Glorious Gaelic

Christine Bradbeer (Letters, 20 April) appeals for answers to the question: "What good did Gaelic do anyone?"

Gaelic gives those who have it – natives or learners – a massive back-up memory for dealing with the nuances of other languages, even English, with its huge reservoir of foreign loan-words. Gaelic is a welcome haven.

Perhaps its Indo-European origin is responsible for its flexibility. Gaelic's greatest strength is that it stretches the mind's ability to handle complex structures, something like Latin. Once the brain has mastered Gaelic, it seems to find languages like English and French comparatively easy.

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Gaelic gives a strong cultural identity to outward-looking Scots, sure of their firm roots. Growth follows naturally. That should apply even in the hottest climes settled by members of the great Scottish diaspora.


Granton Road


Following news that 100,000 is being earmarked for a "critical Gaelic development plan" (your report, 16 April), I'd like to know what's Gaelic for "a complete and utter waste of money".

Answers on a postcard please to Ms Hyslop. One assumes she will not require a translator.


Mayne Road