Basic Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic Alphabet

English speakers will note that although most of the Scottish Gaelic alphabet is the same as English, there are only 18 letters in the Gaelic alphabet though accents and lenition make maker it seem as though there are more.

Below is some basic Gaelic to help get you started.

The vowels
a, e, i, o and u

The consonants
b, c, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, p, r, s and t

You may have noticed that some of the letters that make up your name are not part of the Gaelic alphabet. Check our list of Scottish Gaelic names – you may find that yours is on the list!

Scottish Gaelic Numbers

1 aon
2 dà dhà
3 trì
4 ceithir
5 còig
6 sia
7 seachd
8 ochd
9 naoi
10 deich
11 aon deug
12 dà dheug or dhà dheug
13 trì deug
14 ceithir deug
15 còig deug

Common Scottish Gaelic

Here are some basic Gaelic questions you may come across.

Ciamar a tha thu?
English: How are you?

Use: This is how you would say it to someone you were familiar with.

Tha gu math, tapadh leat.
English: Fine, thanks.

Use: Again, to someone familiar to you.

Cò às a tha sibh?
English: Where are you from?
Càit’ a bheil thu/sibh a’ dol?
English: Where are you going?

Use: Use “thu” when familiar or “sibh” otherwise.

Dè ‘n t-ainm a tha ort?
English: What’s your name?
De ‘n aois a tha thu?
English: How old are you?

Use: Use “thu” when familiar or “sibh” otherwise.

Place Names in Gaelic

Scotland – Alba Australia – Astràilia
America – Amaireaga Nova Scotia – Alba Nuadh
Dundee – Dùn Deagh Edinburgh- Dùn Eideann
Ireland – Eirinn Glasgow – Glaschu
Inverness – Inbhir Nis London – Lunnainn
Aberdeen – Obar Dheadhain Paisley – Pàislig
England – Sasann Spain – an Spàinnt

Days, Seasons and Months in Gaelic

Days Months
Didòmhnaich Latha na Sàbaid – Sunday Am Faoilleach – January
Diluain – Monday An Gearran – February
Dimàirt – Tuesday Am Màrt – March
Diciadain – Wednesday An Giblean – April
Diardaoin – Thursday An Cèitean – May
Dihaoine – Friday An t-Ogmhìos – June
Disathairne – Saturday An t-Luchar – July
Seasons An Lùnasdal – August
an t-earrach – Spring An t-Sultain – September
an samhradh – Summer An Dàmhair – October
am foghar – Autumn/Fall An t-Samhain – November
an geamhradh – Winter An Dùbhlachd – December

Time of day

To say “it is six o’clock”, you would say “tha e sia uairean”.

  • uair – one o’clock
  • dà uair – two o’clock
  • trì uairean – three o’clock
  • ceithir uairean – four o’clock
  • còig uairean – five o’clock
  • sia uairean – six o’clock
  • seachd uairean – seven o’clock
  • ochd uairean – eight o’clock
  • naoi uairean – nine o’clock
  • deich uairean – ten o’clock
  • aon uair deug – eleven o’clock
  • dà uair dheug – twelve o’clock