Are you interested in learning Scottish Gaelic? Or perhaps you’d just like to know a couple of words or phrases? Learning Gaelic is now easier than ever. From multiple books, apps, TV shows, and youtube videos to councils and universities offering courses. Gaelic is going through a bit of a revival at the moment and interest in learning this beautiful language is growing more and more, day by day.
Scottish Gaelic, is a notoriously hard language to learn. It is nowhere near as simple or as basic as the English language. The Gaelic alphabet only consists of 18 letters, which means there is no J,K,Q,V,W,X,Y, or Z. There are a lot of differences regarding verbs, nouns etc… So it can be a bit of a head nip to learn.
I have written out a small list of phrases with their Gaelic spelling and their pronunciations in English written underneath them aswell. The pronunciation is written the way it sounds in English. These are some fairly basic and common phrases but hopefully they will give you a better understanding and help set you off in the right direction.
How are you (English) – Ciamar a tha sibh? (Gaelic)
Kimmer uh ha shiv (pronunciation)
Fine, thanks – Tha gu math, tapadh leat
Ha goo ma, tappuh let
Where are you from? – Co às a tha thu?
Coe ass uh ha oo?
I’m from (Glasgow) – ‘S ann à (Glaschu) a tha mi
Sa-oon a (glass-choo) uh ha mee
What’s your name? – Dè ‘n t-ainm a th’ort?
Jaen tannam uh horsht?
I am (John Smith) – Is mise (John Smith)
Iss meeshuh (John Smith)
I’m pleased to meet you – Tha mi toilicht’ coinneachadh ruibh
Ha mee tolleech-tch koen-yochugh roo-eer
Excuse me – Gabh mo leisgeul
Gav mo lishk-yal
You’re welcome – ‘S e ur beatha
Sheh our beh-huh
I don’t mind – Tha mi coma
Ha mee coe-muh
I’m sorry – Tha mi duilich
Ha mee dooleech
I love you – Tha gràdh agam ort
Ha gragh ackum orsht
Do you speak gaelic? – A bheil gàidhlig agad?
Uh vil ga-lick ackut?
Yes/no – Tha/chan eil
Good night – Oidhche mhath
Uh-eech yuh va
Cheerio – Cheery
Good morning / evening – Madainn mhath/feasgar math
Madeen va/fesskur ma
That’s good – ‘S math sin
Who is this/that? – Cò tha seo/sin?
Coe ha shaw/shin?
Introduce us – Cuir an aithne a chèile sinn
Koor un ann-yuh ch-yaeluh sheen
My goodness! – Mo chreach!
Congratulations to the both of you – Gu meal sibh bhur naidheachd
Goo m-yal shiv voor neh-ochk
Our music our language – Ar cànain ‘s ár ceol
Ar kahnan sar k-yawl
Keep Gaelic alive – Cúm Gàidhlig beò
Koom ga-leek b-yaw
For anyone genuinely looking to further their Gaelic skills then i’d highly recommend “Everyday Gaelic” by Morag MacNeil, which is an excellent book that is so easy to read and understand. Glasgow university offer courses aswell as do most of the councils in Scotland, with most of the council courses free. You have to book well in advance though as they have a tendency of becoming fully booked very fast. If you have access to BBC alba then it is always worth a watch, there is a programme called “speaking our language” which is well worth a watch.
Suas leis a’ Ghàidhlig!