MEP Calls On Social Networking Sites To Promote Gaelic

11 April 2011

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, an alternate member of the Parliament's Culture and Education Committee has today called on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to include Scottish Gaelic as a user language option.

Facebook is currently available in 70 languages, including Welsh, Irish Gaelic and four varieties of English. Twitter currently only offers seven language options but plans to add more languages by the end of the year. Gaelic Google, Wikipedia and Mozilla have recently been made available and now Smith is calling on social networking sites to include Gaelic as a language option.

Alyn Smith said:

"Facebook and Twitter are great social tools for connecting people but it's important they become more accessible internationally and promote minority languages such as Gaelic.

"There is no good reason why the approximately 60,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland and many more around the world should not be able to navigate around social networking sites in their native language. Google has embraced Gaelic and now social networking sites should follow suit.

"The internet plays an important part in keeping Scotland's Gaelic heritage alive and well for future generations and that's why I am urging social networking sites to promote and encourage the number of people using the language in everyday situations."

Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson from Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Gaelic College said:

"Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has embraced recent developments which enable the use of Gaelic within ICT and we congratulate those individuals who have worked to ensure that Gaelic speakers and learners can access these tools in their own language.