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Dramatic Recordings!

15/04/2019 1 comment

Maggie's postMagaidh Smith has been busy since her conversation with Gordon Wells in February! In the latest post on her website she introduces a new series of Gaelic recordings consisting of a collection of dramas conceived and produced on Lewis. As she explains, these formed a part of the work of the community group Cabraich. Originating in 2007 the works have seen various adaptations and translations since then, and they’re now available as open access audio files online.

But that’s not all! The Guthan nan Eilean project was pleased to introduce Magaidh to the Clilstore platform, which enables anyone to place an online transcript beside a media file (video or audio), so that you can listen and read at the same time – an invaluable aid for someone who’s learning the language, especially as the text is “wordlinked”. This means you can check any new vocabulary with a single click as you go.

Here’s the table of Magaidh’s new recordings.

Drama Credits Links
An Cèilidhiche

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach
Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn, Alasdair Mac Ill Fhinnein
Clàradh: Dòmhnall Saunders
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Fo Sgàile Shuaineabhail

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh: Keith Stringer, Uig Media
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Coinneach Tormod Mo Dhuine

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Alasdair Caimbeul
Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh:Keith Stringer, Uig Media
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh:Dòmhnall Saunders
Soundcloud
Clilstore

We’ve also created a new Magaidh Smith Island Voices page which brings together all her recordings – all now also available through Clilstore.

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Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, UGC

Shantiniketan Presentations

24/03/2019 Leave a comment

 

Island Voices co-ordinator Gordon Wells’s “lightning tour” of India concluded with a session in the Bhasha Bhavana (Languages Building) of the world-famous Visva Bharati University at Shantiniketan. Wearing hats from both Guthan nan Eilean and Soillse (for which he is the project manager), Gordon Wells delivered a summary of the overall Island Voices project while highlighting the partnership with Soillse, particularly in relation to Saoghal Thormoid.

Conchúr Ó Giollagáin’s talk. (Click to enlarge.)

CFEL publications. (Click to enlarge.)

Like the previously visited Jadavpur University in Kolkata, Shantiniketan also hosts a Centre for Endangered Languages, another link in a chain that connects many different parts of India. Soillse Director, Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, who also spoke in all three venues on the tour, is keen to develop dialogue and links between Irish and Scottish Gaelic interests and Indian efforts and initiatives to protect and promote linguistic diversity. In his talks on Irish and Scottish Gaelic culture and demography he noted in particular the striking disparity in international academic attention and resources devoted to India, with its rich mix of languages and cultures, in comparison with, for example, Western Europe which has far less linguistic variety.

The speakers, hosted by Profs Kailash Pattanaik and Abhijit Sen. (Click to enlarge.)

Both visitors certainly found Shantiniketan an inspiring venue to complete their tour, where they were warmly received by faculty members, research scholars, and students, and treated to a fascinating tour of the campus, as well as Rabindra Bhavan, which houses the Rabindranath Tagore museum.

Rabindranath Tagore’s house. (Click to enlarge.)

A PDF of Gordon’s presentation with live links can be viewed here.

Talking with Magaidh Smith

08/02/2019 1 comment

Facebook turns up gems sometimes! A reply to a post in the “Scottish Gaelic Speakers Unite!” group led Gordon Wells to uncover a new (to him) Gaelic treasure trove – the online world of Magaidh Smith. Old classmates from the early days of Ceòlas, they met again this week, this time in Glasgow, when Gordon was able to quiz Magaidh on what she’s been up to in more recent years, including traditional tales, drama, poetry and local history. She’s not been idle!

Clearly, Magaidh’s work chimes nicely with the Guthan nan Eilean orientation towards capturing local voices and providing them with a wider platform. We’ll be watching this space closely!

http://www.magaidhsmith.co.uk/

In the meantime here’s a table of Magaidh’s Soundcloud recordings of stories from local Lewis tradition.

