Scottish Gaelic, sometimes also referred to as Gaelic ( ) (or /gaːlikʲ/, according to dialect), is a Celtic language native to Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish, and thus is ultimately descended from Old Irish. The 2011 census of Scotland showed that a total of 57,375 people (1.1% of the Scottish population aged over three years old) in Scotland could speak Gaelic at that time, with the Outer Hebrides being the main stronghold of the language. The census results indicate a decline of 1,275 Gaelic speakers from 2001. A total of 87,056 people in 2011 had some facility with Gaelic compared to 93,282 people in 2001, a decline of 6,226. Despite this decline, revival efforts exist and the number of speakers of the language under age 20 has increased. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of the European Union or the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an Indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, “with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland. Outside Scotland, a dialect known as Canadian Gaelic is spoken in parts of Eastern Canada. In 2011, there were approximately 1,500 Gaelic-speakers in Canada with the vast majority in the province of Nova Scotia. About 350 Canadians in 2011 claimed Gaelic as their “mother tongue”.
You are here: / / Scottish Gaelic