Ulpan - The Road to Gaelic FluencyA bharrachd air na faidhlichean-fuaim do dh’oileanaich, tha sinn air leabhar beag a sgrìobhadh, le fiosrachadh feumail air na b’ urrainn dhut dèanamh aig an taigh, eadar na clasaichean agad, airson adhartas a dhèanamh sa chànan.  Faodaidh tu an leabhar seo fhaighinn tron chunntas agad, tron làrach-lìn Ùlpan.

Faodaidh tu clàradh son cunntas an seo ulpan.co.uk/register

Tha fiosrachadh ann air goireasan a th’ ann do luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig, ’s a’ mhòr-cuid dhiubh ri fhaodainn saor ’s an asgaidh air an eadar-lìon.  Tha taic ’s stiùireadh ann cuideachd air na b’ urrainn dhut dèanamh aig an taigh.  Tha sinn ’n dòchas gum bi seo gad bhrosnachadh agus gad thoirt nas fhaisge air fileantas!

Thoir sùil air an leabhar gus faodainn a-mach de bhios ag obair dhutsa.  Mar a tha fhios againn uile, chan eil e furasta a bhith ag ionnsachadh cànan, agus nam b’ urrainn dut beagan Gàidhlig a chleachdadh gach latha, nì thu deagh adhartas sa chànan.  Gur math a thèid leat!

In addition to the sound files now available for students to practice with at home, we have written a short e-book with useful information on what you can do at home and between classes to help your progress.  You can download this through your account on the Ùlpan website.  

You can sign up for an account, here ulpan.co.uk/register

The e-book has details of Gaelic resources for learners, many of which area available online for free, and it also has some handy hints and tips for learning exercises you can do at home.  We hope this will help keep motivation levels up and help bring you closer to fluency!

Have a read through the book and find out what might work for you.  As we all know, learning a language isn’t easy, so the more Gaelic you can fit into your daily routine, the better your progress will be.  Good luck!

Seo agad, Peallaidh! Buannaich lèine-t // Introducing Peallaidh! Win a t-shirt

PeallaidhSeo agad, Peallaidh!

‘S ann le toileachas mòr a tha Ùlpan a’ cur fàilte air ball ùr den sgioba  – Peallaidh!

‘S e ùraisg a th’ ann am Peallaidh, dia-uisge à seanchas na Gàidhlig, anns a bheil nàdar de chat-fiadhaich gu h-ìre nach beag.  ‘S e brownies no water-sprites a th’ aig luchd na Beurla orra am bitheantas.

Ged a tha e caran diùid, tha e glè fhiosrachail a dh’aindeoin sin.  ‘S toil leis tòimhseachain agus os cionn a h-uile sìon eile, ’s e toradh an taighe-bainne am biadh as annsa leis.

Dìreach an-dràsta, tha e na chleith an àiteigin ann an duilleagan-lìn Ùlpan.  Ach, chan e an tè seo i, mus fhaighnich thu!

‘S e an dùbhlan agadsa ri bhith ga lorg air an làrach-lìn, agus ri teachdaireachd pearsanta a chur thuige tron lìonradh sòisealta as fheàrr leis, ri innse dha càite an deach e a lorg.

Thèid lèine-t a thoirt aig Peallaidh mar duais do chuideigin a bheir an gnìomh seo gu buil ro 12f, Diciadain sa tighinn (23/01/13).

Luc mhath!

Mu Pheallaidh

‘S ainneamh a bhios ùraisgean a’ cumail conaltradh ri mac an daoine, ach bidh còmhraidhean gaolach fada ann eatorra fhèin – ann an Gàidhlig gun teagamh.

Bidh mòid mhòra aca cuideachd ann an ceàrnaidhean iomallach ri taobh easan agus air cladaichean creagach.  Ann an 1926, sgrìobh William J Watson, Gàidheal à Siorrachd Rois, a chur sgrùdadh àinmeam-àite ann an Alba air bhonn, gun robh ùraisg aig gach caochan ’s uisge ann am Bràghad Albainn aig aon àm, agus b’ e Peallaidh na rìgh dhaibh.  Tha ainm-san ri cluinntinn fhathast san ainm-àite, Obar Pheallaidh.

Chan fhaic ach muinntir an dà-sheallaidh ùraisgean mar as trice, ach uaireannan bidh daoine àbhaisteach gam faicinn cuideachd.  Thathar ag ràdh gu bheil iad frogail is bàidheil na phearsa…

Introducing Peallaidh!

Ùlpan is delighted to welcome a new member of the team – Peallaidh!

Peallaidh is an ùraisg, a water-being from Gaelic mythology, with more than a hint of a wildcat about him.  Ùraisgean are known as brownies or water-sprites in English.

Although quite shy, he is very knowledgeable noneless.  He enjoys word-play and above all else is especially fond of dairy products.

Just now, he is hiding somewhere on the Ùlpan website.  And before you ask, this page doesn’t count!

Your task is to find him on the website, and send a personal message on his favourite social network, to let him know where he has been found.

For the successful completion of this mission before next Wednesday at 12pm (23/01/13), Peallaidh will award one lucky winner an Ùlpan t-shirt.

Luc mhath!

About Peallaidh

Ùraisgean seldom speak to humans, but often engaged in long and affectionate conversations with one another – in Gaelic of course.

They hold large gatherings as well, usually in remote places beside waterfalls, and on rocky shores.  The founder of Scottish place-names studies and native speaker of Ross-shire Gaelic, William J Watson, wrote in 1926 that every watercourse in Breadalbane had an ùraisg at one time and their king was Peallaidh, whose name is still heard in the place-name, Obar Pheallaidh (Aberfeldy).

