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Sgoil Samhraidh do dhaoine aig an robh Gàidhlig

Na h-oileanaich, Màrtainn, Chrisma agus an cèic!

Iomradh air Sgoil Shamhraidh na Gàidhlige a ghabh àite an Dùn Èideann 2006

Airson cuid mhòir de dhaoine a chaidh a thogail sna bailtean mòra ann an teaghlaichean Gàidhlig, thàinig orra Gàidhlig fhàgail air an dàrna taobh. “Bhiodh iad ag ràdh riumsa nach robh facal Beurla agam mus do thòisich mi san sgoil – ach nach robh facal Gàidhlig agam as dèidh sin,” thuirt Chrisma Bould, a rugadh ann an Dùn Èideann, is i-fhèin a’ toirt seachad clasaichean Gàidhlig dha inbhich an-diugh. Bha cùrsa ùr aice ann an Dùn Èideann am bliadhna, a chaidh a’ steidheachadh le taic CnaG (san sreath phròiseactan aca bhon ainm “Cleachd i”), cùrsa dha daoine aig an robh Gàidhlig nuair a bha iad beag òg ach nach biodh ga cleachdadh an-diugh.

“Bha Gàidhlig againne san taigh. ’S ann à Leòdhas a bha mo phàrantan, agus ’s e Gàidhlig a bhiodh aca fad an t-siubhail, ach ’s ann a bhiodh mi-fhìn is mo pheathraichean a’ freagairt sa Bheurla,” tha Chrisma ag ràdh. As dèidh dhi-fhèin bliadhnaichean mòra a chuir seachad gun a bhith bruidhinn Gàidhlig idir, thòisich i air ais thuice o chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean. “Cha tèid do chuid Ghàidhlig air call gu tur idir,” tha i ag ràdh. “Thig i air ais thugad. Nuair a tha fios agad dè tha iad ag iarraidh ann a bhith a’ cantainn riut ‘Ith do bhiadh’ no ‘Cuir a-mach an cat,’ chan eil feagal ort. Tha i agad fhathast.”

Thug Chrisma seachad na freagairtean a leanas:

Carson a bha thu ag iarraidh a leithid seo de chùrsa a chur air dòigh?

Mar a bhiodh fios aig cuid, bidh mi a' toirt seachad clasaichean oidhche is dh'fheumar a ràdh - ged is mi-fhìn a tha ga ràdh - nach eil mi a' call mòran dhaoine bhuatha. Ach, rud a bha duilich dhomh, 's e gu robh mi air dhà no trì a chall a dh'iarrainn a chumail - iadsan aig an robh Gàidhlig o thùs. Bha seo duilich ann an da sheagh: 's e glè bheag de Ghàidheil a thuigeas a-mach gu clas co-dhiù – nam bheachd, tha cuid ann, dh'fhaodainn dha no trì ainmeachadh, a tha fìor ag iarraidh a' chànain fhàgail air an cùlaibh, is cha b' iadsan an fheadhainn a tha tighinn a-mach; an dàrna rud, gu robh mì-chinnt agam nach b'e tachartasan sna clasaichean fhèin a bha gan cuir dheth. Is sin, nuair a bhithinn mar eisimpleir a' cleachdadh teipichean ionnsachaidh bhiodh iad fada ro fhurasta dhaibh, no bhiodh iad gan fhaighinn car neònach (le "Tha mi ag ithe mo bhiadh" no rud nach canadh inbheach gu nàdarra). An taobh eile, bhiodh nàire orra nach leughadh iad rud a leughadh neach-ionnsachaidh (m.e., Dwelly, o toiseach gu deireadh. Gus na thòisich mise san oilthigh, cha robh mi air faclair Dwelly fhaicinn, ged tha spèis mhòr agam air a-nis). Rud eile - is cha mhòr gun gabhadh a chreidsinn, ach tha e fìor - tha iad dualtach a bhith creidsinn gu bheil an luchd-ionnsachaidh spaideil, snasail a' magadh orra. Tha iad cho dìth-mhisneachail. Tha seo a' tachairt rium fhìn anns a' chlas - bithinn a' toirt rudeigin ùr dhaibh agus air spot tha iad a' leum a-steach dha na faclairean feuch a bheil an rud a tha Chrisma ag ràdh fìor. Mar a tha fios agad fhèin, cha nochd a h-uile càil sna faclairean; 's ann a dh'fheumas mi a bhith bragail dha-rìreabh ann a bhith cumail a-mach a h-uile turas gu bheil am faclair lochdach is mi-fhìn ceart. (Uaireannan tha mi ceàrr; bidh mi ag aideachadh sin an ath-sheachdain … )

An do nochd duilgheadasan?

