Albanaich, you're a fan of Karen Matheson as well? Ah a voice that's touched by God..
All three languages are increasingly being taught at primary school level (up to 11). But historically of the three only Welsh has remained a proper second language. The others tend to be spoken only in well defined areas of the country (the Western Isles in Scotland, the West Coast and parts of the South in Ireland).
I have studied Scots Gaelic and it is not an easy language to pick up. The grammar is difficult and the spelling is not at all intuitive. Still it is a beautiful language. Especially when sung by Karen Matheson
It’s beautiful music and it does challenge to dance – just not to tango for me. In my book, Tango is a very grounded music with a streak of sadness, determination and drama. When I hear this airy music, I see something different in my mind: Fairies gracefully jumping a lively dance on a sunny glade. Ok in my case I would be more leprechauns or maybe I can qualify as a hobbit.
Well I wouldnt quibble about it - Karen Matheson's "one of the best", alright. There are in fact a number of "Gaelic singing babes" - Julie Fowlis, Kathleen MacInnes, that hottie from Altan. I wouldnt say no to any of them
It was interesting in studying the Gaelic how much modern "Scots" dialect owes to it. So being able to think in "Scots" would certainly help!
No I havent found anything so far that I would say was AT-"able". Most Gaelic songs tend to fall into one of two camps : "ballads" or "working songs". The "working" songs (eg songs women would sing while working cloth) have a stronger rhythm but its not the rhythm of tango.
ps There was a famous documentary a couple of years back, "No Bearla" , about how poor knowledge of Irish is in Ireland. Its quite fun - the guy goes in to a shop to try to buy condoms in Irish, for instance. I would post a link but its completely in Irish! Havent found a clip with subtitles yet.
What happens if you are in Gaelic speaking community is that they customarily speak English with Gaelic syntax and grammar - and you get some unusual sentence constructions.
'It is to the party you will be going' - isn't English
Also gaels have a fascination for word games, and continuely play with words to make new and striking images - they do it in English as well.
I've picked up a few English gaelic phrases, one interesting one that apparently just 'jumps out' at Gaels is 'You're as kind as the segulls' Its apparently a very clever pun in Scots gaelic on the word oir which implies that you're being offered a bribe.