Gaelic Speakers (Numbers)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

5. A dh’fhaighneachd de Riaghaltas na h-Alba na tha e a’ dèanamh gus cruth-atharrachadh a thoirt air a’ chrìonadh a chaidh aithris anns a’ chuid den òigridh aig a bheil a’ Ghàidhlig anns na h-Eileanan an Iar. (S5O-03022)

Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address the reported decline in the population of young people in the Western Isles who speak Gaelic.

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is working with partners to put in place a range of actions to strengthen the Gaelic language in the Western Isles, with the aim of increasing the proportion of young people who speak Gaelic. That includes close collaboration with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other bodies that can make a contribution to promoting the use, the learning and the speaking of Gaelic.

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Am beachdaich an Riaghaltas air measadh buaidh chànanach a chur air dòigh airson nam poileasaidhean aige anns na h-eileanan gus am bi brosnachadh na Gàidhlig agus nan coimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig air àbhaisteachadh ann am poileasaidh eaconamach is sòisealta san fharsaingeachd?

Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

Will the Government consider carrying out a Gaelic language impact assessment of its policies in the islands so that the promotion of Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking communities is mainstreamed into wider social and economic policy in general?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

The Gaelic language is a very precious part of Scotland’s culture, identity and future so, for that reason, the Government is making a number of policy interventions to support the nurturing and development of the Gaelic language.

We have no immediate plans to undertake the type of Gaelic language impact assessment that Dr Allan has highlighted in his question, but I assure him that we are having very specific discussions with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar—indeed, Dr Allan and I took part in those discussions when I was in the Western Isles during the February recess—on how we integrate the experience and nurturing of the Gaelic language with wider public service provision in the Western Isles and how we ensure that some of that activity is taken forward through the comhairle’s proposals for a community charter or community offer. The Government is actively considering those issues, and I will have further discussions with the comhairle and Bòrd na Gàidhlig on how we can take forward some of these ideas.