A campaign to have an option for Gaelic subtitles on the Gaelic television Channel BBC Alba is gathering momentum in the Gàidhlig speaking and learner community. Spearheading the campaign is the website Gàidhlig TV. This observer will testify (as a Gaelic learner) that it doesn't help the learning curve at all to have the English subtitles at the bottom of the screen. There are also claims that many of the programs on the Gaelic Channel have more English than Gaelic in their content. The campaigners state:
"Established in 2008, a great deal of the channel’s programming for adults contains English language content – a deliberate policy decision by broadcasters - with no Gaelic subtitling/captioning, dubbing or voice-overs. English language subtitles are imposed on the majority of programmes for adults, with no opt-out opportunity. Gaelic subtitles - for the very language the channel is supposed to represent - are not provided as an option, therefore limiting access service provision for fluent speakers or learners of the language (learners are a key target audience for the channel also). English language audio is systematically and regularly included in programming. The very high level of English language content has prompted a variety of commentators to question the channel’s purpose. There have been cases of ‘Gaelic’ programmes being conducted almost entirely through the medium of English."
The on line campaign is also active on twitter where regular analysis of English content in so-called Gaelic programmes is analyzed.
80% English - Lorgan Linda/Linda's Story - BBC ALBA @gaelicmedia Acceptable? pic.twitter.com/Pm9mNBzYZF
— Craoladh Gàidhlig (@GAIDHLIGTV) December 5, 2014
It does seem entirely appropriate to this observer that money intended for Gaelic television should simply be for that - to promote the Gaelic language and that means Gaelic subtitles too.