>>Good to see you back. A few questions for you though: How many Gaelic
>>speakers remain in Cape Breton?
> Only about 1,000. The total population of the island is abt. 150,000
>of which perhaps two-thirds live in the bigger towns, so Gaelic has more of
>an impact in the rural areas. At its peak in the 1930s Gaelic had roughly
>25,000 speakers in Cape Breton, which is why so many monolingual English-
>speakers there can tell you a few words of Gaelic that they heard from their
>parents and grandparents.
It's so sad to see a language die-out so fast. The frightening thing for me
is that in the 1930's Welsh was spoken by about 65% people out of a total
population of about 2.5 million. It's now 22%.
>>What are the chances of a revival?
> Practically nil, since those who have lost the language are much less
>likely to get it back through education, and most of the remaining speakers
>are old. However the language will continue to survive indefinitely as long
>as it passed on to the next generation and there are still people raising
>children in Gaelic here and there.
In which language are the everyday signs written? (traffic; place-names;
shops etc.). In Wales there was a recognition that for Welsh to remain as an
'everyday' language, then it had to be seen as well. Ditto for official
documents like paying rates etc. Althogh these moves were strenously
resisted by the government, (oops! getting into political realities again)
eventually they capitulated and now signs written in Welsh are everywhere.
The other useful thing about this, is that driving around Wales and seeing
all this written Welsh reminds people they are in a different country and
not just a region of Britain. It all helps.
Hwyl -- Mike.