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Scottish Gaelic language
|Native to||United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand|
|Region||Scotland, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Glengarry County, Canada|
|Native speakers||58,552 in Scotland. 92,400 people aged three and over in Scotland had some Scottish Gaelic ability in 2001 with estimates of additional 500–2000 in Nova Scotia, 1,610 speakers in the United States in 2000, 822 in Australia in 2001 and 669 in New Zealand in 2006. (date missing)|
|Writing system||Gaelic alphabet (Roman alphabet)|
|Official language in||Scotland|
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Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig, pronounced "Gah-lick") is a Celtic language. It is commonly called just Scots Gaelic in English. It is a sister language of Irish Gaelic and Manx Gaelic; all three are Goidelic languages. These are related to the Welsh language, Cornish language and the Breton language (these three are Brittonic or Brythonic languages).
In past times, the Scottish Gaelic language was spoken across all of Scotland except for the Northern Islands (Orkney and Shetland). In the later part of the Middle Ages, the kings of Scotland began to speak English and looked down on the Scottish Gaelic. After the union of England and Scotland, the Scottish Gaelic language was snubbed and looked down on even more, and English took over.
Scottish Gaelic today
Scottish Gaelic today is basically that of the Scottish Gaelic language spoken in the Outer Hebrides and on Skye. Generally speaking, the Scottish Gaelic language spoken across the Western Isles is similar enough to be classed as one major dialect group, but there is some regional variation.
A census in the United Kingdom in 2001 showed that a total of 58,652 (1.2% of the Scottish population aged over three years old) in Scotland could speak some amount of Scottish Gaelic at that time. Only the Western Isles of Scotland have more people who can speak the Scottish Gaelic language than not (61% of the people here speak Scottish Gaelic). The place in Scotland with the biggest percentage of Scottish Gaelic speakers is a village called Barvas on the Isle of Lewis. There, 74.7% of the people there speak the Scottish Gaelic language.
Children in Scotland do not have to learn the Scottish Gaelic language in schools, though it is becoming a more popular subject as Scottish Gaelic language is an important part of their Scottish culture.
|This language has its own Wikipedia project. See the Scottish Gaelic language edition.|
- Census 2001 Scotland: Gaelic speakers by council area from Comunn na Gaidhlig (cnag.org.uk).
- "News Release – Scotland's Census 2001 – Gaelic Report" from General Registrar for Scotland website, 10 October 2005. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- Nova Scotia Museum's Curatorial Report No. 97
- Gaelic in Nova Scotia from gov.ns.ca.
- "Language by State – Scottish Gaelic" on Modern Language Association website. Retrieved 27 December 2007
- "Languages Spoken At Home" from Australian Government Office of Multicultural Interests website. Retrieved 27 December 2007
- Orkney and Shetlands spoke Old West Norse because they were so long part of the Norse overseas settlements.
- Kenneth MacKinnon (2003). "Census 2001 Scotland: Gaelic Language – first results". http://lrrc3.sas.upenn.edu/popcult/CLPP/Census%202001%20-%20Gaelic1.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-24.