Historic moment as Gaelic used to address European Council

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Gaelic is to be used in an address to a European Council meeting in Brussels for the first time next week….

Gaelic is to be used in an address to a European Council meeting in Brussels for the first time next week.

It has been announced that the SNP’s Education Secretary Mike Russell will speak in Gaelic when he makes a planned speech on youth issues.

Gaelic was given co-official status after a memorandum of understanding was signed in Brussels in October 2009.  Scottish Gaelic speakers can also write directly to EU bodies in their mother tongue and receive a reply in Gaelic.

Mr Russell said Gaelic formed an important part of Scotland’s social, cultural and economic life.

The EU has 23 “working” languages, into which all EU documents and debates are translated and interpreted.

Gaelic has been spoken in Scotland for over 1500 years.  Over this period, Gaelic has been the language of court and government, learning and the arts, education and devotion and the home and the community.

Although its use has declined over the centuries, it is still alive and an official language of Scotland, as well as a priceless part of our nation’s living, diverse culture.