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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Sun and Gaelic

It did strike me that The Sun's sudden conversion to the cause of the Gaelic language was unexpected at best, and their self-proclaimed interest in the heritage and culture of the islands was - to say the very least - an almost Damscene conversion from the usual couthy tales of drunk tractor driving, alcoholic teuchters and patronising commentary.

The answer drove past me just a few minutes ago when a half-open double-decker bus emblazoned with the logo of a certain London newspaper, blaring bagpipe music, and with two 'lovelys' (sic) braving hypothermia in t-shirts (it is raining, cold and windy) waving at the bemused occasional passer-by.

Twas all a marketing ploy to support an advertising drive; and as genuine as the Page 3 lovelys.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, The sun isn't often right but it's wrong again. The again what can be expected from the Sun?

Historically Gaelic has never been the language of Scotland. It influence was limited to the West Coast, Argyll and part of the Highlands.

The central belt had "lalands" the East Coast was not Gaelic and the Norther Isles had Norn.
English became the language through out Scotland.

The people in Edinburgh traditionally looked down on people speaking gaelic. The only reason it is in the central belt area is that so many people left the west coast etc to live there (the modern term is economic migrants).

According the UN Gaelic is a dead language as there are less than 60,000 people speaking it as their first language. In fact thining about it, there are probably more people speamking urdu or hindi as their first language than Gaelic, so perhaps we should make one of them the offical language?

This selling of Gaelic as the "Language of Scotland" is at best romantic drivel, at worse the attempts of a few people to perserve something which will die.

Out of curiosity what's the Gaelic for DNA? Genome,

Anonymous said...

The Gaelic language didn't die... It was murdered!

Anonymous said...

Big-bosomed women going past the white house? In t-shirts? Wet t-shirts in the rain? Several councillors will have strokes if they see them...

Anonymous said...

If the Councillors want a stroke, they'll have to catch them first :-)

Anonymous said...

Please tell me one of the lovelies is not Morag the Bun. Please.

Anonymous said...

Mad biker says:

What you got against the talibun? {:-O

Anyway, guys (how presumptious of me), the girls were wearing longsleeved sweatshirts under the T shirts. {:-((((((

Anonymous said...


Your post is at best, shite, and at worst utter shite.

Anonymous said...

Hi 3:03

What part is shite?
The fact that Gaelic has never been Scotland's language, it was not used in the Central belt, it was not used in the Northern Isles, the East coast of Scotland, that there more than 60,000 speakers of Irdu or Hindu, the UN for saying a language being spoken by less than 60,000 is "dead", you not being able to say what either DNA or Genome is? Or, is it your inability to enter into a debate and therefore just resorting to gratuitous insults? {;-)

The posting may be uucomfortable reading but all of it is fact.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have pictures of this, uh, disgusting marketing ploy? It's so I can be outraged along with those who saw it, honest.

Anonymous said...

12.05 - Anonymous

I think you'll find that the Central Belt had "Lallans"

If you're going to make statements, make sure they're correct

Anonymous said...

For the smart ars* asking about the gaelic for dna genome – he could maybe give us the english, and then we can happily provide a translation for deoxyribonucleic acid. How about giving us the english for restaurant while he’s at it, and thousands of other “english” words in common usage.

Anonymous said...

Mur an urrainn dhut a’ Ghaidhlig a bhruidhinn, fhalbh a thaigh nan galladh. Tha sinn seachd sgith do dhaoine a tha aineolach, agus a’ cur sios air na Gaidheil.

Is mise Saorsa.

Anonymous said...


I'm in no way a supporter of the Sun!

However, I'd like to dispute your evidence as to the precise extent of Gaelic speaking in Scotland throughout this nation's history, seeing as the population of the Gaelic-speaking areas cannot be properly assessed earlier than 1755 at best.

However, the evidence we have for the extent of the Gaidhealtachd's geographical 'borders' (already shrinking) in 1698, gives us info on the area known as the 'Highland Counties' which covered the greater part of Caithness, Nairn and Perth, and parts of Moray, Banff, Aberdeen, Stirling and Dumbarton. Geographically speaking, that's an awful lot. Early statements about the extent of Gaelic speaking note only the presence of Gaelic in Scotland as a whole, or its existence in certain places, and do not readily lend themselves to a definition of the Gaeidhealtachd's actual extent or of the numbers speaking Gaelic.

Continuing from this, a comfortable estimation based on evidence collected by J. Walker in the 1760s and 70s, can place the likely numbers of Gaelic speakers for about 1769 at 289,798; aprox 22.9 per cent of Scotland's population. We're talking about a period when Gaelic had already suffered a decline population-wise and it was at that point in time spoken by almost a quarter of the country's population, the vast majority of these monglots. Needless to say, the very country of Scotland or Alba was founded by Gaelic-speaking Scots- to say it was 'never the language of Scotland' is, in my opinion, deliberately misrepresenting the evidence available to fit a predetermined conclusion. You don't need to have the entire country speaking the language for it to be an integral part of the nation's existence. That's all I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

12.05 pm

I am the poster of the gratuitous abuse. I intended to construct a reasoned and factual demolition of your main historical arguments, but I did not have the time so I just posted the abridged version.

Thanks to the other posts who have saved me the time.

As for what the UN thinks; who cares.

Anonymous said...

"The Gaelic king Malcolm II fixed the Southern border of Scotland (which survives to this day) after the Battle of Carham in 1018, giving Gaelic its widest extent in Scotland, and extending even into Cumbria and Northumbria. (See Map A). Gaelic was the language of learning, the church and the administration of the state7. Little wonder, then, that the Latin name Scotia was no longer used to mean Ireland, but the kingdom we now know in English as Scotland, or in Modern Gaelic as Alba. The war cry of Scottish soldiers, used in war against the Vikings in 903, against the Danes of York in 918 and against the English in 1138, was Albanaigh, Albanaigh, an indication of the symbolic strength of the Gaelic identity of the Scottish nation at this time.

Gaelic place-names and place-name elements exist all over Scotland and give testimony to the extent that Gaelic was once spoken in Scotland. Words such as loch, beinn (‘hill’, sometimes Anglicised as Ben), glen, cill (‘church’, sometimes anglicised as Kil(l), as in Kilmarnock), achadh , (‘field’, sometimes ‘ach’, as in Achindinny) are Gaelic and are very typically Scottish."


Anonymous said...

Forget the debate - are the babes still here! I missed them :-(


Captain Bovril

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a statement which combines idiocy and a lack of originality to nice effect. Scotland was founded by Gaelic speakers. Was named after Gaelic speakers ( Scotland literally means “land of the Gaels”) and simply wouldn’t exist but for the Gaels. Gaelic was spoken EVERYWHERE except the northern islands as anyone who actually makes the effort to read some proper history or place name studies will know. The East coast spoke Gaelic. The south spoke Gaelic. Even the bloody Lothians is littered with Gaelic place names from the time when it contained an aristocratic/clerical Gaelic speaking elite. The Lothians is notable in that it is the only part of mainland Scotland which was never majority Gaelic. Instead it was known as “the land of the English in the Kingdom of the Scots” due to the fact that it ethnically and linguistically Engilsh. Of course its inhabitants belatedly decided to refer to themselves as Scots after all (quite a bit after we, the Scots/Gaels, had won the wars of independence under the Gaelic speaking Rober the Bruce) which is why we have these ridiculous ambiguities/lies about Scottish history which see idiots say “oh Gaelic was never spoken here or there or XYZ” which is simply anti-factual. Gaelic is the Scottish language. Scotland is a Gaelic creation and anyone who calls themselves a Scot is claiming a Gaelic heritage regardless of their own wishful thinking/prejudices with regards to Scottish history.

Anonymous said...

"Out of curiosity what's the Gaelic for DNA? Genome,"

Out of curiosity whats the English for DNA? The answer, of course, is that there is no English for DNA. Just as there is no english for television or telephone or university or indeed most things as about 60% of the words used by the English langauge are actually Latin, Greek, French or some other foreign language. Gaelic takes in loan words yes but far fewer than English which is less a language, more a bastardised mongrel creole of French/Latin and German.

Anonymous said...

Mad-biker well the best i can say is that your post is certainly not shi-ite

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05

What a load of bollox. And "Lalands"...hahahaha!

The next time someone speaks to me in Gaelic (as happens very often), I'll have to tell them, "Sorry dear, I can't answer you in Gaelic cos some bloke on Angus Nicolson's blog says it's a dead language, and he thinks that cos some bloke at the UN said it.

On the other hand I could just answer in my own first language, Gaelic, and be proud of being bilingual rather than a whinger with a chip on his shoulder about the deserved attention being given to a language he can't speak(?)

Funny, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

Great thread, informative and entertaining. Well done to the Sun for starting all this off. Someone call Hugh Hefner and try to get him involved in the Gaelic debate.

Anonymous said...

o mo chreach!

to coin a very english phrase.
WE (the gaels)ARE THE PEOPLE!!

GNG said...

DNA : searbhag dhiocsairiobo-niùclasaich.

Anonymous said...

what's the English for banana, discotheque...I could go on