Monday, 26 September 2016

How long DOES it take to learn Gaelic?

So, how long *does* it take to learn Gaelic?

Three years.

Next question?

OK, maybe I had better expand on that a little bit.

First off, let's rephrase the question:

'How long does it take the average person of average ability with a fairly busy life to learn Gaelic to a conversational level?'

I reckon, in my experience as a very average learner, it takes between two and a half and three years. Roughly.

If you've cast half an eye over this blog before, you'll know I am a massive fan of the BBC Radio nan Gàidheal Lerners' programme 'Beag air Bheag' with Iain Urchardan.  Every week Iain introduces 'Neach-ionnsachaidh na seachdain', Learner of the Week, and these people each have a very different story to tell.

I remember in an early series, a very busy housewife who was massively commited to bringing up her family and to her church was barely able to string a sentence together after two years of learning. However, she still admirably put herself forward for an interview, and it was done in a way that she could cope with. On the other side of the coin, in the most recent series (Series 4) you had two different dudes (Martin B and Carmine) who had pretty much reached fluency after learning for barely a year. All these people serve to inspire, be it to show that even when you barely have a second to yourself you can pick up a little bit here and there, or that if you have the time and the inclination you can immerse yourself and become fluent in a comparatively short time.

These examples are, in my view, extreme. There is no doubt in my mind that Martin B and Carmine are very intelligent and focussed men. Most of us, me included, are neither particularly daft nor particulary bright. We have jobs and social lives and make the most of our free time. While the 'Holy Grail' in Gaelic is to reach fluency, what really makes the whole thing really come to life is to reach a conversational level - a level at which we can express ourselves. If you're doing the 'regular route' of distance learning by Cùrsa Inntrigidh followed by Cùrsa Adhartais with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, that 'Eureka' moment comes roughly towards the end of the first year of Cùrsa Adhartais or during the second year.

The first two years of learning Gaelic, in my experience, can be the toughest. You learn and learn and learn and you still can't seem to be able to string a sentence together. Sure, you can say 'Ciamar a tha thu?' and as long as someone comes out with a response you know, you're good. You may get a few sentences down the line then the whole thing will stall. The person you're speaking to uses phrases and words you really don't understand, or you don't have the vocabulary to express what you want to say, and the sheer frustration makes you end up switching to English and you loose face.

However, if you keep at it and keep practicing your 'key phrases' and expanding your vocab, you'll eventually reach that Eureka moment where you hold your first conversation entirely in Gaelic. It might be broken Gaelic, there may be mistakes galore and the odd bit of 'Beurla' here and there, but you somehow manage to keep it all on track until the 'Mar sin leat' or 'Chì mi a-rithist thu' at the end. I guarantee you, the first time that happens, you'll be walking on air.

If you look back through the blog you'll see my frustration in the earlier days with the entry 'Why won't you talk to me?'

However, as I toured the Islands doing my project for 'Saoghal na Gàidhlig' (Module 7 of Cùrsa Adhartais') I found Gàidhlig gu leòr. It seems that if you stick at it, and people start to get to know you and know your story, you'll get Gaelic wherever it is found.

Of course, nobody but nobody ever stops learning Gaelic. Once you hit conversational level, the next stage is to expand your vocab and eliminate your mistakes until you hit fluency. Yet Gaelic is such a rich language, even the most fluent and learned speakers will always admit that there is plenty more out there to learn. That's the joy of Gaelic - its richness beyond measure. If you keep at it, it's all there for the taking.

You just have to keep going at your own pace; whether that is three months or three years, it really doesn't matter how long it takes to get there, just as long as you simply keep going. That's all you have to do.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Ceòlas - A Beginner's Guide

Let me tell you about Ceòlas. More particularly, let me tell you about Ceòlas Sgoil Chiùil Shamhraidh.

First off, there is a clue in the title that tells you that music plays a dominant part in Ceòlas. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Ceòlas does not have an English name. That alone tells you that this is all about the Gaelic: Language, music, and dance. Even if you’re like me and cannot play or sing a note and cannot dance a step, you can’t help but realise that none of these are ‘Gaelic’ in isolation. Gaelic is the language, the song, the dance, the poetry, the stories, and the people.

It is this encapsulation that makes Ceòlas such a breathtakingly ‘real’ event. It’s not just language lessons, piping practice or dance classes, it’s pure Gaelic in Action within a Gaelic-speaking community.

Ceòlas has been going for twenty years now in its home of South Uist in the Western Isles, and it’s been going from strength to strength. It’s evolved thanks to a dedicated and hard-working local team who know the event from the inside out. As such, it can be a bit daunting for the first-time Ceòlas attendee, as sometimes it’s not very clear exactly what it’s all about.

Having just completed my first Ceòlas event, I thought I’d present to you while I’m still fresh: ‘Ceòlas for Beginners’


This outline is based on the 2016 event. It might be different in future!

The main summer school takes place the first week in July in Dalabrog on the island of South Uist.

While classes run from Monday to Friday, ideally you should plan to be in Dalabrog itself from Saturday to Saturday. Registration is at 1230 on Sunday, and while classes finish at 4pm Friday it would be a pity to miss the Cèilidh Mòr on Friday night. Which is actually a concert rather than a cèilidh. Confused? You will be.


When you apply you’ll be asked for your First Choice and your Second Choice subjects.

Now, in most cases you go to a summer school to do one thing (e.g. advanced Gaelic), and when asked for a second choice you tend to think that this is what you wouldn’t mind doing if your first choice wasn’t available, right?


This is a great example of where it works better in Gaelic where you are asked for your ‘Prìomh Chuspair’ agus ur ‘Darna Cuspair’.

What I didn’t realise as first, but is a terrific bonus, is that you don’t have to choose just one subject to do at Ceòlas, you can choose TWO SUBJECTS! If that is made clear anywhere, I obviously missed that memo.

This means you can do Advanced Gaelic and Beginner’s Step Dancing, Ceòl Mòr and song, Piping for Dancing and Intermediate Gaelic… or, in my case, ‘just Gaelic’. In the case of the advanced Gaelic group, we simply switched tutors for ‘First Choice’ (Catriona Nic an t-Saor) and ‘Second Choice’ (Alec Bhaltos).

Confused? Oh, it gets better. On top of that there is compulsory Gaelic for All for half an hour a day in the morning at six levels, from ‘Don’t have a word’ to native speakers/fluent for whom there is a talk. Of course, if you really don’t want to go to Gaelic nobody is going to force you, but if that’s your attitude then it does beg the question why you’d go to Ceòlas rather than just take instrument or singing lessons local to home.


