Gaelic crisis in the Vernacular Community – thread unroll
This is in relation to a video-conference conducted by UHI, which is linked below, there will also be a pdf of the chat as it happened.
- Tha mi air bhioran airson an conference seo!
Here is the video link to youtube
Claim of misdiagnoses of the problem which has lead to 'Gaelic promotion without language protection'. Further described here
Groups like Bòrd na Gàidhlig haven't contacted the people who have written the Crisis in the Vernacular Community book, there's a digest here
They've, instead, funded their way to not dealing with the problem, through their existing clientelle. They're only wanting to continue the status quo.
How do we break the impasse associated with the current stasis amongst policy bodies and academia?
New process: sincere consultation, we need reform of existing structures
Dialogue: Civic forum to consult on Gaelic strategy in the islands. Creation of a working group to explore routes ahead.
Aim: 4 constituencies to accommodate
Vernacular communities int he islands
Vestigial communites in the Islands
Gaelic (Urban) network
Currently, vernacular communities feel, and thus are, excluded from policy and funding.
They need to be brought in, otherwise the crisis will carry on.
Moireasdan: The original publication struck a chord with teenagers and young people, they switched languages from English to Gaelic 1st when communicating amongst each other.
Own thought: We rarely hear Gaelic amongst folk in Inverness, which is one of the capitals of the language, yet it isn't really heard. My ear is always scanning to hear Gàidhlig
There is a great connectivity and inter-twined nature to the gaelic community.
Crofting, housing and jobs.
On Grimsay, 4 houses have changed hands in the year past and not one of them has Gaelic anymore.
This is endemic across the Highlands and Islands.
Added to this, Gaelic is now one of the lower priorities in that people are trying to retain populations in the H&I, communities are dieing (my own view is they're being cleared) and energy for Gaelic is resultantly much lower.
Says that GME started in Edinburgh 33 years ago, she was amongst the 1st intake. The conversations have not changed, so there's something of a Groundhog day.
Older generation are somewhat at peace with the loss of Gaelic, so don't use it. They need, NEED, to feel able to speak Gaelic freely and safely, so that they can bring it back.
She says we need to embrace dialect differences 💓 YES
I have a great feeling I have totally misunderstood her blog-post from a few days ago. Her chat here, to me, has a totally different vibe.
She is talkin about how we need to understand and accept the problems and so we can improve.
The vernacular communities are disappearing and we need to act together, today, to keep them because they won't be here much longer.
She, essentially, takes a shot at the Leòdhasach and the Sgìtheanach (Lewis and Skye) who are in constant battle over who has the “true” Gaelic.
This has and is stalling any progress. Lews Castle and Sabhail Mòr need to work together and drop their snootiness.
Iain MacKinnon, again, he's a busy man.
He suggests there was a shift, around 20 years ago, in policy toward getting new speakers to bolster the gaelic community.
This brought the ethno-nymph debate, where Gael was to suggest Gael means Gaelic-Speaker as opposed Highlander (and Islander).
Suggests that the new-speaker push has created a situation where 1st-language gaelic speakers are not allowed/able to embrace their identity because there is a larger message of being inclusive, especially those learning are just as much as a Gael as someone who hasn't spoken English ever.
This part of the discussion is VERY difficult and is extremely close to being ethno. Gaels want to embrace their identity without having it appropriated by learners (exampled as 4th language speakers).
It runs the risk of being ethno and requires something of a solidification in who a Gael is.
Jane MacLeod up now.
Speaking to why older generation aren't activisting.
Letters to councillors, MPs, MSPs, etc., do not reply when the topic is brought up. Essentially creating a pit where problems are not heard.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig are too busy with education, so don't have the time to do vernacular work.
Politicians are proposing a Gàidhealtachd but seems to be pretty loose.
There is a total lack of local democracy, so requires new power.
Essentially, the trial to keep fighting and keeping the pressure up is utterly exhausting. Trying to disentangle their identity with what is politically viewed as 'a project' is soul-destroying.
So she re-iterates, do we take our identity and let the language die with dignity?
There is a great tiredness, exhaustion from the people who would be acitivists (by living their lives)
A ray of hope!
Says that post-lockdown, there is a larger number of people who want to use their language more. Not just learners but vernacular speakers.
There are more people consciously using it, in the shop for example. They're creating a space (on Lewis) where speakers can speak it without fear.
Jane's active via Guth nan Siarach
This debate will, no doubt, carry on. It is a very emotional discussion and one that is very difficult to have, especially in aspects that get close to ethnic identity.