The Scottish Government backs plans to keep Gaelic alive

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Gaelic is a dying language but the Scottish Government is backing a project to keep it alive. Is it really worthwhile or time to let it go the way of the dodo?

As much as we love the Gaelic used in Outlander, the language is a dying one. Very few people in Britain now speak and there are many who support the removal of the language from schools. Yet on the other side of the argument are people who don’t want to see this once-prominent language die out. And for good reasons.

The Scottish Government is on the side of those who want to keep it alive. They’re backing plans that will see taxpayers money be used to create a Gaelic dictionary. The idea is to preserve the language and the heritage.

But isn’t it time to let it die?

Those who want to see the language go the way of the dodo likely don’t completely understand the importance of Gaelic in the past and the message giving up on it now would bring across. Gaelic was once an outlawed language. After the Battle of Culloden, it wasn’t just tartan that was banned. Gaelic was as well and this was the start of the downfall of the Scottish history and culture.

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Not supporting the saving of the language continue to push for more British control over what was once an independent nation.

Let me just say that I write this as someone who actually voted to remain in the UK back when Scotland’s independence referendum took place. I’m also English married to a Scot. My love of the language isn’t even because of Outlander! I’m a huge fan of culture and heritage being preserved. If Gaelic is allowed to just disappear, it’s like taking a major piece of the Scottish culture away forever.

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The Welsh and Irish would put up a huge fight if their languages weren’t given the support. In fact, there is no way that people would succeed in a debate to remove the languages. Why is it that Gaelic isn’t protected or viewed in the same way? Why should it go the way of Latin; only found in historical documents and law paperwork? It’s not like it costs more to send a child to a Gaelic school–there are two in Glasgow and one in Govan and both cost the same amount to send child as does an English-speaking school.

There are some small parts of the Highlands that still speak Gaelic. Children are learning it from parents, who learned it from their parents. And the ability to speak multiple languages is excellent for children. I wish I could speak more than one language fluently–although I can just about order a beer and meal in German and French!

It’s not often that I fully support a decision made by the Scottish Government (or any government, really), but this is one that I do. Gaelic isn’t just something that should be forgotten about. This is a language with a deep-rooted history and so much bloodshed surrounding it that it needs to be preserved. It needs to be remembered and not just on signposts at train stations.

Next: Michael Newton's Naughty Little Book of Gaelic

A total of £2.5m is going to be spent on the Gaelic dictionary to help preserve the language and keep it alive. The only downside is the amount that is going to be spent, as there are so many other needs right now. However, this is something that needs to happen now or spoken Gaelic will go the way of the dodo.

It is too much or something the country needs? What do you think? Share in the comments below.