Gaelic immersion classes offered in Cape Breton this weekend

People from across the Maritimes are spending the weekend in Cape Breton speak the dying Gaelic langauge.
In a 2011 report, Statistics Canada said only 1,645 people across Canada were raised speaking Gaelic. That's down 10 per cent from 2006. (AP)

People from across the Maritimes are spending the weekend in Cape Breton to improve their Gaelic.

About 50 people have signed up for an immersion weekend at Cape Breton's Gaelic College in St. Ann's.

Co-ordinator Joyce MacDonald says participants are only allowed to communicate in Gaelic.

"We do have people that are beginners. They are allowed to speak English outside of classes, but we encourage people to use whatever Gaelic they have. Even if they can only say 'Ciamar a tha thu'  then we would encourage them to use that, which would be 'How are you, I'm good,'" she said.

According to Statistics Canada, there are fewer than 500 native Gaelic speakers left in Nova Scotia.

MacDonald says in the past decade, there's been a renewed interest in preserving the language and hundreds of now studying it.