Ainmean Àite na h-Alba, Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland, Map the Way

The Ainmean Àite na h-Alba – Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland was formally launched on Tuesday evening (28 November) at an event held in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament. 

Set against the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which gives public bodies new opportunities and responsibilities to promote the use of the language, it became evident that local authorities and organisations across Scotland responsible for mapping required guidance on Gaelic names.

The Ainmean Àite na h-Alba – Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland (AÀA) is a partnership of public and voluntary bodies. Its purpose is to:
• determine authoritative forms of Gaelic place-names across Scotland
• apply consistent orthography of Gaelic in place-names
• to encourage the adoption of these forms of Gaelic place-names

The Partnership includes Argyll and Bute Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Comunn na Gàidhlig, CLÌ Gàidhlig, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Ordnance Survey, Scottish Place-Names Society and the UHI Millennium Institute. 

The partnership uses local knowledge, historical expertise and established principles to agree accurate forms of place-names.

Ainmean Àite na h-Alba – Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland produces guidance for trunk road and local authorities on standard Gaelic versions of road signs and street names to ensure consistent standards. A longer term intention is to establish an on-line resource, accessible to all, as a reference resource for place-names in Gaelic.

Mr John Hutchison, Chairman of Ainmean Àite na h-Alba – Gaelic Place-Names said:

 “I’m delighted that we are now embarking on a new development phase as a formally constituted organisation. The partnership is working effectively, and I’m happy to announce that we have a number of developments planned leading up to the production of a national Gaelic gazetteer.

“AÀA warmly welcomes the financial support it has received from, Argyll and Bute Council,  Bord na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland Council, also the financial support which we received from Highlands and Islands Enterprise as this assisted us to develop our business plan.

“It gives me great pleasure to formally launch the website  and information leaflet at the Scottish Parliament so close to our national day, St Andrews day. I hope that you will visit the AÀA website regularly and make use of the services offered, as it will be an invaluable educational tool and a treasure trove for Scotland’s historical, environmental and linguistic heritage.”

Mr Hugh Buchanan Ordnance Survey External Relations Manager said, "Ordnance Survey are delighted to welcome the establishment of Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba Gaelic Place Names of Scotland as an authoritative forum for agreeing the modern use of Gaelic in place names.  We are proud of our role in preserving the record of Gaelic in place names - one of the most visible uses of the language for many visitors to Scotland.  We look forward to working with AÀA to continue this work, as we have done previously with the Gaelic Names Liaison Committee."

For further information please contact: Chairman John Hutchison; 01397 707231

28 Nov 2006