Funding Council provides vital resource for Gaelic language revival

Funding Council provides vital resource for Gaelic language revival

Issued: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 09:15:00 BST

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is to speed up the development of a ground-breaking, authoritative and comprehensive Scottish Gaelic dictionary with a £2 million funding package.

The dictionary will be a fundamental, freely-accessible online resource for the language basing its analysis on a collection of written work of around 30 million words which is being compiled at the University of Glasgow under the auspices of its Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic/Corpas na Gàidhlig project, directed by Professor Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh.

The package will fund five corpus assistants and one IT systems developer at the University of Glasgow over the next 5 years.

Robbie Ó MaolalaighProfessor Ó Maolalaigh said: “This dictionary will be an educational tool that meets the needs of all users from those working in Celtic and Gaelic Studies, students, teachers and parents in Gaelic-medium education to everyday Gaelic speakers.

“It will also improve opportunities for research in linguistics and Scottish history and culture. It is a fantastic announcement and one that will greatly assist in the development of the language.”

The project is of international importance and use and has been welcomed by academics in Celtic studies from America (notably Harvard and UCLA), Australia, Germany, Poland, France, and also by the Oxford English Dictionary.

The dictionary will fully document the Gaelic language and its history by tracing the development of each word from its earliest written form to the present day, and will help to raise the profile of the Gaelic language and heritage. SFC’s £2 million will help to accelerate the process with the recruitment of more staff to compile the dictionary as well as buy the software necessary to support their work. 

The compilation of the dictionary, Faclair na Gàidhlig, is managed by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI in partnership with the Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde. The aim is to produce a historical dictionary of Gaelic that will be comparable in value and status to dictionaries already available for Scots and English.  It will provide a new understanding of the structure, variations and development of Gaelic through its use in speech, literature, song and place names. 

The First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The Scottish Government is a strong supporter of our indigenous languages, including Gaelic, and recognises the important cultural and economic benefits that these bring to a vibrant and modern Scotland. We’re committed to working with a range of other public bodies to create a secure future for the Gaelic language. The dictionary initiative will play an important part in that work and I’m delighted that this extra funding has been identified to drive forward the project.”

John McClelland, Chair of SFC said: “The Faclair na Gàidhlig project is vital to securing the future of the Gaelic language and an essential resource for people across the world with an interest in Gaelic and Celtic Studies.  We are delighted to work in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on this ambitious project to document the entire Gaelic language.”

Professor Boyd Robertson, Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Convener of the Faclair na Gàidhlig Steering Committee said: “The increased investment by the Scottish Funding Council augmented by the subvention of funding from the Research Councils and the continued funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, recognises the national significance of this foundational project.  The award will expedite preparatory work for the dictionary which will, in time, give Gaelic a resource comparable to the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Oxford English Dictionary.”

In addition to SFC’s £2 million for the project, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is providing £100,000 and £50,000 is coming from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Bòrd na Gàidhlig has supported the project since 2004 and currently contributes £75,000 per year. 

 

Comhairle Maoineachaidh na h-Alba a’ toirt taic fìor chudromach do ath-bheothachadh na Gàidhlig

Tha Comhairle Maoineachaidh na h-Alba (CMA) air spionnadh mòr a chur ann am pròiseact airson faclair ùr Gaidhlig a chruthachadh, le bhith toirt cuibhreann airgid luach £2 mhillean airson a leasachadh. Tha am faclair a’ briseadh sgrìob ùr agus bidh e an dà chuid ùghdarrasail agus iomlam.

Bidh am faclair na stòras cànain bunaiteach, ri fhaotainn an asgaidh air-loidhne agus stèidhichte air cruinneachadh 30 millean facal de stuthan sgrìobhte a thathas a’ toirt ri chèile aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu fo sgèith Tasglann Didseatach Gàidhlig na h-Alba/pròiseact Corpas na Gàidhlig a tha air a stiùireadh leis an Ollamh Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh. Pàighidh am pasgan maoineachaidh airson còignear luchd-cuideachaidh leis a’ chorpas agus aon neach-leasachaidh siostaman IT stèidhichte an Oilthigh Ghlaschu airson na h-ath chòig bliadhna.

Robbie Ó MaolalaighThuirt an t-Ollamh Ó Maolalaigh: “Bidh am faclair seo na ghoireas foghlaim a bhios a’ sàsachadh feumalachdan a h-uile seòrsa luchd-cleachdaidh bhon fheadhainn a tha ag obair ann an Ceiltis agus Foghlam Gàidhlig, oileanaich, luchd-teagaisg agus pàrantan ann am foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig gu ruige iadsan a tha bruidhinn Gàidhlig gu làitheil. Bheir e adhartas cuideachd air na cothroman a th’ ann airson rannsachadh a dhèanamh air cànanachas agus  eachdraidh agus cultar na h-Alba. ’S e dìreach naidheachd iongantach a th’ ann  agus rud a bheir cuideachadh mòr do leasachadh a’ chànain.”