To really mash things up, the last session of the day is called ‘Crossover’. No amount of explanations from the patient organisers could decipher to me exactly what this was about beforehand. However, it’s really quite simple. The organisers put two complimentary disciplines together, like fiddle and dance, and together you work out a short performance for a Friday afternoon show. In the Gaelic classes, we got together and under the guidance of Catriona, put on a comedy sketch about a dentist’s waiting room. Having never done drama before, and loving both comedy and Gaelic, I was absolutely in my element.


The main ‘centre’ for now is Dalabrog Primary School - a brand new state-of-the-art building. Some of the classes - I think the piping and some of the dancing - took place in halls nearby with a minibus service ferrying folks to and from the school. Class size from what I saw was small. The most people in any Gaelic class I did was eight. The day starts at 9.30am and finishes earlier than I expected at 3.30pm but trust me - this is long enough!

Throughout the day I’d do six Gaelic classes of between 30 minutes and one hour. The first hour of the day, my ‘First choice’ was with the wonderful Catriona, and she always eased us into the day kindly and gently with an hour’s relaxed conversation. There were never any books or handouts, and I don’t think I wrote anything down.

After coffee break, the 30 minute ‘Gaelic for all’ class I chose to do with Alec Bhaltos, so I had different classmates to my previous lesson, and we always went through useful sentences to help expand our vocab in everyday situations. After that, it was an hour of ‘second choice’, so I stayed with Alec but my classmates changed. We did grammar revision and vocab expansion in Alec’s inimitably wonderful style. I’ve not met one person who doesn’t think he’s a brilliant teacher and a lovely man.

Lunch is served at 1230 in the main canteen, and while the soup received rave reviews from all who tried it, I stuck to a baked potato with filling every day, and with a can of pop I paid £3.15.

After lunch, an hour of ‘First Choice’ Gaelic normally took place outwith the classroom, e.g. a visit to the Kildonan Museum or a tour of the new Lochboisdale Marina in Gaelic.

Tea break back at base (cup of tea and slice of cake = £1), then 45 minutes of ‘crossover’, which for us meant reading, re-writing, practicing, and rehearsing our play. In other words, being very silly and having lots of laughs…in Gaelic!


So that’s the serious stuff taken care of, but Ceòlas is only partly about the lessons. Arguably the most important bits are what goes on outwith the school, and that is the six Cs:

and…most importantly, CÈIC!

CEÒL (music) pops up everywhere. The local hotels each hold a session on a rota which is displayed at the event. There are also various concerts in the week too - fiddles and dance, song, and piping.
COISEACHD (walking). A couple of walks were organised throughout the week that took place straight after classes ended. Both ended with a dram ;)
COIMHEARSNEACHD IS CÒMHRADH (community and conversation). This is arguably Ceòlas’ trump card. It takes place in an area that lives and breathes Gaelic. I stayed on a Caravan Club campsite in North Boisdale with the MacInnes family, who all speak to me in Gaelic. As I was thrapping about on my motorbike one day, I engaged in conversation with a local motorist in a ‘passing place’ (a regular island custom) and within two sentences we were in Gaelic. In my experience, I only ever had to revert to English in the Co-Op. That was it.
CÈILIDH - The Welcome Cèilidh, House Cèilidhs, and the Cèilidh Mòr. More on those later…
CÈIC - Most Ceòlas participants end up eating their own bodyweight in locally home-made cake during the week. It’s fantastic.


There are three events in the week that are all called cèilidhs, yet they are all completely different to each other. My wee guide is intended to help you work through what is what.

The Welcome Cèilidh - Sunday evening. This is a cross between a knees-up, a concert, and the biggest collection of cake and sandwiches you’ve seen in your life. It’s the best £5 you’ll ever spend. Get there on time, don’t be fashionably late or you’ll end up like me, stuck by the bar and unable to see most of the acts. Now and again there are some dances where those who know the steps can get up and strip the willow or dash the white sergeant. At half-time the entertainment stops and the feeding starts. You get the feeling that there is a wee bit of local competition in the cake-making stakes because the standard of baking is incredibly high. On top of all this, there is a bar selling soft drinks for £1 and stronger stuff for £2-£3.

House Cèilidhs - Tuesday evening. Now, I didn’t go on one myself this time. I will do next time. In the school dining area, lists are put up with the names of local people who are throwing their kitchen doors open for Ceòlas participants to attend a proper Hebridean Cèilidh. If you want to go, you write you name on one of the lists. Guests are expected to take a wee gift for their hosts, for which in return they will once again be fed and watered to the gills. Whether you get singing or music depends on the hosts and your fellow guests. I have a few thoughts about this, which I will mention later.

Cèilidh Mòr - Friday evening. The word ‘cèildih’ has a broad range of meanings, but it would be easier for dumbwits like me to refer to this event as ‘The big concert’, as it is absolutely nothing like the previous two cèilidhs. This is a formal seated concert that must be one of the hottest tickets on the island, as it sold out this year. Luckily, I bought my ticket in good time. There is no food, and your only beverage option is to buy a soft drink during the interval. Other than that, you just sit and you listen…you listen to some of the finest music you’ll ever hear, from some staggeringly talented musicians.

So is there anything not to like? I try to write and honest and impartial blog after all. Well, there are three things I feel are worth mentioning in case anyone is interested:

First off, the ‘Advanced Gaelic’ was at the perfect level for me. I loved it and learned heaps. However, I know a few learners who are at a higher level than me and still chase the fruit of fluency. I do wonder if the level of Gaelic would be high enough for them. As there are (currently) only three levels of Gaelic, the two levels other than ‘complete beginner’ have to accommodate a very wide range of abilities. Let’s hope that an increase in students may result in an increase in levels of Gaelic.

Seondly, as this was my first Ceòlas and I didn’t really know anyone else there very well, I was not brave enough to attend a House Cèilidh. I don’t play, I don’t sing, I had no idea who the hosts were, and I didn’t know who did and didn’t have Gaelic. What would have been great would have been if one House Cèilidh was earmarked as the Gaelic House Cèilidh - i.e. Gaelic-speaking hosts and Gaelic-speaking guests. I’d have signed up for that one like a shot. Again, let’s hope…

Finally, there is only one thing really that would turn this fantastic experience into a Utopian Experience, and that would be Gaelic-speaking host families. Most people stayed in hotels, B&Bs, and rented houses. Me, I stayed in my caravan on the Gaelic-speaking site nearby which offered me some great opportunities to speak with my hosts, but to actually stay with a Gaelic-speaking family would just be the cream on the cake (we’re back to cakes again). Finding accommodation is the one thing that seems to prevent people attending Ceòlas, and home stays could not only plug the accommodation gap, but enhance the whole ‘Ceòlas’ experience even more, as well as giving the chance for some local folk to earn an extra bit of income.