Story Description Links
S daor a cheannaich mi fiadhachd MacAulay men at Loch Langabhat and the landmark Clach Bhess Magaidh’s blog post
Soundcloud
An Seann Fhiadh Deer hunting at Loch Langabhat on the border of Lewis and Harris in days gone by. Who was the wee wizen man? Soundcloud
Fir Mhealista Mealista men who went to gather a cargo of wood for roof timbers. A love story and what is extant of a dream song. Soundcloud
Sabaist Mhor Wick Circa 1870 when the herring fishing was booming a large number of fishing boats were in Wick Harbour when a fight broke out. This account includes details of men from Lochs who were in the fracas. Soundcloud
Ishbal Nighean Dhomhaill Ban The love Story of Ishbal nighean Dhomhnaill Ban an t-Struim who herded the cattle in Uig and Calum MacAmhlaigh from Harris. Magaidh’s blog post
Soundcloud

STOP PRESS UPDATE – 15/04/19. Island Voices now has a Magaidh Smith page with a full collection of her online recordings, all supplemented with Clilstore transcripts. Check it out!

 

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

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

Looking Back on Island Voices

27/12/2017 Leave a comment

Series 1 of the Island Voices videos first came out on DVD in 2007. The project has grown a lot since then in various ways. Everything is now online (instead of DVD); Series 2 (Outdoors, Generations, Enterprise) added greatly to the number of videos created by project staff; and community members and groups have got involved in creating learning materials themselves. Perhaps the one thing that hasn’t changed is that the greatest emphasis is still placed on trying to base any recordings that come out of the project on real island life. That can still be seen even in the latest series “Sgeulachdan Thormoid” and “Saoghal Thormoid”, in which the project recorded stories and conversations from Norman Maclean in his final years, after he’d settled back in Uist.

Support for learners

Island Voices started (with help from the European Union) as a scheme for giving simple support in using new technology to learners and teachers. So, from the start the project has been about developing skills in community members in creating and sharing learning materials. As there generally tends to be more material for beginners (particularly in Gaelic) than there is for people who want to progress on to fluency, the project placed an emphasis on more advanced materials – with a mixture of documentary clips and interviews with community members speaking naturally. That’s the kind of material available in Series 1 and 2, with additional support available through Clilstore which gives you an online transcript alongside the film itself.

Made by the community

After those series, the project changed its way of working. It wasn’t project staff who created the new materials, but community members themselves. You can see examples on the “Bonnie Prince Charlie” or “The Great War” pages – series that were created in collaboration with Stòras Uibhist and Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath – in which people like Tommy MacDonald, Mary Morrison and others made their own recordings for sharing on the project website. In this way the project obtained new stories at a level even closer to the community, and new people got a chance to get involved in the work and to develop skills.

Social media and other languages

The project started online on WordPress (for a central website) and YouTube (for the films). But then the Facebook page was added, to help with sharing information about what was happening in the project and in the community. There is also a Twitter account, and overall there are well over 3,000 followers now, who are spread across the world. From the beginning the project worked bilingually with English and Gaelic. But as things have grown and developed, other languages have appeared, such as Irish, Welsh, Basque and others. Once people start learning a new language, they may naturally develop an interest in bilingualism, and how you can use different languages together.

Norman Maclean

Perhaps Norman Maclean was among the quickest to appreciate this, and he was also one of the readiest people to record Gaelic stories and other materials. After returning to Uist he did some pieces for Series 2 to begin with. He also got involved in the Storytellers and Great War pages. But his “pièces de résistance” were the series he made towards the end of his life. The project was very fortunate to get the opportunity to record his voice while he still had the ability to tell his own stories in his own style (“Sgeulachdan Thormoid”), and then to relate his thoughts and memories of Gaelic life in Glasgow and the Islands in a collection of long conversations (“Saoghal Thormoid”). All these recordings are now available on the website under the title “Dìleab Thormoid”. There can be no doubt that this is a very special resource that will keep advanced learners and other researchers very busy in the years to come.

Natural spoken language

Although Island Voices was established for the benefit of learners, it has always sought to capture and curate the natural language of people in the community. Emphasis was placed on Gaelic – or English – as it is spoken, though there is also written support for those who wish it or may find it useful. In this way project users get a taste not just of the languages and how they are really used today, but also of the local island way of life in the multilingual, multicultural world in which we all live.

