Gaelic Corner

Gaelic was the language of the Camerons and other Highland tribes. There are currently only about 70,000 native speakers in Scotland, mostly in the Islands and the Highlands.

It is a particularly difficult language to learn and speak since it has only 18 letters ( there is no j, k, q, v , w, x, y, or z ) , and pronunciation of words is often completely different than they appear in English.

Also, combinations of letters produce different sounds which often have no English equivalent. Here are a few examples, and hopefully useful phrases, with the phonetic pronunciation:

Phrase Meaning Pronunciation
Aonaibh Ri Cheile The Cameron Motto Uhniv ree Hail a
Fàilte Welcome Fell-tchih
Slainte To your health Slahn-tchuh
Slainte mhath To your good health Slahn-tchuh va
Ciamar a tha thu How are you ? kimmer uh ha oo
Tha gu math, tapadh leat Fine, thank you Ha goo mah
tappuh let
Madainn mhath Good morning Mateen va
Feasgar math Good afternoon Fesskurr mah

Notice that "good" changes in spelling and pronunciation for morning and afternoon. As in French, most pronouns change according to the gender of the noun - morning is feminine, afternoon masculine.

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