Ok, so I may be falling in love. Falling in love enough to do something about it. I have had a long flirtation with it and it is time to up my game and take action.
I think I am falling in love with another language.
I’ve been long aware of Gaelic despite coming from the south-west of the land where it’s not used. I have always known it’s part of my heritage and a big part of life. I had my first real experience of it at 17 spending time in Lewis and I loved the sound, rhythm and meter of it. Not a clue what anyone was saying but loved the sound, and if I am honest was a wee bit jealous I couldn’t understand.
I studied languages but never Gaelic, although being involved in a lot of Scottish music and dance at uni, it was never far away. My attempts to read it and pronounce it would inevitably have my pals reaching for the hankies as I made a total shambles of it.
When I lived in Spain I found myself spending time with some Gaelic speakers and when capercaillie played the city I was practically fluent in all their songs. Pas de clue what I was on about to be fair.
When I moved to China I took Gaelic books with me to learn it. Aye, that was sensible. Arrived in China with some pretty good mandarin only to find out they spoke a dialect so that was Gaelic shelved as I tried to get a handle on the dialect, I was in danger of fading away to a mountain so I was not long in learning to say, I don’t eat meat.
I then met my favourite Gaelic gymnast and I’ve always loved listening to him again, not a clue what he was saying but I wanted to know how to swear. ( I know, I know)
Could maybe sing a wee song with not a clue of the meaning.
Then in the new post I have inherited the Gaelic remit for development and it’s brought me into a brand new world. I’ve already blogged about the initial meeting I had with parents and how I was desperate to get a hook into the language and my lovely DK was so very patient as I was like a wean pointing shouting “what’s that?” In fact, I am convinced I must have known him in another life. Yes, that same man I was asked if I wanted to get a room with! Well today, he was a big knight in shining armour. I was really worried about going to a national meeting about Gaelic and thought I would end up not having a clue and look like a tool.( nothing new) worry not indeed.
I spent a bit of time writing post it notes and getting answers written back ( like at uni when I used to find half conversations down the margins of my notes)anyone who arrived in was pointed out to me and what they did. Then I started asking about where adjectives sat and the pronunciation of certain vowels and consonant combinations.
I should have recognised the signs.
Asking all the questions and ignoring whatever the presenter was saying!
I found myself writing my own wee cues and pronunciation notes and thinking how can I learn more of this.
I’m actually not that interested in the why of the language, it’s the sound so I’ll go with the mantra of grammar being caught and not taught at this stage and see what I can do.
Imagine falling in love at my age. With a language. With a bit of help from two very special pals. You know who you are. Mine is a talisker. In a tinkerbell mug.maintenant.ahora. The noo.
Mammy points – 10/10 as good morning in Gaelic is the first thing that she says in the morning
Methodology points – suspended
Manolo points 10/10 good glittery high heels in the snow . Enough said.