Gaelic, Scottish


A language of United Kingdom

Alternate Names
Gaelic, Gàidhlig, Scots Gaelic

58,700 in United Kingdom (2003 census). Population total all countries: 63,130.


Northern Scotland, north and central Ross and Cromarty County; islands of Hebrides and Skye; Glasgow. Also in Australia, Canada, United States.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


The Gaelic of the Bible is based on Perthshire dialect of 1801, somewhat distant from today’s spoken dialects.



Language Use

Resurgence of interest in Scottish Gaelic in 1990s. A number of children learn the language but there are serious problems in language maintenance even in the core areas (2007). Home, church, community.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 50% (1971 census). In bilingual areas Gaelic usually is the language of instruction for most primary subjects. Taught in primary schools. Gaelic secondary schools. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Bible: 1801–1992.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Status rising since the establishment of Scots Parliament in 1990s.