Educational, Gaelic

Gaelic phrases part 3

This, the third addition to my list of gaelic phrases will be the same as the last two with regards that it’ll consist of some common basic phrases. I’m hoping to add one more basic phrases post in the near future. Once that is done I’m hoping to start a series which goes into more detail and depth on different areas with each post being dedicated to the one specific area. That’s the plan anyway, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Since I have started writing these posts I have been amazed at just how many people from countries all over the world have taken an interest in gaelic. It’s awesome! I’d love to know more about where people reading are from so if you can, or more importantly want to, leave a comment below with where abouts you’re from. Mòran taing!

If you haven’t read the last two posts and would like to you can find them below:

As usual, I have written these so that the first sentence is in English, with the second being wrote in gaelic and the third being the pronunciation which sounds the way it is written in English:


Where have you come from?Co às a thàing thu? – coe ass uh hah-neek oo?

I have come (from the islands)‘S ann (às na h-eileanan) a thàinig mi – sa-oon (ass nuh hillanun) uh hah-neek mee

My ancestors came from (the Highlands) ‘S ann à (a’ Ghàidhealtachd)  a bha mo shìnnsearan – sa-oon a (uh Gheh-ulltochk) uh va mo heensharrun

I’d like to see the placeBu toil leam an t-àite fhaicinn – boo toloom un tah-tchuh ech-keen

Are you on holiday?An e saor-làithean a th’agaibh? – un yeh seur lah-yen uh hackuv

I’m workingTha mi ‘g obair – ha mi goebir

I want to go to InvernessTha mi’ g iarraidh a dhol a (Inbhir Nis) – ha mee g-ee-urry uh gholl uh (enn-yerneesh)

How can I get there? – Ciamar a gheibh mi ann? – kimmer uh yaev mee a-oon?

Is it far away?A bheil e fad às? – uh vil eh fat ass?

When will you be back?Cuine bhios tu air ais? – koonyuh viss doo ir ash?

As soon as I canCho luath ‘s is urrain dhomh – choe loe-uh siss ooreen ghoe

Look out!Thoir an aire! – hor un arruh!

Shut up!Dùin do bheul! – doon daw vee-al!

Happy birthdayLà breith sona – lah breh sonnuh

Merry ChristmasNollaig chridheil – nolla-eek chree-yell

I am lostTha mi air chall – ha mee ir cha-ool

Justice!Ceartas! – K-yarshtuss

Freedom!Saorsa! – suer-suh!


I have to stress that fad às is indeed pronounced fat ass, so please don’t think I’m on the wind up! But anyways, thank you for reading and as always…

Cúm Gàidhlig beò!


Educational, Gaelic, Uncategorized

The Scottish Gàidhlig revival

In the year 1891 it was estimated that over 210,000 people in Scotland spoke gaelic, with gaelic being the only language that just over 43,000 people could speak. Fast forward 120 years to 2011 and that number had massively decreased to a mere 87,000 people with just over 57,000 being able to speak it fluently. These statistics obviously show that within that time period there was a massive decline in Gaelic speakers, but will that decline continue to happen over the next 120 years? I decided to do a little research and to my surprise, I discovered that Scottish Gaelic is going through a bit of a revival at the moment.

The decline.

The decline of speakers is due to a vast amount of factors which have each played their part for hundreds of years. The school establishment act of 1616 was probably where it all began though, the act which said Gaelic should be “abolished and removit” from Scotland also claimed that Gaelic was the reason for “barbarity and incivility” in the Highlands and Isles.

18th century

When the jacobite rebellion of 1745 had ended, it would become one of the major downfalls of Gaelic. Many speakers had died in battle, were captured and murdered or were held prisoner/sent as Indentured servants to the colonies after the battle of Culloden. In 1747 in response to the rebellion the British government introduced the heritable jurisdictions act which ultimately lead to the Highland clearances. This led to an estimated 200,000 – 270,000 Highlanders being displaced from their homes and/or emigrating abroad with many of the settlers arriving in Nova Scotia (new Scotland), Canada.