Aig an ìre seo, chan eil mi a' faicinn gu robh mòran dhuilgheadasan ann ach dìreach grèim fhaighinn air daoine agus a' toirt orra tighinn a-mach - aon uair 's gun do nochd iad, 's gum faca iad gu robh a h-uile duine eile dìreach mar iad fhèin, bha iad ceart gu leòr. Bha mi a' cleachdadh stuthan-teagaisg a chleachdainn le clasaichean adhartach, ach dìreach nach robh comas leughaidh aig a h-uile duine – cha robh sin na bacadh, leugh mi-fhìn an stuth a-mach (plòigh nach oibricheadh leis an luchd-ionnsachaidh àbhaisteach).

Fhuair sinn gu lèir trì duine deug (aig an toiseach: aon duine deug aig an deireadh), is iad uile le Gàidhlig on dachaigh. Tuigidh iad cha mhòr a h-uile càil, agus tha iad a-nis air tòiseachadh, le brosnachadh, a’ bruidhinn riumsa agus ri chèile. Chòrd e riutha a bhith ag obair còmhla.

Aig deireadh a’ chùis

An rud a tha math, ’s e gur iad uile na daoine air an robh sinn ag amas – daoine a chuala an cànan ann an suidheachadh an dachaigh nuair a bha iad beag. Leis a-sin, ’s ann às na h-eileanan a tha a h-uile duine, no am pàrantan. Tha an dualchas aca rin cluinntinn is rim faicinn – tha iad a’ tuigsinn a h-uile càil a tha dol, ’s e glè bheag de dh’ fhaclan a dh’fheumainn a mhìneachadh; agus tha iad a’ toirt am fuaimneachadh aca fhèin a-steach dhan chlas – chan e am fuaimneachadh agam fhìn a tha tighinn bhuatha idir (ban-Leòdhasach a th’annam) ach blas Uibhist a Deas, no Barraigh, no Port Rìgh.

Tha sinn co-dhiù air faighinn a-mach gu bheil a leithid ann; agus gu bheil iad deònach an Gàidhlig aca ath-bheòthachadh. ’S e mo bheachd sa gur e rud luachmhor a tha sin.

Summer School for Gaels refreshing their Gaelic

Chrisma and some of the students

Acclaimed Gaelic author Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir was present on Saturday at a Wine and Sandwiches Lunch to celebrate the conclusion of a very special Gaelic Summer School in Edinburgh. The students were all people who once spoke Gaelic, possible as very small children, but who, for one reason or another, no longer speak it today. Some were born in the islands, and stopped speaking Gaelic when they went to school or when they left for jobs on the mainland; some of the students were the next generation, the children of those who moved to the mainland. For many people brought up by Gaelic-speaking parents in cities, Gaelic had to be left behind. “They say I hadn’t a word of English until I started school – but then I dropped Gaelic completely,” says Edinburgh-born Chrisma Bould, who ran the new venture to offer Gaelic classes to adults in Edinburgh this summer. “We had Gaelic in the home. Both my parents were Gaelic speakers, and they continued to use Gaelic, but we children would reply in English,” says Chrisma. After spending much of her adult life speaking no Gaelic at all, in recent years she decided to re-learn the language, and is now an experienced Gaelic tutor. “You never really forget,” she says. “There is a familiarity there. If you were told ‘eat your food’ or ‘put out the cat’ in Gaelic, you can be sure you have much more tucked away at the back of your mind.”

The Summer School was extremely successful with over a dozen students attending. Initial wariness was overcome when people found out that they all had remarkably similar language skills – everyone could understand almost everything they heard, but the language did not come to the tip of the tongue quickly enough to allow them to respond as they would wish to, often leading to embarrassment. Chrisma was able to explain that speaking a language is a separate skill to understanding a language, and, like so many skills, it becomes rusty without practice. The classes were designed to support students in practising, and repeating, ordinary sentences in ordinary daily situations. Because these students (sometimes to their own surprise!) were already competent in the other major language skills (aural comprehension and pronunciation of Gaelic), it often required as little as two or three repetitions of a sentence for the sentence to become fixed in their memory ready to pop out in conversation. One student, Margaret Pyper, reported: “I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to do. Chrisma could make speakers of all of us if she had the time!”

After a reading of some of his short stories, Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir presented Award Certificates to the students, and offered some words of encouragement. He was very impressed, he said, by the students’ enthusiasm and by the quality of their Gaelic. “This is something very valuable for Gaelic,” he said. “By re-awakening the Gaelic that is stored in their memory, Gaelic learnt naturally in the home, these students contribute to the richness of the wider Gaelic community and offer support and encouragement to both learners and native-speakers in Edinburgh. This is particularly important when they have children or grandchildren of an age to learn Gaelic.”

The Gaelic Summer School was supported by a grant from CnaG (Comunn na Gàidhlig), the Scottish Gaelic language development organisation.

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