If you’ve ever had the fortune to travel to Scotland, you’ll notice that many of the signs are in two languages. English and Gaelic. Technically, Gaelic is spoken in Man and Ireland, but for my purpose we’re focusing on Scots because that’s where I’ve been. And it’s my favorite.
Gaelic, or Gàidhlig, is a Celtic language spoken by the Gaels. Today only 1.1% still speak the language, mostly in rural areas, but take heart that there is a revival to ensure its survival.
Glasgow has its own Gaelic school, and there are many churches who have Gaelic speaking congregations. Unfortunately, the Church and Gaelic haven’t always seen eye to eye. The use of English in worship has been suggested as one of the historic reasons for the decline of the language. Yikes!
So, in my single-handed attempt to see this awesome language live on I’m going to impart a few words and phrases for when you want to get your Gael on.
Fàilte – Welcome
Halò – Hello
Slàinte – Health (as in cheers)
Càite bheil an taigh beag? – where’s the toilet?
Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan – my hovercraft is full of eels
Cha b’e sin caora, ‘se sin mo chèile a bha innte! – That was no sheep, that was my spouse!