I live in Inverness, way up here in the Highlands, and was wondering if there’s anyone from this area on SSIW who’s learning Welsh? Or maybe I’m the only Welsh learner up here!
I’m also learning Scottish Gaelic too and was thinking it’d be great to have a ‘Say Something In…’ course for Gaelic.
I’m hoping there will be a say something in Gaelic course too some day. I saw Aran had mentioned it in his post about future plans so that’s encouraging.
I’m Scottish but not living in the highlands sadly. I’m Bristol based now which is what encouraged me to try and learn welsh first instead since wales is only just over the bridge.
We’ll get there in the end…
[Currently hoping we’ll be able to start on it next year, fingers crossed…]
Feasgar math Niall, I’m in Nairn, just off the 6th month course and pushing on when I can with Level 3 and soon there will be more for the first graduates to get stuck into I believe.
Have learnt Gaelic to fluency (didn’t get along as quickly in the beginning as I am with Welsh lol) and would love to see it on SSi, I think it would make such a difference to the many learners that drop out of conventional classes or for returners that want to refresh. C’mon Aran where is it lol.
SSi, I can’t sing the praises enough, thanks to a few goes at SSi Manx I managed to converse with 4 Manx speakers earlier this week for an hour - and they understood most of what I had to say too - great buzz thank you SSi team.
Feasgar math dhuibh! (Good evening to you!)
It is always great to hear others add their support and enthusiasm for a Gàidhlig course - I heartily agree!
While unfortunately I’m not in Inverness or the Highlands, that was a reason for venturing up there - to go to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for one of their courses (great, apart from the weather of course!)
I find that Gàidhlig is much harder to learn than Welsh, as I have found far fewer good-quality resources to use for learning, so would be very interested to hear how anyone else has been learning Gàidhlig.
Hi Neil -
I’m just north of Aberdeen and I just finished the 6 month course as well. I am also starting Level 3 (full steam ahead!).
Good to know that there are a few of us SSiW folks up here!
www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/deepend is already up and running…
Brilliant! OK, that’s got me inspired. I’ll have to schedule myself an intensive weekend, then a trip to Ynys Manaw!
Hi Andrew, that’s great you’re a Scot learning Welsh - pity you’re not still up here but oh well. Do you speak Gaelic too, or have you tried learning it?
Feasgar Math, Deesscoles! Nairn eh - it’s good to see some Welsh speakers/learnings in the area! That’s great you’ve learned Gaelic to fluency, I’ve been learning it for a few years and am getting there. But it’d be far easier and quicker if there was a ‘Say Something In Scottish Gaelic’, of course. So how did you get to fluency in Gaelic, i.e what courses did you do, were you self taught, etc?
Feasgar math, Welshead. I’ve found there have been more and more Gaelic learning resources coming out in recent years, but it’s still lacking in comparison to other languages. However, if one persists with the materials out there, they can eventually put all the pieces of the puzzle together and become fluent.
I’ve been learning Gaelic with a combination of ‘Speaking Our Language’ (tv series), ‘Scottish Gaelic In 3 Months’ (book and cassettes), as well as the resources on learngaelic.net. I’m also a member of the ‘forum na gaidhlig’, and I’ve found the people there very helpful in clearing up some of my confusion about certain grammar points etc. Another great resource for learning the grammatical structure of Gaelic is the Taic website. I even went through an online course designed for children called ‘Go Gaelic’, which as daft as that might sound was actually very useful because it explained everything in a really easy to follow way, instead of making it into a complicated science like a lot of books on Gaelic.
In the end, it’s a matter of persevering with the materials out there until you start to make sense of the language, but we could really use a SSI or something like Michel Thomas or Pimsleur etc for Gaelic. Oh, also USE the language too - read news articles etc in Gaelic, look up words you don’t know, and keep reading until your brain starts to make sense of the structures and vocab etc. BBC Alba tv channel and the BBC Gaelic Radio station have been worthwhile too.
If there’s enough interest, maybe we could consider starting an Inverness/Highlands Welsh conversation meetup, perhaps in a coffee shop or something. Maybe even a Gaelic one as well. I don’t know of any Gaelic conversation meet ups in this area, sadly.
That’s it Neil, you just have to keep going with whatever is available and suits you, building up a support network of fellow learners and native speakers. It really took me a very long time to get past go - I wish there had been an SSi Gaelic about 25 years ago! Things are a lot better now for learners with the Internet developments but an SSi would definately plug a gap and inspire learners (both new and those who have fallen by the wayside). The success of SSi speaks for itself, maybe Bòrd na Gàidhlig might take a look at it one day and just go and see how well it is working in the Welsh and Manx learning spheres.
