Alasdair Allan MSP has commented on new research on the state of the Gaelic language in the Western Isles.
‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Communities’, published last week, assesses language usage within the last remaining areas where Gaelic is spoken as a community language. The research reports that the use of Gaelic in the home and among young people in their social lives has almost halted, and calls for a review of public planning and policy to support the language.
Alasdair Allan MSP has written to John Swinney, the Minister for Gaelic, expressing his concerns about the language’s future in island communities.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“This new research presents a stark picture of Gaelic’s future in our communities and it is important that we take the time and energy to fully consider its analysis. The message of the report is challenging, and at times painful, for anyone who loves Gaelic.
“In the first instance I have written to John Swinney, the Minister with responsibility for Gaelic, highlighting some of the principal findings of the research. I have also asked the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee to consider taking evidence on the subject.
“Good progress has been made in supporting the language within society, not least with the growth of Gaelic-medium education. But the research is clear, education alone will not sustain Gaelic as a community language. There need to be accompanying initiatives to promote the language at a family and community level too.
“Going forward, we must make every effort to engage all sides of the debate to move to solve this crisis collectively. The Gaelic language, and the culture and identity which it underpins are of irreplaceable importance to the Western Isles and Scotland more widely. We cannot afford to fail our last remaining Gaelic-speaking communities.”