Click here to listen to a conversation with Gaelic author, scholar and poet, Maoilios Caimbeul of Skye, on the impacts of globalization on Gaelic
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See below for a transcription of this conversation:
Maoilios Um…there is a person in Edinburgh university, I knew it was Clauss(?) as well (laughs)
Ma- Oh really (laughs)
Maoilios I first, she’s done a study of this, she’s doing a PhD on how things have translated from one language to the other.
Maoilios It’s the political aspect of it which is
Ma- This neo-colonial literature and all the rest of it and different colonies, you know? But um…there’s the political aspect, but there is also the translation aspect. and when your translating from one language to another, you don’t, uh, necessarily, it’s very difficult tranl-, maybe translation is the wrong word, maybe transposition is another word, or a version, there’s a really good on, a Gaelic poet, and he uses the word version. What you get when your translating another language is very different, you know, it’s not the same thing. It’s ah, totally different (laughs), ah, a artifact, uh…um, once you translate, and um there’s a Gaelic poem on one side, and English poem on the other, and it’s, and it’s, people are going to ask, well, which is the original poem? Which is the original? So that’s, that’s the political aspect of it. What, the objection I have to it is that when it comes to Gaelic schools
Ma- Hmm, hmm
Maoilios And you’re giving books to the pupils
Maoilios Ah, they want to read in the Gaelic language, you know?
Ma- Hmm, hmm
Maoilios And if you’ve got English as well they are going to be referring to the English all the time-
Ma- All the time.
Maoilios So, it’s not a good thing in my opinion, there’s got to be some way of getting round that
Maoilios And um, of course, it’s important as well to communicate with the wider world, and I don’t think, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing versions, or transpositions, it’s a good thing probably, you know, but there should also be a niche for the Gaelic only thing, you know, I think
Ma- I know that in our Maori, um pre-school, ______? at home they found that uh, the children who…were completely immersed in Maori and who, you know, especially if they had Maori at home, become very fluent
Maoilios yes, yes
Ma- Once they’re exposed to the two-
Maoilios hmm, hmm
Ma- like, that’s no longer a version. uhhh, kind of a bi-lingualism, it’s um, it’s, it’s, pretty ineffective