Professor Moray Watson

Professor Moray Watson
Professor Moray Watson
Professor Moray Watson

MA (Hons), MLitt, PGCE, PhD, FHEA, GradDipFr

Personal Chair

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272546
Office Address
B1 Taylor Building
Old Aberdeen Campus
High Street
AB24 3UB

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School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture


I have taught in the Northern College, Aberdeen, the National University of Ireland, Galway, the University of the Highlands and Islands, and, since 2004, at the University of Aberdeen. I am Professor of Gaelic and Translation Studies and Director of Ionad Eòghainn MhicLachlainn: the National Centre for Gaelic Translation.

I research broadly in the field of Translation Studies, with special focus in translator training, skills acquisition and literary translation. In Gaelic Studies, my main focus is modern literature. I am currently welcoming proposals for PhD and MLitt research in any of these or related areas.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Personal Tutor;
Erasmus/Go Abroad Tutor;
Academic Line Manager.

External Memberships


Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Review College
Research Assessor, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
Executive Council, Board of Celtic Studies Scotland
Faclair na Gàidhlig Steering Committee
Board Member, Gaelic Books Council



External Examiner: MA (Gaelic and Irish), University of Glasgow

Prizes and Awards

2021 Donald Meek Prize for the year's best Gaelic book.


Research Overview

In June 2020, I am author of six of the top 10 Gaelic books on Amazon UK. 

Research Outputs


Books – Single Authored

1. An Introduction to Gaelic Fiction, Edinburgh University Press, 2011: pp. 210.

2. Progressive Gaelic 1, Aberdeen: Follais Books, 2011; 2nd edition 2012: pp. 216.

3. Progressive Gaelic 2, Aberdeen: Follais Books, 2012: pp. 240.

4. Progressive Gaelic 3, Aberdeen: Follais Books, 2017: pp. 220.

5. Progressive Gaelic 4, Aberdeen: Follais Books, 2018: pp. 230.

6. Gaelic Workbook 1, Aberdeen: Follais Books, 2020: pp. 222.



Books – Editions

7. Bàrdachd Ghàidhlig: Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn, edition of Iain Crichton Smith's Gaelic poetry, Acair, Stornoway. Edited version of complete Gaelic poetry collection, which includes an introductory essay, notes and an index, 2013: 400pp. Winner of the Donald Meek Prize 2012.

8. Sgeulachdan Iain Mhic a’ Ghobhainn, an edition of Iain Crichton Smith’s Gaelic stories, with Ian MacDonald. Scottish Gaelic Texts Society. Includes an introductory essay and notes: c.450pp. (In press)


Books – Edited

9. The Edinburgh Companion to the Gaelic Language (ed. with Michelle Macleod), Edinburgh University Press, 2010: 359pp.

10. From Vestiges to the Very Day: New Voices in Celtic Studies (ed. with Lindsay Milligan), Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen, 2010: 112pp.

11. Educated Out? The Literature of these Islands, a book of scholarly essays, edited with Michelle Macleod, including essays of my own. To be submitted for publication in 2018.

12. Irish Fluency 1-3 (with Tara Macleod & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.

13. Welsh Fluency 1-3 (with Nia Peris & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.

14. Manx Fluency 1-3 (with Adrian Cain & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.


Books – Translated

15. Eachdraidh Ealasaid ann an Tìr nan Iongantas, translation to Gaelic of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Evertype, 2012: 161pp.

16. Gaelic Fluency 1 (with Alexander MacDonald & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.

17. Gaelic Fluency 2 (with Alexander MacDonald & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.

18. Gaelic Fluency 3 (with Alexander MacDonald & Michael Campbell), Taipei, Glossika, 2017.

19. Translation to Gaelic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: or, There and Back Again, Evertype. (In progress)


Books - Short Works

20. Voices: A Study of the Gaelic Short Stories of Iain Crichton Smith, a Scotnotes booklet, due October 2018.


Journals – Edited

21. Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 29, ed. with Michelle Macleod and Marsaili MacLeod, 2013.

22. Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 30. ed. with Michelle Macleod and Marsaili MacLeod, 2016.

23. Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 31, ed. with Michelle Macleod, 2018.


Chapters in Books

24. "Distinguishing Features in the Gaelic Writing of Iain Crichton Smith", ASLS volume. 2019.

25. “The Gaelic Writer, Iain Crichton Smith…”, a major contribution to the Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2014 volume. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2016: 135-56.

26. "Scottish Gaelic (Non-Dialectal)" (a) in Alice in a World of Wonderlands, ed. by Jon Lindseth and Alan Tannenbaum, New York, 2015: 8pp.

27. "Scottish Gaelic (Non-Dialectal)" (b) in Alice in a World of Wonderlands, ed. by Jon

Lindseth and Alan Tannenbaum, New York, 2015: 5pp.

28. “Education and isolation in the writing of Iain Crichton Smith,” a long essay in Educated Out? The Literature of these Islands. Forthcoming.

