Tuesday 27 January 2009

So what's the Gaelic for 'bloody sea eagles took my lambs'?

On the one hand, you have to applaud Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for their new project Faclan Nàdair (Words of Nature) – a website to help people identify and understand Gaelic names for trees, plants and animals. It's great to see this lovely language being kept alive, particularly linked with the natural world which is so much a part of it. Check out the website here » Special credit to them for the mp3 sound files that accompany many of the word definitions in the online dictionary.

So I won't be too mean spirited and bang on about the dischordant entries, which I'm sure were never uttered by any native Gaelic-speaker, at least not without spitting. Such as pròiseact inntrigidh (access project), Seirbheisean Comhairleachaidh & Ro-innleachd Nàiseanta (Advisory Services & National Strategy) and adhartachadh (enhancement) alongside down-to-earth words such as liath-ruisg (fieldfare), sùlaire (gannet), fèidh (red deer) and gràineag (hedgehog). For some reason the dictionary does not include translations for 'bull' and 'shit', two essential entries for any guide to the modern heritage landscape.

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