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Re: Alba

From: Michael Everson <everson@indigo.ie>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 20:53:44 +0100
Message-Id: <l03010d01af0ec02d904e@[]>
To: ietf-languages@uninett.no
Cc: iso10646@listproc.hcf.jhu.edu, www-international@www10.w3.org, ietf-types@uninett.no
At 18:10 +0100 1997-01-24, Chris Lilley wrote:
>> Marion is right, Chris. In general people call "Gàidhlig" 'Gaelic'. But the
>> fullest form of the language's name is "Gàidhlig na h-Alba" 'Gaelic of
>> Scotland'
>With you so far. Gaelic of <country>.
>> or 'Scottish Gaelic'.
>Ah. Now you paraphrase G. of <country> to <countries> G.
>The inhabitants refer to themselves as the Scots, although
>other people refer to them as Scottish or Scotch.

To my certain knowledge "Scotch" refers in 1997 only to kinds of blended
whisk(e)ys. A Scot lives in Scotland.  Many Scots live in Scotland. They
are Scottish (adj.). They drink Scotch (n.). Many of them speak a Germanic
language called Scots. Some of them speak Gaelic (pronounced Gallic). That
could be called Scottish Gaelic, or The Gaelic of Scotland.

I do not think that calling it Scots Gaelic or Scotch Gaelic is appropriate
in 1997. Neither, as you will have observed from Caoimhín Ó Donnaíle's
message, do most Gàidhlig speakers.

>> Compare, please, "Gaeilge na hÉireann"
>> 'Gaelic of Ireland' or 'Irish Gaelic' and "Gaelg Vannin" 'Gaelic of Man' or
>> 'Manx Gaelic'.
>Same problem. The literal translation is fine, but then you paraphrase.

Well, paraphrasis maybe: but "Gaeilge Éireannach" and "Gàidhlig Albannach"
and "Gaelg Vannanagh" are simply not the normal terms for the languages in

>> >I appreciate that there is the potential of confusion with the entirely
>> >different language Scots, but there we are.
>> While Scottish Gaelic has been called Scots Gaelic in the past, the term
>> Scottish Gaelic is more correct,
>You do not indicate how it is more correct.

It is more current and preferred by Gaelic speakers these days. Mura bhfuil
Gaeilge (de thír éigin) agat, b'fhéidir nach féidir tú

>The issue is that the language is being defined by geographical area
>or the population therof, ie Scotland and the Scots, respectively.
>The fact that on the same land, Scots Gaelic was used at one time and
>Scots at a later time is the problem.

And the generic adjective for Things Scottish in the late 20th century is
Scottish, not Scots or Scotch. (Scotch is really antiquated by my feeling
for English.)

>> and generally becoming more widespread
>> these days. ISO 639 should use this terms, particularly to avoid confusion
>> with the Germanic language Scots.
>The confusion argument I understand and agree with. On the correctness
>argument, I remain unconvinced.

Well, if this means that you support "Scottish Gaelic" in ISO 639, for
whatever reason you like, then I am satisfied! :-)

>Incidentally, the Concise Scots Dictionary tells me Scots was originaly
>called 'Inglisc'. ;-) And of course the language is not purely Germanic,
>drawing also from French and from Norse. (Examples, a serving plate is
>an ashet and breakfast is a disjune).

I have The Pocket Scots Dictionary and I like it a lot. Note:

"Scots, Scottish, Scotch. A. Forms. "Scots" is the usual form in Scottish
Standard English >>[cf. Scottish Gaelic]<<. except when referring to
national or official matters, when "Scottish" is preferred >>[is Scottish
Gaelic a national matter?]<<; "Scotch", originally borrowed from English,
has become the usual form in Scots dialect (usually pronounced [skoatch]),
but in Scottish Standard English is now used only in a few phrases" "Scotch
broth", "Scotch whisky"."

I can't tell if we agree or not.

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland)
Gutháin:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
Received on Friday, 24 January 1997 15:53:05 UTC

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