Gaelic Scotland
Gaelic Scotland
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Background

BACKGROUND
The splendours of Scotland are legendary. They reveal themselves in various and diverse ways, but one of Scotland's most enigmatic attractions is more often heard than seen. It is Gaelic, the language in longest continuous use in Scotland, an historic language rich in idiom and expression. It is also a language whose profound influence is felt practically everywhere throughout Scotland and particularly so in the Highlands. Gaelic is yet another compelling reason to visit the Highlands and Islands - as if any more excuses were needed!


Today Gaelic (pronounced gaa-lick here, rather than gay-lick) is spoken by over 60,000 people in Scotland, most of whom are in the north and west and in many of the nation's cities, notably Glasgow. There is also a Scots Gaelic speaking community in Canada's Cape Breton Island made up of descendants of mainly 19th century Highland emigrants.


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For centuries the ancient Celts dominated much of Europe and they were hugely important in the continent's cultural, linguistic and artistic development. But the Celtic peoples and their languages were gradually displaced towards the north-western extreme of Europe and today Scots Gaelic is one of only six Celtic languages which remain.


These modern Celtic languages break down into two distinct but related groups. One known as the "Q" Celtic group includes Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and Manx Gaelic and the other encompasses and Welsh, Cornish and Breton - the so-called "P" Celtic group. While speakers of the Scottish, Irish and the Manx versions of Gaelic can communicate quite readily with each other they cannot converse with speakers of the other Celtic languages.


This table compares words in all the Celtic languages and highlights the preponderance of "Q" sounds in words from Gaelic where "P" appears in their Welsh, Cornish and Breton equivalents. This distinction explains the "Q" and "P" classification of modern Celtic languages.

 

 

 


 

 

 


Q Celtic - the Gaelic languages

Scots Gaelic

Irish

Manx
ceann

ceann

kione
Càisg

Caisc

Caisht
bàrd

bard

bardagh
trì

tri

tree


P Celtic

Welsh

Cornish

Breton

English
pen

pen

penn

head
Pasg

Pask

Pask

Easter
bardd

barth

barzh

poet
tri, tair

try, tyr

tri, teir

three

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A’ GHÀIDHLIG
Tha greadhnachas na h-Alba fionnsgeulach! Tha iad gan nochdadh fhein ann an doighean caochlaideach agus eugsamhaileach, ach tha fear dhe na rudan as tarraingiche an Alba nas trice air a chluinntinn na tha e air fhaicinn! Se sin a’ Ghàidhlig, an canan aig a bheil an eachdraidh as fhaide san dùthaich, cànan eachdraidheil a tha beairteach ann an gnathas-cainnte agus ann an dòighean labhairt. Tha i cuideachd na cànain aig a bheil buaidh a dh’ fhaireachdas fad ’s farsaing air feadh Alba agus gu h-àraid air Ghàidhealtachd.
Tha a’ Ghàidhlig na h-adhbhar math eile airson tighinn air chuairt dhan a’ Ghàidhealtachd - mar nach bitheadh leisgeulan gu leor ann mu thrath!


ROI-RÀDH An-diugh tha a’ Ghàidhlig ( air a labhairt mar ghaa-lick, agus chan e ghay-lick) air a bruidhinn le còrr ’s 60,000 mile neach ann an Alba, a’ mhor chuid dhuibh sin aig tuath agus air an iar le moran sna bailtean, gu h-àraid ann an Glaschu. Tha cuideachd coimhearsnachd Gàidhlig ann an Ceap Bhreatainn ann an Canada, a tha a-mach bho dhaoine a chaidh am fuadach a sin anns an naoidheamh linn deug.


Cape Breton Sign Post - Fàilte gu Ceap Breatann
the Gaelic context

Airson linntean mora, bha làmh an uachdair aig na seann Cheiltich anns a’ mhor chuid dhen Roinn Eòrpa, agus bha buaidh mhor aca air cultur, cànan agus air ealain na mor-raoin sin. Ach, mean air mhean, lagaich smachd nan Ceilteach agus chuireadh iad gu iar-thuath na Roinn Eòrpa agus an-diugh tha a’ Ghaidhlig air te de leth dusan canain Ceiltis a th’air na tha air fhàgail. Tha na canain Ceiltis sin a tha againn an-diugh a’ bristeadh sios ann an da dhiofair bhuidheann. Tha an dara fear, air a bheil Q, ag gabhail a-steach Gàidhlig na h-Alba, Gaeilge na h-Eirinn agus Gàidhlig Eilein Mhanainn agus tha am fear eile ag gabhail a-steach Cuimris, Cuirnis agus Gàidhlig a’ Bhreatainn Bhig - seo an fheadhainn air a bheil P. Ged ’s urrainn do luchd-labhairt Gàidhlig na h-Alba, Gaeilge na h-Eirinn agus Eilean Mhanainn cach a’ cheile a thuigsinn gu furasda, chan urrainn dhaibh bruidhinn ri feadhainn nan canain Ceilteach eile.

Tha an clàr a’ leanas a seo a’ deanamh coimeas eadar faclan anns na canain Ceilteach air fad agus a’ tarraing àire gu bitheantas fuaimean Q ann am faclan bhon a’ Ghàidhlig, far a bheil am fuaim P a’ nochdadh sa Chuimris, a’ Chuirnis agus ann an canan a’ Bhreatainn Bhig. Tha an t-eadar-dhealachadh a’ mineachadh mar a tha na roinnean, Q agus P ag obrachadh ann an Gàidhlig an latha an-diugh.

Ceiltis Q - Am buidheann Goedelic

A’ Ghàidhlig

A’ Ghaelige

Manainn
ceann

ceann

kion
Càisg

Caisc

Caisht
bàrd

bard

bardagh
trì

tri

tree


Ceiltis P - Am buidheann Brythonic

Cuimris

Cuirnis

A’ Bhreatann Bheag

Beurla
pen

pen

penn

head
Pasg

Pask

Pask

Easter
bardd

barth

barzh

poet
tri, tair

try, tyr

tri, teir

three

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