Rampant Scotland Directory!

Gaelic and Scots Language

There are sites in which you can use (or even learn) the Gaelic language and links to examples of the Scots language can also be found here. The wider aspects of the Celts are on a separate page.

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Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is a unique learning environment where all higher education provision and the running of the College is conducted in Scottish Gaelic - the only such college in the world. The aim is to create a "University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) with a campus in various locations across the area. Their Gaelic on the Web page has a wide selection of links to Gaelic-related sites.

Faclair na Gàidhlig - Dictionary of the Scottish Gaelic Language
The Dictionary of the Scottish Gaelic Language is an inter-university initiative by the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI. The aim is to produce an historical dictionary of Scottish Gaelic comparable to the multi-volume resources already available for Scots and English. The dictionary will document the history of the Gaelic language and culture from the earliest manuscript material onwards, placing Gaelic in context with Irish and Scots.

Am Faclair Beag

A Gaelic/English, English/Gaelic dictionary with over 20,000 entries and sounds, including a searchable version of Scottish Gaelic lexicographer Edward Dwelly's dictionary and various other features.

Beag air Bheag means 'little by little', and that is just how the many sections of this site from the BBC give a taste of Scottish Gaelic for absolute beginners. Included is a Gaelic Sounds section with audio to provide some assistance. This is not an extensive list of sounds but will give you a short introduction to the most commonly used Gaelic sounds.

Basic Gaelic for Parents is not so basic and has a number of useful pages including a section with WAV files demonstrating a range of words and phrases.

A Pronouncing Gaelic Dictionary has phonetic guidance for each word and a comprehensive Gaelic grammar.

The Sounds of Scottish Gaelic is an online version built on the lessons written by Dr Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, who formerly lectured at Edinburgh University and taught students the sounds of Gaelic. There are explanations of how to produce these sounds and sound files of them (MP3).

  • An Comunn Gaidhealach is a voluntary organisation founded in Oban in 1891 as a vehicle for the preservation and development of the Gaelic language. The annual Gaelic Mod is a feature of the organisation.

    Office of Gaelic Affairs, Nova Scotia

    Gaelic has been spoken in Nova Scotia for over 230 years and the Office of Gaelic Affairs assists in the promotion and development of the Gaelic language and culture in their communities. There are 28 Gaelic-related societies, organizations and institutions in the province and Gaelic language instruction is offered in six schools in the province at varying levels and Gaelic Studies is offered in 15 schools.

    Comunn Gàidhlig Astràilia

    Comunn Gàidhlig Astràilia (The Scottish Gaelic Association of Australia) is a non-profit organisation which supports the language and culture of Scottish Gaels in Australia. Members include native speakers and learners. The association produces a quarterly journal (An Teachdaire Gaidhealach) and organises gatherings, events and occasional classes in Gaelic in Australia and New Zealand plus an Internet and correspondence courses in Gaelic.

    Pàrlamaid na h-Alba

    The Gaelic website at the Scottish Parliament promotes the Gaelic language by publishing information and news in the language. The site has up-to-date news and an extensive selection of pages relating to the Scottish Parliament and its work, all in Gaelic.


    This is a company located on the Isle of Skye and its activities include the creation and distribution of Gaelic learners' materials and other Gaelic materials; the production of subtitles for Gaelic television programmes; and the provision of graphic design services.

    My Gaelic

    Learn about Gaelic, the language and its culture; find help and advice on learning Gaelic; start looking for your Gaelic roots; meet, greet and make new friends.

    Save Gaelic

    SaveGaelic.org is an initiative set up to promote and preserve the Scottish Gaelic language both in Scotland and around the world. It provides a portal for supporters of Gaelic aimed at attracting the absolute beginner to the fluent Gaelic speakers to mix and share advice and ask questions on the language itself. An important element is the Forum/bulletin Board and there are links to other Gaelic sites.

    Gaelic Versions of PC Software

    This page is hosted on the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) site and brings together an array of Gaelic versions of popular software, resources and games created by a variety of people. The information is not only useful for Gaelic speakers but also for those learning the language, especially younger folk. The list includes:

    IleTec - a Gaelic Word Processor

    Sgrìobh - the Gaelic word processor - has been launched IleTec Computer Solutions aimed at the Gaelic community. Sgrìobh is available on CD, as a piece of application software for PCs that run Windows and comes with the IleTec Gaelic Language Keyboard for a complete Gaelic desktop.

    Comann nam Parant

    This is a national organisation for the parents of children who are taught in Gaelic. Their Web site supplies news about the organisation and information on Gaelic education. It also has a message board to allow parents to communicate with one another.


    This is a hub for parents who have entered their child into Gaelic-medium education (GME), or are considering doing so. Nip the sheepdog assists you and your child as you navigate the site which includes a simple vocabulary you can use with your child (with audio), downloadable audio to accompany popular Gaelic children's books, door-signs, greetings cards and book-plates you can print, colour and use and various interactive audio examples including well-known lullabies, nursery rhymes and other songs.

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    Total Immersion Enterprises

    This is a language learning company situated in Buckie in Scotland, offering "Total Immersion Plus" - a new method for learning or tutoring any language with the aim of being fluent in just 200 hours. They specialise in Scottish Gaelic, although the method is applicable to any language.

    Gaelic Translation Service

    A commercial site that will translate documents from and to Scottish Gaelic.

    Slighe nan Gaidheal, Seattle

    This is Seattle's Gaelic Language and Cultural Society and the site has details of their biennial festival and ongoing activities, such as a Gaelic choir, weekly classes, monthly activity days and ceilidhs.

    Am Baile

    This is a digital archive of the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and its Web pages are in both English and Gaelic. It has a large number of brief articles on a range of subjects and includes photographs, rare books and documents from archives, libraries, museums and private collections, contemporary art, films, interactive games and comics.

