Category Archives: International

Thòisich Là Twitter na #Gàidhlig mar thrà! Taing do @drraghnall #GaelicTwitterDay has begun in Oz…

Our good friend Ronald McCoy has started us off Down Under sharing a few pictures of his cycle journey in to work in Melbourne crossing the River Yarra and finishing with a joke… No he’s not seen a kangaroo, but he has heard a koala bear!



We’ll be visiting Morocco and staying in the European Union #GaelicTwitterDay #TIML2016 #Fula

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Morocco, North Africa (Moroco, Afraga a Tuath)

This is my friend Idrissa from Guinea promoting Là na #Gàidhlig:

IMG_1313Idrissa aka C.I.B. is a street vendor in Marrakesh during the day, a singer most evenings, and a full-time Fula speaker. I met him during a short trip to Morocco to pick up tips on sales and marketing from the experts in the souks! He wanted to sell me a pair of shades and we’ve ended up good friends, using Whatsapp to keep in touch – and it’s all down to me using my Gaelic to confuse him as I didn’t want to buy anything! Naughty I know, but it works for spam PIP callers!

It turned out he had already made a friend from Paisley a while back and he went on to Youtube and showed me the man singing at the Oran Mòr during a West End Festival evening.  He said he really liked Scottish people, they were always so friendly! Of course, I couldn’t deny that
Anyway, he went back to the shop, put his vending bag away and we chilled out for a couple of days and I got shown round all the tourist places and to various other parts of the city the tourists don’t usually see – and he made sure I was never ripped off and got ‘local’ prices! In return, I had to teach him some Gaelic – so this I did, above the grand square as we watched acrobats below.

When I got home to Glasgow we kept the conversation up, and we continue to exchange basic phrases – Fula and Gaelic. He has managed to pick up the Gaelic way much easier than me!

Here’s a few soundbites of our initial language exchange:

Là na Gàidhlig – “Gàidhlig is a really important language!”

Chì mi thu a-maireach

Being taught Fula

IMG_1314The last few weeks have been really tough for him as he just buried his mother and had to travel out to Rabat for the ceremony.

I’m hopefully meeting him again in a few weeks thanks to the cheap airfares out of Glasgow and I’m sure then I’ll have a better measure of how he’s bearing up, as Whatsapp is not really the best thing for the big matters in life.

Anyway he has a dream of becoming famous and making his fortune so he can help build a school and hospital for his home village of Fouta in Guinea, West Africa.

I said to him I’d help where I could so this introduction and post is part of my contribution to helping him fulfil his dreams. And it would never have come about if I had not used my Gaelic and had the language not sparked his interest.

Gaelic is a truly international connector, and digital technology helps.

A Spanish friend made this video with him. In the song, he speaks out about the conditions of his village.

The EU (An Roinn Eòrpa)

Scottish Gaelic has been used at least a couple of times officially in EU affairs, and more recently by Social Media Alba ® in Glasgow as part of Startup Europe Week in conjunction with the European Commission.

The European Union has 24 official and working languages. They are:

Bulgarian French Maltese
Croatian German Polish
Czech Greek Portuguese
Danish Hungarian Romanian
Dutch Irish Slovak
English Italian Slovenian
Estonian Latvian Spanish
Finnish Lithuanian Swedish

The first official language policy of what was then the European Community identified Dutch, French, German, and Italian as the official working languages of the EU.

Since then, as more countries have become part of the EU, the number of official and working languages has increased. However, there are fewer official languages than Member States, as some share common languages.

On the other hand, some regional languages, such as Catalan and Welsh, have gained a status as co-official languages of the European Union. The official use of such languages can be authorised on the basis of an administrative arrangement concluded between the Council and the requesting Member State.


Flying over Azerbaijan and Russia on Là na #Gàidhlig! #TIML2016

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According to Wikipedia, there are over 100 languages spoken in Russia today. Azerbaijani is one of them, and I know a few Gaelic speakers who have been there!


11950419_955505241173869_3971909133205601879_oOver the past year, Azerbaijan has had quite an influence on me, and it all started when I was working in the same team as Orkhan Sultanov during a Common Purpose Global Leadership Challenge about Smart Cities which took place at Glasgow University and was supported by the Wheatley Group.

Impressed by my passion for the Gaelic language, Orkhan Sultanov, president (2015) and founder of Glasgow’s Azerbaijan Society, invited me to an evening of Azerbaijan culture. While I was there, I asked him for a few words about the organisation, his experience in Glasgow, language and how he sees Scotland in comparison to his home country with regards to energy.

Here is what he told me:

Orkhan introduces himself and Glasgow’s Azerbaijan Society

Orkhan talks about some of the events he has helped to organise and taken part in

Orkhan on his impressions of Glasgow and Scotland

Orkhan talks about language in Glasgow and Azerbiaijan

Orkhan talk about oil, renewables and energy security

Thank you for everything (Glasgow) – in Azerbaijani!

Since then, I have been invited along to Celtic Park as an honorary guest to watch Celtic play against Qarabag and that’s where I met a Scottish-Azerbaijani who works a lot as a Humanitarian and has a mum and sister who speaks Gaelic!

IMG_0894Through this new friendship, and following on from that of Orkhan, I was asked to attend a Aberdeen Azerbaijan Society for an event though this has still to happen.

The interest for the Gaelic language, and so some extent my passion for it I guess, has brought about these international links, friendships and opportunities. I suppose it is mostly connected through a mutual appreciation of languages and cultures.

Today though with both either far away, travelling around all the time or both, the medium that keeps us connected today is Facebook.

French blog by @ABhuidheag on Là na #Gàidhlig

French blogger ‘Le Chardonneret’ (@ABhuidheag) has written up a blog post about “Journée touïtteur du #Gàidhlig”. I rather like that – and I now know how to write ‘Twitter’ in French!

Là na #Gàidhlig aims to go international this year – and this is a good start to meeting that objective!

Here’s an excerpt from the blog suggesting the use of Scottish Gaelic online and on social networks is impressive in comparison to the number of speakers:

La présence de cette langue en ligne (air loidhne), sur internet (air eadar-lìon) et sur les réseaux sociaux (air lìonraidhean sòisealta) est donc impressionnante quand on la compare à son nombre de locuteurs.

L’année dernière, la tendance #Gàidhlig a explosé.

You can read the blog here: