Gaelic Resources

This article is also available in Scottish Gaelic.

With more and more people learning now is the perfect time to start (or improve) your journey with learning Scottish Gaelic.

But where do you start? And what if the resources you are using are not all that effective?

We have created a list of various Gaelic resources you can use that should help you in all aspects of your Gaelic!

LearnGaelic

LearnGaelic is a free online resource that you can use to learn and improve your Gaelic however you wish to approach it. Each lesson has a quiz to test what you have learned and you can pick up and drop lessons whenever you wish but it does have a clear progression of difficulty from lesson 1 to 60. If you get bored of reading there are plenty of Gaelic clips to watch and you can then compare to an English and Gaelic transcript for sections you have difficulty understanding. It is also useful to note that their videos are frequently updated so you can always check-in for more.

One of the most useful tools on LearnGaelic is the dictionary. It not only has a large database of up-to-date words but also the pronunciation and should you be confused about a word or what the plural for it is you can easily look it up.

There is plenty more to be found on LearnGaelic so it is probably best for you to go and look for yourself on the resources and tools they have to offer. If learning online is not your thing they have a list of courses that are run around Scotland that you can then go to in person to meet other like-minded learners.

Advantages

  • Large variety of lessons
  • Dictionary
  • Video clips with transcripts
  • Contact details for in-person lessons

SpeakGaelic

SpeakGaelic is a brand new show that aired on BBC Alba. It focuses on learners and is very easy to follow with its slow pacing, tackling one phrase at a time so you are not overwhelmed. It also helps that this is one of the shows on BBC Alba that is presented in English making it perfect for beginners who don't want to read subtitles while learning. They tackle one topic at a time in each episode (lasting around 30 minutes) from questions about family to asking how someone is doing. 

It is not all just about learning the language. They take breaks each episode to find out about someone who is learning Gaelic and how they started their Gaelic journey. There is also time spent learning about Scottish history relating to the topic they are discussing which can range from the history of the River Clyde to the ancient healing properties of a well on the Black Isle.

Advantages

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Presented in English
  • Learn about the culture at the same time
  • Essential phrases

BBC Alba

BBC Alba has been broadcasting Gaelic content since 2008. There is a variety of different programs and all of them can help improve your Gaelic since you can turn on and off subtitles whenever you like. Programs range from documentaries to soaps and a vast majority of them have some relation to Scottish culture. BBC iPlayer allows you to watch and stream these programs at any time, anywhere which makes it extremely useful to learn while on the go. The news is broadcast in Gaelic as well (An Là) which can help learn about a range of topics in Gaelic at once, which is a great alternative to watching the news in English.

You might find some of the shows are often repeats, which can mean that if you find a specific show useful for improving your Gaelic you might run out of content.

Advantages

  • Lots of content
  • Good for practising

Duolingo

Duolingo is one of the most well-known language learning applications for your phone and with the recent addition of a Gaelic course, it is perfect for on-the-go learning. You can easily find a difficulty level that works for you with their test to gauge your experience. Afterward, it is only a case of going on for 5-10 minutes each day and learning about a new topic. One of the only downsides to Gaelic Duolingo is that some of the phrases are rather strange, for example, you are (more than likely) never going to need to know how to say that George is a dog.

It encourages you to try lessons multiple times to make sure you remember the words and phrases. For some people, this might be too easy and there is the option to skip ahead so long as you can prove yourself in a test. Duolingo will also send you daily reminders to continue your learning and keep your streak going which is handy, even if the notifications can come across as rather aggressive at times!

Advantages

  • Quick lessons and tests
  • On the go learning
  • Range of difficulty

Facle

Facle is a new and very fun way to improve your Gaelic. Similar to its English counterpart Wordle Facle is a word puzzle game where you get six attempts to guess a five-letter word. With each guess, you are given coloured tiles that tell you if you have the letter in the correct position or if you have the letter correct but in the wrong position. It is no surprise that Facle can be extremely challenging since your Gaelic vocabulary has to be quite large as well as knowing when to use a grave accent ( à, è, ì, ò or ù ). The word changes every 24 hours so it is a great daily challenge.

Advantages

  • New way to practice
  • Updated daily

Find out more

Did you know? We have a whole page on our website dedicated to Scottish Gaelic.

Visit our Scottish Gaelic campaign page, for more information, opportunities and learning resources.