There are ambitious plans afoot for Ceòlas to build its own, purpose-built arts centre in South Uist in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands, which is very exciting news. That will be a couple of years away yet, at least. My understanding is that these plans do not include any accommodation, so let’s hope the idea of Home Stays takes off if it’s to be as successful as it deserves to be.

If Gaelic to you means Grammar Books and Classrooms, then maybe Ceòlas is not for you. However, if you tingle at the very idea of the richness of Real-Life Gaelic in the Real World, where you finish a week and it feels strange to speak English again, then definitely book a week at Ceòlas next July. Just don’t book it too soon…at least not till I’ve secured my place.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Short Courses at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. It's been a mad few months regarding my course. Not being the brightest button in the box, it's been a bit of a slog for me.

However, the academic year has now finished (woo-hoo!) and I can catch up on a few entries I've been meaning to write for weeks. Here's the first, and it's dedicated to the Short Courses at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye.

Whether you don't have one word of Gaelic, or whether you're a native speaker just wanting to brush up on your grammar and literacy, there's a short course for you. There are also diverse courses such as singing, fiddle, and photography, where Gaelic isn't necessary, but practiced in a Gaelic environment.

So what can you expect from a Short Course?

Well, a lot will depend on your tutor and your fellow class mates.

Don't fret too much about what level to go in at. It's pretty obvious to go in for Gaelic 1 if you've not got any Gaelic, or Gaelic 2, 3, 4, if you're going through the stages one by one, but if you're coming in from the cold of a distance-learning course, or if you want to refresh your rusty skills, it can be a bit of a challenge to know which level to go for .

Naturally, it makes sense to discuss any concerns with the short course team before you enrol, but if you do find your class too easy/too difficult/not your style, you can normally switch to a different class during the week if there is space. A friend of mine switched twice in a week!

Lesson periods are generally 75-90 minutes long, with two sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon. There are no lessons on a Wednesday afternoon (trust me, you'll be glad of the rest) and Friday afternoon is only one session and an early finish to allow people to get home.

You won't get bored in the evening as there is always something on. Monday to Wednesday there is an hour's 'Cearcall Còmhraidh' (Gaelic conversation) which is open to all, and there are events such as quizzes and concerts. Thursday evening is the grand 'Cèilidh' where classes perform a song, sketch, or poems that they've been learning throughout the week. Nobody is put 'on the spot', it's all very much a group effort and it's a really good craic.

As for accommodation, the rooms are all private with ensuite loo and shower facilities and a kitchenette either in the room or down the corridor; basic, clean, and comfortable. You can, if you wish, camp in a tent or stay in your camper van/motorhome/caravan, but be aware that there are no 'camper's facilities' apart from WCs and payable showers in the main building, and there is nowhere to empty chemical loo waste. Camping is, however, free of charge as long as you're attending a course, but the cost of hooking up to the mains if you wish to do so is prohibitive. You're better off charging your phone and laptop during the day while you're in class if you don't have a solar panel.

As well as being a Gaelic environment in which to immerse yourself, the college also has the advantage of a *stunning* location:

For many folks, the trip to Skye is a long one. As such, a lot of people do two, three, or even four consecutive courses and stay for up to a month. You're pretty much left to your own devices at weekends, so a car would be useful - or a friend with a car. Armadale is about a mile away so there is always the possibility to get the ferry to Mallaig and the Small Isles if you wish, or just take a walk in the local area. Sadly the library is closed at weekends which is a bummer.

Is there anything not to like? Well, by the time you add on accommodation and meals it can start to get a little spendy, but no more that you'd normally spend on a week's holiday. It's possible you may end up with classmates or a tutor that you don't get along with, but that could happen anywhere on any type of course. If you're that unhappy you can switch courses.

On one or two of the advanced courses I've been on there was homework to do, which took up the whole evening after a day's lessons, and prevented me from getting to the conversation sessions and the evening socials. I've now decided that that is really not on, and have made my thoughts clear to the powers that be. Remember that YOU are paying for the course and if there is something that you don't want to do, then simply don't do it. But I would hope that the homework element of the advanced classes has now been dropped.

But let's get back to the good stuff. On top of the ability to speak Gaelic all day, every day, there is also an amazing library to lose yourself in. It's not all high-brow academic stuff in there, being a transport geek and a bit of an Anorak, I particularly enjoyed the railway and ferry books.

Above all, attending a Short Course allows you to meet up with like-minded folk. People I've met at Sabhal Mòr have become firm friends. And those friends have been absolutely invaluable, especially during the 'low' periods that we all get at times. Whether it is practical help with the genitive case, getting together on Skype for conversation practice, or support for when the going gets tough, making such wonderful friends has been the most important part of every short course I've attended. I could not imagine my Gaelic studies without them.

You might not meet anyone you like first or even second time around, but do give the Short Courses a try. You won't realise it at the time, but your 'cuid Ghàidhlig' and your confidence in using it will soar.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Divided We Fall

Whether it is the Daily Fail spewing its hateful diatribe and labelling it as news, or a misty-eyed romantic overlooking inconvenient facts that get in the way of their interpretation of a historical event, there will always be bias and one-sidedness when it comes to any kind of reporting of fact.

Right now my studies are plunging me into the fascinating history of Scotland and of the Gaelic Language and Culture. It's interesting to know a few facts about what has happened, and also more than a little depressing to see that, over the past few hundred years or so, the people who have mistreated the Scottish people the most have mainly been their fellow countrymen. The English are of course 'The Auld Enemy' despite the good ones (we'll ignore those), and the French are 'The Auld Alliance' as long as we gloss over the bits when the bad guys - 'The Auld Enemy' - were called upon to help rid Scotland of the French regent and stop all these pesky French blokes being appointed to high office. But as I say, we'll move on from such inconvenient facts to the present day.

Most people who know of Scottish Gaelic have also heard of 'Outlander', a series of fictional books dramatised for the screen by an American production company. As part of 'Outlander' is set in 18th Century Scotland, Gaelic is spoken. This has proved to be a massive boon for the Gaelic language, which is doing its very best to ride that wave and promote awareness.

