Written Form

Alasdair Macleod alasdair.macleod at HIENT.CO.UK
Mon Dec 1 13:19:33 UTC 2003

One claim I occasionally hear tossed at Scottish Gaelic is that Gaelic's
high level of illiteracy (50$ of the 60,000 Gaelic speakers are unable to
read and write proficiently in the language) makes it highly unusual, as
well as primitive and unsustainable.

I normally retort by stating that 'actually, over 80% of the world's
languages do not exist in a written form' - but I must hold my hands up and
admit that this statistic is completely made up (my only defence is that it
sounds about right). Does anyone have a figure for this based on any sort of
reliable/empirical evidence?

Alasdair MacLeod

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