Monday, August 2, 2010

Gaelic

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/column-8/column-8-20100802-113ai.html

Sydney Morning Herald
3 August 2010

Column 8

In a Rose Bay street, hairdresser Kerry Smith, of Paddington, received a call on his mobile phone from a cousin in his native Scotland, and the two conversed for a while in Gaelic. When the call ended, he was tapped on the shoulder by a woman - a regular customer - who asked: ''What language was that? It's so unusual.'' When he replied that the language was Gaelic, she gasped: ''I had no idea gay people had their own language!'' [...]

http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/08/02/closure-of-cape-breton%E2%80%99s-oldest-synagogue-marks-end-of-era/

National Post [Canada]
3 August 2010

Closure of Cape Breton’s oldest synagogue marks end of era

Joe O'Connor

[...] Ruthie Goldbloom lives in Halifax now, but grew up in New Waterford, a small town not unlike the other coal digging spots that once dappled Cape Breton’s shores.

Ms. Goldbloom is 86. She tells the story of her grandfather, Joseph Claener, a Russian Jew, setting up a tiny grocery store in New Waterford. To make extra money, Joseph would travel by horse and buggy to rural areas hawking his wares, door to door.

There is a family tale of Joseph getting stranded after a snowstorm in Cape Smokey. A kindly family took him in for several weeks. Joseph only spoke Russian and Yiddish. When he returned to New Waterford his proud wife told the neighbours that her husband had learned to speak English. She wanted him to thank them for their kindness. So they gathered around.

“What he spoke was perfect Gaelic,” Ms. Goldbloom says with a roaring laugh. “What he thought was English was Gaelic. And that’s a true story: he was the only man in Canada, as far as I know, that could speak Russian, Yiddish — and Gaelic.” [...]