One of the great challenges to face in the light of Outlander is to convince the curious that Gaelic is still very much a modern, living, breathing language. Many references to Gaelic link it to the past, as if it only serves a purpose in the interpretation of history and doesn't offer much for today or tomorrow.

It is not just the raising of Gaelic awareness and the demonstration that Gaelic is very much a living language today that are the battles many people fight on an almost daily basis.

One of the reasons I keep this blog is promote tolerance and understanding between those of us learning Gaelic, and those who speak it 'bho thùs' (native speakers). Us learners need to understand that, for many reasons and in many cases, you can't just normally bound up to a Gaelic speaker you don't know and expect them to speak Gaelic with you straight away. After a lifetime of only speaking Gaelic with close friends and family, this sudden surprise may come as quite a shock. Likewise, native speakers need to understand that most learners would be in seventh heaven to share a bit of craic with a native speaker - with the learner widening their vocabulary and improving fluency, and the native speaker maybe understanding a bit more about what motivates people to learn this beautiful and complex language, and helping encourage new speakers to keep Gaelic alive.

There are many, many other people who work tirelessly to promote Gaelic and spread the love whenever they can.

That is why I am absolutely fuming about the people who produce Outlander promoting their wares by launching a series of 'Speak Outlander' videos, to teach the viewers a word or two of Gaelic. In essence, it sounds like a good idea.

However, the picture above is a screen shot from the very first video. It says:

'Sassenach (sic) - Outlander or foreigner; more specifically an English person; usage generally derogatory'

Now, my understanding of 'Sassenach' (or even 'Sasannach') was actually that it simply meant somebody from England, none of this 'foreigner' or 'derogatory' business. So I asked a couple of respected folk in the Gaelic world - Adhamh o' Broin included - to ask where this 'derogatory' usage came from. And indeed, if the Gaelic word used to describe me is a derogatory one, then what is the non-derogatory Gaelic word for someone from England?

Of course, in modern context, 'Sasannach' isn't derogatory at all. Maybe it was back in the 18th Century, but it isn't today, at least not in Gaelic (although maybe in Scots).

It's a pity, then, that the first Gaelic word that many thousands of people are learning is actually being presented with its 18th century meaning and not its 21st century meaning. Is that made clear? Of course it isn't. After all, you should never let the facts get in the way of a bit of cheap promotion.

The irony is, this is in danger of turning more people against Gaelic than attracting them to it. There are enough obstacles for the learner to overcome as it is, and it is this kind of covert racism that has me wondering why I am bothering to learn Gaelic at all.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Media Tart - Gaelic meets Caravan

For many years I have kept a blog about my travels and caravanning-related rambling called  'Adventures with my Airstream (and other stuff).' More recently I started this blog about the ups and downs of learning Scottish Gaelic, 'Confessions of a Scottish Gaelic Learner.'

I never thought in my wildest dreams that the two subjects would cross over and I'd end up writing the same entry for both blogs.

Yet... here it is!

My love of Scotland is no secret to anyone. After many Airstream trips to the Outer Hebrides, each one affirming my love for and connection with the place just a little bit more than before, I decided in 2013 to start learning a little bit of Gaelic in order to try to come to terms with and understand my connection a little better.

Alongside my Gaelic course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, I maintained a good relationship with the Caravan Club of which I have been a member all my adult life, and for whom I have worked on an occasional freelance and sometimes voluntary basis for over 10 years.

As my friends will testify (the very few I have left, that is), when I am passionate about something I don't shut up about it. Therefore it was only a matter of time before I was gabbling away excitedly to all my pals in the caravan industry about the wonders of Gaelic, and the profound richness it has brought to my life.

And so it was that I was invited by the Caravan Club to speak at the Scottish Caravan, Motor Caravan, and Holiday Home show this weekend. To keep a Gaelic theme, the fabulous singer and all-round Lovely Lady Joy Dunlop was invited along as the headline act to sing in Gaelic and add glamour and - er - joy to the procedings.

Nobody knew how this would go down as the worlds of Gaelic and Caravanning have never been brought together like this before. This was a chance to tell the Gaels and the rest of Scotland that the caravanning sector is worth £700 million to the economy of Scotland, and members staying on Caravan Club Sites alone spend £35 million per year outwith the site, i.e. on meals and days out, and that 70% of those visitors come from outwith Scotland. This was also a chance to bring Gaelic to the one million plus people (over 360,000 member families) in the Caravan Club.

Even before the event, the media circus started and I was interviewed about my Airstreaming and Gaelic for the Scottish Sunday Mail (Daily Record) which you can read by clicking here. 

The day before the show opened was an exciting day as I appeared on the Kaye Adams Programme on BBC Radio Scotland. That was a fantastic interview, and you can listen to it by clicking here and scrolling to approx 2:52. 

Finally, the opening of the show by Joy and myself went down very well indeed. Joy thrilled the crowds with her delightful singing and warm and bubbly personality, while I gabbled away excitedly about everything that is great about touring Scotland in a caravan or motor caravan.

You can see a great video of the event made by the Caravan Times team by clicking here. 

Not everyone in Scotland nor every Gaelic speaker is going to be fond of caravans. Neither is every caravanner going to be fond of Gaelic. However, bringing the two worlds together can only help in the promotion of mutual awareness, respect, and understanding, and that can only be a good thing. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Random moment of gratitude

On Wednesday morning I stepped off the Sleeper from London, enjoyed a bit of breakfast banter with the girls serving in the cafe in Glasgow Central, then took a cold, crisp, sunny walk through Kelvingrove Park to Partick and the Inbhich gu Fileantas Gaelic Group.

On the way, I took a few pictures of this beautiful city in the winter sunshine and had a moment of rather profound gratitude. Chances are I would have come up to Glasgow for Celtic Connections anyway, but I came up two days early to attend the Gaelic Group. Had it not been for Gaelic, I would have missed out on all this. And a lot more besides!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Beag Air Bheag 3/9 - Interview Transcription

I'll be honest, I'm still basking in the afterglow of being on the radio programme 'Beag Air Bheag' just before Christmas.

I was absolutely floored when I received a comment to the blog from a mutual Twitter contact, Alan Cameron, saying that he had transcribed the entire 26 minute interview. WHAT??!!

Yup. Here is a man of incredible patience, and incredible skill, who had taken the time to write out the entire dialogue between myself and Iain. The text follows, and I hasten to add that this is very much a work in progress. Both Alan and myself have been through it numerous times and there are still errors and omissions. Of course, there are times when what I have said has been grammatically incorrect, so sometimes the transcription will be true to the words spoken, then we'll have put better Gaelic (i.e. what I SHOULD HAVE said!) in brackets and/or red after it.

