Did you know that tomorrow (Thursday 1st May 2014) is the first ever Gaelic Twitter Day? The aim of this is to create awareness of Scottish Gaelic by getting people talking about it online, and Historic Scotland will join other organisations across Scotland by tweeting in and about Gaelic throughout the day in an attempt to get the #gàidhlig hashtag trending.
To help with this goal, our Gaelic Language and Policy Officer Alasdair MacCaluim has agreed to teach us the Scottish Gaelic for ten Historic Scotland sites. Repeat after me…
Sited on top of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history. The Gaelic for Edinburgh Castle is Caisteal Dhùn Èideann, pronounced ‘kashtyal goon ay jin’!
Stirling Castle was the favoured residence of most of Scotland’s later medieval monarchs, many of whom updated the architecture while they were there – so it’s a fascinating place to visit in the year of Homecoming 2014! The Gaelic for Stirling Castle is Caisteal Shruighlea, pronounced ‘kashtyal hreelie’.
Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart Castle sits on the banks of Loch Ness on a promontory that has seen visits from St Columba, Robert the Bruce and more. The Gaelic for Urquhart Castle is Caisteal Urchadain, or ‘kashtyal urachaden’.
The building of Linlithgow Palace was begun by James I in 1424, and it was lived in by most of the Stewart monarchs that came after him. It’s an awesome place to visit, especially in the summer for our Spectacular Jousting event! The Gaelic for Linlithgow Palace is Lùchairt Ghlinn Iucha, pronounced ‘yoochart gleen yoocha’.
The seaside town of St Andrews is full of history, home to a cathedral, the oldest university in Scotland and a castle that was the official residence of Scotland’s leading bishop (and later archbishop) throughout the Middle Ages. The Gaelic for St Andrews Castle is Caisteal Chill Rìmhinn, or ‘kashtyal chill reevin’. Pro Tip: say the ‘ch’ in ‘chill’ as you would say it in ‘loch’!
Fort George was strategically built on a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth and intended as an impregnable army base, although it didn’t see much action after its completion in 1769. Even so, as the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain and home to our Celebration of the Centuries event it’s a great place for a day out! The Gaelic for Fort George is Dùn Deòrsa, pronounced ‘doon jorsa’.
Caerlaverock Castle has a moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements – the epitome of a medieval stronghold. It is also available for weddings if you want your photos to have a fairytale touch! The Gaelic for Caerlaverock Castle is Caisteal Chair Labharaig, or ‘kashthal chyre lavarik’. As with St Andrews Castle, the ‘ch’ sound should be pronounced the same way as it is in ‘loch’.
Melrose Abbey was originally founded in 1136 and is famous for being the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart – although his body is at Dunfermline Abbey. The Gaelic for Melrose Abbey is ‘Abaid Mhaolrois’, pronounced ‘abatch voolrosh’. Pro Tip: say ‘tch’ as you would say it in the word ‘catch’.
Iona Abbey was founded by St Columba and his followers in AD 563, and is one of Scotland’s most sacred sites. The Gaelic for Iona Abbey is Abaid Eilean Ì, pronounced ‘abatch eelan ee’. As with Melrose Abbey, pronounce ‘tch’ as you would in ‘catch’!
Keep an eye on our Twitter account @welovehistory throughout the day for resources, ‘did you know?’ facts and more – and if you know any Gaelic, why not have a go at using some? Don’t forget to use the #gàidhlig hashtag to help get Gaelic trending!
You can find out more about Historic Scotland’s commitment to promoting Gaelic as an important part of Scotland’s heritage in our Gaelic Language Plan 2012 – 2017.