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Investing in the future of Gaelic as language’s popularity rises in Cumbernauld

Written by Christopher Mackie.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 21:15 GMT on Friday, July 26th, 2013.

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A ground-breaking project to develop a comprehensive dictionary of Scottish Gaelic received a £2 million boost today as part of a package of funding announced by the First Minister to help secure the future of the language.

First Minister Alex Salmond revealed the financial commitment, to come from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), on a visit to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye – a partner college within the University of the Highlands & Islands and the first in Scotland to teach solely in Gaelic.

The compilation of the dictionary – Faclair na Gàidhlig – is managed by the college in partnership with the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde and aims to produce a historical dictionary of Gaelic comparable in value and status to those available for Scots (Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue) and English (Oxford English Dictionary).

The dictionary will provide a new understanding of the structure, variations and development of Gaelic through its use in speech, literature, song and place names.

The First Minister also announced further funding from the Scottish Government, of £100,000 and £25,000 respectively, to support a National Sound Archive for Scotland and for the FilmG 2014, Scotland’s national Gaelic film competition, which aims to develop new talent for Gaelic channel BBC ALBA and produce significant new Gaelic content online.

The First Minister also announced further funding from the Scottish Government, of £100,000 and £25,000 respectively, to support a National Sound Archive for Scotland and for the FilmG 2014, Scotland’s national Gaelic film competition, which aims to develop new talent for Gaelic channel BBC ALBA and produce significant new Gaelic content online.

The National Library of Scotland is working with Tobar an Dualchais, based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the pilot of a sound archive project. The Tobar an Dualchais team has past experience in this field having digitised, catalogued and preserved audio recordings from across Scotland dating back more than 80 years.
 
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To date, the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches project has seen 33,000 recordings digitised– with some 50 people having worked on the project so far, often employed at home in some of Scotland’s most economically fragile areas.

MG Alba aims to encourage more young people to engage in Gaelic filmmaking through its annual FilmG competition, which is delivered by Cànan, the multimedia company owned by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. The latest Government funding will support the competition’s training programme which will include schools and community-based sessions on story development, filming and editing and master-classes with prominent actors and filmmakers.

The First Minister said:

“The Scottish Government is a strong supporter of our indigenous languages, including Gaelic, and recognises the important cultural and economic benefits that these bring to a vibrant and modern Scotland. We’re committed to working with a range of other public bodies to create a secure future for the Gaelic language. The dictionary initiative will play an important part in that work and I’m delighted that this extra funding has been identified to drive forward the project.

“The work that the Tobar team are doing with the National Library of Scotland on the National Sound Archive certainly is of national importance. The archive will, once complete, allow public access to collections of recordings. Our history is as important as our future and this project will allow people across Scotland and beyond to access these records.

“After five successful years, the FilmG short film competition is now established as one of the country’s best platforms for developing and showcasing Gaelic language films and creative talent and I’m pleased the Scottish Government can again support the training opportunities this year.”
 
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