To listen to the interview as you read it, please click on the link here. 

If you spot any errors, please let me know. But in the meantime I cannot thank Alan enough for his amazing endeavours. This is yet another great aspect about learning this wonderful language - the incredible support from people you've not even met...yet.

Iain: Well, tha mi uabhasach toilichte an-diugh a ràdh gu bheil cuideigin sònraichte agam anns an stiùideo agus tha mi ag iarraidh fàilte mhòr chridheil a chur air Anndra Ditton.

Anndra: Hello Iain. Tapadh leat.
I: Ciamar a tha thu an-diugh?

A: Tha mi gu doigheil, tapadh leat. Tha mi gu doigheil.

I: Well, tha mi ag iarraidh faighneachd dhut anns a' chiad àite, cò as a tha thu?

A: Tha mi à Dover, ann an ceann a deas Shasainn.

I: Agus, mar sin, feumaidh mi faighneachd dhut, ciamar a tha cuideigin à Dover, ann an Kent, ann an sheo, a' bruidhinn ann an Gàidhlig?

A: Co-dhiù, tha mi uabhasach measail air na h-Eileanan Siar agus an Gàidhealtachd, well, co-dhiù, fad na h-Alba fhèin (‘feadh’ nas fheàrr?), agus lorg mi na h-Eileanan Siar ann an dà mhìle 's a naoi. Co-dhiù, tha mi fhathast uabhasach measail air an àite sin. Co-dhiù, nam bheachd, 's e Gàidhlig ceangal eadar àite far am bheil mi a' fuireach agus àite air am bheil mi uabhasach measail agus sin agad e.

I: Tha mi a' tuigsinn. Mar sin, tha e, ann an doigh, a' cumail beò na h-Eileanan Siar (nan Eilean Siar) dhutsa fhad 's a bhios tu a' fuireach ann an Kent ann an Dover.

A: Tha sin ceart, tha sin ceart gu leòr.

I: Agus, am faod mi faighneachd dhut, cuin a chuala tu a' Ghàidhlig an toiseach?

A: Nuair a bha mi ann an làithean-saora ann an dà mhìle 's a naoi, a' chiad t(h)uras anns na h-Eileanan Siar, bha mi ann an Beinn na Faoghla, agus aig an àm sin, bha radanan agam mar pheatachan. Tha mi a' ciallachadh 'pet rats' sa Bheurla. Agus, bha fear dhaibh tinn agus chaidh sinn don lighiche-sprèidh. Agus, ann an àite-feitheamh, chuala mi dithis a' bruidhinn na Gàidhlig agus tha sin a' còrdadh rium gu mòr. (dh’iarr mi ràdh ‘Chòrd e rium gu mòr’ ach bha mi nearbhach fhathast!) (? 2:16)

I: Agus an robh thu a' faireachdainn anns a' bhad, "Tha mise ag iarraidh a bhith a' tuigsinn dè tha iadsan ag ràdh"?

A: Aig an àm sin, smaoinich mi "Tha sin uabhasach sgoinneil, dithis anns na h-Eileanan Siar a' bruidhinn anns a' chànan, an cànan ceart." Ach, ag an àm sin, cha robh mi ag iarraidh fios agam mu dheidhinn an còmhradh seo (a' còmhraidh seo). Dìreach, (an*) fuaim na Gàidhlig, fuaim na Gàidhlig a' còrdadh rium.

I: Agus mar sin, dà mhìle 's a naoi, chuala tu a' Gàidhlig airson a' chiad uair. Cuin, ma-tha, a thòisich thu fhèin ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig?

A: Thòisich mi air Gàidhlig ionnsachadh mu dà bhliadhna gu leth air ais, ann an dà mhìle 's a trì deug, agus, bha mo (a’ , chan eil ‘mo’!) chiad tìdsear a bh' agam, b' è Muriel Urchardan, Iain. A' bheil thusa èolach oirre?

I: Tha mi air - tha mi a' cluinntinn ma deidhinn agus tha mi a' tuigsinn gu bheil i uabhasach, uabhasach math.

A: Òh, uabhasach math, uabhasach math agus tha mi uabhasach dèidheil air do bhean fhèin.

I: Bidh fàilte mhòr romhad, anns an dachaigh againne, an-còmhnaidh.

A: Òh, tapadh leat.

I: Agus mar sin, dè bh' ann a dh'atharraich, dè dh'atharraich eadar dà mhìle 's a naoi agus dà bhliadhna gu leth air ais a thug ort a bhith ag iarraidh a' Gàidhlig ionnsachadh.

A: Tha sin doirbh a fhreagairt. Bha mi a' dol dha na h-eileanan mòran thuras aig an àm sin. 'S dòcha, ceithir turas gach bliadhna agus aig an àm sin, dh'fheuch mi (ri) rudeigin cearr a lorg leis na h-eileanan agus tha i ro-fhada, agus tha an tìdsear ro-dhona ach chan eil. Gach turas a bha mi ann, bha mi measail orra gu mòr agus co-dhiu, chuala mi Gàidhlig agus leugh mi Gàidhlig air na soidhnichean agus co-dhiù, smaoinich mise "Is dòcha gum bi mi a' feuchainn (ri) Gàidhlig ionnsachadh. Dìreach aon no dhà facal." Agus sin agad e.

I: Agus cia mheud dòigh agus dè na dòighean a chleachd thu airson do Ghàidhlig a thoirt gu ìre far a bheil thu nise gu math siùbhlach anns a' Gàidhlig?

A: Tapadh leat. Cheannaich mi an leabhar "Gaelic In Twelve Weeks" aig an toiseach ach cha do chòrd e rium idir. Bha an leabhar sin ro-acadaimigeach dhomh. Chan eil mi glè acadaimigeach. Co-dhiù, lorg mi Cùrsa Inntrigidh ann an Sabhal Mòr Ostaig agus rinn mi sin còmhla ri Muriel agus chòrd e rium gu fìor, bha e uabhasach math agus an-dràsta tha mi a' dèanamh Cùrsa Adhartais agus tha tìdsear glè shnog agam Murchadh MacLeòd agus co-dhiù, tha mi a' coimhead air BBC Alba. Agus, gach latha, bidh mi ag èisteachd ri podcast Beag air Bheag agus 's e sin an rud is cudromaiche, tha mi a' smaoineachadh, glè chuideachail dhomh, ag èisteachd (ri) guthan Gàidhlig agus 's dòcha nach urrainn dhomh a h-uile càil a thuigsinn ach tha e feumail dhomh.

