Yes Alba Submission to the Smith Commission

5pm today is the deadline for submissions to the Smith Commission.

Submissions, like the one attached, have been made to ensure consideration of the Gaelic language is taken when deliberating over the negotiations of bringing additional powers to Scotland.

Social and Economic powers that bring about language equality for people and business alike should be handed over – this would open up new opportunities to the Gaelic language in matters of consumer rights, banking, financial services and health and safety – all of which are matters that affect each of us equally on a daily basis.

Being able to start up and then run a business and all that goes with it through only the medium of Gaelic would be an encouraging way forward.


Yes Alba is a campaign network, based in Glasgow, but with over 30,000 supporters across the country and overseas. We campaigned for a Yes vote, however, we accept the result of the referendum and the main interest of our submission lies in ensuring that the new constitutional arrangement is cognisant of the needs of Gaelic speakers and of Gaelic as a minority language.

Our submission is based on the reversing language shift principles pioneered by Joshua Fishman which are well established in academia and in practice across the globe. These principles influenced the 2005 Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act, passed by Holyrood, and the 1993 Welsh Language Act, passed at Westminster. They state that to reverse language shift from the minority language, work has to be undertaken to ensure the continued intergenerational transmission of the language. Strategies to achieve this can be forward on four fronts: language status; language usage; language…

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