BOSLIT and Gaelic

In this post, Gillebrìde Mac ‘IlleMhaoi (Senior Lecturer in Gaelic at the University of Glasgow) gives us an overview of BOSLIT’s Gaelic content. Most of those records were compiled in the 2000s and early 2010s by BOSLIT volunteers. They are a testament to the international vitality of modern Gaelic writing.

The BOSLIT database is an important reference point for getting to know the wealth of Gaelic literature in translation. The database has 2268 items which were composed originally in Gaelic as well as a  further 370 items transalted from other languages into Gaelic.

Of those 370 the role of eminent poet and academic, Professor Derick Thomson/An t-Oll. Ruairidh MacThòmais cannot be underestimated. A substantial number of the works translated into Gaelic featuring in the BOSILT database were first published in ‘Bàrdachd na Roinn-Eorpa an Gaidhlig : European poetry in Gaelic Glasgow’ (Gairm, 1990) which was edited and compiled by Thomson. Some of the most acclaimed Gaelic poets of the 20th and 21st such as Anne Frater, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh and Christopher Whyte are just some of the poets who have translated into Gaelic the works of renowned poets such as Anna Akhmatova and Pablo Neruda. BOSLIT is therefore an excellent place to get to know some of the work of Gaelic writers and the riches of poetry translated into Gaelic.

Professor Derick S. Thomson (1921-2012)

Translation into Gaelic is hugely important for widening the pool of literature available in Gaelic but the BOSLIT database is equally important for the wealth of original Gaelic poetry which has been translated into other languages (mainly English). These items are extremely wide-ranging both in time period and style. Featuring translations of original Gaelic poems by some of the great Gaelic bards such as Alexander MacDonald, Duncan Bàn MacIntyre and Dugald Buchanan as well as contemporary poets such as Peter MacKay, Niall O’Gallagher and Meg Bateman. This database is therefore an excellent way to get a better knowledge of the wealth of Gaelic poetry in translation and as an important point of access for those wishes to immerse themselves more in Gaelic poetry.

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