Coimhead air ais air Guthan nan Eilean

15/12/2017 Leave a comment

Tha 10 bliadhna air a dhol seachad on a thàinig Sreath 1 dhe na bhideothan aig Guthan nan Eilean a-mach air DVD. Tha am pròiseact air fàs gu mòr on uair sin ann an diofar dhòighean. Tha a h-uile rud air-loidhne a-nis (seach air DVD); chuir Sreath 2 (Outdoors, Generations, Enterprise) gu mòr ris an uiread de bhideothan air an dèanamh le luchd-obrach a’ phròiseict; agus tha muinntir nan eilean agus buidhnean sa choimhearsnachd air a dhol an-sàs ann an stuthan ionnsachaidh a chruthachadh dhaibh fhèin. ’S dòcha gur e an aon rud nach eil air atharrachadh gu bheil an cuideam as truime fhathast ga chur air feuchainn ri clàradh Gàidhlig sam bith a thig a-mach às a’ phròiseict a stèidheachadh air beatha nan Gàidheal anns na h-eileanan. Gabhaidh sin fhaicinn fiù ’s sna sreathan às ùire – “Sgeulachdan Thormoid” agus “Saoghal Thormoid” anns an d’ fhuair am pròiseact stòiridhean agus còmhraidhean le Tormod MacGill-Eain san dà bhliadhna mu dheireadh, agus e air seatlaigeadh air ais ann an Uibhist.

Taic do luchd-ionnsachaidh

Thòisich Guthan nan Eilean (le taic bhon Aonadh Eòrpach) mar sgeama airson taic shìmplidh a thoirt do luchd-teagaisg agus do luchd-ionnsachaidh le bhith a’ cleachdadh teicneòlas ùr. Mar sin, bho thùs tha am pròiseact air a bhith airson comasan a leasachadh measg dhaoine sa choimhearsnachd ann a bhith a’ cruthachadh agus a’ sgaoileadh stuthan ionnsachaidh. Leis gu bheil barrachd stuth ann airson luchd-tòiseachaidh, san fharsaingeachd, na tha airson daoine a tha airson cumail orra gu fileantas, chuir am pròiseact cuideam air stuthan aig ìre caran nas àirde na an àbhaist – le measgachadh de phrògraman aithriseach, agus agallamhan le daoine sa choimhearsnachd a’ bruidhinn gu nàdarra. ’S e sin an seòrsa rud a tha ri fhaotainn ann an Sreathan 1 agus 2, le taic a bharrachd ann tro Chlilstore a bheir dhut an tar-sgrìobhadh air-loidhne cuide ris an fhilm fhèin.

Air an dèanamh leis a’ choimhearsnachd

An dèidh na sreathan sin, dh’atharraich an dòigh-obrach sa phròiseact. Chan e an luchd-obrach a chruthaich na stuthan ùra, ach daoine sa choimhearsnachd fhèin. Chìthear sin, mar eisimpleir, air na duilleagan “The Great War” no “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, sreathan a chaidh a dhèanamh ann an co-obrachadh le Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath agus Stòras Uibhist, far an do rinn daoine mar Màiri Mhoireasdan, Tommy Dòmhnallach is eile an clàraidhean fhèin airson sgaoileadh air làrach a’ phròiseict. San dòigh seo fhuair am pròiseact stòiridhean ùra aig ìre fiù ’s nas fhaisge air a’ coimhearsnachd, agus bha cothrom aig daoine ùra a dhol an-sàs san obair agus sgilean a leasachadh.

Meadhanan sòisealta agus cànanan eile

Thòisich am pròiseact air-loidhne air WordPress (airson làrach-lìn) agus YouTube (airson nam filmichean). Ach an uair sin chaidh duilleag Facebook a chur air dòigh airson cuideachadh le fios a sgaoileadh mu na bha a’ dol anns a’ phròiseact agus anns a’ choimhearsnachd. Tha cunntas Twitter ann cuideachd, agus a-nis tha timcheall air 3,000 luchd-leantainn ann uile gu lèir, a tha sgapte air feadh an t-saoghail. Bho thùs bha am pròiseact ag obair gu dà-chànanach le Gàidhlig agus Beurla. Ach, mar a tha cùisean air fàs is air leasachadh, tha cànanan eile air nochdadh ann, leithid Gàidhlig na h-Èireann, Cuimris, Basgais, is eile. Aon uair is gun tòisich iad air cànan ùr ionnsachadh tha an ùidh aig cuid a’ fàs ann an dà-chànanas, agus mar as urrainn dhaibh cànanan eadar-dhealaichte a chleachdadh còmhla.

