Cainnt Mo Mhàthar

I came across an interesting site today about Scottish Gaelic in Nova Scotia – Cainnt Mo Mhàthar (My Mother’s Language), which contains videos and audio recordings of Gaelic speakers from Nova Scotia, as well as information about the Gaelic language and culture of that region. The site is in both English and Gaelic.

This entry was posted in Language, Scottish Gaelic.

4 Responses to Cainnt Mo Mhàthar

  1. Christopher Miller says:

    When you cross the bridge from mainland Nova Scotia to Cape Breton Island, you are welcomed on the Cape Breton side with an arch over the highway with “CÉAD MILE FÀILTE” inscribed on it.

    Gaelic was at one point widely spoken, even the majority language, in the Eastern Townships east of Montreal, and in the area to the west of Montreal along the Ottawa River, as well as in the Red River colony in Manitoba. Most of the Fathers of Confederation who negotiated the union of three of the British North American colonies (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada) in 1867 were Gaelic speakers (including Canada’s first post-Confederation prime minister, sir John A. Macdonald). At one point, in the days when Gaelic still had a large speech community in many parts of the country, there was a petition to make Gaelic an official language of Canada, which was rejected on the basis that it wasn’t official in the home country, so why should it be here. Gaelic speakers – like speakers of our indigenous languages – unfortunately never received the favourable treatment that French did from the beginning. We could have been an officially trilingual country (or even more) if things had turned out otherwise.

  2. Christopher Miller says:


    Mary Jane Lamond, whose repertoire is in Gaelic, is pretty popular over here (Canada). She’s well worth a listen.

  3. Seumas says:

    Tha sin cho inntinneach!

    Thanks for linking to this, Simon. I have always wondered what Nova Scotian native speakers sound like. It’s amazing how much they sound like their particular ancestors. I played the videos to my wife (a native speaker from Lewis) without letting her see the screen or telling her that these were Nova Scotians. By their accents alone, she thought the people were simply a mix of Leodhsachs, Uibhsteachs etc.

    Mary Lynk has quite a distinctively Canadian Gaelic accent though – it’s really nice, she still sounds absolutely natural, but she doesn’t quite sound like a Scot.

    Moran taing a rithist, chord an larach-lin rium.


  4. Corcaighist says:

    Gura míle as an nasc a Simon!

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