Different Types of Gaelic
They say different islands have different versions of Gaelic!
When I use my new Duolingo Gaelic skills and start talking to my native Gaelic speaking neighbours, they say, "Is that North Rona Gaelic?"
Can't think what they mean? ;-)
If you can actually talk to your Gaelic-speaking neighbours as a result of your study with Duolingo, I commend you! You must have picked up some extra vocabulary though?
Last night I was watching BBC Alba and it so happened that my one and only Gaelic-speaking neighbour was intervieved. The fact that I could pick out a few words and even phrases from what he was saying was encouraging, but actually having a conversation with him in Gaelic is still a pipe-dream.
My family spoke Arran Gaelic, and I'm told there are/were some differences in that one. I don't think it's still spoken though.
The conversations are quite basic and they usually end up teaching me new words. But I read once that 'half Gaelic was better than no Gaelic' (or in my case a hundredth Gaelic!!) and I think that's quite right.
Would Arran Gaelic be closer to Irish given its location?
There might still be some books in Arran Gaelic. In a corner of the Inbhir Nis library, there are the Inverness Gaelic Society records going back well over 100 years. I've started to take an interest in them. Maybe that's where to look for Arran Gaelic - the Arran library.
Some time ago I heard that although Arran Gaelic had died out, there were some people trying to revive it. I don't know how they got on. I don't think it's particularly influenced by Irish, but I'm no expert!
ETA: Comments below show that the dialect was indeed heavily influenced by Irish.
Have you seen this?
It also seems to be linked to the Irish Gaelic of Rathlin Island
I was brought up in Ayrshire and I read or heard that the last native speaker of Gaelic in Arran died in the 1920s. I don't know how accurate that is. I never new that it would have been Arran Gaelic (didn't know that it existed). Thanks for the information it's very interesting.
I didn't realise myself until about 20 years ago when I was chatting to Winnie Ewing about languages and happened to mention that my father's family had been native speakers until a couple of generations before me. She said "which Gaelic did they speak?" and since I knew they were from Lochranza I said "Arran Gaelic". She then told me it had died out but there were some people trying to revive it.
Btw in case anyone doesn't know where North Rona is (and I certainly didn't for a long time) zoom out from here
Yeah, I checked and you're absolutely right. It's just called "Rona". "Seal Island" I suppose. I think that's where I was thinking of too.
I mean I got the message that it was an uninhabited island, hence the dig about the Gaelic dialect, but at least that Rona has a path and a couple of houses marked, plus signs of earlier habitation! It's also about five miles long.
North Rona (which is also simply marked as "Rona" on the OS map), is maybe a mile elther way if it's lucky.
I have long suspected that "Rhona", which was the name of one of my friends at primary school, was someone's uninformed attempt at leniting an R for a vocative - which doesn't happen as far as I know. And that Rona is probably the more correct form of the name. Straight from the word for seal, or called after the island? Dunno.
Sule Skerry looks a bit like Muggle Flugga ( the almost northernmost (word?) point of the Shetland Islands) famous its puffins and infamous for its uisge beatha.
Lewis is certainly different from some of the other islands. Some places are very nit picky about non Gaels learning, which can be off putting. There are 3 recognised versions of Irish Gaelic - Munster, West Connacht/Aran, and West Ulster/Donegal. The East Ulster dialect - now alas defunct - was so much closer to Scots Gaelic that speakers used to listen to the BBC Gaelic instead of RTE.
In the 1970s a friend of mine had an Irish roommate who said she found BBC Gaelic broadcasts easy to understand.
Where precisely do the picky locals draw their line about "non Gaels" learning? Do I get a pass because my great-grandfather's family was Gaelic-speaking, or am I lumped in with the rest of the lowlanders?
I guess it depends on how insecure they feel? There was an old joke about a Glasgow Gaelic society visiting a Gaelic medium church one Sunday, only to have their attempts at Gaelic discouraged by the "welcoming" elder exclaiming in English 'O shut up, you 'wegie b*s!'