Gael of words from author Catriona

Catriona Zappert, right, at the school which was first to get copies of the book.
Catriona Zappert, right, at the school which was first to get copies of the book.

An author who hails from Deeside has written an illustrated beginners guide to Scottish Gaelic.

Catriona Zappert wrote the 16-page book to help children easily pronounce and learn Gaelic words.

Catriona, 37, who now lives in New Lanark, was brought up near Aboyne and her parents still live there.

She attended Kincardine O’Neil Primary School and Banchory Academy.

In the guide, a family of fairies – called the Gaels – are used to introduce a range of Gaelic words with phonetic pronunciation also included to help beginners understand how the words should be said out loud.

Catriona’s daughter Lily, 6, attends New Lanark Primary School and pupils were the first to get their hands on a copy of the book and also had a special read-through by the author.

She said: “I’m so pleased that the pupils seemed interested in the book and how it connected to the English language.

“Some of them picked it up right away and were shouting out how to pronounce words before me!

“I am passionate about Scottish Gaelic and I thought this would be a good way to introduce it to young people in a fun and informative way.

“I would like to thank the school for being so welcoming and also the council for the support they have given me.”

South Lanarkshire Council’s spokeperson for youth, Councillor Julia Marrs, said: “Congratulations to Catriona for producing such a well thought out and easy to understand book for Gaelic beginners.

“It was amazing to see how enthralled and captivated the young people were when she was reading through it with them.

“They really connected with the book and I hope it sets them on the path to discover more about the rich heritage the Gaelic language has.

“So many words we use in English are derived from Scottish Gaelic and I think it’s wonderful to find out more about that connection.”

The council helped produce and print a limited number of copies of Catriona’s book.

There will be a public edition released in the next few months.