Seminar on Gaelic ASR

May 5, 2022

Soillse held an online seminar on “Progress Towards Accurate Automatic Speech Recognition” on 27/04/22, led by Dr Will Lamb, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. The attendance was international with representation from Basque, Friulian, and Maltese language interests, as well as Scottish Gaelic community members.

Dr Lamb’s presentation was recorded. You can view it here with a short introduction by Soillse Director, Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin.

Dr Lamb has also made a PDF of his presentation available to read here. This includes live links to online references.

Conference: Rooting Minority Language Policy in the Speaker Community

February 21, 2022

Soillse International Conference, 29–31 August 2022,

Caladh Inn, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Call for Papers

Soillse is happy to announce an international sociolinguistics conference on ‘Rooting Minority Language Policy in the Speaker Community’ to be held between 29–31 August 2022 at Caladh Inn, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

The conference is organised and generously sponsored by Soillse, University of the Highlands and Islands. Our keynote speakers are François Grin (University of Geneva), Jane MacLeod (Community Activist), Patrick Morrison (Community Activist), Agnes Rennie (Galson Estate Trust) and Lowri Cunnington Wynn (Aberystwyth University).

We welcome abstracts of between 250 and 300 words (excluding references) in either English or Scottish Gaelic along with a short biography, no longer than 150 words, together with an affiliation if appropriate, and to include a non-binding preference whether you are likely to attend the conference in person or online. The extended deadline for abstracts is 20 May 2022. Please forward abstracts and/or queries to We welcome proposals for presentations from people of all career stages that engage with the themes of the conference. Postgraduate students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to participate with a limited number of bursaries available (on a first-come, first-served basis). Papers should be approximately twenty minutes in duration and should allow for around 10 minutes for discussion.

If circumstances permit we aim to hold the conference on an in-person basis but, if not, we have alternative plans in place to proceed in a hybrid mode, with live keynote addresses, speakers and audience in Stornoway (if possible, and following any government guidelines at that time) as well as online speakers and audience. The choice of their mode of attendance will be open to all delegates. A nominal fee of £50 is charged for attendance whether in person or online (but please note that travel or accommodation expenses cannot be covered if the conference goes ahead on an in-person basis) which also includes the conference dinner. Registration details will follow.

For further information and all queries, please contact

Download the Call for Papers as a PDF:

Conference registration:

“Talking Points” from Norman Maclean

January 18, 2022

A series of recorded discussions on Language Endangerment, Language Hierarchies, and Language Contact.

In the last few weeks of the funded period for Mediating Multilingualism, international project partners in universities in Scotland, India, and Jamaica discussed themes of common interest with UK-based community language speakers, stimulated by brief extracts from the final session of Saoghal Thormoid. These discussions, held in English, were recorded, and have been placed on the Island Voices YouTube channel.

The table below gives links to all the discussions, together with associated clips of Norman Maclean in conversation. (In the recorded discussions Norman’s remarks in Gaelic are subtitled in English. On the freestanding clips from Saoghal Thormoid, the YouTube Closed Captions option will give viewers the choice of following his comments with same language Gaelic subtitles, or automatic translation into other languages using the Settings wheel. Written translations into English are also provided in the YouTube video description.) Linked projects can be accessed on the webpages of the University of the Highlands and Islands Language Sciences Institute.


Recorded Discussion Norman Maclean Extract

Language Endangerment:
Gaelic Trajectory?

Talking Points 1 Saoghal Thormoid clip 1

Language Hierarchies:
English Ascendancy?

Talking Points 2 Saoghal Thormoid clip 2
Language Contact:
Bilingual Balance?
Talking Points 3 Saoghal Thormoid clip 3

Gaelic Award

November 17, 2021

Congratulations to the Gaelic Algorithmic Research Group GARG at the University of Edinburgh on their Gaelic Award for the work they’ve done on Gaelic Speech Recognition!

Agency and Participation Factors: the Gaelic Vernacular Community

August 24, 2021

“This research study builds on the legacy of the Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community research (GCVC)[1] through exploring community agency and participation factors relevant to how Gaelic development interventions engage with the Gaelic vernacular community.”

More here:

PDF: An exploration of agency and participation factors relevant to supporting Gaelic vernacular communities.

Gaelic Crisis Discussion Recorded

July 5, 2021

This is the recording of “One Year On: ‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community’”, delivered on 2nd July 2021, in which a panel of island residents discussed the impact of the book. This was followed by an open forum for follow-up questions and comments.

Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin’s opening Powerpoint presentation can be viewed here.

The written contributions submitted to the Chat function during the discussion are collected here.

The full series of recordings of UHI’s “The Edge” online seminars is available here.


UHI Debate: ‘One Year On’

June 18, 2021

Friday 2nd July, 11-12.30pm Free, open to all. Register

Workshop on “Urras na Gàidhlig”

April 29, 2021

Another online workshop was held on the recommendation in the Gaelic Crisis publication for the establishment of “Urras na Gàidhlig”. Iain Campbell from the Language Sciences Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands spoke on the topic “Building Resilience in Gaelic-speaking Communities: Governance, Agency, Participation“.

The presentation is written in English, but Iain spoke to it in Gaelic, and in the debate that followed all those in attendance who raised questions and comments also used Gaelic, with island residents from Skye, Lewis, Uist and Barra in attendance, as well as representatives from universities in the Soillse network.

Here is a PDF of the presentation.

ASR project final report

April 16, 2021

Here is the final report on the Gaelic speech recognition project funded by Soillse. As can be seen, although the Soillse seed-funding has come to an end, the development work continues with a growing team.

Spring Sale

April 1, 2021

Special 40% discount price of £15 on this important book throughout April.

From the Gaelic Books Council here: