The differences and similarities of Scottish and Irish Gaelic are often compared. Here, we will clear up some of the misconceptions and give you a better understanding of each language.
Did you know Gaelic is the founding language of Scotland and thought to originate from Ireland?
They Are Celtic Languages
Both Scottish Gaelic & Irish are Celtic languages which were spoken throughout much of Western Europe in Roman and pre-Roman times.
There are still six Celtic languages: Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton.
If you want to learn more about the history of Scottish Gaelic check out this article!
Differences in Pronunciation & Spelling
The pronunciation of the word Gaelic often confuses people and it’s understandable, here’s a quick guide!
When referring to Scottish Gaelic you would pronounce it phonetically as gah-lik. However if you were referring to Irish then you pronounce it phonetically as gay-lik.
In Scottish Gaelic it is spelt Gàidhlig (gah-lik) and in Irish Gaelic it is spelt Gaeilge (gayl-geh).
The Languages Themselves
There are many identical or very similar words in Scottish & Irish Gaelic. They are also two very distinct languages, with many differences.
At one point, both Irish and Scottish Gaelic had both acute (right-slanting) and grave (left-slanting) accents. But now, the accent marks slant the other way! The accent marks always slant to the right in Irish and to the left in Scottish Gaelic.
Although many Scottish Gaelic speakers can understand parts of Irish Gaelic, they will struggle with full sentences and the same could be said for Irish speakers hearing Scottish Gaelic. As the two languages have grown apart, each has kept, lost and changed some sounds, resulting in languages that sound alike but, for the most part, are very different.
Find Out More
Check out this quick clip discussing some of the differences between Scottish Gaelic & Irish Gaelic, let us know in the comments any similarities or differences you know!