Tha feum agus seasamh eadar-nàiseanta aig a’ phròiseact agus chaidh fàilte a chur air le sgoilearan Ceiltis à Ameireaga (gu h-àraidh Harvard agus UCLA), Astràilia, A’ Phòlainn, An Fhraing, agus cuideachd le Faclair Beurla Oxford.

Bidh clàradh iomlan den chànan agus a h-eachdraidh anns an fhaclair le bhith sealltainn mar a dh’atharraich gach facal bhon àm a chaidh a sgrìobhadh an toiseach suas chun an latha an-diugh, agus cuidichidh e ann a bhith a’ togail ìomhaigh agus dualchas na Gàidhlig. Cuidichidh an £2 mhillean a fhuaras bho CMA ann an dà dhòigh: thèid an obair air adhart nas luaithe air sgàth ’s gum bi tuilleadh luchd-obrach gam fastadh airson am faclair a chur ri chèile agus faodar bathar-bog a cheannach a tha riatanach airson taic a thoirt don obair aca.

Tha cur-ri-chèile an fhaclair, Faclair na Gàidhlig, air a stiùireadh le Sabhal Mòr Ostaig OGE ann an com-pàirteachas le Oilthighean Ghlaschu, Obar Dheathain, Dhùn Èideann, agus Shrath Chluaidh. ’S e an t-amas a th’ ann faclair eachdraidheil a thoirt gu buil aig am bi luach agus inbhe a ghabhas coimeas ri faclairean a tha rim faotainn mu thràth ann an Albais agus ann am Beurla. Bheir e tuigse ùr air structar a’ chànain, eadar-dhealachaidhean, agus mar a dh’fhàs a’ Ghàidhlig a rèir ’s mar a chaidh a cleachdadh ann an cainnt, litreachas, òrain agus ainmean-àite.

Thuirt am Prìomh Mhinistear, Alex Salmond: “Tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba a’ toirt taic làidir do ar cànanan dùthchasach, a’ Ghàidhlig nam measg, agus ag aithneachadh nam buannachdan cudromach cultarach agus eaconamach a tha iad sin a’ toirt do dh’Alba bheothail an latha an-diugh. Tha e mar dhleastanas oirnn a bhith ag obair còmhla ri buidhnean poblach eile airson suidheachadh tèarainte a chruthachadh don Ghàidhlig san àm ri teachd. Bidh iomairt an fhaclair na phàirt chudromach den obair sin agus tha mi air leth toilichte gun deachaidh an t-airgead a bharrachd seo a lorg airson put air adhart a thoirt don phròiseact.”

Thuirt John McClelland, Cathraiche CMA: “Tha pròiseact Faclair na Gàidhlig na nì ro chudromach airson dèanamh cinnteach gum bi a’ Ghàidhlig ann san àm ri teachd agus bidh e na ghoireas deatamach do dhaoine air feadh an t-saoghail aig a bheil ùidh ann an Gàidhlig agus ann am Foghlam Ceilteach. Tha sinn air leth toilichte a bhith ag obair ann an com-pàirt le Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air a’ phròiseact àrd-amasach seo airson cànan na Gàidhlig air fad a chlàradh.”

Thuirt An t-Ollamh Boyd Robasdan, Prionnsapal Sabhal Mòr Ostaig agus Neach-gairm Comataidh Stiùiridh Fhaclair na Gàidhlig: “Tha an t-airgead seilbhe a bharrachd bho Chomhairle Maoineachaidh na h-Alba, air a chur ris le tabhartasan airgid bho na Comhairlean Rannsachaidh agus cuide ri maoineachadh leantainneach bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig, a’ toirt aithne air cho cudromach gu nàiseanta ’s a tha am pròiseact bunaiteach seo. Cuiridh an duais luaths anns an obair ullachaidh an fhaclair a bheir dhuinn, tro thìde, goireas Gàidhlig a ghabhas coimeas ris an fhaclair a th’ ann airson Albais (Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue) agus Faclair Beurla Oxford.”

A bharrachd air an £2 mhillean bho CMA airson a’ phròiseict, tha Comhairle Rannsachaidh Foghlam Daonna agus nan Ealain (CRFDE) a’ toirt £100, 000 don phròiseact agus tha £50,000 a’ tighinn bho Chomhairle Rannsachaidh chùisean Sòisealta agus Eaconamach (CRSE). Tha Bòrd na Gàidhlig air taic a chur ris a’ phròiseact bho 2004 agus aig an àm seo tha iad a’ toirt tabhartas seachad luach £75,000 gach bliadhna.


For further information, please contact Elizabeth Horsburgh, Communications Officer, Tel: 0131 313 6560, email: ehorsburgh@sfc.ac.uk

or

Lorna Pike, Project Co-ordinator, Faclair na Gàidhlig, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Tel: 01471 888273, email: lp.smo@uhi.ac.uk

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