Tuesday, August 29, 2006

save scottish gaelic - and yiddish too

Here are some sites from a friend in graduate school here. This is what I like about working near a linguistics department- just coming into contact with this information, which I hope to pursue someday. Not to mention getting in touch with my roots. Writing these down here will certainly be better than keeping them on a scrap of paper, which, like most of my tartan ties, will eventually get coffee spilled on them.

gaelic lessons
save gaelic
Sabhal Mor Ostaig

As a Wallace (Wallace is a Scottish name for Welsh, I understand) on my mother's side, I am fully aware that a lot of us were essentially forced off the land at some point, put in Northern Ireland, then kicked out of there more or less too. But that's no reason to let the language die. Languages die, because, unfortunately, they become perceived as representing some unpleasant aspect of one's history - rather than representing the living, breathing essence of one's own culture. and once they are just a corner of one's perception, and a back corner at that, it's hard for them to come back.

Look at Yiiddish...once a sprawling language, thousands of speakers, thousands of dialects even, but now it's associated with Hitler, and with Europe, and even its native speakers shrug it off. But that's too bad. A good language can teach you a lot...it has intrinsic value, not to mention, a colorful lilt, a rhyme to use while pounding on a baby's toes...

shmit shmit shmit
nem den hammer mit
ven du vilst der ferd bashovn,
must den hammer mit chik trogen
shmit shmit shmit

If it dies, Hitler will have won. Don't let that happen either.



At 8:56 PM, Blogger Djangalaang said...

What are you hoping to do with your grad school education?

At 10:10 PM, Blogger tom said...

actually, i teach esl here, and deal with graduate students in helping them teach, and providing materials, etc. I got an MA many years back- but have managed to keep learning, partly by staying in the environment.


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