Scottish Gaelic

Gaelic is one of the national languages of Scotland and is most closely associated with the Scottish Highlands and Hebridean Islands.

Scottish Gaelic (pronounced 'Gah-lick') is part of the Celtic family of languages, along with Irish and Manx Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish and Breton.

Today, Scotland has a minority of Gaelic speaking Gaels - mostly concentrated in the Hebrides and West Highlands. However, it was a widely spoken language of early Scotland.

Many of the old Kings of Scotland were Gaelic speakers, from MacBeth to Braveheart Robert The Bruce. It was also the ancient language of the Highland Clans (itself a Gaelic name - clann is the Gaelic word for children).

While you may not hear much spoken Gaelic on a visit to Scotland, you will definitely encounter it as Gaelic place names can be found all over Scotland.

Words like Kyle, Inver, Dun, Ben and Loch are all from Gaelic. Bi-lingual road signs are very common throughout Scotland, particularly in the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides.

Useful Websites for Gaelic

A one-stop shop for anyone and everyone interested in learning Scottish Gaelic


BBC Scottish Gaelic Digital TV Channel

Radio nan Gàidheal

BBC Scottish Gaelic Radio Station

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John Alasdair Macdonald, Inverness, Scottish Highlands