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Celtic languages

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Formerly widespread in Europe; today British Isles, Brittany, Patagonia and Nova Scotia
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
  • Celtic
Proto-language: Proto-Celtic
ISO 639-2 and 639-5: cel
The countries of the six Celtic languages still spoken.

The Celtic languages are a language family inside of the Indo-European languages. There are six Celtic languages still spoken in the world today, spoken in north-west Europe. They are divided into two groups, the Goidelic (or Gaelic) and the Brythonic (or British).

The three Goidelic languages still spoken are Irish, Scottish, and Manx. Scottish is the main language spoken in parts of north-west Scotland and Irish is the main language spoken in the Gaeltacht in Ireland. Manx is spoken mainly by people interested in the language.

The three Brythonic languages are Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. Of these Cornish became extinct in the 18th century but people have started speaking it again now. Welsh is spoken everywhere throughout Wales, but is mainly the first language for people in the western part of Wales, in the area some people call the Bro Gymraeg. Breton is spoken mainly in west Brittany. Breton is the only Celtic language not mainly spoken in the British Isles.

Scottish Gaelic also has a native community of speakers in Canada where it was once very widely spoken, and there are Welsh speakers in Patagonia, Argentina.

List of Celtic languages

Goidelic languages

Brittonic languages

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