Getting vocal about Gaelic

Gaelic Day planning commitee (l-r) Pat Greenhough, Kirsty Strachan and Zahida Ramzan. Picture by FPA.
Gaelic Day planning commitee (l-r) Pat Greenhough, Kirsty Strachan and Zahida Ramzan. Picture by FPA.
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A call has gone out across the town for Gaelic speakers and those wanting to learn the ancient language to get involved in a new learning initiative.

The traditional dialect, which dates back to the fourth century and currently has an estimated 87,000 speakers across Scotland, is being backed by Fife Council as part of the 2005 Gaelic Language Act which requires local authorities to promote Gaelic learning opportunities.

We would love to hear from anyone, regardless of whether they are native speakers or recent learners.

The Act was the Scottish Government’s first piece of legislation to give recognition to the Gaelic language .

One of those behind the drive is Kirsty Strachan, a community education worker, who has also just started to learn the language.

“Gaelic development in Glenrothes is being driven in two ways; firstly we hope to bring Gaelic users together to help support, promote and develop the use of Gaelic locally,” explained Kirsty.

“We would love to hear from anyone, regardless of whether they are native speakers or recent learners.

“Secondly we are piloting Gaelic learning classes for adults, with pilot free taster sessions on July 31 and are available to any adult locally.

“We will then be rolling out a programme in September and will be safeguarding a number of free spaces for learners who are on benefits or are attending the Community Learning and Development Job clubs,” she added.

The move to get more people speaking Gaelic in the region will culminate in a special cultural event being planned in the town in September.

“The pilot sessions will give those interested in learning a new language a taste of what’s involved,” explained Kirsty.

“We aim to make it a fun experience and while there is some formal learning aspects the course we also want it to be enjoyable.

“Plus, learning any sort of new language is recognised by potential employers as it shows you have the aptitude for learning a new skill.”

And while the initiative is open to all age groups, national statistics suggest the number of speakers of the language under age 20 has increased.

For information on how you can enrole in Gaelic language courses or to secure a place on the tasters call Kirsty on 01592 583474 or email Kirsty.strachan@fife.gov.uk