Parliament unveils five-year Gaelic language plan

14/11/2008

The Scottish Parliament will launch its five-year Gaelic Language Plan next week.

The plan outlines the Parliament’s core commitments to expanding the Gaelic services and resources it provides to the public.

Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP will officially unveil the plan on Thursday 20 November.

Mr Fergusson said: “As Scotland’s Parliament, we are committed to promoting Gaelic given the important place it holds in Scotland’s rich cultural identity.

"This plan will ensure we continue to look for ways to engage with the Gaelic community and do all we can to promote the Gaelic language and further strengthen access for the public.

"The Parliament already offers a wide range of services to Gaelic speakers and this plan has given us the opportunity to formalise our way ahead for promoting Gaelic over the next five years.”

The plan builds on current Gaelic provision available at the Parliament in a number of ways including:

  • the introduction of a bilingual corporate identity
  • expanding the range of public information available in Gaelic
  • introducing Gaelic awareness training for front-of-house staff
  • ensuring Gaelic is considered in policy making
  • improving the Parliament’s Gaelic web pages
  • expanding Gaelic signage throughout Holyrood

To mark the launch of the five year plan the Scottish Parliament will host two days of events to highlight the use of Gaelic at Holyrood.

Events include a Member’s Debate in Gaelic, information stalls for MSPs and members of the public and a forum for organisations engaged in Gaelic planning to discuss issues and opportunities for promoting the language across Scotland .

As part of the programme of events, schoolchildren will also be taking part in the final of the annual BT Scotland National Gaelic Schools debate on Thursday 20 November.

In addition, the Parliament will be providing guided public visitor tours with a Gaelic flavour and promoting books by Gaelic authors in the Parliament shop. It will also be printing restaurant menus in Gaelic and labelling all artwork and more signage throughout Holyrood in the language.

The Gaelic Language Plan has been devised in conjunction with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the statutory Gaelic body set up to encourage the use and understanding of Gaelic.

Peadar Morgan, Language Planning Manager at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “We are pleased to be working with the Scottish Parliament on their five-year Gaelic Language Plan.

"Gaelic Language Day will help showcase Gaelic to MSPs and the public.”

Background
The plan is a requirement of The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 which was passed by the Scottish Parliament to secure the status of Gaelic in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body was one of the first public bodies asked to devise a plan and it was approved by the Bord in May 2008.

The Scottish Parliament already provides a range of services for Gaelic speakers including the provision of online and printed publications in Gaelic, outreach sessions for schools and the community in Gaelic and arranging interpretation and translation services to support the parliament’s business processes for debating and publishing in Gaelic.

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