Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Dead Language Society

Patricia Ferguson the Culture Minister here in Scotland is calling for Gaelic lessons to be available for all children (You can read the article HERE )

She says, "At a time when we are trying to promote the learning of other languages, I think it's appropriate to encourage them to learn a language which is indigenous to the country as well.”

This apparent drive to get the whole country speaking Gaelic probably has little to do with the above statement. The incumbent Labour MSP for the Highland & islands (Alasdair Morrison) looks set to be beaten by the SNP and this is blatant electioneering. She’s even daft enough to say she was going to take lessons if she is still Culture Minister after the election – why not have them anyway if she believes in what she’s saying?

The fact is that less than 50,000 people now speak the language, it is dying as we speak. The minister confuses the learning of other languages so that we converse with French or German business people is no relationship with the learning of Gaelic. She puts forward the argument that we should learn it and keep it alive to maintain a cultural heritage. There is also the little question of where the teachers are going to come from. I love Gaelic music but I just cannot see how the language can be maintained on WWW oriented planet.

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