New app aims to make it easier to learn Gaelic

editorial image

If you always wanted to learn Gaelic but were put off by the pronunciation, help may soon be at hand with the development of a new app that aims to make it easier to learn Gaelic!

The project which has recently launched on Kickstarter, aims to use the latest automated speech recognition technology to provide feedback on your pronunciation - with the idea that you can practice and build-up your confidence speaking Gaelic on your phone.

The app is being developed by Braw Media, a digital development company in Edinburgh, and aims to help reduce many of the barriers and fears people have in learning a new language.

Language models are being created for Gaelic, Irish and Welsh, so that a number of languages can benefit.

The development is being led by Magnus Orr.

He said: “Many people are simply put-off learning a new language, for fear of getting it wrong.

“We want to help remove that fear, by developing a new app that can provide feedback on your pronunciation. So that step by step you can improve fluency.

“Over the last 10 years, automatic speech recognition has seen significant progress.

“Using the app, we want to demonstrate how this technology can be used to benefit minority languages.

“When it comes to learning tools and digital innovation, minority languages often miss out – further increasing the gap between mainstream and minority languages. Our goal is to help address this issue.”

Braw Media also invited people to help map Gaelic interest around the World.

So far 770 markers have been added from 54 countries. Spurred on by the TV drama ‘Outlander’ and the film ‘Brave’, there is growing interest in learning Gaelic in North America.

The company is seeking funding to help develop the app on Kickstarter, the popular crowd-sourcing platform, where if people like an idea they can make a small donation, if the project reaches its target the project will proceed.

Magnus Orr added: “Apart from helping fund the development of this project, Kickstarter provides an excellent way to help validate the growing interest in learning Gaelic.

“The language project will face a number of challenges, as well as taking into account different dialects and regional variations, the company needs to develop language models for each language.

“There are synergies in trying to solve this challenge for Gaelic, Irish and Welsh, even though each language is significantly different we can apply the same process to benefit each language.”

The app aims to open up learning language to a new generation and increase interest in learning.

To find out more go to: website