Gaelic Language

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Having seen that language shapes identity, it is clear that the Gaelic language will be used purposefully in Outlander in order to create a certain image of the Gaelic identity. However, as Claire travels back in time, it is not only Gaelic identity being depicted, but specifically Gaelic identity in 1743, maybe also in contrast to Gaelic identity in 1945. Before the travel through the stones nobody utters so much as a single sentence in Gaelic – everyone communicates in English with Claire and her husband, which changes when she goes back to the 18th century. As BBC reports, with “Gaelic being the language of the highlander in 1743” (BBC), Gaelic serves as a means to distinguish between these two worlds. It is a fact that Scottish Gaelic…show more content…
This is the case in the first episode, when the men are riding past Cocknammon Rock, which is often used for ambushes by English troupes, as Frank had told Claire. She shares that knowledge with Jamie, who then warns Dougal in Gaelic (Episode 1 min.52). Here, Claire knows exactly what Jamie is saying, because it is only logical to inform the group leader about the possible danger. Gaelic is thus not used to prevent her from understanding, but rather as a reaction to an imminent English attack. Being acutely aware of the enemy around the corner, Jamie naturally chooses the language that separates his party and the English party. He draws on his Scottish identity by distancing himself from the English and their language. After the fight, when Jamie and Claire return to his clansmen, they continue speaking Gaelic – probably for the same reason as before, to emphasize their common Gaelic identity in times of English attacks. Now, however, they also wonder how Claire knew about the ambush and more then before regard her as one of 'them'. Even though her information saved them, Claire is one of the others, a possible enemy, and therefore the Scots are careful sharing information with…show more content…
As a supporter of the Jacobite cause, Dougal seizes the opportunity to raise money for it in the evenings by reminding people of the hardships the English have brought on the clans. For this purpose he also speaks Gaelic (Episode 5 min.20), which on the one hand prevents Englishmen from listening – though there do not seem to be any – and on the other hand strengthens the feeling of sharing an identity, one that is endangered by the English intruders. This danger becomes even more real when later in that episode they find two Highlanders hanging from crosses, whereupon the so far longest sequence in Gaelic follows. First there is the burial, which is held in Gaelic, and then there is another scene in a pub, where Dougal argues for the Jacobite cause. Without a doubt the death of these two men, who they assume to be victims of the English, has rekindled their hatred against the English enemy and in turn their sense of belonging together as Scotts. That is why they choose to speak 'their language' now, which belongs to them and indicates their common
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