Usually, only those who have second sight can see ùraisgean, though there are instances when they make themselves visible to ordinary people as well.  They are said to be jolly and personable…

Ùlpan on the Isle of Lismore!

When I first moved to Lismore I wanted to learn Gaelic as Sophie was learning it at school and I wanted to be able to speak it too and know what she was saying and singing. Also listening to Liosachs speaking it to each other it sounded a beautiful soft language. Over the years Lismore has seen many gaelic classes and individual tutoring. I  had heard about this new method of teaching gaelic called Ùlpan (www.ulpan.co.uk) and I wanted to look into it. A friends’ mum had done a course at Sabhal Mor Ostaig (www.smo.uhi.ac.uk) on the Isle of Skye (Scotland’s only gaelic college of further education) and she spoke very highly of this method. So when I took up my new post last year I thought it would be good to find out if there were many people on the island who wished to learn as I felt that this fell right into my remit as my post is all about learning about the heritage of Lismore and finding ways to make it interesting and sustainable for future generations. A number of people came forward to say they were interested in learning gaelic so that was my mandate to try to see if we could organise a class on the island.

After a bit of digging around we made contact with Àdhamh Ó Broin from Ùlpan and he was delighted and excited to help us in our quest to get a gaelic class off the ground. Then up popped Ann MacLean who had recently moved to Lismore – Ann is a gaelic speaker, she has close Lismore connections, is a beautiful gaelic singer and a gaelic teacher! It all seemed too good to be true!

Anyway it all came together on Saturday 18th Feb – we had organised an Ùlpan Gaelic Taster day for all those interested. I picked Adhamh up off the 12 ferry and took him to the Heritage Centre. I was hoping for a good turnout. Our class was due to start at 2.30pm and as the time went on the cafe got busier and busier and busier. By 2.30pm we had to swiftly find a bigger space than the one we had planned for our class – 24 people came to sit in on the Taster class to hear Adhamh talk all about the ulpan method. Then Ann and Àdhamh took everyone through the first unit of Ulpan. It was fun and exciting and interesting and challenging and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. We had people there from all over the world wanting to learn gaelic – from Lismore to Glasgow to London to New Zealand! They aged in range from teenagers to in their 80’s! We also had 5 local gaelic speakers who were keen to see how this new method worked. At the end of the session 14 people said they wanted to learn gaelic with us! We have several other people keen to learn too who couldn’t attend on sat. So now it looks like we’re going to have to put on 2 gaelic classes a week! We start in April – two units/classes a week as this is the recommendation from Ùlpan to help people achieve fluency. It’s really exciting and I for one can’t wait to get learning and talking and help Sophie with her homework! It should help me too with the gaelic songs we’ll be singing with the new Lismore Community choir we have starting up soon. Even though we’re not all highlanders it’s a good feeling to think we’ll be helping to keep gaelic and especially Lismore gaelic alive. As someone said to me on saturday – Gaelic is cool!

This was first posted on my blog (http://lorraineatlismoremuseum.wordpress.com) in Feb 2012 – my blog about working as Assitant Curator at Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre.

Ùlpan re-introduces Gaelic to Canna

Monday 20th February 2012 may well prove to be an important date in history books of both Canna and Ùlpan as, through the financial support of The National Trust for Scotland, The Year of Scotland’s Islands programme and Fèis Chanaidh,  serious stepts were taken to reintroduce Gaelic  as a community language on the Island of Canna.

This action, of course, has a huge historical significance given the many works carried out by previous Island owner John Lorne Campbell and his wife Margaret Fay Shaw to preserve  and Hebridean culture . The  five day course , the first of many hopefully, took place in Canna house, home to Mr Campbell and Mrs Shaw for many years, and what a welcoming and fitting venue it proved to be.

This was a fairly intense course which covered the first 12 units of Ùlpan.  The students were all extremely diligent and used the language that they picked up at every opportunity.  The course was delivered by Kevin Rodgers from Caol.  Kevin has been teaching Gaelic using the Ùlpan method since 2008 and last year became a Tutor  Recruitment officer for  Deiseal, the company who run Ùlpan.

This was Kevin’s second visit to the Island  and this time he wasn’t alone as he was joined by wife Kirsty, daughter Katherine and son Billy. The family were made to feel extremely welcome by all the Island residents and were treated to a lovely surprise when the students threw an impromptu party for Katherine on her 4th birthday! As well as the regular course content they can now sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in Gaelic perfectly.

Kevin was thrilled at the success of the course saying

“I can honestly that the last week has been one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever experienced as an Ùlpan tutor. From the very  first unit it was obvious that the students had a real desire to learn and use the language. It is planned to continue the work we’ve started here and I see no reason whatsoever why, if they continue to show the same commitment, we couldn’t be talking about fluent Gaelic learners in a few short years”

Kevin also added “ The fact that the course was held in Canna House only added to the experience and, without being over the top, there was certainly a feeling of Gaelic being very welcome there. “

Island Manager, Stewart Connor has  been  instrumental in the setting up of this course and, along with the Island’s community council, has continuation plans which will ensure that this re-growth of Gaelic on the island continues. As part of this plan, local resident and Island stalwart Winnie MacKinnon will undertake training to become an Ùlpan tutor in the near future. Winnie  is one of the few remaining  people with Canna Gaelic and is certainly the last to be resident on the Island and so it’s fantastic that she I going to help in ensuring Gaelic will begin to once again thrive on Canna.

“Everything seems to falling in to place  here and, although it’s going to be a long road, I can sense something extremely important, not only for Canna but also for Gaelic Culture, could take place here in the years to come.” – Kevin Rodgers, Ùlpan tutor.

We’ll watch this space!