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Scottish Gaelic Language Courses and Dictionaries

When the Scots settled the Highlands and Islands around 500 AD, they brought the Old Irish with them. Over time, their version of Scottish Gaelic evolved into a unique and beautiful tongue, quite distinct from modern Irish Gaelic.

If you enjoy learning new languages or are planning a trip to Scotland, this page has books, tapes, and dictionaries for teaching yourself Scottish Gaelic.

Even if you never get to Scotland, learning a bit of Gaelic is useful so you can pronounce the words and phrases you run across in your reading, translate proverbs and quotations, and understand the lyrics of Scottish Gaelic music.

For Scots-Gaelic computer learning, please see our Celtic Language Courses.

Buy Scottish Gaelic Instruction Books and Dictionaries
Colloguial Scottish Gaelic
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Colloquial Scottish Gaelic: The Complete Course for Beginners
by Katherine M. Spadaro, et al


This course has a strong emphasis on modern conversational Gaelic, which might be useful if you are good at languages and want to pick up enough Gaelic for a trip. Also includes tapes.
Everyday Gaelic
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Everyday Gaelic
by Morag MacNeill


This is a terrific little phrase book, organized by topic with side-by-side English and Gaelic. Includes a pronunciation guide. Perfect for travel or for translating and pronouncing those pesky Gaelic phrases we run across in our reading.
Scottish Gaelic - English / English - Scottish Dictionary
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Scottish Gaelic-English/English-Scottish Dictionary
by R. W. Renton and J. A. MacDonald


Designed for the student, this handy, pocket-sized dictionary is the perfect companion for your Scottish Gaelic course of study. Has all the commonly used words in an easy to understand format.
Teach Yourself Gaelic Audiopack
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Teach Yourself Gaelic Complete Course Audiopack
by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor


Tape and book set with interactive dialogues, culture notes, grammar, self-tests and lots of practice exercises, step-by-step guide to pronunciation, practical vocabulary, regular and irregular verb tables, bilingual glossary. Well-reviewed.
Etymological Dictionary of Scottish Gaelic
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Etymological Dictionary of Scottish-Gaelic
by Alexander MacBain


For those with an interest in linguistics, this remarkable book (written in the late 19th century) provides the derivations of Scottish Gaelic words back through Old Irish, Celtic and Indo-European roots, comparing them to the other Celtic languages and providing lots of pronunciation information for the Celtic languages.