GOING out and about this weekend?

How about a trip to Grianaig, Ros Saidhe or Achadh an t-Seagail – all places included in a new all-Gaelic map of Scotland.

The project, by The National columnist and blogger Paul Kavanagh, better known as the Wee Ginger Dug, replaces the standard English-language place names normally seen on maps with terms drawn from a number of specialist maps, studies and documents.

The result – which comes after extensive research into landmarks and communities in both urban and rural Scotland – sees Rosyth in Fife labelled as Ros Saidh, former industrial hub Greenock as Grianaig and Auchenshuggle in Glasgow as Achadh an t-Seagail, meaning “the rye field”.

The finished articles should be available to buy in the new year, but the project drew criticism on social media this week after Kavanagh detailed his work.

Opponents rubbished the scheme, with one calling it “pointless jingoistic nonsense” and another claiming the language was “never” spoken in “enormous chunks” of the country.

Another branded Kavanagh a “Nat demagogue” who is hoping to “make a mint rebranding all of Scotland as linguistically Gaelic” as part of a programme of “Gaelic imperialism”.

In his National column today, Kavanagh outlines his aims and addresses the criticism levelled at him.

Meanwhile, a lecturer at the forefront of Gaelic education has raised concerns about the reaction to the project, saying anti-Gaelic sentiment may be “the last acceptable form of racism”.

Dr Anne Frater, programme leader for the Gaelic Scotland course at the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “I don’t see what the uproar is that somebody is daring to call something by its original name.”

Frater, from Lewis, went on: “I’m not somebody who has chosen to learn Gaelic, Gaelic is my first language. Therefore, it’s part of who I am. People who are doing down my language, the language of my family, as something that is dead and worthless and not worthy are doing the same to my entire culture. I don’t think it should be accepted. It seems to be the last acceptable form of discrimination.”

Many of the Gaelic place names are derived from phrases which sum-up the landscape, describing its appearance and use.

Frater said: “When you look at the name of the land in Gaelic, it makes sense. It describes that land. The English is just sounds – it’s an approximation of the sound of the Gaelic.”

Wee Ginger Dug: A Gaelic map isn’t ‘Gaelic imperialism’, it’s a restorative act for the language which created Scotland