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New guide is putting Gaelic on the map

A new online guide that will provide a single, authoritative source of information on Gaelic place names has been launched.

The National Gazetteer of Gaelic Place Names is the culmination of 10 years of research by Ainmean-Aite na h-Alba (AAA), the national advisory partnership to research and establish Gaelic place names.

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Launched yesterday in Inverness at The Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee, it has 1000 entries covering places throughout Scotland.

In the form of a free online database (www.ainmean-aite.org) the gazetteer offers definitive forms that can be used by local authorities, the media, researchers, local communities, walkers and climbers or anyone with an interest in place names.

It includes historical information, local sources and sound files to help with pronunciation.

AAA’s work started in 2000, when Ordnance Survey recognised that some Gaelic place names on maps were incorrect and sometimes inconsistent.

Arthur Cormack, Chair of Bord na Gaidhlig, the statutory Gaelic development body, said: “A major resource like this with the authority and backing of many key agencies enables us to, take to a new level, the work being done in terms of people understanding why our environment is labelled and named in the way it is.”

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