Men of St Kilda awaiting removal – credit Clan Duncan Society

19th & 20th century

The introduction of the education act of 1872 in Scotland proved to be another downfall of the Gaelic language. It meant that only the English language was taught in Scotland. Pupils who spoke Gaelic were often teased by other classmates, belted by their teachers or could face corporal punishment if they did not give up the names of other speakers. Emigration being another big contribution to the decline, it’s estimated that over 500,000 Scots emigrated to the United States, Canada and Australia over the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

The revival

The first time I probably saw the Gaelic language in writing was on a road sign up the North of Scotland many years ago. In 2001 when the Scottish government announced plans to erect bilingual signage along many of the trunk roads in the Highlands, it was met with praise but also with fierce criticism. Critics argued that they were a “waste of money” and “potentially dangerous” but there is no evidence of this at all. Fast forward a number of years from when I first saw the Gaelic Road signs, there is now a Gaelic translation for almost every train station in Scotland.

A Scottish Road sign in Gaelic and English

Over the last decade or two there seems to have been major political boosts for the Gaelic language. The Gaelic language act (2005) was set out to secure Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, and on the 13th of February 2006 Bòrd na Gàidhlig was established as a public body in which it is “responsible for the preservation of Gaelic as an official language which enjoys the same respect as English”.

The introduction of the Gaelic schools capital fund in 2008 has led to the number of young people in Gaelic medium education to increase by a staggering 32%. There are over 40 primary schools on the mainland in which Gaelic is taught, with over 20 secondary schools teaching it aswell. All western Isles schools teach Gaelic. In Nova Scotia, Canada in 2014/15 there were 555 pupils participating in Gaelic education across 10 different schools. With many universities across Scotland offering Gaelic courses aswell as in the USA where there are 9 universities offering Gaelic degrees. There are many online and free courses available too, aswell as many apps for mobile phones. The local councils in Scotland also offer courses and classes for the language aswell, these are often fully booked though (speaking from personal experience) which is a really positive sign.

Gaelic is also thriving in the arts scene just now, with many listeners tuning into BBC radio Gaelic. With regards to TV, BBC alba which is only available to those who receive satellite TV has reached an astonishing 600,000 viewers in the past, which is 10x the amount of speakers! Many folk singers and their songs have also inspired people to take up an interest in the language. Singers such as Julie Fowlis, who sings in Scottish Gaelic and in English and who won folk singer of the year in 2008 has reached people from all over the world. With songs featured in the Disney film brave, many people who watched the film and liked her songs took up an interest in the language which is clear judging by the comments you will find on her youtube videos. Many festivals celebrating folk and Gaelic music are now available from Scotland to Canada. Celtic colours international festival being a major festival on Cape Breton.

Julie Fowlis 2014 album cover

Perhaps the most recent surge in Gaelic enthusiasts can be credited to a series called outlander which is available on Starz and Amazon. Based on the books written by Diana Gabaldon it tells the story of an 1945 English nurse who travels back in time to the 18th century Scotland. The programme features dialogue in both English and in Gaelic and is popular with viewers all over the globe. The increase in youtube views since the release of outlander is what kind of made me question the revival of Gaelic. Videos on youtube of which when i had watched were sitting around 20,000 views and within around a year after the release of season 1 of outlander, were now sitting up at around 800,000 views! Which is a crazy increase!

Things are looking positive for Gaelic at the moment, with an evident increase in popularity and with the backing/promotion by the Scottish government it could well be on it’s way to becoming a well spoken language in Scotland again. It will be interesting to see how the revival plays out over the next decade or so but for the time being, things are looking really promising for the Gaelic language.

Cúm Gàidhlig beò!


Educational, Gaelic, Uncategorized

Basic Scottish Gaelic phrases, part 2

Following up on my last post about basic Scottish Gaelic phrases, I thought I would add a couple more phrases to the list. If you never saw the last post I wrote then you can find it here:

With the language going through a bit of a revival at the moment, due to more being done to encourage it and teach it than has been done in years (you could even argue centuries) and the demand for it growing, it is becoming a popular language to learn with not just Scots but with people across the globe!

I remember when I started learning the language many years ago I found it difficult to find pronunciations online so hopefully if you’re in the same boat as I was this will help you

Again, I have written out the English spelling, followed by the Gaelic spelling then the last line is how it is pronounced in Gaelic:

Where are you going? – Càit a bheil thu ‘dol? – Kahtch uh vil oo doll?

I’m going home – Tha mi ‘dol dhachaigh – ha mee doll ghachee

What is it? – Dè th’ann? – Jae ha-oon

What are you doing? – Dè tha thu ‘dèanamh? – Jae ha oo jee-annuv?

