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Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [b̊ɔːɾʃd̪̊ nə ɡ̊aːlɪɡ̊ʲ]) is a quango appointed by the Scottish Government with responsibility for Scottish Gaelic. It is not to be confused with Comunn na Gàidhlig or An Comunn Gaidhealach, which are much older.

Place names in their original Gaelic are becoming increasingly common on road signs throughout the Scottish Highlands.

Its primary aims are

  • to increase the number of Gaelic speakers
  • to strengthen Gaelic as a language of community and home
  • to promote Gaelic in Scotland's cultural life, and
  • to develop the use of Gaelic in every aspect of Scottish life

Its duties are

  • to develop a strategic National Gaelic Plan
  • to work with organisations with an interest in the language, and
  • to consult on a strategy for Gaelic Medium Education

The Bòrd was created in April 2003 and represents a cornerstone of the Scottish Government's implementation of their duties under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The first cathraiche (chair-person) of the eight member Bòrd is Donnchadh MacFhearghais (from Islay), rector of Plockton High School, and former convenor of Comunn Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, Comunn na Gàidhlig, and director of the steering committee for BBC Gaelic programming.

Following a consultation period from October 2003 to January 2004, during which many respondents expressed their concern that any advice Bòrd gives would be likely to be ignored by largely hostile authorities, it was announced in September 2004 that the Bòrd was to be strengthened in several areas:

  • the Bòrd's guidance to local authorities on Gaelic medium education will be statutory
  • it can advise all public, private and voluntary bodies
  • it will decide on how to focus language development and will determine which organisations should produce language plans.

The Gaelic bill, having been debated by the Scottish Parliament, became law in April 2005.

The Current "Cathraiche" (Chair) of Bòrd Na Gàidhlig is Arthur Cormack, who has been in charge fully since February 2009.

See also

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