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Visitors learn some Gaelic

By Laura Jean Grant – The Cape Breton Post

Hailing from the U.S. Golden State and central Canada, two families got
a taste of Gaelic culture, Saturday morning, during a Celtic Colours
workshop designed as an introduction to one of the oldest languages in
the world.

Frank MacKenzie, a member of the local Gaelic Society, led the workshop
and told participants one of the keys to learning the Gaelic language
is to listen to people speaking it.

“If you want to learn Gaelic, don’t read it, hear it,” he said. “You have to hear it first and then see how it’s spelled.”

Dannelle Gauthier, her husband Bob Gauthier and their daughter
Kimberly, of Deep River, Ont., were among those taking part in the
workshop.

Dannelle, a native of Sydney Mines, decided to return home during the
Celtic Colours Festival and was eager to expose her daughter to the
culture of where she grew up. And Kimberly certainly seemed to be
getting her fill of it – she had to leave the Gaelic workshop early to
get to a step dancing class.

Also speaking their first Gaelic words Saturday were Phillip and Katy
Katzmann and their two young children Caroline, 5, and Sean, 3, from
California.

The Katzmann’s are traveling across the United States and Canada in a
travel trailer on a year-long adventure and were thrilled that the
Celtic Colours Festival coincided with their visit to the island.

“We’ve always wanted to come to Cape Breton for the music,” said Katy,
noting they planned to take in a performance of the Cape Breton
Fiddlers’ Association at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Sunday.

During
Saturday’s workshop, MacKenzie went over some basics of the Gaelic -
noting there are 26 different dialects of the language in Cape Breton
alone – and even introduced participants to a traditional milling
frolic.

Copyright © 2005 Cape Breton Post

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