I: Tha e uabhasach misneachail.

A: Uabhasach misneachail agus tha deagh-charaidean cànain agam cuideachd, Mark an an Lunnainn agus Cailean ann an Dùn Dè agus bidh sinn a' cleachdadh Skype, a' bruidhinn ri còmhla (‘ri cheile’ nas fheàrr) agus tha sin uabhasach math agus tha mi ag iarraidh taing mhòr a ràdh ri mo caraidean cànain airson taic agus airson a' chuideachaidh a' bruidhinn anns a' Ghàidhlig. Tha sin uabhasach math.

I: Agus dè, thairis air an dà bhliadhnaichean gu leth a dh'fhalbh, dè an dùbhlan as motha a bh' agad?

A: Bidh mòran dùbhlan ann. An dùbhlan as motha, sin nach eil mòran chothroman Gàidhlig a chleachdadh ann an àite far am bheil mi a' fuireach. Feumaidh mi a dhol a dh'Alba. Agus, fiù 's ann an Alba, tha e doirbh daoine a lorg a tha deònach Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn rium. Tha mi a' smaoineachadh nach eil mòran luchd-labhairt Gàidhlig deònach Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn ri daoine air nach eil iad èolach agus tha sin beagan duilich.

I: Tha sin brònach dha-rìribh. Tha mi smaoineachadh (? 8:16)??? an dràsta gum biodh e math a' cantainn ri luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig seo a cluinntinn agus a bhith a' tuigsinn gu bheil daoine ann coltach riutsa a tha mar (? 8:27) (rudeigin mar ‘fhialaidheachd’, ‘s dòcha?)  shaoghal na Gàidhlig a tha ag iarraidh a bhith ag ionnsachadh agus a bhith toilichte a bhith ag èisteachd ri Gàidhlig mhath.

A: Tha sin ceart gu leòr, Iain. Tha sin ceart gu leòr. Tha mi a' dol leat. Ach, nuair a bha mi ann an Leòdhas, anns a' Chèitean, chaidh mi dhan cafaidh an seo agus chuala mi Gàidhlig air a bhruidhinn agus thuirt mise "Gabh mo leisgeul, a' bheil Gàidhlig agaibh?" agus "(fuaim iongantais...) Bha am freagairt nam cheist: ‘Tha…?’ ;) " Co-dhiù, thuirt mi, "Well, tha mise nam oileanach Gàidhlig agus tha mi a' fuireach ann an ceann a deas Shasainn, chan eil cothroman ann Gàidhlig a chleachadh, am faod mi Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn riut- ribh?" gabh mo leisgeul. Agus às dèidh sin, chan eil facal sam bith anns a' Bheurla agus bha sin math. Faodaidh sibh faighneachd "Am faod mi Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn ribh?" agus às dèidh sin, tha sin math gu leòr.

I: Fìor-mhath, fìor-mhath. Agus tha mi ag iarraidh nise faighneachd dhut, dè an obair a th' agad?

A: Mun obair agam. Tha mi ag obair pàirt-ùine airson Eurostar. 'S e manaidsear trèana a th' annam. Co-dhiù, tha mi ag obair air bòrd trèanaichean eadar Lunnainn agus Paris agus A' Bhruiseal. 'S e dreuchd iongantach a th' ann agus tha mi air a bhith an obair seo a dhèanamh fad fichead 's a dà bhliadhna, fada gu leòr, agus co-dhiù, bidh mi a' dèanamh fios-labhairt goirid ann an Gàidhlig air bòrd an trèan agus nuair a chluinneas luchd-siubhal le Gàidhlig iad, chan urrainn dhaibh a chreidsinn idir. Ach, tha uidh fiù 's ag daoine aig nach eil Gàidhlig anns a' chànan neònach a tha iad a' cluinntinn agus 's e deagh-chothrom còmhradh a thoiseachadh còmhlà ris na luchd-siubhal air bòrd an trèana agam agus tha e math airson mothachadh a dhùisgadh sa Gàidhlig cuideachd.

I: Mar sin, eadar Sasann agus An Fhraing agus A’ Bheilg, bidh thusa a' cur sanas a-mach ann an Gàidhlig air an trèan agus bidh daoine ga chluintinn fhad 's a tha iad nan suidhe air an turas. Tha mise a' smaoineachadh gu bheil smuain ann an sheo airson trèanaichean ann an Alba. Carson nach eil an aon rud air a dhèanamh ann an Alba le sanasan Gàidhlig?

A: Carson nach eil? Carson nach eil? Mura bidh obair ann an Scotrail (bha mi airson ràdh 'Nam biodh obair...', tha mi airson an aon dreuchd a dhèanamh ann an Gàidhealtachd!), eadar, mar eisimpleir, An Gearasdan agus Mallaig, bidh mi ceart gu leòr…

I: Nise, thuirt thu na bu tràithe gu bheil thu air a bhith ag obair dhaibhsan airson dà fhichead bliadhna. Mar sin, an robh obair eile agad roimhe sin?

A: Ro laimh, bha mi ag obair air bòrd bàta-aiseig eadar Dover agus Calais agus 's fhearr leam a bhith air bòrd an trèan.

I: An e seo an obair as fhearr a tha a' còrdadh riut...?

A: Òh 's e. An obair an-dràsta ag Eurostar, 's e an obair as fhearr leam gu dearbh fhèin. 'S e an (t-)adhbhar a tha mi an seo fad fichead 's a dà bhliadhna.

I: Tha sin math. Well, tha mise a' smaoineachadh gur e duine uabhsach inntinneach a th' annad ach an innis thu dhomhsa, 's dòcha rudeigin a tha thusa a' smaoineachadh a tha inntinneach or eadar-dhealaichte mu do dheidhinn fhèin?

A: Rudeigin eadar-dhealaichte...tha mi uabhasach measail air mo mhotarbaidhg agus 's toigh leam a bhith air an rathad air. Agus, tha cù agam cuideachd. 'S e Dùghall an t-ainm a th' air. Agus, tha mi a' cur Dùghall còmhla rium, nuair a tha mi air mo mhotorbike. 'S e Jack Russell a th' ann. Chan eil e ro-mhòr agus tha Dùghall nam (na) shuidhe nam bhaga-dhroma agus speuclan sònraichte aige. Agus tha esan air a dhòigh nuair a tha e air a mhotar còmhla riumsa air an rathad.

