are there similarities between Latin and Irish?

I'm going to start learning Latin and I've often heard that there are many similarities between Latin and Irish in regards to grammar. Is this true? It would be interesting to know what they are

December 13, 2017


I’m not too familiar with Latin, but I doubt it. Historically, The Roman Empire never conqured Ireland or Scotland. Irish is a Celtic language and not Germanic or Romance either, so it didn’t stem from Latin at all.

I’ve studied French, Italian and Spanish in university too, and I never noticed similarities with Irish. I can read a bit of Latin, and if anything, it’s closest to Italian, and it’s said to be very like Romanian also (I have a friend that studied the Italian and French also, Spanish is her first language and she studied Latin. She didn’t notice similarities with Irish either)

I guess your best bet would be to search for web forums by lingusits or ask a linguistics/Irish teacher/professor.

December 14, 2017

I know there would be little similarities in vocab but I have often heard they are alike in grammar(no indefinite article, no word for yes or no e.t.c) and syntax

December 14, 2017

Latin did not come from Christianity, it came way before, and no there is no Latin in Gaeilge aka Irish language.

December 14, 2017

I think they mean that Latin mostly came to Ireland via Christianity, which is true.

December 14, 2017

Yeah I have to second this. Especially since biblically the Romans were the ones who crucified Jesus. It wouldn't make sense because they were already a well established empire before Jesus was born. Now, later on they were a Christian society and established the Roman Catholic church, but yeah Latin existed far before all of that.

December 14, 2017

Exactly! The Roman Catholic Church adopted Latin as its liturgical language. Roman spoke Latin when they prayed to Jupiter and Juno.

December 16, 2017

Ancient Celtic Languages had a lot incommon with Latin, grammatically and in terms of vocabulary, because Italic and Celtic were most likely a split of a common language older langauge. So, the relationship between the languages was like the relationship between Romance languages today.

Now, modern Irish is incomparable.

Think about how different Romance languages are, and then remember Celtic and Latin were already seperate languages. Celtic has evolved into a totally new language, Irish that is very different from it's ancestor. So, naturally, since Irish and Celtic are very different, the difference between Modern Irish and Latin is vast.

Personally, I would love to learn an Ancient Celtic language. But I'm not sure how many scholars can speak it haha.

December 15, 2017

Hi, I studied a little bit Latin. There is a similarity I noticed: declinaisons !

January 11, 2018

Odd, I actually wrote about this just yesterday!

Latin came mostly via Christianity, so there are a lot of words in religion and writing that are borrowed from Latin. Some came from Latin via Welsh, again through religion. Domhnach (Sunday) comes from Dominica.

Of course there's a lot more!

December 14, 2017

Irish is far more Gaelic than Romance. Irish is the only Gaelic language I'm learning at the moment. My other is Romance.

December 14, 2017

To the extent that both are Indo-European languages, yes, there are similarities and learning the second IE language will be a bit easier than the first one. But Irish isn't any more helpful for learning Latin than German is (which seems to be your second language).

If you're coming from English and wantn to learn Latin, I'd say the main advantages you get from also knowing Irish or German are that you're already familiar with the concepts of verb inflection, grammatical gender and cases, and that you probably learnt some technical terms to describe grammar that can be applied to Latin as well.

December 18, 2017
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