Fàilte chun na Gàidhlig!
Tha Gàidhlig glè mhath!
I designed this Wikibook for self-learners and have included a few small test yourself sections which are useful for revising.
It may be useful to get your hands on a Gaelic dictionary, and if you receive them, watch and listen to Gaelic programs on the TV and radio, or alternatively there is lots of Gaelic music and even lessons on Youtube.
Gur math a thèid leibh!
Latha math! Ise mise Seumus MacFheargais agus tha mi a fuireach amm am Glaschu. Good day! I am James Fergusson and I live in Glasgow.
Hallo. Ise mise Cathrìona Rothach agus tha mi a fuireach amm an Inbhir Nis. Hello. I am Ctherine Munri and I live in Inverness.
Ciamar a tha thu? Tha mi math, tapadh leat. Ise mise Calum MacAhmlaigh agus tha mi a fuireach amm a Nìs, ann am Eilein Leòdhais. How are you? I am good, thank you. I am Callum MacAulay and I live in Ness on the Isle of Lewis.
Ise mise Sìne MacDhòmhnaill agus tha mi a fuireach amm a Slèat, Eilean Sgitheanach. Tha i glè shnog. I am Jane MacDonald and I live in Sleat on the Isle of Skye. It is very nice.
Ise mise Neil MacAonghais agus tha mi a fuireach ann am Earra Ghadheil. I am Neil MacInnes and I live in Argyll.
Tha mi a fuireach amm a Alba Nuadh agus tha mi luchd-ionnsachaidh Ghadlaig ann an mo sgoil. Tha i math. Oh - Ise mise Marc Dùghlas! I live in Nova Scotia and I learn Gaelic at my school. It is good.
Fàilte gu Glaschu!
It is a busy morning at Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, and James Fergusson is meeting his friends outside his classroom.
Seumus Hallò, a Iain. Ciamar a tha thu? Iain Tha mi math, tapadh leat. Cait a bheil Alasdair? Mairead Madainn math, a Iain. Chan eil Alasdair gu glè mhath. Seumus Oh. Tapadh leat. Nic' Dohmnaill Latha math dhuibh. Seumus agus Iain Latha math.
James Hello, John. How are you? John I am good, thank you. Where is Alastair. Mary Good morning John. Alastair isn't very well. James Oh. Thank you. Mrs. McDonnell Good day to you (all). James and John Good day.
You do not need to learn all of the words in this conversation, but if you can, great!
You will probably regocnise the word Hallò!, from English. It means hello, and is usually used to greet friends. Latha math and Madainn math are more polite and used more formally, like talking to someone you don't know very well or a teacher. Finally Latha math duibh is also used formally.
One of the things you have to get to grips with in Gaelic is that there is a formal and informal set of words. The formal version is also used for plurals when you are speaking to more than two people. To understand this you will need to know the words for 'you' - sibh and thu.
Thu is the informal word for you, and used only when speaking to one person. Sibh is more formal but is also used if you are speaking to more than one person.
For example, Ciamar a tha thu? me
Scottish Gaelic is closely related to Irish Gaelic. It is in fact believed to have been brought over by Celts emigrating to Scotland. Nowadays though it is confined mainly to the Western Isles of Scotland though there are still smaller communities of speakers in the Highlands, Glasgow, Inverness and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
I hope that with this book you will be able to learn a little of this fascinating language and be inspired to learn on.
Gur math a thèid leibh! (Good Luck!)
The Gaelic alphabet contains only 18 letters, these being A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T and U. Vowels, however can be accented, making there seem like a lot more letters.
A Pronunciation Guide can be found here.
However the best way is to listen to native speakers. You can listen to recording clips here and Gaelic Radio here. If you know any Gaelic speakers make use of one of the most useful learning aids around!
Because of the Gaelic alphabet and spelling system many names are changed. For example, the name John becomes Iain and the name Jane becomes Siné. For more Gaelic names please visit this site.
Pens, pencils and paper are a basic requirements. A dictionary is very useful. An online one can be found here. Later on in the course it may be of good use to frequently read Gaelic texts, for example a Gaelic section of a newspaper, a book or a website.
Saying hello and goodbye in Gaelic.
Can you think of 5 Gaelic words. These could be names, places, objects or activities, anything you want!
To say hello to a friend, just a "Hàllo" will do. To say goodbye "Tìoradh" is good in casual situations.
If you are speaking to someone such as a teacher, elder relative, someone you don't know or lots of people, you can use the following. You can also use them with your friends:
Madainn mhath. - Good morning. Feasgar math. - Good afternoon/evening. Oidhche mhath. - Good night. Latha math. - Good day.
To say goodbye, you say "Mar sin leibh". This can also be used in informal situations but you change the leibh to a leat. To say for now, add "an drasda" whether formal or informal.
1) Answer these questions:
a. How would you greet your teacher in the morning? b. What would you say to your parents when going to bed? c. You are saying goodbye to a group of friends as you leave school. What do you say? d. How do you say Good Afternoon in Gaelic?
2) Make a table with two columns. Put in one column formal greetings and in another informal.
3) Match up the following:
- Madainn Afternoon/Evening - Oidhche Morning - Feasgear Night
Make a cartoon involving you and either:
- A teacher - A friend - A parent
Tha mi gu glè mhath!
Asking how people feel. Answering about yourself.