Google recognises Gaelic for first time… You can now translate anything into Scots language – Press and Journal
Google recognises Gaelic for first time… You can now translate anything into Scots language
Two things: Firstly, I always understood the language was “Scottish Gaelic”, not “Scots Gaelic”; and, secondly, I’ve tried it a few times now, both ways – English to Gaelic, Gaelic to English – and Google Translate has failed to accurately translate anything between the two.
Maggie and I had fun recording our first ‘Gaelic without trying’ podcast today at the Wee Studio.
The idea behind this is to offer a podcast to care centres, so that staff may learn Gaelic without having to commit time to lessons.
The thought is to play this on a loop in the toilet, much like Frankies & Benny’s in England, where they teach Italian in the bathrooms, or Heston Blumenthal’s motivational speeches in bathrooms. It’s something that can be absorbed in little chunks across the day. And of course it is vital in this culture for carers to understand basic Gaelic in order to be able to understand people who revert to Gaelic through dementia.
It will also work as little bite-sized lessons to listen to in the car, for example.
We were also thinking about offering short little podcasts of songs, stories and interviews for people living with…
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Author: Peter May
Why did I read it? I had read and enjoyed Peter May‘s Hebrides trilogy of crime fiction, and had erroneously thought this was the fourth. I had a credit on my Audible account, so used it to pre-order this.
What’s it about? A man with amnesia washes up on a beach, barely alive, but feeling as though he has done the most terrible thing. He attempts to discover where he is, why he’s there, and just who he is without alerting anyone to his memory loss – terrified his dreadful secret will be too much to bear.
A teenager struggles to cope with her mother’s ability to move on with life following the death of her father, and sets out to find out more about him, little knowing the dire consequences her search will have on herself, and others.
A body is found on a the remote Flannan Isles in the Outer Hebrides, and it is up to Detective George Gunn to find out how he was killed, and how he came to this remote rock, 20 miles west of any civilisation.
As the book progresses, these three people grow ever closer to the truth.
It is uncannily hard hard to describe this book without destroying the mystery. There are several voices in the book, most notably Neil’s, the man we meet first washed up on the beach.
What did I like? I loved the opening, as I was caught right from the moment Neal washes up on the beach. I was eager to know where the story would take me. And, just was I was becoming engrossed in his story, there is a switch to the teenage Karen’s life, and suddenly I start making connections.
The story is so well paced that you don’t feel like matters are being dragged out, or that you are racing towards the end. There are a few red herrings, and a twist or two, though nothing to frustrate the reader. I note other readers were critical of the change between first person, and third person narrative, but I felt it created a good separation/barrier in the stories.
Once again, the landscapes are described beautifully by the author, and one almost feels as though the land, and sea are characters themselves.
Peter Forbes did an excellent job as narrator, each word was clear and precise.
What didn’t I like? Only one little quibble with the recording, which I had up loud as I did other tasks, was being able to hear papers turning. Still, the recording from Audible was clear!
The book hunt is on!
Do you know of a fiction book that draws on Scottish Gaelic or Scottish Highlander myth, legend, folklore or shared historical experience (e.g. the clearances)?
What would you recommend?
I am especially interested in books that are:
- by authors from the Scottish Gaelic Diaspora;
- for young adults;
- speculative fiction (for example, fantasy, magic realism etc).
However, all recommendations are welcome!