    Pròiseact Thiriodh

    A pilot project to test technologies and give access to over 600 audio tracks of Gaelic, to develop and demonstrate technologies for providing access to an online, searchable database of audio recordings made over the previous 40 years on the island of Tiree.

    Highland Cathedral

    This is the website for St Columba Church, St Vincent Street, Glasgow. It covers not just the expected church activities and the history of the building, but has a large section aimed at the Gaelic-speaking community with St Columba Gaelic Hymns, Gaelic Metrical Psalms, The Lord's Prayer in Gaelic, St Columba Gaelic Prayers, school resources and even some of the works of John Bunyan in Gaelic.

    Gaelic Literature, Language and Music

    From Electric Scotland, the site includes Manuscripts of the 15th Century such as the Dean of Lismore's Book and Ossianic Collections plus a history of Gaelic Dictionaries

    Gaelic Books Council

    Stocks every Gaelic and Gaelic-related book in print which can be ordered on-line via a secure server link. You can browse their catalogue, get details of new titles or find out more about their book club. Plus book extracts, CDs, tapes and videos.

    Gaelic in Scottish History and Culture

    The early history of Gaelic in Scotland and how it has been pushed aside by English for the last 1,000 years - and reasons for keeping it alive.

    Royal National Mod

    Details of "A' Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail", the Royal National Mods. There is also a "translator" page which allows you to enter an English word and get a Gaelic translation (if it's in their dictionary).

    Every Ogham Thing on the Web

    Ogham, the ancient celtic writing, is covered in considerable deatail by this site which contains a huge list of both general and academic links to Web pages about the script.

  • Parliamo Glesca?

    Each week in the Rampant Scotland "Scottish Snippets" Weekly Newsletter there used to be a section giving explanations of many of the Scots words still in use today. These have been gathered together here into a separate section.

    Dictionary of the Scots Language

    We need never be stuck for the meaning of a Scots word now that there is an electronic version of of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND). These are the most comprehensive dictionaries available for, respectively, Older Scots and modern Scots. The site's search engine is fast - and free.

    Scottish Language Dictionaries

    This is an organisation which supports and promotes the Scots language. There is information on the publications "The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue" (DOST) and the "Scottish National Dictionary" which are the major historical dictionaries of the Scots language. The latter (in 10 volumes) was completed in 1976. All of this material is available free online at the Dictionary of the Scots Language. Their website also gives information on the history and origins of Scots. and also grammar and pronunciation.

    Scots Language Centre

    The Scots Language Centre was founded to do everything possible to promote the Scots language. Their main aim is to give people that speak Scots the chance to learn more about their own language - and their Web site allows people around the globe to learn about Scots and hear it spoken. The site includes links to other Web pages which contain further information about Scots and there is a regular news section about events related to the Scots language.

    Scots Language Society

    This is the "online hame o the Scots Leid Associe" which promotes the Scots language in literature, drama, the media, education and everyday issues. The society publishes CDs to allow you to enjoy the literature and music of Scotland from the 14th century to the present day and Lallans, a journal of Scots arts and literature which features almost 100% new writing in Scots, articles, short stories, poetry and reviews.

    Wir Ain Leid

    Background to the Scots language and pages of Scots nouns, adjectives, verbs, numbers, greetings, idioms and proverbs. There is also a searchable online dictionary. Unco braw!

    Scots Wikipaedia

    The main Wikipaedia project is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit and use. This is the Scots version and gives hundreds of articles about the Scots and Scotland - all written in the Scots tongue. And in addition to reading and using the articles - you can contribute (if you know how to write in the Scots language).

    Scuil Wab

    This is aimed at children to encourage them to understand Scots.

    Itchy Coo Books

    Auld armadillos, airm in airm, birlin bears wi' big bahoochies and crabbit crocodiles wi' clarty claes are lining up to help Scottish schoolchildren to learn their ABC of Scots in an initiative to understand about the Scots language. A series of 16 books under the title of "Itchy Coo" has been launched to encourage schoolchildren to use words which they come across every day, but which they don't realise are specifically Scots. The 16 "Itchy Coo" books aim to reflect dialects and regional differences within Scots. The first sentence in the above paragraph reads, in English - "Old armadillos, arm in arm, revolving bears with large posteriors and bad-tempered crocodiles with dirty clothes."

    Elphinstone Institute

    The Institute is an initiative on the part of the University of Aberdeen to introduce the study of human traditions, especially the traditions of the North and North-East Scotland. It covers in particular the Official Doric Site or Elphinstone Kist to bring new and fresh writing in North East Scots (The Doric) to the attention of schools - but the breadth of the material makes it useful for a much wider public. Doric words and phrases abound and there are pages of songs, poems, prose, sound bites, history, music and sport and leisure.

    Informal Guide to the Scots Tongue

    This site is for the benefit of occasional visitors to Scotland. It makes no claims to be authoritative, complete or accurate but covers Scottish pronunciation, dialect words, given names, family names and place names.

    Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech

    This is an an academic project whose aim is to create a 'corpus' of texts in Scots and Scottish English. The text collection is freely available on the web, and may be browsed and searched in various ways, depending on the user's particular interest. The SCOTS project is the first large-scale project of its kind for Scotland.

    Merlin Press

    A small partnership which was set up to satisfy the demand for teaching material designed for the teaching of Scots Language. There is Q&A on Scots language and details of the material available.

    Stoory Duster

    An entertaining, light hearted selection of Scottish words illustrated with cartoons - including translations into English for all "tumshieheeds". Created in order to keep the vocabulary of Scots thriving by reminding people about its richness and range of words.

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    Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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