New Island Voices compositePNGcrop

This website hosts pages of links to video and other materials in the Guthan nan Eilean/Island Voices Series, and carries news about the project. It is also a means of communicating ideas and suggestions from local and remote users, who may be speakers, teachers or learners of English or Gaelic, or other languages. Comments are invited on any of the posts, and will be moderated before publication.

Over 150 videos in English and Gaelic can be accessed by clicking on any of the “Series One”, “Series Two” or “Extras” tabs at the top of the page. These pages also give links to full transcripts for each clip, formatted as “Clilstore” units (thereby also granting one-click online dictionary access), as well as to catalogues for each collection which list topic, level, and language content of the films. The “Playlists” tab gives access to “feature-length” compilations.

Users are invited to browse through the pages, and pick on anything that engages their interest. The documentary clips give a plain language introduction to a topic or event. These are complemented with more challenging authentic speech interviews with actively involved community members, which will give the viewer a closer and more personal insight into the subject at hand.

This project remains work in progress, as the homepage blog continues to record ongoing activity in the community that relates to the language work presented in the core videos, and adds to it. Users are invited to browse through past posts to learn about the history of the project, and see examples of more work by learners and other community members. Alternatively, you can view selections of this work gathered together thematically in the pages titled “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, “The Great War”, “Gaelic Journeys”, “Storytellers”, “Norman Maclean”, “Magaidh Smith”, and “Stòras Beò”. And comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Learners of English and Gaelic gathered for a cèilidh at community-owned Grogarry Lodge in South Uist, organised by Cothrom’s Language and Culture group. An early example (2011) of the project’s engagement with multilingualism!

And if you want to dig deeper into some of the community and linguistic issues that surround the project, take a look at the Research/Reports page, which gathers together a range of associated research projects, reports, and articles, or Talking Points or Aire air Sunnd, where you can listen to related discussions between linguists and community language speakers.

The project is fundamentally bi- or multi-lingual and aims to collect slices of life and work in the Hebrides, primarily for language learners. The work is islands-based, and has included provision for training for tutors and others, with a view to encouraging further community-based recording. The “Other Tongues” page now affords the opportunity to add other languages to the original mix. If you would like to try your hand at this kind of work and want some help getting started you can phone or text Gordon Wells on 07879 644984

Over the years since its inception, the project has worked in partnership with a range of institutions and community groups, including Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Cothrom, Am Pàipear, Soillse, and others.

Tha a’ phròiseict seo airson an dà chuid luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig agus luchd-ionnsachaidh na Beurla. Ann a bhith ag obair le dà chànan còmhla chaidh againn air stòras nas motha a thogail airson gach fear dhiubh na bhiodh againn ann am Beurla no Gàidhlig nam biomaid ag obair ann an aon chànan a-mhàin.

Ma tha beachd sam bith aig luchd-teagaisg no luchd-ionnsachaidh airson cuspair eile a thoirt a-steach dhan phròiseict nach leig sibh fios thugainn?



  1. Gen
    20/10/2013 at 1:06 am

    WOW! Níl ach Gaeilge ne hÉireann agam… I can’t speak Scottish, but this site is fabulous! I learned all my Irish on my own, on the internet and I have never seen the like of these genius documents here! You’ve got the text, the real accent and the definitions of a dictionary. This is the perfect tool for any learner! Tapadh leibh! 🙂

  2. Gordon Wells
    20/10/2013 at 4:05 pm

    Kind words. Mòran taing! Please note there are some Irish clips on the site too. Check this post: https://guthan.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/trilingual-trip/

  3. Valerie
    30/03/2014 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you for these videos! I am in Minnesota in the United States and learning Scottish Gaelic on my own. I haven’t found any native speakers or fellow learners nearby yet. The books I’m using recommend listening (obviously) and so I’ve been searching the internet for just this kind of thing. I found one or two yesterday and then today found the Island Voices channel on youtube. I’m playing “Outdoors Gaelic Series 2 Island Voices” right now on a continuous loop. Every so often I hear a phrase or word that I recognize — what a treat! Thanks again.

    • Gordon Wells
      30/03/2014 at 7:52 pm

      Always good to get positive feedback… 🙂 Thank you! Language learning does need time – time to get your ears accustomed to new sounds, among other things. In the absence of face to face meetings you can make progress through the “online immersion” strategy you mention above. So keep going with the playlists. Note you can also access Clilstore transcriptions for each individual clip via the “Series 1″ and “Series 2 Outdoors/Generations/Enterprise” tabs at the top of the page. Good luck!

  4. Conchúr O’Ceallaigh
    31/01/2019 at 3:53 am

    hello – is é mo ainm conchúr agus cé go bhfuil Gaeilge agam táim ag maireachtáil in Albain agus is breá liom Gaeilge na hAlban a fhoghlaim. Is cosúil gur mhaith liom teangacha an-difriúla!

    • Gordon Wells
      31/01/2019 at 9:22 am

      Fàilte ort!

  5. Uisdean MacDonald
    26/04/2021 at 6:51 pm

    Fantastic resource.

  6. Coralie Taylor
    25/03/2023 at 10:47 am

    Thankyou so much for the information. I think Gaelic is a fabulous language and should not be allowed to be lost in the Inner and Outer Hebredes. And I’m willing to learn.

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