Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Island Voices at the Digital Fèis

01/09/2022 Leave a comment


The rolling playlist roadshow moves on to Sgoil Chàirinis, North Uist, on the first weekend of September for the “Digital Fèis” hosted by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, with Gaelic Voices among the various offerings for both real and virtual visitors. Be there – or see here!

Categories: Community, Video

Island Voices at the Conference

30/08/2022 1 comment

conference pictures

Participants at the Soillse conference on Rooting Minority Language Policy in the Speaker Community have come from across Europe and North America, from across Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and from across the Hebridean islands that were the focus of the “Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community” publication in 2020. The programme is challenging for those with an interest in generating and maintaining effective policy to address the declining use of the language in the heartland communities where it has survived until now.

In addition to these key policy questions on the formal programme, samples of the video recording work in which Island Voices has been engaged, frequently in association with the Soillse network, are also available to view on the conference “fringe”. Nach math gu bheil Guthan nan Eilean rin cluinntinn aig co-labhairt mu dheidhinn cànan nan Eilean!

Categories: Community, Research, Video

Gaelic voices on a roll

18/08/2022 1 comment

Gaelic Cafe composite croppedLooped Island Voices playlists will again be on display in Sgoil Chàirinis, North Uist, at the Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath Digital Fèis for the “Aire air Sunnd” well-being project at the beginning of September.

As part of the event, there is a drop-in café where people can stop by for a chat, or simply sample some of the many local Gaelic voices that have been recorded over the years. Gordon Wells will be in attendance, ready to talk to anyone interested in how the collections were made, or who might like to add to the ever-growing archive of recordings.

And on the Saturday morning, Archie Campbell, who has been leading a series of Gaelic walks over the summer, will also be on hand for anyone who likes to chat over a cup of tea. Agus ‘s e a tha math gu bruidhinn! You can view the full programme for the fèis here.

It’s a digital event, so virtual attendance is also possible for those reluctant or unable to attend in person. You can find the event on Facebook. Likewise, the playlists are all accessible online. Use the live links in this bilingual poster, and you can start watching right away!

Community Playlists

04/08/2022 1 comment

Community Projects ImageA sharpening of focus on the vernacular Hebridean communities has become evident in some Gaelic sociolinguistic research in recent years. In this period, Island Voices has partnered with various related projects, and helped to spread news and discussion of findings and issues.

At the same time, a parallel interest in wider international comparators for the Gaelic context has also been broadcast through Island Voices channels.

Projects with close community links will be on display at the Stornoway conference on Rooting Minority Language Policy in the Speaker Community at the end of August. Series of videos will be viewable in Island Voices playlists, including “Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal”, “Saoghal Thormoid”, “Island Voices Series 1&2” and “International MOOT”.

And the playlists can be viewed remotely as well, with live links embedded in this PDF poster. This also includes additional information about the links between Soillse and Island Voices, and other collaborative research work with other universities in Scotland and internationally.

Stòras Beò: Coinneach & Maighread

01/08/2022 Leave a comment

CandMmontageHere’s a new departure with some well-known and well-loved faces. Comann Eachdraidh Sgìre a’ Bhac (Back historical society) have been producing home-grown videos for YouTube for a while now, many of them fronted by Coinneach MacÌomhair, a very familiar voice from decades of sterling service with BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. In the video below, he’s joined by renowned singer Maighread Stiùbhart as they take viewers on a walking tour of Col Uarach.

It’s a remarkable film, in which the presenters’ deep knowledge and love of their home turf shine through, beautifully expressed in Gàidhlig Sgìre a’ Bhac. The video has been online for a few months now, but there’s been a new development – the addition of CC subtitles (which you can switch on or off, according to taste). This has been made possible following meticulous extra work by Maighread to transcribe the entire video so that it can be added to the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal collection. And as followers of Guthan nan Eilean know, once the Gaelic subtitles are up, YouTube settings will also offer you auto-translation into many other languages – English included!

