“SCOTLAND’S national languages have not had an easy history. Scots was once the language of kings and queens, of the court and of law, but in the last hundred years it’s been relentlessly mocked to the point many in our country now consider it slang.

Gaelic faces its own challenges, the pressure on its survival is greater than at any point since the highland clearances.

It is an unfortunate fact that successive Scottish governments have not taken the issue of language loss as seriously as they should have. There hasn’t been a single piece of legislation passed about Gaelic since the Labour-Lib Dem coalition passed the Gaelic language Act in 2005.

This at the time was seen as a huge step for the language, at last we finally had some recognition in Scottish law. But since its passing we’ve seen a continued decline Gaelic’s use, and it has not had an impact on downward trends. This is by any measure a failure.

The SNP have been in Government for 14 years but while we’ve done some truly incredible things more must be done to protect Scotland’s minority languages.

The song Cannan na Gaidhail paints a hauntingly beautiful picture of the language’s decline, even if you don’t speak a word of Gaelic I would give it a listen, its melody is something you can never forget once you hear it. There is a specific line, “O Ghàidheil! O caite ‘n deach d’uaill ‘Nad Chìne ‘s ‘nad chànan ‘s do thir?” (O Gaels, where has the pride in your language gone), that I want to draw your attention to because even though the song was written in the early 1970s this line still rings true today.

A lot of this can be put down to the cringe factor surrounding the language. When I was in primary school it was seen as “weird” not to speak English out in the playground. How can this happen? How can it be considered cringeworthy to speak the language of your community and ancestors amongst your friends?

Two hundred years of ingrained cringe is still with us. My dad’s generation were told that Gaelic was useless, and it would get them nowhere in life, my grandparents’ generation were beaten for speaking a word of the language in the classroom.

Reversing 200 years of cultural oppression and cringe factor will not be an easy task.

Today, many Gaels do not recognise the value of Gaelic, and who can blame them?

With very little recognition at an official level and almost no media available how can you think knowing this language will help with anything. With recognition comes status and that cringe factor will be eased. Our language does not feel equal to English as it currently stands, and how can young Gaelic speakers feel equal to their English speaking peers if it doesn’t look equal.

Young Scots for Independence passing this resolution last week may seem like a very small step, but it’s with small steps we’ll convince people that this language, and all of Scotland’s languages, are worth preserving and promoting.

We are a unique culture, no better than any other, but as unique as any other.

When we take our first brave steps into independence, we need to remember to leave no one behind.”

Euan, 20, is YSI Lothian’s Vice Convener. Originally from Lewis he’s a native Gaelic speaker with English being his second language. Follow him on Twitter @EoghanMhic