29. “Reading Gaelic Literature: Theory and Tradition,” a long introductory essay in Educated Out? The Literature of these Islands. Forthcoming.

30“Cuirp Ghleansach Dhubh: an Saoghal ann an Uirsgeul na Gàidhlig”, in Sùil air an t-Saoghal, ed. by Niall O'Gallagher & Pàdraig MacAoidh, Clò Ostaig, 2013.

 31“Water and liminality in Gaelic fiction”, in Chunnaic mi lainnir a’ bhùirn ud’: Scottish Gaelic Literature in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, ed. by Emma Dymock and Wilson McLeod, Dunedin Academic Press, 2011: 41-54.

32. “Language in Gaelic Literature”, a chapter in The Edinburgh Companion to the Gaelic Language, Edinburgh University Press, 2010: 63-89.

33“Ruaraidh MacThòmais: The Glasgow Verse”, (with M. Macleod) chapter in Glasgow: Baile Mòr nan Gaidheal / City of the Gaels, Sheila Kidd (ed.), Glasgow University Celtic Department Press, 2007: 216-27.

34“In the Shadow of the Bard: the Gaelic Novel, Short Story and Drama since the early Twentieth Century”, (with M. Macleod) chapter in The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature vol. 3, Edinburgh, ed. Ian Brown, Susan Manning, Thomas Clancy, & Murray Pittock, EUP, 2006: 273-82.

35“Dh’fhiosraich mi Céitean”, chapter in Cànan & Cultar: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig , ed. by Wilson McLeod, James E. Fraser & Anja Gunderloch, Dunedin Academic Press: Edinburgh, 2006: 129-137.


Articles in Journals

36“Boundaries and cultural location in Gaelic fiction”. Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 31, 2018: 18pp.

37."Personification, chremamorphism and the island in Gaelic writing of the past century", The Bottle Imp 2017.

38“Monologue, rhetoric and dialectic: how Caraid nan Gàidheal structures a còmhradh”. Forthcoming article.

39“How the còmhradh influenced the dialogue of early twentieth century Gaelic fiction”, forthcoming article.

40“Argyll and the Gaelic prose fiction of the early twentieth century”, Caindel Alban: Scottish Gaelic Studies XXIV, 2008: 573-88.

41“Language in the Development of the Gaelic Novel”, Northern Scotland 26, 2007, pp. c. 17.

42“Iain Crichton Smith: exile, sparseness and the Clearances”, in Studies in Scottish Literature 33, 2004: 15-29.

43“Duilleagan Ghàidhlig Gheala: Ciallachadh agus Roghainn ann am Bàrdachd Iain Mhic a’ Ghobhainn”, in Gath 2: 2003: 48-58.

44“Stuth-teagaisg anns na bun-sgoiltean”, in Scottish Gaelic Studies XXI, 2003: 153-62.

45“The Failure of Representation – ‘Deer on the High Hills’ as thesis” in Scottish Studies Review, Volume 2, No. 2, 2001: 114-26.

46. “Taking the ‘aching’ out of teaching: fun and games in the classroom”, in Journal of Celtic Language Learning Volume 5, 2000.

47“Assessing the suitability of Scottish Gaelic dictionaries for the classroom”, in Journal of Celtic Language Learning, Volume 4, 1999: 42-55.

48“The Perspective of Mortality in the Writing of Iain Crichton Smith”, in Scotia XXII, 1998: 1-14.

49“Constructing a Scottish Gaelic Dictionary for School Children: some phonological and orthographic considerations”, in Journal of Celtic Language Learning, 1997: 51-8.


Reviews and Review Articles

50Review of Am Balach a Dh'èisteadh aig Dorsan, for Steall 05, 2019.

51. Review of An Còta Dathach, for Steall 04, 2018.

52Review of Ainmeil Thar Cheudan, for Scottish Gaelic Studies vol. 31, 2018.

53Review of A' Togail an t-Srùbain, for Steall 03, 2018.

54Review of Cala BenditaNorthwords Now, 2015.

55Review of five recent Gaelic books, Northwords Now, 2014.

56. Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach (Tim Armstrong), in Northwords Now, Autumn 2013.

Alexander MacDonald: Bard of the Gaelic Enlightenment, review in Northwords Now: 22 (web edition, summer 2013).

57. Survey of Gaelic-related publications in 2011-12, The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies 2013 (in progress).

58. dèanamh gàire ris a’ chloc/laughing at the clock (aonghas macneacail), in Causeway/Cabhsair, 2012.

59. An Cuilithionn 1939 (ed. Christopher Whyte) and Caoir Gheal Leumraich (eds Christopher Whyte and Emma Dymock), in Scottish Literary Review, 2012.

60. Saorsa, in Northwords Now: 21, 2012: 19-20.

61“Two Highlights of Recent Gaelic Fiction”, a review of Taingeil Toilichte (2008)  by Norma NicLeòid and Dìomhanas (2008) by Fionnlagh MacLeòid, in Causeway/Cabhsair 1, 2010: 65-69.

