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How to retain all the Gaelic I learn

Gaelic being a Celtic language, is relative hard to retain. At least that is the case for me! The spellings are quite different from most of the languages I "speak".

All the bh, mh and other combinations and the soundless combos are quite difficult to retain in the long run. It may require a lot many revisions.

What are your suggestions?

How long does an average person need to learn Scottish Gaelic

a) If he or she is new to Celtic languages ?

b) If he or she has some basic knowledge about Celtic languages ?

November 29, 2019



Hi from Ireland.

How long does someone need to learn Scottish? It honestly depends on how willing you are to put in the work. I guess that’s the same for any language really. Celtic (Goidelic in particular- Irish, Manx & Scottish) languages are pretty similar so if you have a fair grasp of one, then you’ll be able to make out the others. I wouldn’t recommend doing Irish and Scottish if you’re a beginner though as you might get confused. But if you want to take up the challenge- go for it! Thanks so much for the interest in Scottish Gaelic though. I’m not Scottish myself, but Irish and Scottish technically come from the same branch of tree. Best of luck with it!


If you already speak a few other languages fluently, you should have a good idea. Getting up to Level 25 on Duolingo doesn't get anywhere near fluency, but it's a good start. You would probably have to study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig or somewhere like that to achieve anything like fluency. A lot of native speakers tend to substitute English words like "council houses" instead of Taighean na comhairle, so it's difficult.

As with any other language, if you try to learn it too fast, you'll forget it just as fast. Allow at least two years.

Irish speakers have an advantage, but unless you're a native speaker from Donegal, you'll still have a hard time with some of the sounds. I love the sound of Irish.

In your favour, the grammar is quite easy.


find somewhere to speak it :)


I don't know whatever works for you. But reading and writing things repeatedly helps me, as well as maybe writing a list of all the terms you learn in duolingo.

Gaelic is hard to learn by nature I think. I can leave Spanish for months on end and retain what I've learned (mostly) but with Gaelic I'm drawing a blank the next day.


There are quite a few words in Romance Languages that are similar in Gaelic:

Spanish juguete Italian : giocattolo French: Jouet Gaelic: dèideag (English : Toy)

French: Chambre
Gaelic : Seòmar

French (and Spanish) Miel - honey in English

Gaelic : mil ; milis means sweet

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