopses and Transcripts“, contains a verbatim written version of all the recordings in the series, and is free to download. Complementing the transcripts are the brief synopses of each day’s discussion previously published online.

What’s additionally new, however, is the Foreword by Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Director of Soillse and Gaelic Research Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, in which he maps out the significance of Norman’s lifelong contribution to Gaelic culture, and the potential for research and recovery that work of this nature embodies.

“Tormod’s life is an acknowledgement of the cultural wealth of Gaelic society, and by virtue of this archive, he represents an ambassador to its future.” Give it a read!

Categories: Community, Research

Talking Points

15/06/2022 Comments off

MOOTPicFinal

Discussions

In the last few weeks of the University of the Highlands and Islands project Mediating Multilingualism, international partners in universities in India and Jamaica discussed themes of common interest with UK-based community language speakers, after watching brief extracts from the final session of Saoghal Thormoid, in which Norman Maclean talks specifically about Gaelic. These “Talking Points” discussions, held in English, were recorded and placed on the Island Voices YouTube channel.

The table below gives links to all the discussions, together with the associated clips of Norman in conversation.

Topic Recorded Discussion Norman Maclean Extract
Language Endangerment: Gaelic Trajectory? Talking Points 1 Saoghal Thormoid 1
Language Hierarchies: English Ascendancy? Talking Points 2 Saoghal Thormoid 2
Language Contact: Bilingual Balance? Talking Points 3 Saoghal Thormoid 3


(In the recorded discussions the introductory Gaelic remarks by Norman are subtitled in English. On the freestanding clips from Saoghal Thormoid, the YouTube Closed Captions option will give viewers the choice of following his comments with same language Gaelic subtitles, or automatic translation into other languages using the Settings wheel. Written translations into English are also provided in the YouTube video description.)

Extracts and Blogposts

Subsequently, the following series of posts was shared on the Island Voices blog. Each post includes one or more selected video extracts from the discussions, focusing on the various participants. The blogposts from the Interpreter, the Poet, and the Teacher also feature (or link to) significant additional writing.

The Linguists The Interpreter The Poet The Teacher

Comments and questions are actively encouraged on the International Island Voices “MOOT“!

Categories:

Talking Points: The Teacher

15/06/2022 Leave a comment

JanepicThis is one of four linked blogposts, building on the Norman Maclean “Talking Points” series of discussions, which focus on specific contributions from the participants.

Jane NicLeòid was raised speaking Gaelic, and later English as well, on the Isle of Lewis. A trained teacher, she worked on the mainland for some years, before recently returning to her home island, where she continues to teach Gaelic, and is also closely involved in the new pressure group, Guth nan Siarach, to promote the interests of vernacular speakers.

Jane made a thoughtful and challenging early response to the 2020 “Gaelic Crisis” report by the Soillse team led by Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, on the influential Bella Caledonia website, in which she drew on her rooted teaching and community experience. You can read it here.

And in this final extract from the Norman Maclean Language Contact discussion Jane summarises key points of commonality identified in Norman’s thoughts, and underlines her own perception of the disconnect between institutional support for Gaelic, and a grassroots activism and egalitarian sensibility uniting the various interest groups.

Links to the three other blogposts in this short series are given below:

The Linguists (Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Udaya Narayana Singh, Joseph Farquharson)
The Interpreter (Kalyan Das Gupta)
The Poet (Audrey West)

Categories: Community, Research, Video

Talking Points: The Poet

15/06/2022 Leave a comment

Audrey1cropThis is one of four linked blogposts, building on the Norman Maclean “Talking Points” series of discussions, which focus on specific contributions from the participants.

Audrey West’s first language is Jamaican, and she’s trained to teach Spanish and French, as well as in Cultural Memory.

This gives her an awareness of the intergenerational post-trauma resulting from the trans-Atlantic practice of enslaving Africans for European colonial gain.

Resident in North Wales, she works as an artist, poet, linguist, psychotherapist, trainer, and community development practitioner.

