It's been a decade since a Labour-led Holyrood gave Gaelic "equal respect" with English.

But still - in these times of shrill constitutional politics - the language is far from equal and far from respected.

Only this week columns of a rightist newspaper were filled with talk of "subsidising" Gaelic education - as if English-medium schools were not paid for by the public purse too.

Recently a senior advisor to Jim Murphy, former No 10 spin doctor John McTernan, tweeted his ire that Gaelic signposts were put at railway stations with purely English names.

This from a senior official in a party that - to its great credit - drove through the legislation that enshrined "parity of esteem" for Gaelic and thus paved the way for bilingual signage.

He is not alone. Scotland is still soaked with largely unexamined anti-Gaelic sentiment that, at times, spills in to self-hating bigotry.

The Gaelophobe rhetoric is easy to spot: funding for the language is to slow down its inevitable death, very probably as part of some kind of "narrow nationalist" SNP plot.

Gaelic supporters will tell you such bilious comment is subsiding. Scots, they reckon, are wisening up to the now well-evidenced educational and cultural advantages of bilingualism.

Moreover, they'll stress how hard to make a credible case against the paltry cost of Gaelic - given its proven economic benefits (and the fact that Gaelic tax-payers have as much right to educate their children as the rest of us).

But - after centuries when the full power of the state was wielded to impose linguistic homogeneity in the British Isles - many Scots still view Gaelic with deep suspicion.

That - and not what some see as romantic pining for a near-lost Celtic tongue - is the really weighty baggage of our history.

Gaelic and Scots, after all, arguably fared worse in the 20th century than, say, Catalan, after decades of Spanish fascist oppression.

Now bilingual Catalans are trading on their cosmopolitanism while we condemn Gaelic learners as inward-looking.

I keep being told people should learn Chinese, not Gaelic. And - usually - by people who speak neither Chinese or Gaelic.

Should monoglot Anglophone Scots really attack people who are bilingual for being insular?

Gaelophobes will sometimes admit that bilingualism is "useful" - but counter that we should be adopting, say, Chinese-medium education rather than Gaelic.

This argument, of course, ignores that we have Gaelic teachers and not, for example, Chinese ones (although the former are running out).

It also ignores that we have young people who feel enough connection with the language of their forefathers to learn it. Why stop them?

The real linguistic inside track? People who have two native languages find it much easier to learn a third, fourth or fifth "foreign" one.

More: know your own culture, and you'll find it easier to know another (and vice-versa).

So if you really want to make inroads in the core reason for Scotland's insularity - our failure to pick up foreign languages - you should embrace Gaelic. Or, at the very least, let those who want to save the language do so, for all our sakes.