Are you coming? – A bheil thu ‘tighinn? – Uh vil oo tchee-een?

I don’t understand – Chan eil mi ‘tuigsinn – Chan yil mee took-sheen

Many thanks – Mòran taing – moe-ran ta-eeng

I don’t know – Chan eil fhios agam – Chan yil iss ackum

Can you say that again? – An can thu sin a-rithist? – Ung can oo shin uh ree-eeshtch?

Where’s….? – Càit a bheil….? – Kahtch uh vil…?

Where will I get…? – Càit am faigh mi…? – Kahtch um fa-ee mee…?

Is…. far from here? – A bheil…. fad às? – Uh vil…. fat ass?

Can you tell me? – An urrainn dhut innseadh dhomh? – Un oereen ghoot eenshugh ghoe?

How can I get to? – Ciamar a ruigeas mi? – Kimmer uh rook-yuss mee?

Congratulations! – Mealanaidheachd! – M-yallan eh-ochk

Cúm Gàidhlig beò!

Educational, Gaelic, Uncategorized

Scottish Gaelic Phrases

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.

For example:

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
Ha/chan yil

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!
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!

Educational, Uncategorized

White noise

White Noise

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with with different objects that give off certain sounds. For as far as I remember I would always rush down the stairs whenever the washing machine was on its final spin, sit with my back against it and drift off into a world of relaxation. This would give me the feeling that can only describe as pure ecstasy, a feeling in which I can imagine not even heroin would be able to beat. I’ve indulged myself in this practice for years now. As I’ve got older I’ve discovered many more noises which send me to planet chilled, nowadays I can’t get to sleep without the fan on in the background or listening to a washing machine on youtube. For a man who has had trouble sleeping since he was a child this gives me the ability to sleep much faster and sounder than I ever could with plain silence…

So am I weird? Despite what my friends have told me, apparently I’m not. The noises I refer to that have became a daily fix if you’d like are known simply as white noise.

So what is white noise?


Without getting into all the boring and long scientific explanations of white noise it can be explained as simply noises that contain many frequencies at equal intensities.

It is called white noise as a kind of reference to white light. White light is all colours, or frequencies of colours combined together. In a similar way, white noise is a combination of all the different frequencies of sound we are able to hear.

Apparently when we are in the womb, the vibrations and sounds we hear are equivalent to white noise. Have you ever saw a wain having a tantrum or crying uncontrollably and then stop instantaneously the minute the hoover or something comes on? The sounds are believed to remind us of the womb, giving us that familiar feeling of safety.

Who does it effect?


People who take comfort in white noise are in the millions, across the world. It is very common amongst people despite the lack of coverage it receives. I put a status on Facebook a while back about how my washing machine comforts me and to my surprise, I got around 30 likes on it! A girl I know also commented on it saying how she liked to sit with her back against it, which made me realise I was not strange and a lot of other people were exactly like me!

White noise is a fantastic way of helping you sleep as well. Thousands of people purchase white noise machines in order to help them sleep. Some people use the sounds of rain or waves crashing etc. This is also white noise. It affects so many people, so many people who don’t even realise it!

What can be classed as white noise?


There are so many different machines, appliances etc. that give off white noise sounds. A fan, AC units, vacuums, aeroplane engines, washing machines, car engines, radio static, industrial units, ambient sounds, fridges/freezers. The list is simply endless.

As well as the above people have developed white noise machines, and white noise apps you can download. One app in particular has had over 42,000 ratings which just shows how many people have downloaded it! If you do need white noise to sleep or to be comforted then you should check these apps or machines out. A quick search into Amazon and it brings up nearly 2000 results, so you will be spoiled for choice!



A recent study showed the levels of white noise that babies are being subjected to can be harmful. I have tried to research this claim as much as I can and cannot reach an exact conclusion. There are many people/scientists saying that it can, but also a lot of them saying it is not. It should go without saying however if you are listening to white noise or your child/baby is then you should listen to it at a safe level. Just like music, if you listen to it with the volume way up there is a chance you can damage your hearing or in worst case end up with tinnitus! Listen to either at a normal level, and you should be ok. I have been using white noise daily for more than ¾ of my life and my hearing is good. I went for a medical recently and that confirmed this.

If like myself you do find comfort in white noise, just remember you are not weird and you are certainly not alone. If white noise does affect you or you have any questions then please get in contact with me or leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!