Hebrides Today

News from the Western Isles

Logging on to ‘Bebo’ Gaelic

Posted by Editor On February - 12 - 2009

IT’S NOT pants! Or rather we should say "Drathais", as Gaelic takes a large leap into the land of teen-talk.

The language may have been pronouncing a death rattle in recent years but it is receiving the kiss of life and this latest move could mean that it is in with a shout of survival.

It is hoped new words, including ‘rock stars’, ‘thongs’ and ‘piercings’ will give the ancient language some ‘street-cred’ and in a bid to graft it onto the Bebo landscape a social-networking site – mygaelic – has been created to appeal to teens and learners of the language.

The 250,000 price tag of the new site, which was Government funded, has created controversy against the current bleak economic outlook but those behind the initiative believe they are on to a winner and are convinced the scheme will present the language as modern and vibrant.

Mygaelic.com spokesman Hugh Dan MacLennan hoped the new words would soon become an established part of everyday language. He said the team behind the initiative were keen to challenge the idea that Gaelic is a language of the past, adding: "The reality is that it is a modern, constantly evolving language. Our hope is that these phrases will be adopted by the younger generation who log on to the site."

The images to promote the website are striking with posters featuring pictures of a "Drathais Iallach", or a thong, riding up above a young woman's jeans, as well as a "Tolladh", or piercing being shown off on a shapely belly.

High heels are "Sàilean Àrda", a sunbed translates to "Leabaidh-ghrèine” - Sunbed and tattoo becomes "Wuss".

For the lads footballing terms have also been given a Gaelic makeover with player becoming "Cluicheadair", the net translating as "An Lìon" and a goalkeeper is a "Neach-gleidhidh".

The Gaelic social networking site, which was launched last week, has been in production for the past two years. It allows Gaelic-speaking people from all over the world to connect with each other and also acts as an information site for people who want to learn the language, already the site has attracted 400 users.

Rosemary Ward of Bord na Gaidhlig, the Government body responsible for Scotland's 60,000 Gaelic speakers, described the site as having “something for everyone with an interest in Gaelic.”

She added that users can set up their own social networking profile, have a group of friends, send messages and add comments, as well as being able to find out about a wide range of Gaelic activities and organisations.

To check out the site log on to:www.mygaelic.com

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