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NORN KJOKL • View topic - A little solidarity....

NORN KJOKL

The Orkney & Shetland Norn Forum
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 Post subject: A little solidarity....
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:19 am 
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Hello folks,

just a quick note to offer some moral support :)

I am the first person to fully resurrect a moribund dialect of Scottish Gaelic (Cowal) and raise the first generation of new native speakers (I have four children). Luckily of course I had hours of archive recordings to work with and two native speakers of neighbouring dialects, which is of course like night and day compared to what you guys are trying to achieve here! ;)

I think it's just wonderful and I am brimming over with respect. An "intellectual venture" it may still be, but there's so much ambition in evidence at the site to do everything possible to bring it on as far as it can go. Great to see and so good also to see how strictly you are working from what you know and are adopting nothing until you have done everything possible to eliminate reasonable doubt. I recognise the instinct however to do this without scuppering the possibility of the language seeing use in the meantime. I cannot count the times I revised and revised again forms which I had taken on and later had to alter, even just slightly! But that's the road we walk. To really take on something like this is not the sort of thing you do by halves! :P

The odd thing is that although I grew up in Cowal and speak the language of what I feel to be my home, my initial research into a moribund dialect was into that of Caithness, because my mother's people came from there to a man, Scots speakers from Bower and Watten and Gaelic speakers from Latheron and Dunbeath. I am tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed and my heritage is full of Gunns, Stevens and Barnies. I found very little in the way of recordings however and very little of any other evidence and so was initially put off. I went home to Cowal for the first time in ten years and was hit with a powerful dose of nostalgia which I had not expected and the rest is history.

I have been to the website here a few times over the last few years and have watched it grow, but due to my work with Gaelic, I never felt able to contribute anything. I still don't in an active sense, as we have moved into the next phase of the project on Cowal -taking it to the rest of Mid-Argyll and on into the rest of Scotland, providing infrastructure and support for those wishing to learn something other than 'Mid-Minch' Standard (Western Isles / Skye) Gaelic. DROITSEACH -you can find it on Facebook. All posts are bilingual....

But.... I intend to hover regularly and am finding Norn easy enough to pick up from having spent this evening pouring over the first six lessons, approximating general intonation from what I know of Norwegian. I am not daft enough to say that I will delve wholesale into it for the moment -know thyself! :P but if at some stage the tuition side of things develops at the site or otherwise, I would very much like to be a hobby-learner, like the good few people to whom I have taught Gaelic on and off who will perhaps never get past the basics because of a lack of time/commitment, but who enjoy it thoroughly all the same! :)

I believe there will be a good portion of words which can be picked out from especially Lewis Gaelic which would be of use:

sgudal : rubbish (sgudal?)
slaodach : slow (sluda?)
tobhta : a ruin (toft?)

You probably have all of these anyway (I know you have 'tobhta', but haven't checked your dictionary for the others), but Oftedal gives a list of Norse borrowings in the back of his book 'The Gaelic of Leurbost' some of which might be of use.

All the very best for 2013 here at Nynorn! :D

Slàn leibh air an àm!
(health be with you for now)
-

Àdhamh

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Last edited by Àdhamh on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:05 pm 
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And another:

tasglann : lit. 'store-area', used today to mean 'archive' (task? bag?)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:59 am 
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Hello Àdhamh, welcome to our board! Fàilte gu ar bòrd, toilichte do choinneachadh!

Thank you for your words of encouragement, you really hit the nail when you talk about scrutinising all possible solutions when you're reconstructing a language or a dialect. It's good to meet someone doing the same thing as us, even though Nynorn and the dialect of Cowal require different approaches and methodology of revival.

I'm also happy to hear that someone is doing the Nynorn lessons. I've slowed down my work on them a bit, because I haven't felt any interest in them from our visitors, but anyway, the course will be completed sooner or later. If you think it's about time, I can post 4 new lessons after I've polished everything (and they're almost ready).

As regards your proposed words, tobhta has a cognate in Scandinavian languages as well as Norn (toft/topt/taft), so it's included in our Nynorn-English dictionary. As for the other words, I need more time to consider them properly.

P.S. If you don't mind, I move this topic to the Nynorn section, where it seems more appropriate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Of course, please do....

And I think it is now safe to say that I "am doing the Nynorn lessons". I am always cautious in saying that I am taking anything on until I have given myself time to see whether it extends past the intial flash of inspiration/novelty, but I can now say that I have been learning Nynorn for the last week or so and it doesn't look like wearing off.

I have compiled a very simple English-Nynorn dictionary of all the words contained in the first nine lessons and have given all the verb forms where I can. I am happy to continue to add to that as you add lessons. Although this will only scratch the surface, it may act as a handy stop-gap for anyone dabbling in learning until those who actually know what they are doing get along further with the real McCoy! ;) It's just another Excel file.

The most useful thing for me in the lessons has been the sections of text and if they could be read out in approximate accent and made available even as mp3s, that would be dynamite.

The lessons are great, there is very little that is not explained well. The only thing would be to say that it is heavily grammatical. I am Student Recruitment Officer for the Ùlpan method as my day job and of course, we are talking about a live-class method and not an online one, but definitely a little more emphasis on recordings and simple texts which can be followed with specific points on the grammar therein -as well as the systematic lessons themselves which are of course essential- would be really good.

I know, I know, time is a precious thing of which none of us have a plethora! :lol:

I will post some of my sample lessons for my Cowal students if that would help?

Is there somewhere to discuss learning the tongue, as in, a space on the forum here? Please advise of the best section in which to post Nynorn lesson questions and discussions. I'll have a quick look just now.

I would love to have a Skype hour once a fortnight or whatever suited with anyone else up for doing this.... :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Grand. Thanks for coming back on those points. I do understand your point about the grammar and wouldn't necessarily want the lessons themselves to be any different, just that at some point it would be great to have a little more supplementary material. Looking forward to it whenever it comes to pass. I can only imagine the veritable mountain of other stuff on the "list"!

I have returned from Germany. Managed to get a good bit of fluency back this time which was nice :)

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Last edited by Àdhamh on Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:55 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Smashing. If I wasn't so heavily involved in Gaelic, I reckon Norn would get a lot more attention from me, but at least, with the fact that I am involved in Gaelic, I can contribute the connections and points of interest there, if nothing else.

I honestly think if you prepared a short course in spoken Nynorn and got funding from Shetland Council, you would get folk signing up for that in their droves.

I would recommend signing up for your free Ùlpan account and having a look at the free unit one soundfiles and course content to give you an idea of what could be done just to make the basics of the language accesible to people in a class environment:

https://ulpan.co.uk/students/Account/Register

I realise that this sort of thing is years off, but worth a thought or two I think. I'm doing precisely this for my dialect of Gaelic at the moment to raise awareness of it and give people some fun learning and pride in the old culture.

Even Nynorn language taster sessions over a weekend in Lerwick would be brilliant, built around social events at night with Shetland fiddle music and poetry recitals and "Norse" food and drink. I would get myself on a boat from Aberdeen to be there! I reckon you could tie it in with other things that go on in the islands.

Obviously it's total and utter nonsense in a way, but that's where my mind takes me when I give it free reign! :P

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