Failte gu Alba

welcome

 

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.

That's a truck loaded with sheep in front of us.

A common road sign in the Highlands. That’s a truck loaded with sheep in front of us.

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!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

6 Comments

  1. Tom Threadgill

    I struggle with English. No way I could speak something like Gaelic. I’d get my words all tangled and say something like “My spouse is full of eels.”

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I’m sure you could get buy with just offering to buy a round for everyone at the pub. No Gaelic (or eels) required.

      Reply
      1. Tom Threadgill

        I’m in. Do they take real money there? The kind with American presidents on it?

        Reply
        1. J'nell (Post author)

          Um, no. It needs to have the Queen’s head on it. I’m sure they also take gold bars if you have any of those laying around.

          Reply
  2. Kathleen Rouser

    I’ll definitely need the phrase about my hovercraft being full of eels, because I may need a hovercraft to get there. I’ll need the pronunciation key, though, so I don’t accidentally say something like, “Your mother looks like an eel,” or whatever else the pronunciation might be close to. 😉

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I think the pronunciation involves a lot of ‘r’ rolling so I’m in the same boat. We can insult people accidentely together.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Tom Threadgill Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *