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Scottish Gaelic sabhal mor ostaig

[deactivated user]

    Hi I was wondering if anyone knows why there seems to be a lot of judgement towards the Gaelic college in the Isle of Skye? I thought I would ask because I’ve seen native speakers say it’s not real Gaelic. Thanks :)

    December 6, 2019



    I can understand both sides of the argument. I think it's a great thing that children are learning Gaelic in Scotland in substantial numbers, and I also understand that their Gaelic won't have exactly the same attributes as that of native speakers, so there will be some tension. I think it's the price you have to pay for keeping the language alive.


    Might it be a possible opportunity for an authentic immersive experience, say in the Outer Hebrides, where you get to interact with native speakers? It could boost tourism.



    SMO has been going since 1973. This video is a bit old now but still funny as long as nobody takes offense.


    So basically Sàbhal Mòr have been involved in much of the attempt to standardise Gaelic. Plus, many "new" words have come out of the environment created at S.M.O. as the majority of the people who live there are young adults, many of whom native bilingual rather than pure native. You can basically thank S.M.O. for words like spòrsail (meaning fun).


    So basically Sàbhal Mòr have been involved in much of the attempt to standardise Gaelic.

    There's been no attempt to standardise Gaelic at SMO.

    many of whom native bilingual rather than pure native

    What does this mean?

    You can basically thank S.M.O. for words like spòrsail (meaning fun).

    It's in Dwelly (c.1920)


    My apologies. I am not a linguist, I am only going by what older natives I know have told me in the past.

    And by pure native what I mean are people like my grandmother, who learnt English as a second language, rather than the current generation of natives such as me who learnt both Gaelic and English together at a young age.


    Sorry, don't mean to sound short, I'm just a bit weary of some of the stuff said about SMO.


    It's OK. I've studied short courses at Sàbhal Mòr (used to go at least once per year on a short course of some description), and one of my relatives is a former lecturer there of many years. I think SMO is great, but I can see both sides.


    If you consider that Gaelic speaking was outlawed for a long time, and there was little formal teaching of Gaelic until the 80s, it's apparent that there would be some divergence from a more standard Gaelic, and the move to standardise Gaelic is commendable. Languages that are spoken but not written tend to change quicker.

    [deactivated user]

      I understand and thank you. It’s like (pardon the no accents) Lon for lunch when to natives it means puddle :)


      Puddle - as I can see in Eng-S.Gaelic dictionary is either "sloban" / "lodan"/ "lob"

      As far "lòn" is concerned - its primary meaning - food, provisions, victual. It is also used to say about Lunch.

      Formal translation of Luncheon = greim-nòin, biadh-nòin or ruisean

      All according to the dictionary available on learngaelic.scot

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