Plus, the “Stòras Beò” treatment means you can also access the full wordlinked transcript online through this Clilstore unit:

Naturally, we’re delighted at Island Voices to be able to work with another local history society in the Western Isles. We hope such partnerships will continue to blossom and grow!

Categories: CALL, Community, Research, UGC, Video

Gaelic walks with CEUT

31/07/2022 1 comment

Three “Gaelic walks” have been announced for August, as part of the Aire air Sunnd project led by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath. Gum bi deagh shìde ann air an son!


Categories: Community, Research

Taisce Bheo: Aodán Ó Cearbhaill

19/07/2022 1 comment

AodanAodán Ó Cearbhaill from Gaoth Dobhair speaks to Colm Mac Giolla Easpaig.

In the first part Aodán describes his family background and his teaching career to date.

He goes on to detail the career break he took to teach Irish in Nova Scotia. In preparation for this role, Aodán describes how he learnt Scottish Gàidhlig and this leads him and Colm to discuss the similarities and differences between the Donegal dialect and Gàidhlig.

Finally, Aodán describes his affinity with Tory Island, the birthplace of his father, and recites a famous folklore story about how Colm Cille came to bring Christianity to the Island.

A wordlinked transcript alongside the embedded video is available here:

In the second part of the conversation, Aodán describes some customs and superstitions from Tory Island, most notably the story behind the Tory soil that keeps rats at bay. They discuss the musical heritage of the island before Aodán sings “An Buachaill Deas Óg”, and they chat about how Aodán is newly married and living in the area.

This leads them to discuss the fate of this rural area. Aodán explains his fear about the future of the language but also his hopes for tourism in the area. Planning issues are discussed before Aodán details the polytunnel he had installed in his new home. They end the conversation with Aodán describing the unique manner in which he would spend a win on the National Lottery, and he finishes with a rendition of the renowned Tory Island song “Amhrán na Scadán”.

A wordlinked transcript alongside the embedded video is available here:

This is the third set of Irish recordings in the Taisce Bheo na nGael project in which the UHI Language Sciences Institute with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Soillse, together with Irish partners, record the natural speech of Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers in their own communities with user-friendly equipment and techniques. We are again indebted to Dr Gearóid Ó Domagáin of Ulster University for his meticulous work on the transcriptions.

Categories: CALL, Community, Research, Video

Monster Gaelic Video Playlist

06/07/2022 Leave a comment


With all 75 Gaelic videos having been CC subtitled in Series 1 and Series 2 Outdoors, Generations, and Enterprise, they have now been collected into a single playlist on YouTube. Set aside some time, a chàirdean, for the ultimate box set binge! (And remember you can use the settings wheel to get automatic translations into multiple other languages…)

Here’s the new Series 1 and 2 playlist.

If you like that, bear in mind we also have other Gaelic playlists of varying durations on our YouTube channel!

Sgeulachdan Thormoid

Saoghal Thormoid

Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal

Categories: Community, Video

Aire Air Sunnd: Staing na Gàidhlig

24/06/2022 Leave a comment

Following on from the May launch of the Aire air Sunnd project with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, the first online session of the Gaelic-focussed strand was held on 17th June. As planned, the “hybrid” session was open to participation by Zoom as well as physical attendance at Sgoil Chàirinis, with Ùisdean Robertson taking the chair. The session started with a presentation by members of the research team behind the publication of “The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community“, principally Iain Caimbeul with support from Conchúr Ó Giollagáin. This presentation was recorded and has now been placed on the Island Voices YouTube channel. You can view it here:

The session was held entirely in Gaelic. YouTube subtitling will also allow viewers to read as they listen, and offers auto-translation into other languages, including English, using the settings wheel.

The presentation was followed by a lively and open discussion between CEUT members and the presenters about many of the points raised. This has laid a valuable foundation for further Gaelic activities as part of the Aire air Sunnd project, which will include walks and other events over the summer period, before returning to further online workshops planned for the autumn, which may take a closer look at selected Island Voices recordings.

Iain’s full Powerpoint presentation is available in PDF format here.


Categories: Community, Research, Video

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
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