Rinn mi bliadhna de leasanan Gàidhlig, ach gu mì-fhortanach tha cuimhn ‘agam glè bheag. Is toigh leam  a ‘chànain agus tha mi a’ gràdhachadh e ceòl.Tha mi a ‘feuchainn ri fhaighinn air ais e, ge-tà, beag air bheag. An-diugh tha mi a ‘dol gu clas òrain Ghàidhlig.*

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I really wish, as a Scot who lives in an area where the language died about 200 years ago, that I could actually have written the above without resorting to Google Translate.  While it’s awesome we finally have Scots Gaelic for Google, I can’t even really tell you how accurate a translation it gave me. I  recall a few handing greetings and polite phrases, I can count to ten if I screw my eyes up and force it out of my brain, and I know the names for dozens of oddly disparate things, but that’s it.
What I don’t understand is why anyone would want to let the beauty of the language and it’s lyricism die. People still sing latin hyms, for Christ’s sake, and most of them are dirges. There’s an entire culture’s worth of myth, memory and practice  tucked away in Gaelic song, all of which are much more part of our heritage in Scotland than any Roman legacy that’s taught in scools to Scots kids.
I’m a bit too far out in the hills to get to the evening classes in Dumfries, can’t afford a trip to Skye for an intensive course, so I’m not quite sure how I’ll get to learn the language that used to echo in these very hills and glens, but I do dream of a part in bringing that back. At least I’m able to sing in it!

*I did a year of gaelic lessons,  but sadly I remember very little. I love the language and I love it’s music. I’m trying to get it back, though, little by little.  Today I am going to Gaelic song class.

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