Learn Scottish Gaelic

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About Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic is a distinct language from Scots and is believed to have been brought to Scotland by settlers from Ireland around 500 AD who founded a Gaelic kingdom on Scotland’s west coast in present-day Argyll. It reached its peak influence in Scotland in 1100 AD and was spoken by the Kings of Scots. It declined from the 17th century when anti-Gaelic laws were passed. There is now a language development body in the country charged with its preservation.

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United Kingdom

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Fun facts — Scottish Gaelic

  • There is no verb 'to have'- a Gaelic speaker would say, 'Two sons are at me' to mean 'I have two sons': Tha dithis mhac agam.
  • There's a Gaelic saying: ‘there isn’t a flood that will not subside’ - chan eil tuil air nach tig traoghadh.
  • English gets the word slogan from the Scottish Gaelic 'sluagh-ghairm', which means 'battle cry'!
  • In Scottish Gaelic, the verb usually comes first, then the subject, then the object. For example, the sentence 'Jack ate bread' would follow the order of 'ate Jack bread'.
  • The word 'whisky' comes from the Gaelic uisge beatha, which means 'water of life'.

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