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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.

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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

Skol-Veur C’houezelek Bro-Skos

12/11/2018 Leave a comment

Teul-film berr evit an deskidi diwar-benn Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skol-Veur C’houezelek Bro-Skos.

Film aithriseach goirid ann am Breatnais airson luchd-ionnsachaidh mu dheidhinn Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Short Breton documentary about Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College.

While you watch and listen you can read a transcript here with online dictionary access to every single word on Clilstore Unit 7207: http://multidict.net/cs/7207

Many thanks to Fañch Bihan-Gallic for the latest “Other Tongues” addition to our Sharing Gaelic Voices theme! Fañch is also a keen Gaelic scholar, with an interest in the informal learning of the language. And outside his formal studies he is an active member of the Misneachd campaign group.

 

Categories: CALL, Classes, Community, UGC, Video

Sealladh Eòrpach air Saoghal Thormoid

25/09/2018 Leave a comment

Mar a tha fios againn, bha Tormod MacGill-Eain gu math dèidheil air cànain. Bha Gàidhlig agus Beurla aige bho thùs, agus chòrd e ris a bhith ag ionnsachadh feadhainn eile cuideachd – Eadailtis, Frangais, agus Gearmailtis nam measg. Tha sinn air a bhith a’ cluinntinn cuideachd, o chionn treiseag a-nis, mu dheidhinn nan ‘Gàidheileamailteach’ a tha ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig thall sa Ghearmailt, mar eisimpleir sna clasaichean air an ruith le Mìcheal Klevenhaus aig Acadamaidh na Gàidhlig sa Ghearmailt.

Ann an seachdain Latha Eòrpach nan Cànan, sgrìobh Stefanie Linzer thugainn mu dheidhinn clas san robh i fhèin, far an robh iad a’ cleachdadh Saoghal Thormoid mar stuth-ionnsachaidh. Nach e a bhiodh toilichte agus fios aige gu bheil daoine fhathast cho dèidheil air a bhith ag èisteachd ris – mar a tha sinne aig Guthan nan Eilean gum bi daoine a’ cur na clàraidhean a rinn sinn gu feum! Seo am pìos a sgrìobh Stefanie, le molaidhean glic aice aig an deireadh. Nach math a rinn i!

Gum biodh Latha Eòrpach nan Cànan sona againn uile!

Mar phàirt den chlas Ghàidhlig againn ann am Bonn san Lùnastal 2018, chaidh sinn tron chiad agallamh a rinn Gordon Wells còmhla ri Tormod Mac Gill-Eain. ‘S e “Saoghal Thormoid: Diluain – Sinnsireachd” a th’ air, is dh’innis Tormod dhuinn mu a bheatha is a theaghlach. Chan eil fhios agam an cuala mi Gàidhlig na b’ fheàrr a-riamh.

Ach aig an aon àm feumaidh mi aideachadh gun robh mi a’ faireachdainn caran gòrach a bhith ag èisteachd ris an duine ainmeil seo o chionn ‘s nach do thuig mi ach glè bheag den agallamh aig an toiseach. Bha e cianail doirbh. Le deagh adhbhar cha tug an tidsear an teacsa dhuinn ro làimh an dùil gun leasaich sinn na sgilean againn agus bha sinn uile den bheachd gum b’ e dùbhlan mòr a bha seo. Chaidh faighneachd dhinn dè bha sinn air tuigsinn is cha tàinig mòran às, ach chruinnich sinn còmhla na bh’againn. An uair sin chaidh sinn tron agallamh a-rithist is mhothaich sinn gun do rinn sinn adhartas. Gu fortanach fhuair sinn uile an teacsa às dèidh sin is leis an teacsa nar làimh, dh’fhàs cnag na cùise gu math soilleir a bhith ag èisteachd ris an agallamh is ga leughadh aig an aon àm.

Fhuair sinn tòrr a-mach mu bheatha Thormoid: a theaghlach, a’ Ghàidhlig san teaghlach, a shaoghal nuair a bha e òg is san fharsaingeachd cò leis a bha e. Bha sinn uile den bheachd gum b’ e duine laghach comasach, spòrsail a bh’ ann, fear a bha moiteil às a bheatha gun a bhith mòr às fhèin. A bharrachd air sin dh’ionnsaich sinn an t-uabhas: faclan ùra is abairtean nam measg. Chanainn gun robh sinn fortanach gun robh cothrom a chlàraidh ann fhathast is mholainn an sreath airson luchd-ionnsachaidh ann an saoghal na Gàidhlig. Gabhaibh an cothrom is na caillibh ur misneachd mura tuig sibh a h-uile sìon sa bhad. 

Le Steafanaidh Linzer

Categories: Classes, Community

Ceòlas Course

03/08/2018 Leave a comment

Ceòlas have announced flexible availability on a four-week Gaelic immersion course starting on 20th August. Details can be found on their Immersion Courses page.

“Research by Soillse (G Wells, 2011) also shows the Uist community as a particularly supportive and encouraging environment for Gaelic language learning.”

Categories: Classes, Community, Research

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.

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