A Long-overdue Gàidhlig Update

It's been awhile since I posted anything of the Gàidhlig variety, but I do have some interesting things to report.

On the Sgoil Ghàidhlig front, winter TIP classes are ongoing, and the Board is gearing up for a couple of interesting and fun late-winter and spring projects. On March 29th, we'll be performing a demonstration of milling songs at the Best Western in Burnside during a teachers' professional development workshop for the new Social Studies 3 curriculum and resources - Provincial Identity. On May 10th, we'll be hosting a Gàidhlig taigh-cèilidh at the Military Family Resource Centre Windsor Park. We're booking storytellers, singers and musicians for this event, and it promises to be a great evening of entertainment. I'll be acting as an emcee along with fellow Board member Doug MacDonald - and get this - we'll be doing it bilingually in front of native and fluent speakers. I don't know whether to be excited that I can speak Gàidhlig well enough to introduce performers in the language or worried I'll muck things up in front of people who speak it better than I do!

On the Dìleab front, Taigh-Céilidh Family Gaelic Nights are ongoing at the Port Wallis United Church in Dartmouth. These are excellent opportunities to introduce children to Gàidhlig and learn a little yourself, since Gàidhlig child care is provided and Emily McEwan-Fujita teaches language-hunting games to adults. My role on the Dìleab Board is primarily technical; I've just finished building a Drupal web site for it, but I'm glad to be a part of something that aims to teach Gàidhlig to children.

My own language studies progress apace. I've felt this year like I've phoned it in a bit, what with the novel and the incorporation and everything else, but I've just penciled in an hour of study time per week with my favorite AGA study partner, so I'm hoping that will keep me on task a little. I can converse in the language now and understand most of what I hear, so overall I feel a real sense of accomplishment for only having been in Nova Scotia a year and a half. During the summer, I hope to begin reading in the language, starting with Sgeul gu Latha or Stories until Dawn, a collection of hero and folk tales in Gàidhlig with facing English translations.

And finally, here's a cool bit of lore about the word 'slogan'. It comes from two words in Gàidhlig, sluagh (people, as in 'a people or nation') and gairm (call or summons). In Scotland, when clans or families were rallied for some purpose, a battle perhaps, a horn might be sounded or a shout might go up to gather everyone together. This sluagh-ghairm, or summons of the people, found its way into English as slogan, a distinctive cry, phrase, or motto of any party, group, manufacturer, or person; catchword or catch phrase.

That's it for now. Mòran taing airson leughadh, agus feasgar math dhuibh!