A Quick Gaelic Lesson

Welcome ........... Failte! (Fal-tchuh)
Good Morning ...........Madainn mhath (Mah-teen vah)
Good Evening/Afternoon ........ Feasgar math (Fess-gur mah)
Good Night ......... Oidhche mhath (Oy-huh vah)
How are you? .......... Ciamar a tha sibh? (Kimmer uh ha shiv)
I am fine .............. Tha mi gu math. (Ha mee goo mah)
Very good!.............. Gl mhath (Glay vah)
Good health! ............ Slainte mhath (Slan-chuh vor)
Please ................ Ma 'se do thoil e. (Ma sheh daw hol eh)
Thank you............... Tahadh leibh. (Tapuh lev)
You're welcome ............. 'S e do bheatha.(Sheh daw veh-huh)
Good-bye ............... Mar shin leibh. (Mar shin lev)
Up with the Gaelic! ....... Suas leis a GhhidhligI (Su-iss laysh a Gah-lik)




Scottish Gaelic, the language of the Scottish Highlands and Islands once spoken throughout Scotland is one of the few Celtic Languages surviving in Western Europe.

Scottish Gaelic is quite different from the Germanic and Romance languages and expresses a distinctive cultural history. Its roots in the British Isles are far older than those of English. Indeed, it is the source of numerous English words: galore (gu le˜r), whiskey (uisge beatha), smidgen (smidean) and even the English expression "smashing" (Is math sin..that's good).  It is closely related to Irish and Manx Gaelic and more distantly to Welsh, Cornish and Breton.  Its use has declined seriously over the past two centuries throughout the world.  Gaelic speaking communities are now found only in parts of the Highlands, the outer reaches of the Hebrides and in scattered emigrant communities in Canada.

Scottish Gaelic is the central pillar of a unique heritage.  At its core, it is a strong and flexible language that is critical to understanding the culture and history of Scotland.  For those of Scottish descent, learning Gaelic is a means of understanding the values, spirituality and thoughts of their ancestors.  Although spoken today by far fewer Scots, Gaelic still plays a large part in shaping modern Scottish identity. This beautiful language, the tongue of countless poets and bards, must be preserved. Similar to endangered species, an endangered language once lost is nearly impossible to restore.  As one long-ago emigrant to Canada lamented, "Bho 'n a chaill mi a' Ghˆidhlig, a b'fhuair mi." (Since I lost the Gaelic language, I have found nothing better.). Fortunately, interest in preserving the Gaelic has been enjoying a resurgence among Scots and the overseas descendants of Scots.  An Comunn Ghˆidhligach America, Inc.(The Gaelic Society of America) is an important part of that renaissance.

An Comunn Ghˆidhligach America, Inc.(ACGA) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that strives to promote and preserve the Scottish Gaelic Language and culture through fostering and supporting Gaelic language study and fluency in the spoken Gaelic, as well as interest in Gaelic literature, songs, music, art and history.   Incorporated in 1984, ACGA's membership includes Gaelic enthusiasts primarily in the U.S., but also in Canada, Scotland and Australia. ACGA supports the learning efforts of its members and funds a competitive scholarship to a week-long Gaelic Immersion in Nova Scotia each year. ACGA maintains links with similar organizations dedicated to the same goals and provide small grants to groups that offer quality Gaelic language instruction and Gaelic language learning opportunities in the last strongholds of the Gˆidhealtachd.

The ACGA National M˜d is an annual competition in Gaelic song, prose and poetry held at the Ligonier Highland Games in September.  The Annual ACGA Immersion Weekend is an opportunity for learners to gather and study with some of the best Gaelic teachers in the world.  A network of ACGA Regional Representatives and local study group leaders, teachers and learners work to represent ACGA at various Highland Games and Celtic ceilidhs (informal gatherings featuring musical and literary opportunities for all) and immersion weekends are held regularly across the country.

You can be part of this great revival. Whether you are of Scottish descent, a Gaelic student, a Celtic enthusiast or someone who wants to help preserve a unique language and culture, you can join ACGA and help make a difference. Your membership will entitle you to An Naidheachd ("The News"), ACGA's quarterly publication, help in joining or starting a study group, assistance with learning materials and information on many Gaelic related events. Please print out the membership form and return it with the membership fee to the address given or give it to your ACGA Regional Representative.