Saoghal Thormoid

Norman's World content

Norman's World

Norman Maclean; reflections, memories and impressions of a bilingual Gaelic life in Glasgow, Lochaber, and Benbecula

 Video grab of Norman Maclean

On consecutive days in the last week of April 2016 Gordon Wells recorded a series of Gaelic conversations with famed writer and entertainer Norman Maclean, in which Norman spoke reflectively of his memories and impressions of life in Glasgow and the Hebrides from the middle of the Twentieth Century up to the present day. The five videos range between 35 and 55 minutes in length. Word for word transcriptions are also available on Clilstore, enabling instant one-click vocabulary checking for Gaelic learners.

All in all there are 27,000 words and over three and a half hours of listening material in this collection, forming a unique new resource for serious study by learners and researchers. Over the week the conversations ranged over a wide variety of topics, including potentially uncomfortable perceptions and depictions of identity. In broad terms, however, each day had a different central focus, as shown in the table below.

You can access the conversations on Clilstore via the links below. Each Clilstore entry contains a full online video (on YouTube), together with a wordlinked transcript, and a summary description (under Unit Info).

Clilstore links
Monday - Genealogy
Tuesday - Education
Wednesday - Communities
Thursday - Creativity
Friday - Gaelic

The “Saoghal Thormoid” project was a collaboration between Soillse, the inter-university research partnership which funded the recordings through its Small Research Fund, and Guthan nan Eilean, the "Island Voices" online community project. This project provided a model and first testing ground for the larger Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal project led by the Language Sciences Institute.

A volume including synopses and all transcripts in printable format (with a foreword by Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin) is also available: Saoghal Thormoid transcripts.