In this extract from the Norman Maclean Language Hierarchies discussion Audrey reflects on her unrecognised bilingualism, being brought up in a Jamaican home in London. Norman’s exhortation to maintain the mother tongue struck home as she acknowledges how stigmatisation prevented ongoing intergenerational transmission. 

Over the course of the Talking Points sessions, Audrey also circulated this film and the script of her poem amongst the participants, an extract from which is given at the end of the Language Contact discussion. She’s kindly agreed to share the full text below.

How did you end up here? Where do you come from?

I remember a place
Where I am cradled by the Mountains
Rocked by the sea…

Mi memba a plies
We di mountin dem kriegl mi
We di sii rak mi in aar skort
Op di goli, pan tap a di hil
Mi kyan si faar faar
Plenti chrii, plenti griin, plenti sii

Memba a plies
We dem nuo mi niem
Dem nuo mi mada, nuo mi faada
Nuo mi fambili
Mi a smadi

Mi nuo se mi kom fram wie bak
A Timboktuu dem kaal it?
Mi piipl dem chravl a Hiijip
Riich bak uom,
A di mountin an di sii

Iz ou mi hen op ier?

Mi nuo se som a wi
De pan buot
Pak op pak op, stingk op stingk op
Kyaan briid
Bot wi riich

A wan plies dem kaal Jamieka
Nier di mountin, bai di sii
We dem
Mek wi wok
Brok wi bak
Tek wi uman
Kil wi pikni
Fi notn

Bot iz ou yu en op ier?

Mi nuo se mi kom fram faar faar
Mosi wan plies we niem Fraans
We dem fait.
Nier di mountin, bai di sii
Fait so bad, dem kaal dem
Espeute, fi suod.
Dem kaal dem Juu
Mek dem ron

Chravl faar faar
Riich klier a San Domingue
We dem
Mek dem wok
Bruk dem bak
Tek dem uman
Kil dem pikni
Fi notn

Mais d’ou viens tu?

Ron klier a Virginia
Weh dem
Mek dem wok
Bruk dem bak
Tek dem uman
Kil dem pikni
Fi notn

Bot iz ou yu en op ier?

Mosi chruu wan plies we niem India
Nier di mountin, bai di sii
Dem bring wi bak
Fi wok
Til wi bak brok
Lef wi uman
Lef wi pikni
Fi likl ar notn

¿Pero, como llegaste aquí?

Ron we, beli onggri
Go klier a Panama
Nier di mountin, bai di sii
Luk fi wok
Til mi bak brok
Dem tek mi uman
Kil mi pikni
Fi notn

Bot, a we yuu kom fram?

Mosi fram wan plies dem kaal Skatlan. Plenti hil,
An di sii skort uova aar fiit
Nier di mountin, bai di sii
Iz ou yu gaan klier a Skatlan?
Iz ou yu en op dier?

Onggri beli
Kech buot, kom a Hingglan
Riich a Soutamton bai di sii
Riich a Landan. Bes suut
Fi luk wok
Til mi bak brok
Sen fi mi uman
Dem kil mi pikni
Fi notn

Mi no si no sii.
Mi no si no mountin.
Grie so til.
Gaan bak uom.
We dem nuo mi niem,
Nuo mi fambili
Mi a smadi
Tek mi uman
Lef mi pikni
Dem aal rait

How did you end up here?
O le wyt t’in dod?

Pikni riich a Naat Wales
I’ve come a long way baby
Back to the mountains,
Back to the sea
Back home, to
Luxe, calme, et volupté

Homage to my parents
Alvin and Mary West

Copyright: Audrey West
June 2020

You can follow this link to get Audrey’s own translation of her poem into Standard English.

Links to the three other blogposts in this short series are given below:

The Linguists (Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Udaya Narayana Singh, Joseph Farquharson)
The Interpreter (Kalyan Das Gupta)
The Teacher (Jane NicLeòid)

Categories: Community, Research, Video
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