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Fotoless Friday : Irony — 10 Comments

  1. My parents spoke English as a second language (Mum – Norwegian; Dad – Low German), but didn’t teach any of us kids. In those days, immigrant kids were singled out for teasing, etc. My parents wanted us to be ‘Canadian’ (i.e. English) so that we would fit in. I still regret the lost opportunity and have begun to learn Norske on my own. I can do some practise with my 92 year old Auntie, which will help.

    Gaelidgh has interested me for a log time now, but I’ve only learnt a few words so far. I love that Runrig sings in Gaelidgh so often and do their best to promote the language, especially the MacDonald brothers. I have read that there is support for maintaining Welsh Cymric and Irish Gaelic, but nothing for Scots Gaelidgh. Not good, in my opinion.

    This post was very interesting to me. Thanks. I’ll be back again. ~ Linne

    • J > Thank you for your interest and your comment. I’m writing this listening to In Search of Angels at high volume. The MacDonald brothers were originally from North Uist – and Calum now again has a home there. His lyrics are very fine poetry. I think it is fair to say that it was their music and his lyrics in particular that brought us to the islands to live. Denise and I were talking this morning about a song on the album Mara, in which they say that borders should unite, not divide. Differences are the substance of exchange, of mutual enrichment. Be proud to be Canadian and Norwegian. Let the Norwegian connect you on to related cultures – enjoy the journey. There is such a thing as constructive ambiguity!

    • J > Immigrant communities seem to attract self-appointed activists and advocates, usually paid-up members of the self-righteous left (I say that as a definitely unaffiliated left-of-centrist), whereas the votes of the native Gaelic-speaking peasantry is taken for granted and not considered worth investing in. And that’s by no means unique to here, is it!

  2. I guess I can’t really “like” this. We’ve had similar issues with French in Maine. About one-third of the population is descended from French Canadians, and at one time, French was spoken in many communities. Unfortunately, the powers that be stamped out French—I won’t go into details—and now not many people speak French in Maine. What a shame! We could have been a bilingual state. Sigh.

    • J > Diversity is good – though I guess everything has its limits. Scots Gaelic is still an everyday language in the Outer Hebrides and the North West Highlands. The Gaels came from Ireland 1500yrs ago, and created a kingdom of Dalradia – covering most of the West of Scotland. Even here in the Outer Hebrides, the language is not thriving as well as is Welsh in Wales – where young people are enthusiastic and inventive users of their language: in fact Welsh is more in the hands of young people than the elderly, as Gaelic is here.

      • Interesting. Yes, I think it all depends on the young people. In Maine, young Franco-Americans don’t seem particularly keen on learning French, and I think it is on its way out. Oh, well!

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