Gaelic in the news today and shining a light on what’s actually going on. This is something that many of us in Gaelic speaking communities have been aware of for a while but struggle to do anything about it.
First of all, some housekeeping. I am not in the mood to engage in any discussions about the validity of Gaelic, bull💩 about road signs, it’s all about the SNP or any other ill-informed rubbish.
I still maintain we are too polite in the islands. Not that long ago, the @nessfc committee regularly held meetings in Gaelic. One non-G speaker came on the committee and that all changed. Hard to imagine going back to those days tbh
Gaelic is still spoken in this community, by an awful lot of people. Go to the shop and it’s eye-opening. I’ve brought urban learners to the shop before and they have been speechless. Sometimes the first experience they’ve ever had of Gaelic outwith formal settings
You are still fighting generational bias, though. My grandmother told my mother not to speak Gaelic to me (I’m the eldest in the family) as it would hold me back. Fortunately my mother didn’t listen and my gran later recognised her error. Many others didn’t
So an awful lot of damage has all ready been done. People are so positive about Gaelic elsewhere in Scotland but it had already hit rock bottom there, the only way was up. It couldn’t get any worse.

We’re still to hit rock bottom.
I would love to comment more on education but I’m no expert. I do, however, think we should have a different GME in the islands, something that suits the community. This is not a criticism of the council, schools or teachers, but of the system.
Gaelic development should be radically rejigged. Organisations need to work together more, and in a more obvious way. B na G, HIE, CNES, Royal Mail, NHS, SSE, Scottish Water etc etc etc.
Gaelic shouldn’t be pigeonholed as Gaelic. It’s everywhere here. Go into the council offices or health board and there are Gaelic speakers everywhere. Same as you wouldn’t necessarily say Glasgow C Council speak Scots, it’s just part of the furniture.
Bord na Gaidhlig needs to get its finger out as an organisation. I was a board member until I resigned last year, so I’m definitely part of the problem, but B na G has spent too long dealing with internal issues.
B na G now has such a poor reputation, it is very difficult for them to lead on reform, or even be taken seriously as part of it.

Heads are in the sand. I don’t care what is said publicly, up until July last year, there was an awful lot of denial about the Deloitte audit
People who work in Gaelic have said so much to me privately about B na G but no one will speak out.
Anyway, back to community level.

I fear there is a separation between Gaelic speakers within communities and elements of the Gaelic community, if that makes sense.

Working class speakers in the islands aren’t stupid. We hear so much about Gaelic thriving in cities...
And Gaelic schools etc. This is great news but means nothing here. Zilch. Neoni.

You can have all the schools and development you want (and we need it) in cities & towns but lose the islands and it’s game over.
A couple of other thoughts while I was working this morning.

Two of the biggest things that have happened in Gaelic recently have nothing to do with policies or anything formal.

@ScotsGaelicDuo & @peatanddiesel
Also the mindset of native Gaelic speakers. You don’t necessarily recognise that Gaelic is anything valuable or noteworthy, it’s just the language you happen to speak.

Do English speakers recognise the value of the language they speak? No, they just get on with their lives
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