I kept going despite it all just like you with bits and pieces, mar a chanas iad sa Ghàidhlig: Sop as gach seid (A straw from every sheaf) ( and in the end went and did a joint honours Gaelic/|French degree as a mature student at Aberdeen University - a long distance commute from Nairn on the train for 4 years.) I think that ultimately if you have the desire and the hunger to learn Gaelic then you will get there, I’m so greatful that for the wonderful door that Gaelic opened for me - Gàidhlig - cha bhithinn às a h-aonais! Gaelic - I wouldn’t be without it!
That would be good Neil, worth a try perhaps as we move into the autumn/winter months. There surely will be some Welsh speakers scattered about the Highlands too who might be able to help. Maybe other Gaelic speakers/learners might want to try Welsh and it could be advertised through the Gaelic networks too. We also have the advantage of the slack and hangout channels that could be used on a wider Highland basis perhaps.
There is a Gaelic conversation group that meets in the Nairn Library on Saturdays 12-1, well tries to really but everyone has other things to do at weekends in the summer months, it is generally better attended during the winter. I’m really lucky in Nairn as a friend two doors up on my street is a Gaelic speaker and I often get a conversation in the passing in the town centre - around 200 speakers in Nairn and if you know who a few of them are then sorted
I think one of the main problems with most Gaelic learning resources is that they use too much technical jargon when explaining the Gaelic language - all those things like ‘dependent form’, ‘independent form’, all that talk of verbal nouns etc. I think a learner doesn’t need any of that, but simply needs things explained in a simple, easy to follow way, much like ‘SSI…’. In fact, the verb tenses of Gaelic aren’t difficult really…they just APPEAR difficult because of all the jargon and the fact that most Gaelic teaching books are written in such a dry and formal way.
It also seems to me that most books designed to teach Gaelic are basically glorified grammar books. All they do is go over grammar points, without any practical use. You can’t learn to properly speak a language that way. Or they teach set phrases, without teaching the student how to construct their own sentences. No wonder a large portion of people who set out to learn Gaelic end up failing. I can’t tell you the number of local people I’ve met (both Scottish or people from abroad who have moved here) who told me they tried to learn Gaelic but then gave up because it was ‘too hard’. What a pity.
In the end, there ARE some good resources for learning Gaelic out there, but finding them in amongst the rest is the hard bit, but overall we do need something that is more effective. I agree it’s a great language. I’m still learning it myself, but maybe when I’m fluent I might create a product for it to teach it effectively, who knows?
As for setting up a Welsh and/or Gaelic meet up here, it’s good there’s a Gaelic meet in Nairn Library, and I’d love to set something up in Inverness if possible, as it’s kinda centralised for people in the Highlands. What do you think would be the best way to go about finding and contacting other local Welsh and/or Gaelic speakers? Facebook groups? Meetup.com? Gumtree? Or something else (any other local forums you know about?). I did think about trying to set up some local language meets via Meetup.com, as I speak a few other languages too and there doesn’t seem to be any regular language meets up here. I’m willing to try and set something up, but need suggestions about how to best go about it.
Facebook the best way I think. Astonishing really the lack of events in Inverness with it being the headquarters of the Gaelic Language development quangrocracy. There may be things going on though below the radar. Although this facebook group listing events seems to have gone quiet in June. https://www.facebook.com/pages/biz/community_organization/Tachartasan-Inbhir-Nis-Inverness-Gaelic-Events-362004427193702/
A Welsh learners meet-up? Again best organised through social media and forums, advertising in the old media just costs money.
Facebook groups look like a good starting point, yes. It does amaze me too at the (seemingly) lack of Gaelic events in Inverness, as there are quite a lot of speakers of the language here, though such events are bound to be hidden under the radar somewhere. There don’t even seem to be many private Gaelic tutors round here either. Anyway that Facebook group you linked to might be a good starting point. There’s a phone number that might be worth contacting.
I don’t speak Gaelic unfortunately. I’ve done a few chapters of Speaking our Language but that’s as far as I got.
I’d definitely like to have another go at it. With the lower number of speakers compared to welsh there’s far less learning resources available unfortunately but hopefully that will gradually improve over time.
If a say something in Gaelic course comes out I’ll definitely work through it. The ssiw course has the big advantage of being do able whilst walking to work etc. so it’s easier to fit into a busy day. Even if the ssig course doesn’t come out I’ll make the effort to have a go at Gaelic again this year now I’m feeling a bit more inspired from learning welsh.
It’s good to hear there’s people in Inverness and Nairn making the effort to promote the language. With only 50k speakers it’s definitely a worry that Gaelic might end up like Cornish and Manx.
Today working in Nairn on a large property, another guy there asked me what I was listening to on the headphones. A language tape I said. Which langague? Welsh. He then told me he had experienced a lot of Welsh at school in Swansea. We exchanged a sentence or two. I told him about SSi and the method, suggested it might be good for a top up for him. He said he understood words in conversations he heard when on holiday in North Wales a few years ago. There must be folk with various degrees of Welsh ability in most of the towns and cities all over the UK.
I just love that kind of serendipity…