Cultural mix

A rich cultural and linguistic mix at the University of Edinburgh, with the departments of Celtic and Scottish Studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies housed in the same Georgian building.

This photo allows me to show off my grasp of Gaelic. On the left-hand sign, 'agus' means 'and'. 'Alba' means 'Scotland'. That's about it, really, tho if I scrape the bottom of the barrel hard I realise that I do have a few other phrases which I'll throw in when the time is right (two, actually). Of course, I also know Gaelic words such as 'helicopter', 'computer', and other aspects of modern life which Gaelic has economically borrowed. Listening to the news in Gaelic is tantalising - every so often there are little explosions of English which often leave me none the wiser. I come from the East of Scotland, where I grew up perfectly at home in a dialect that owes a lot to Norse.


  1. I love the sound of Gaelic, and the spelling - I'd love to try and learn it some day. We went to Harris for our honeymoon, so of course all the signs were bilingual, and occasionally when we were up in Lewis we overheard smatterings of Gaelic.

  2. You're right - Gaelic does sound lovely. We spent our honeymoon in Scotland too, in the north west Highlands. Why go abroad when you can have such beautiful scenery and so much weather too!


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