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Còinnich Chiùin

Fàilte! Welcome! One of the things we most enjoy about the Festival is the opportunity to travel around the Highlands, to meet people and visit places. And on our travels we’ve found ourselves taking a growing interest in the Gaelic language. 

One reason is place-names, finding out about their origin and interpretation. But another reason is that we’re finding some deep issues opening up. 

An example is in the section Probing Deeper – the remarkable images of time that are at the heart of Sorley MacLean’s great poem Hallaig. 

As a result, we’re finding ourselves learning some Gaelic. So we thought that on this part of the site, we should share our experiences and reflect on the insights that we have been getting from the language – insights that lead into history and linguistics; and also into physics and philosophy. 

And we thought that an appropriate name for this section would come from the poem Hallaig itself: 

Eadar an Leac is na Feàrnaibh
tha ’n rathad mòr fo, chòinnich chiùin
 

Between the Leac and Fearns
The road is under mild moss 

So this is where we pick through the pieces of moss that we have gathered on the roads. And this is we depend very much on the help of Gaelic speakers to fill in the gaps and correct errors. To you all – tapadh leibh in advance! 

1. Some place-names: a first look 

2. Processes & objects: language and worldview






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