I: Agus am bi na cluasan aige a' placadaich?

A: Chan e. Tha Dùghall a' cur ad - tha speuclan agus ad aige.

I: Agud dè an aois a tha Dùghall?

A: Tha Dùghall ceithir bliadhna a dh'aois.

I: Agus a-mach às a h-uile facal a dh'ionnsaich thu thairis air an dà bhliadhna gu leth mu dheireadh, bheil aon fhacal Gàidhlig ann a tha sònraichte, blasta agus tlachdmhor dhut neo a' bheil seann-fhacal agad a tha sònraichte. a tha misneachail, a tha a' còrdadh riut gu mòr?

A: Am facal as fhearr leam, 's e am facal 'cianalas'. Chan eil eadar-theangachadh ceart anns a' Bheurla. Tha cianalas uabhasach nas làidire na homesickness no longing, agus 's e sin facal uabhasach fìor-Ghàidhlig a th' ann. Co-dhiù, tha mise a' faireachdainn rudeigin mar chianalas nuair a dh'fhàgas mi na h-eileanan agus ma tha mise a' faireachdainn rudan mar sin, dè mu dheidhinn daoine às na h-eileanan fhèin? Ciamar a tha iad a' faireachdainn nuair a dh'fhàgas iad na h-eileanan?

I: Facal fìor-mhath a tha sin. Agus tha thu cho ceart 's a ghabhas. Tha 'cianalas' fada nas làidire na mìneachadh Beurla riamh a chuala mise.

A: Tha sin ceart.

I: Tha mi ag aontachadh leat. Fada nas làidire. Agus, bha mi ag iarraidh faighneachd dhut cuideachd, tha e follaiseach gu bheil gaol agad air a' Ghàidhlig; gaol mòr uabhasach agad air a' Ghàidhlig. Dè thug a' Ghàidhlig dha do bheatha nach robh agad na do bheatha roimhe seo?

A: 'S urrainn dhomh a' cheist seo a fhreagairt ann an aon fhacal: dòchas. Mus do lorg mi a' Ghaidhlig, cha robh uidh sam bith agam cuspair ionnsachadh aig oilthigh neo rudan mar sin. Cha d'rinn mi foghlam àrd ìre idir ro làimh agus mar a thathar a ràdh sa Bheurla, 'S e siubhal a th' ann an ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig. Tha mi air an t-slighe mar-tha agus chan eil a fhios agam fhathast c'àit am bi an ceann-uidhe. Ach, tha an siubhal le Gàidhlig a' còrdadh rium agus 's e sin an rud is cudromaiche nam bheachdsa.

I: Nis, tha mi a' dol dh'fhaighneachd dhut ceist gòrach, a' bheil sin ceart gu leòr?

A: Hmm, ok.

I: Tha amharas agam dè freagairt a bhios agad. A' bheil thu an dùil gum bi thu a' bruidhinn Gàidhlg ma bhios tu beò agus slàn ann an coig bliadhnaichean eile?

A: Tha mi an dòchas gum bi. Tha mi ag iarraidh ceum urramach a thogail ann an Sabhal Mòr. Agus, ma nì mi sin, tha mi cinnteach gum bi mi fhathast a' bruidhinn na Gàidhlig ann an còig bliadhna. Ach, chan eil e saor  idir bho dhaoine à Sasann Gàidhlig ionnsachadh ach co-dhiù, chì sinn. Tha mi gu math cinnteach gum bi mi fhathast a' bruidhinn na Gàidhlig ann an còig bliadhna.

I: Bha mi ag iarraidh faighneachd dhut, mar dhaoine a tha a' fuireach ann an Dover, dè idir am feum a tha sa Ghàidhlig anns an latha an-diugh? Bidh daoine a' cantainn daonnan "Och, mion-chànain. Dè feum a th' ann an rudeigin mar sin?" Dè chanadh tu riutha?

A: Nam bheachdsa, 's e ceangal a th' ann an Gàidhlig eadar eachdraidh agus cultar na h-Alba agus dùthaich na h-Alba fhèin. Agus tron mheadhan na Gàidhlig, 's urrainn dhomh no 's urrainn don a h-uile duine a tuigsinn gu ceart. An dùthaich fhèin an seo. Tha sin uabhasach cudromach nam bheachsa.

I: Dè bhios na caraidean agad a' smaoineachadh mu do dheidhinn, 's dòcha duine shios ag an dachaidh nach eil a' cleachdadh na Gàidhlig? A' bheil iad a' smaoineachadh gu bheil thu beagan craicte?

A: Tha. Tha sin ceart. Ach ann an Sasann, far a' bheil mi a' fuireach, chan eil mòran daoine a' tuigsinn nan adhbharan agam ach tha iad a' smaoineachadh gur e rud inntinneach agus rud math a th' ann. Ach ann an Alba, 's e sgeul diofaraichte a th' ann. Anns an t-saoghal a-muigh às a' Ghàidhealtachd, tha mi air caraid no dhà a chall air sgàth ‘s gun robh iad gu math anti-Gaelic gu mì-fhortanach agus tha e duilich dha-rìribh. Lorg mi gu bheil a h-uile duine anns an t-saoghal measail air a' Ghàidhlig. Chan eil ach cuid de na h-Albannaich nach eil. Agus, tha sin brònach.

I: Tha sin air a bhith aithnichte airson ùine mhòr gu bheil daoine ann a tha faisg, mar gum b' eadh, air a' Ghàidhlig ann an dòigh ach a tha a' faireachdainn nàire mhòr a tha ga putadh air falbh fada bhuapa.

A: Tha sin nèonach. Co-dhiù…

I: Cha bhi thu fhèin a' tuigsinn sin idir.

A: Cha bhi.

I: Cha bhi. Agus can an-dràsta nam robh thu a' smaoineachadh air comhairle do dh'oileanach a bha a' strí ris a' Gàidhlig agus 's dòcha aig an robh beagan de dhùbhlan agus thuirt thusa na bu tràithe nach eil thu a' smaoineachadh gu bheil thusa uabhasach acadaimigeach. Nam biodh cuideachadh eile ann, tha thu a' faireachdainn coltach ris sin, ciamar a mhisnicheadh tu iad?

A: Gun teagamh sam bith, cùmaibh oirbh. Bidh mòran làithean ann far nach bi thu airson obair leis a' Ghàidhlig, agus an àite, dèan rudeigin furasta, mar eisimpleir, èisteachd ri podcast Beag air Bheag, coimhead air BBC Alba, rudeigin mar Speaking Our Language no Fonn, Fonn, Fonn no dìreach èisteachd ri ceòl Gàidhlig, rud mar sin, thoir Gàidhlig nad bheatha a h-uile latha fiú 's nach dèan thu obair glè acadaimigeach.

