Gaelic future

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With every respect to Dr Alasdair Allan, whom I have known for some years, the Scottish Government is deluding itself if it thinks teaching children Gaelic will halt the decline of the language (your report, 29 June).

It has been claimed recently in the learners’ magazine Cothrom that a large number of children lose their Gaelic after primary school.

It is not within the power of a government to promote a minority language.

Any such development can only be brought about by the people who speak it, and then only if the people are committed to it. We have to build up the confidence of the Gaelic community in their language, and gain recognition for Gaelic as a valid general purpose language in the heartland.

An increase in the profile of Gaelic in the tourism sector would be welcome.

Service in Gaelic in hotels, restaurants and cafes is very poor or non-existent, and at the moment you are unlikely to get a simple cup of tea or coffee served to you in Gaelic, even in the so-called heartlands of the language.

But it is only the Gaels themselves who can create a demand for such a service, and thereby provide an incentive for the caterers to satisfy the local market.

Richard A A Deveria

Gaelic historian

Market Street


I see the SNP government is continuing to flog the dead horse which is Gaelic by increasing the number of places in Gaelic-only schools in the Central Belt.

This is nothing more than a Nationalist vanity project to sustain Scotland’s parochial outlook. Instead of focusing on a moribund language we should be increasing our provisions on teaching our children languages which will be of use to them in the future, whether that be French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or Hindi.

It is plainly obvious that companies will be far more interested in investing in Scotland if more of the population speak a global language rather than one which has been in decline since the middle ages.

A Black

Gatehouse of Fleet