Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 01:27 UK

Gaelic dictionary 'a great asset'

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow
Mr Robertson said the dictionary will be as important as art collections

A new dictionary of Gaelic will be as important as "great art collections" held by national galleries, a university figure has said.

Strathclyde's Boyd Robertson, convener of the Faclair na Gaidhlig project steering group, commented ahead of the launch of a business plan for it.

The aim is to produce a dictionary on a par with the Scottish National and Oxford English dictionaries.

Four universities and Gaelic college Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye are involved.

Minister for Culture Linda Fabiani said the Scottish Government was also supporting the project.

The art collections held by Glasgow Museums include works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Whistler
The National Galleries of Scotland have art by contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst
The new dictionary will be published in electronic format initially and document the history of the Gaelic language

Mr Robertson, a reader in Gaelic at Strathclyde, said: "The production of Faclair na Gaidhlig is a long cherished aspiration of the Gaelic community and is a project that will enhance the status of the language and help to secure its future.

"It will give Gaelic a vital linguistic and cultural resource which other minority languages across Europe already enjoy, and it will provide Scotland with a national asset of comparable importance to the great art collections that adorn our major galleries."

The project also involves the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow.

Ms Fabiani welcomed the launch of the business plan which will allow the project to progress further.

She said: "This government is committed to ensuring a successful future for Gaelic in Scotland.

"This historical dictionary will be a valuable resource not only to the general public but to the education, arts and broadcasting communities."


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