Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 08:16 UK

Minority language 'could be lost'

Scottish and Welsh flags
Scottish and Welsh minority languages will be discussed

A unified strategy to protect British minority languages such as Gaelic and Welsh has been called for.

Orkney-based expert Dr Donna Heddle said without one they would become "devalued and lost".

She was commenting ahead of a conference, Voices of the West, which will be held in Inverness in June.

Speakers at the event hosted by higher education institution, UHI, will include Ceri Sherlock, commissioning arts executive for BBC Wales.

Working together

The conference will look at the use of minority languages in education and broadcasting.

Dr Heddle, director of the Centre for Nordic Studies at Orkney College UHI, said: "Focussing on education and broadcasting allows us to look at minority languages at work."

She added: "This conference underlines the fact that we need to learn from each other and work together to produce a unified strategy, otherwise these languages will be devalued and lost.

"We will lose our tongues and without our tongues we cannot speak for ourselves."

Writer and broadcaster Carl MacDougall and J Derrick McClure, senior lecturer at the school of language and literature at the University of Aberdeen, will also be key note speakers.

The event will be held at Eden Court Theatre.

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