Tormod MacGill-Eain

’S dòcha gum b’ e Tormod MacGill-Eain an duine a bu chliobhaire gus sin a thuigsinn, agus e aig an aon àm fear dhe na daoine a b’ fheàrr airson sgeulachdan Gàidhlig is eile a chlàradh. As dèidh dha tilleadh a dh’Uibhist rinn e pìos no dhà airson Sreath 2 an toiseach. Chaidh e an-sàs anns na duilleagan “Storytellers” agus “Great War” cuideachd. Ach ’s e na “pièces do résistance” aige na sreathan a rinn e aig deireadh a bheatha, agus bha am pròiseact gu math fortanach gun d’ fhuaras an cothrom a ghuth a chlàradh fhad ’s a bha an comas fhathast aige gus na stòiridhean aige fhèin innse san stoidhle aige fhèin (“Sgeulachdan Thormoid”) agus, an uair sin, a bheachdan agus a chuimhneachan air beatha nan Gàidheal eadar Glaschu agus na h-Eileanan a mhìneachadh ann an sreath de chòmhraidhean fada (“Saoghal Thormoid”). Tha na clàraidhean sin uile rim faighinn a-nis ann an aon àite air làrach a’ phròiseict fon tiotal “Dìleab Thormoid”. Agus chan eil teagamh ach gur e stòras sònraichte a tha seo a chumas luchd-ionnsachaidh adhartach agus luchd-rannsachaidh eile gu math trang sna bliadhnaichean ri teachd.

Gàidhlig mar a tha i ga bruidhinn

Ged ’s ann airson luchd-ionnsachaidh a chaidh Guthan nan Eilean a stèidheachadh, tha e air a bhith a’ feuchainn bho thùs ri bhith a’ glacadh agus a’ cleachdadh cànan nan daoine fhèin anns na coimhearsnachdan. Chaidh cuideam a chur air Gàidhlig mar a tha i ga bruidhinn – ged a tha taic sgrìobhte ann cuideachd dhaibhsan a tha ga h-iarraidh air neo a tha ga faighinn cuideachail. Mar sin tha luchd-chleachdaidh a’ phròiseict a’ faighinn blasad chan ann a-mhàin air a’ chànan agus mar a tha Gàidhlig air a cleachdadh ann an dha-rìreabh san latha an-diugh, ach cuideachd air dòigh-beatha eileanach nan Gàidheal san t-saoghail ioma-chànanach, ioma-chultarach anns a bheil sinn beò.

 

Island Voices in Europe

26/06/2016 2 comments

Hitzargiak

Gordon Wells was delighted to give a short presentation on Island Voices to the Hitzargiak Congress, held in the Basque Country on June 23rd and 24th. There was a very full programme over the two days of the congress, with the first full roundtable discussion focussing on Oral Heritage. Always happy to assert the “Primacy of Speech”, Gordon was also pleased to learn of broadly similar projects working in Alsatian, Basque, and Galician.

HitzarPres1“Writing is, of course, a very important skill and an intriguing facet of linguistic behaviour”, he said, in his opening remarks (simultaneously interpreted in three other languages!). “But it is still, nonetheless, a kind of accoutrement to the essence of language, which is realised in its most elemental form through speech. And in the context of language endangerment, I suggest we must take care to continue supporting ordinary talk, because if we lose recognisable speech we lose the essential medium through which to maintain language.”

You can see Gordon’s presentation, “Supporting Speech through Language Capture and Curation”, here. The Hitzargiak entry on Island Voices, as an example of Best Practice, can be found here.

Categories: Audio, Community, Research, Video
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