Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This is not my guitar :) -- from Balthus Van Tassel on Flickr
So one day last week my mom says to me, "I have an idea -- you should learn how to play the guitar. What's a folk-singer without a guitar?" Beware: when my mom has an idea, you'd better watch out. And today I found myself walking to my first lesson. There's a man who teaches guitar just a few blocks from my house. He was very good, or so my mom says. It's not that I doubt it, it's just that I don't know anything about music. I learned a lot, and I still haven't absorbed it all. It's hard to put all your fingers down at once on the strings. My fingers just don't want to cooperate. It's partly because I have double-jointed fingers and arms and partly because my hands are pretty weak. I just have never had to do too much with them, musically. So now I find myself learning how to play the guitar with no idea how it happened. But that's okay, I'll just strum a little bit over here by myself. *bong*

In other news, I'm re-entering the blogsphere! I've decided that I need to revitalize at least one of my blogs, and I decided that I have the most to share in my journey of becoming a Gaelic speaker. Please visit often, and as you can see, I don't always write much in Gaelic, like today. (Tha mi duilich -- tha mi ro shgith (sp?), agus chan eil àm gu leòr agam a-nochd.) So don't worry about the Gaelic side of things, anyone is welcome.

That's it for now!

Sin e an-dràsta!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Geek out!

*An update on the mòd is coming soon!*

So I check my email today and see an update from ACGA saying "Did you know that you can get Google and Open office in Gaelic?" I totally freak out. In fact, only a few minutes after the fact, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you... but I jumped up and started running around the room. :) SO EXCITED! And SO geeky!!

I'm hoping that Google translate and maps will soon follow.

When you put in jiberish:

Cha do lorgadh sgrìobhainn sam bith air son - sldfjskfjsf -.


Dèan cinnteach gum bheil a h-uile facal sgrìobhte gu ceart.
Feuch faclan-luirg eile.
Feuch faclan-luirg nas cumanta.


Okay, here's the link:

Google 's a' Ghàidhlig

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 days until US Mòd '10 -- Deiseil? Ready?

Almost there! Can't wait to see everyone!

Here's a link to a vid of Sineag Macintyre singing Teann-a-Nall. She will be at the mòd this weekend as she won at the Royal Mòd last year.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Smaller classes for Gaelic schools comes under attack

Just a quick link for y' all today. 17 days until the US Mòd!

(Tha mi duilich. Chan eil mòran Gàidhlig agam idir an diugh. :(

Seo e: (Here it is):


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sheena's Garden (An Gàradh aig Sìne)

After the competition in Antigonish my mom and I headed to the Pictou-Antigonish Library to check email. While we were there I was extremely excited to find a Maisy book in Gaelic! The librarian noticed my highland dance bun and we struck up a little conversation. When she found out I was learning Gaelic she handed me a little card with the web address of a new E-book in Gaelic and English.

As deidh an co-fharpais anns a' Bhaile Mòr, chaidh mo mhàthair agus mi dhan Pictou-Antigonish Library to check email. Nuair a bha sinn an seo bha mi gle shona a fhaic (?) an leabhar mu dheidhinn Maisy 's a' Ghàidhlig. Chunnaic an librarian m' fhalt agus bha sinn a' bruidhinn rinn. Thug i an cairt beag dhomh.... (I can't translate anymore!!!)

I checked it out and was very pleased! Obviously meant for small children, it re-enforces the names for numbers and vegetables (and their plurals). I learned some new vocabulary for words like bean, cucumber, tomato, etc. It's a great learning tool as it is completely bilingual and a fun children's book as well. I love the animations. Check it out!

The link to a page with two E-books on it. Click to read it and a second web window will appear:


(And in case you were wondering, Lewis MacKinnon is the narrator for both Sheena's Garden and the story Dòmhnall agus na Sithichean. :)

(I took some cool screen shots but Blogger won't let me upload them. Bah!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dòmhnall agus na Sìthichean - Donald and the Fairies

At the Gaelic college, my Gaelic class did a play based on a Cape Breton story. I was one of the narrators. Here is a video showing the same story, animated. Enjoy!

Thanks to Gaelcast.

Aig a' Cholaiste Ghàidhlig, rinn mo chlas Ghàidhlig cluich à Cheap Bretainn (sp?). 'S e narrator a bh' annam. Seo bhideo mu dheidhinn an sgeul sin, animated. Tha e gle mhath!

Le taing do Gaelcast.

(I know it's all in Gaelic, so if you would like a rough translation please leave a comment saying so. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Great Lakes Mòd pictures

Shortly is a relative term. So there.

Here are the pictures from the Mòd, taken by my mom.
The Mòd sign. The signage was quite good, I thought. Except for the fact that for a little while, the signs were pointing in opposite directions. That was soon fixed though.
Bha an signage gle mhath, bha mi a' smaoineachadh.
Mr MacKay and me. A teacher and student kind of shot.
Anne, a wonderful singer.
Seo Anna. Tha i math air seinn agus tha i uamhasach snog.
Susan and Anne.
The organizer, Frances Acar, with ajudicators Angus Allan MacDonald and Sìne Anna MacKay, writing feedback.
Seo an organizer, Frances Acar, le Angus Allan MacDonald agus Sìne Anna MacKay, na judges, a' sgriobhadh feedback.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mòd nan Lochan Mòra -- The Great Lakes Mòd

By the way, it's 102 degrees in my part of PA right now. Just thought I'd mention that.

Sooo.... I went to my third mòd! My last mòd was a dazzling success beyond my wildest dreams, so I approached this one with more than a little trepidation. I had been preparing for it for quite some time, but the songs were difficult, Mr MacKay says. Something that was new at this mòd for me was the fact that the songs were prescribed. I was very nervous about going to a dance camp away from home in Ohio (starting that night) and so that carried over into my singing and concentration. Oh, and the organizers at the mòd graciously arranged so that I was able to dance as well, in the afternoon.

How the singing went:

Sang Horò Tha Mi Smaointinn. Apparently I didn't do so well on the pitch, and I also messed up the words and had to stop and start over. Not the end of the world, but it rattled me a bit.

Then Gad Ionndrainn. Definitely my best song, and I did well on it, I think.

Next I had a break and then Coille an Fhasaich. I had been having a lot of troubles with the high notes, and that affected the whole song. Not terrible though.

And last of all, my puirt set. This should have been my best since I've been doing it for nearly a year, but I didn't get enough breath to start off with and choked in the first port. Again, not terrible, but definitely not my best.

I received 3rd overall (2nd on the first two and 3rd on the last two). I am neither excited, nor disappointed by these placings. I got excellent feedback, and the subjectivity of it all is most definitely a fact of life, in both Gaelic and in dance. I'm looking forward to taking this feedback and working towards the US Mòd in September.

I was also very lucky in that I had both my mom, my dad, my Gaelic teacher, and my linguistics mentor/friend/dancer person Kathleen Hall there to watch me. Thank you all!

Okay, it's too hot to write any more. I can tell for sure that it's going to be a long while before my next post, but it'll come in due time.

Oh, and can anybody tell me if my title is correct? Should it be Mo Bhlog Bheag or Mo Bhlog Beag. I'm not sure. I should know this but...

For a more general report from ACGA's mòd blog, click here. And yes, I'm in the header photo.

I have some photos from this mòd but they're on my mom's computer and will follow in another post.