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I think for many, the Celts hold a particular romantic vision: sweeping highlands, clan honour and culture, hardy environments and the centuries-old enmity between Scotland and the Auld Enemy, England.
Thankfully, much of that division has gone and I have enjoyed spending a good part of 2019 exploring Scotland's history and walking its length and breadth, albeit through the pages of other authors!
What I have found has had a deep affect on me and also pained me over the treatment of the people of Scotland; from the time of Edward I through to the Highland Clearances in the wake of the terrible tragedy that befell the Stewart aligned army at Culloden, effectively ending the Highland way of life.
Aside from the politics and my strong views... I fell in love with all things Gaelic and Scotland and began to take some lessons with a Gaelic tutor on iTalki. Despite being a seasoned language learner and getting on a bit, I found it quite difficult to get into the flow of the language.
The words are unfamiliar and I find the rules quite flexible and therefore not easy to predict pronounciation, although mercifully, less so than Irish.
I will not be spending too much time in Scottish Gaelic in 2020 but will try and keep it on the back burner and assimilate some new words so that when I go full on, it wont be such a struggle.
If Scottish Gaelic appeals to you and you are not in a place where it is taught locally, you can try Distance Learning with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture in the Hebrides.
I use the iTalki language platform extensively to get language practice and meet people from all over the world and help them with English and to get help learning my languages.
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A Little Extra
First is a clip from Visit Scotland, explaining Scottish Gaelic, origins and contemporary usage. A clear, wee introduction joining past to present