62Review of The Essential Gaelic-English Dictionary by Angus Watson, in Scottish Gaelic Studies XXV, 2009.

63“Dualchasan a’ bualadh ri chèile”, Review article on Iain Mac a’ Ghobhainn’s Am Miseanaraidh (2006), in Gath 6, 2006: 40-4.


Encyclopaedia Entries, Reports and Other Publications

64Progressive Gaelic website and resources to support the textbook series: resources include sound files, answer files, pronunciation guides, bibliographies and other ancillary texts.

65“Iain Crichton Smith”, entry (c. 4500 words) in the Literary Encyclopedia,, 2009.

66“Sorley MacLean” entry (c. 3000 words) in the Literary Encyclopedia:, 2008.

67“Return of the Native”, Scotsman, 14th May 2005.

68. The Gaelic Phonic System, major report for Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, 2003: pp.53.

69. Cù Chulainn agus an Creachadh Mòr, children’s novel, Perth & Kinross Council/Radio Tay, 2002.

70. Na Gàidheil ann an Alba, radio series for Gaelic learners, Perth & Kinross Council/Radio Tay, 2001.

71. Mo Chiad Fhaclair, dictionary, Acair, Stornoway, 1996.


Conference Presentations and Invited Lectures

72"A Certain Purpose: Source and Target Culture Dialogues in Modern Gaelic Literary Translation", a paper at the Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig conference, August 2018.

73"Translator Training and Resource Implications for Gaelic", a paper for Poznań Conference on Celtic Studies, July 2018.

74"The Gaelic Writing of Iain Crichton Smith", paper at ASLS Language Conference, University of Glasgow, November 2016.

75“Mar a leughar litreachas na Gàidhlig,” paper at International Congress of Celtic Studies, University of Glasgow, July 2015.

76“Studying Minority Languages,” a lecture at the British Business Centre, Beijing, China, June 2015.

77“Translating Standards and Expectations in the Minority Language,” Conference on Translation, Interpreting and Professional Communication, Hebei University, Baoding, China, June 2015.

78“After the Trill has Gone,” plenary lecture at Educated Out conference, University of Aberdeen, September 2014.

79Plenary lecture at the 8th international conference on Gaelic Studies, ‘Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig’, University of Edinburgh, June 2014.

80“Crossing the Boundaries in Gaelic Fiction”, delivered to On the Edge international conference on Irish and Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 2013.

81“Monologue, rhetoric and dialectic: how Caraid nan Gaidheal structures a còmhradh”, delivered to the International Conference on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, Orkney, 2009.

82“Argyll and Gaelic Prose Fiction”, delivered to the International Conference on the Literature of Region and Nation, Aberdeen, 2008.

83“Gaelic Novels and the Language Question”, delivered to the Conference on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, Perth, 2006.

84“Iain Crichton Smith: His Life and Work”, invited lecture at Word ’05, Aberdeen University, 2005.

85“‘Dh’fhiosraich mi Céitean’”, delivered at Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 3, Edinburgh University, July 2004.

86. “The Celtic Languages”, invited lecture, delivered to the Nine Ladies philosophy symposium, Isle of Islay, 2002.

87. “Lèirsinn Iain Mhic a’ Ghobhainn”, conference paper, delivered at international Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig conference, University of Aberdeen, 2000.

88. “A liuthad soitheach: exile, sparseness and the Gaelic diaspora in the writing of Iain Crichton Smith”, invited conference paper, delivered to Literature of the Clearances conference, University of Glasgow, 2000.

89. “The Hardest of Metaphors”, research paper, delivered to English Department Staff Seminar Series, NUI Galway, 2000.

90. “Perspectives: two Gaelic novels”, conference paper, delivered to the Comhdháil Litríocht is Cultúr na Gaeilge, NUI Galway, 1998.

91. “Stuth-teagaisg Gàidhlig ann an Alba”, conference paper, delivered to Tríú Comhdháil do Theangeolaíochta na Gaeilge, NUI Galway, 1998.

92. “Methods & Materials in Gaelic Education”, conference paper, delivered to Forum for Research into the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, Aberdeen, 1996.

93. “Modern Gaelic Poetry Translation”, research paper, delivered to University of Aberdeen Celtic Department Seminar Series, 1995.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Gaelic Studies.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Gaelic Studies

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Translation Studies

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.



Teaching Responsibilities

I teach Gaelic language at all levels and in all three streams (i.e. beginners', pre-qualified and first-language speakers). My current Honours courses are:

Gaelic Translation: Theory and Practice
The Gaelic Short Story
The Gaelic Novel
Early Modern Gaelic Language and Texts
Traditionalism and Modernism: Gaelic Poetry 1900-1950

I helped to develop the MSc in Translation Studies and currently teach two courses on the degree, as well as supervising dissertation students:

Key Concepts and Methods in Translation Studies
Editing, Proofreading and Revision for Translators

I am currently supervising research students in areas of modern Gaelic literature, translation and interpreting. Prospective postgraduate students are always welcome to get in touch to discuss their options with me.