News

Language plan gives Gaelic greater voice on campus

A plan to promote the use of Gaelic language has been launched by the University.

It will strengthen the University’s commitment to Gaelic by raising the profile of the language on campus and creating opportunities for its use.

New developments will include an undergraduate degree in Gaelic and Primary Education and a free online course focusing on Scottish traditional music, of which Gaelic music is an element.

National plan for Gaelic

It also outlines the use of Gaelic in the University’s operations including brand, communications, publications and staffing.

The initiative has been prepared in line with the aims and objectives of the National Plan for Gaelic and the University's own strategy for promoting the language.

The University of Edinburgh has a long history of supporting the Gaelic language and culture.

Rich Gaelic resources

Provision of Gaelic at the University began with creation of a Chair of Celtic in 1882 following a campaign led by John Stuart Blackie (1809-95) who was Professor of Greek at the University.

Today, the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies teaches Gaelic at all levels, covering modern and medieval language and literature, as well as wider aspects of Gaelic culture.

Opportunities for language development at Edinburgh are supported by rich Gaelic resources, including the School of Scottish Studies Archives, which hold several thousand hours of Gaelic recordings, and a diverse manuscript collection.

We are delighted to launch the Gaelic plan today. Edinburgh is an international university, whose staff and students come from all over the world, but remains firmly rooted in Scotland’s capital. The Gaelic Language Plan will increase opportunities for Scottish students whose native language is Gaelic as well as inviting international students to connect with the environment, community and culture in which they are studying.
Professor Sir Timothy O SheaPrincipal of the University of Edinburgh

A Celebration of Gaelic

To mark the launch there was a Gaelic Fair where students from the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies ran taster sessions on Gaelic language and culture. The University of Edinburgh Highland Society also organised a ceilidh.

On Monday 18 November Professor Robert Dunbar, Chair of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities will deliver his inaugural lecture with simultaneous English interpretation.

His lecture ‘Canada, the Gaelic Imagination, and the Future of the Celtic Languages’ will examine how Canada, and in particular Canada’s Gaelic heritage impacts on the Celtic languages - both in Canada and in Europe, and especially in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Listen to Professor Wilson McLeod talk about Gaelic at the University.