Emma Roddick MSP Calls on Parliament to Improve Evidence Experience for Gaelic Speakers

At a meeting of the Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee yesterday (2nd March 2023), Shona NicIIIinnein, Chief Executive Officer, Bòrd na Gàidhlig was prevented from answering MSPs’ questions in Gaelic. Shona had intimated to the committee in advance that she would like to give the evidence of Bòrd na Gàidhlig to the committee in Gaelic, but it was not possible to have the interpretation services for MSPs in place.

Commenting Emma said

“It was deeply disappointing that the Committee was not able to hear from Shona yesterday in Gaelic as she intended. The Scottish Parliament should be able to hear from folk in one of our national languages. I appreciate that there were operational difficulties for it on this occasion but I will be seeking assurances from the Parliamentary authorities that appropriate resources are in place to facilitate giving evidence in one of Scotland’s national languages.

“Too often we see the use of Gaelic interpretation only being provided when the topic itself is languages. But Gaelic doesn’t exist only in a silo or language learning apps. It is a living language and MSPs should be able to hear from Gaelic speakers on health, education, transport, and yes even the regulation of charities, in their own language. I’ve done what I can with the limited Gaelic I have to bring it into the committee’s work and it would have been fantastic to hear from Shona in Gaelic today. Sadly, this was not possible but I am hopeful that we can in future hear evidence in Gaelic.”