I: Agus an-dràsta, tha thusa air ceuman mòra a ghabhail na do Ghàidhlig. Dè tha thu a' cur romhad a dhèanadh fhathast airson do Ghàidhlig a neartachadh agus 's dòcha, a leasachadh barrachd agus barrachd? Bheil thu fhathast mar gum b' eadh, a' obrachadh a-mach na do cheann, dòighean air am fàs thu nas fhearr agus nas eòlaiche?

A: Co-dhiù, an-dràsta tha mi ann an Glaschu dìreach airson mo chuid Ghàidhlig a thogail agus bidh cothroman ann an seo ann an Glaschu agus chan eil mi airson a dhol a dh'oilthigh an-dràsta. 'S fhearr leam a bhith Gàidhlig a cleachdadh (a' cleachdadh Gàidhlig) anns an rathad, anns an t-stràid. Co-dhiù, 's e sin ciamar a tha mi a' faireachdainn no a' feuchainn (ri) mo chuid Gàidhlig a thogail.

I: Agus a' bheil mise ceart a bhith a' tuigsinn gu bheil thu air beagan sheachdainean a ghabhail a-mach às an obair agad airson tighinn a Ghaschu airson do Ghàidhlig a leasachadh agus ma tha mi ceart, dè na rudan a tha thu air a bhith a' dèanamh?

A: Tha sin ceart gu leòr. Agus an seo, bidh mi a' dol a gach tachartas ann, ann an Gàidhlig, mar eisimpleir, An Gealbhan còmhla ri Àdhamh Ó Broin, tachartas ri Gaels Le Chèile anns An Lòchran, clas le Joy Dunlop. Bidh mi a' dol dha na chuirmean-ciùil ann an taigh-seinnse Lios Mòr agus rudan mar sin. A-màireach, bidh cearcall-comhraidh anns An Lòchran. Co-dhiù, gach cothrom, tha mi a' gabhail gach cothrom a' Gàidhlig a chleachdadh.

I: Tha thu nad eisimpleir do dhaoine a tha ag ionnsachadh a' chànain. Chan urrainn dhomh an còrr a ràdh, dìreach tha thu nad eisimpleir agus sònraichte (? 22:51)

A: Tapadh leat.

I: Nise, bha rud eile a' cur orm nuair a choinnich mise riut an toiseach. Saoilidh mise gun robh dòigh siubhail agad a bha beagan eadar-dhealaichte bhon a bhith a' dol air rothair- (chan eil fìos agam - ‘s dòcha doigh eile a ràdh motarbaidhg?) (?) no motorcycle mar a chanadh sinne anns Na Hearadh nuair a bha mi beag le dual (hair). Nach robh siubhal le carbad eadar-dhealaichte?

A: Co-dhiù, tha mi a'  fuireach nam Airstream. 'S e carabhan Aimeireaganach a th' ann, carabhan airgead agus co-dhiù, 's e an taigh agam agus leis an Airstream, faodaidh mi a bhith ann an Glaschu no an Lunnainn no anns Na Hearadh no àitichean sam bith.

I: Àitichean nas àlainne air an t-saoghal.

A: Gu dearbh.

I: Agus 's e carabhan classic a tha sin. Tha loidhneachan brèagha agus tha i ainmeil air feadh an t-saoghal.

A: Tha sin ceart. Tha i ainmeil agus brèagha, gu dearbh agus glè shnog a-staigh cuideachd.

I: Na broinn, math dha-rìribh. Nise, chuala mi fathann beag cuideachd gum bi thu trang a' sgrìobhadh no mar a chanas sinne anns Na Hearadh, gum bi thu a' blogadhadh.

A: A' blogadhadh. Tha mi a' blogadhadh, tha sin ceart.

I: Dè an t-ainm a th' air a' bhloga agad?

A: 'S e "Confessions of Gaelic Learner" an t-ainm a th' air a' bhloga agam agus 's e am bloga a tha sin mu dheidhinn nan trioblaidean agus nan dùbhlan a th' agam mar neach-ionnsachadh Gàidhlig agus misneachd a thoirt do luchd-ionnsachaidh eile agus 's dòcha sgeul a thoirt do luchd-labhairt de Gàidhlig mu dheidhinn agus an tuigsinn a thogail eadar luchd-ionnsachaidh agus luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig. 'S e sin an t-adhbhar a sgrìobh mi am bloga sin.

I: Tha mi a' smaoineachadh gu bheil sin cudromach chionn 's tha mise a' faireachdainn gur urrainn a bhith ag ionnsachadh bho chèile. Gu cinnteach. Gur urrainn do dhaoine a bha a' bruidhinn Gàidhlig bho thùs, tòrr ionnsachadh mu dheidhinn structar agus gràmar is eile, (?) luchd-ionnsachaidh, agus luchd-ionnsachaidh, gheibh iad blas agus briathrachas bho dhaoine a bha nan tùsanaich.

A: Tha sin ceart. 'S e an t-adhbhar a tha mi a' sgrìobhadh.

I: Well Anndra, feumaidh mise a ràdh, tha ar còmhradh a' còrdadh riumsa fìor fìor fìor mhath an-diugh.

A: Agus mise Ian.

I: Am faod mi faighneachd, dìreach mus dealaich sinn, a' bheil pìos ciùil anns an dealachadh agat dhùinn?

A: An treas pìos ciùil a thagh mi, Sin ‘Path to Home’ le Skerryvore, à Tioriodh. Tha an ceòl 'Trad Rock' a' còrdadh rium gu mòr agus 's e Skerryvore an còmhlan as feàrr leam. 'S toigh leam a bhith ag èisteachd ris an oran seo nuair a bhios mi a' draidhbheadh do dh'Alba air an rathad do na h-eileanan. 'S e pìos ciùil aotrom agus sunndach a th' ann agus tha mise a' faireachdainn gu math sunndach mì fhìn nuair a bhios mi a' cluinntinn an oran seo.

I: Well Anndra, tha mise an dòchas gach àite dham bi thu a' siubhal, gum bi thu a' siubhal gu sàbhailte gu sona agus mo mhòr-thaing dhut an-diugh airson tighinn a-steach còmhla rinn.

A: 'S e do bheatha. Mòran taing dhutsa.