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What are your goals / targets when it comes to Scottish Gaelic learning?

I would like to know what are your motivations, goals and targets regarding Scottish Gaelic.

What all resources are you using? Are you using only Duolingo or even other learning materials?

Till which level are you planning to learn Gaelic? Are you planning to go till intermediate (B1/B2) and advance level (C1/C2) ?

Will you be content by just being able to become conversational in Gaelic? Or are you learning Gaelic to be able to do something more sophisticated - reading high end literary work, sing difficult songs, produce something which requires advanced skills ?

December 22, 2019



I'm learning Scottish Gaelic mostly to sharpen my mental processes and just for fun. I plan to take this language course as far as Duolingo can take me. I'm not sure why -Gaelic-, but the moment I saw it listed, I was hooked. A past life, perhaps?


Very good questions,i suppose that my aim is to be able to hold à conversation. I have no links to The Highlands other than à deep and long lasting love affair with the hills and mountains ,i am à very keen hillwalker,camped,bothied all over The Highlands.I have used hill walking sites to understand The meaning of hill names ,but i suppose the main thing is "i want to see Scotland in colour". In my job,i drive all over The east coast,so i have been listening to Radio nan Gael,also following a You Tube channel called Gaelic With Jason,find his teaching style very engaging.Flashcard Machine has proved useful in building up my vocab.Also have been viewing BBC Alba à lot.


I started learning from "Speaking our language" on youtube in preparation for a trip to the homeland in 2018. Was able to have a very brief conversation in Gaelic with a shop keeper on Skye. I plan on returning and being able to have more in depth conversation with people. I don't rule out being able to read and write in Gaelic, even to the extent of literary endeavors like reading poetry or stories. I am thrilled that Duolingo has added Scottish Gaelic. Was hoping to take classes with The House of Scotland in San Diego, but they are currently without a Gaelic speaker to facilitate. Anyone?


As a Scot, it used to annoy me to see the "bilingual" signs in various locations around the country, and to have no real idea how to pronounce the Gaelic words, other than the few that were in normal use. I also love Runrig and other Scottish bands that sing both in English and Gaelic and I have flirted with trying to learn before. However, I found it very difficult to get started at all, despite several attempts, and for that alone, I am eternally grateful to all those involved in getting the Duolingo Gaelic course up and running. As for goals, I'd like to be able to converse to some degree, to be able to listen to Gaelic songs and understand them ( rather just the odd word) and to become one of the many "new" speakers that will hopefully help the Scottish Government keep their commitment to funding the language.

At the moment, I'm primarily using Duolingo, and youtube ( Learning With Jason, Can Seo, and Speaking Our Language mostly) . As I progress, I'm hoping to start making more use of some of the books I have seen people suggest and hopefully work up to being brave enough to actually speak to someone in Gaelic !


I work in a school in central Scotland that teaches Gaidhlig and would like to join in. Plus I have a friend who is learning to practice with.


Once I've read in an article about Gaelic that this language can be described as 'vibrant'. I cannot agree more and that's definitelly the reason why I am learning Gaelic. I love the sound of this language, I often listen to music in Gaelic just because I like how the words sound. My goal is at least to start to understand and I hope that one day I will visit Scotland and would be able to make some conversations as well. I've found this website https://learngaelic.scot/ which helps me a lot.


I'm currently just trying to get an impression of the language, though taking it further is an option I will consider if I continue to enjoy learning Scottish Gaelic.

I became interested in Gaelic before my vacation in Scotland this summer, but since there was no duolingo course yet, I started learning Irish (which I had also been interested in anyway). I enjoy seeing the similarities and differences of the two and so far, I'm not mixing up too many things between them, but sometimes one helps me with the other.

Right now, my only goal with Gaelic is to finish the tree and then decide if I want to switch to other additional sources (if I have the time for it: Polish is more of a priority and will be even more so once my irl Polish course starts up again). I'm happy if I can understand a few place names, or a few words if I come across them, though I'd be thrilled if I'll be able to understand and speak Gaelic in a simple real life situation one day.


I'm currently studying Irish, from Duolingo and some other sources, and wanted to know how different was Scottish from Gaeilge. And I think that when I'm done with Irish, it will not be so difficult to learn Scottish. However, I would not recommend learning both at the same time haha.


Hi Hansperger, Irish and Scottish Gaelic are very similar, maybe like Norwegian is to Swedish? The pronunciation is quite different, I think Scottish sounds a bit more guttural whereas Irish is a softer lilt!? Keep up the great work, it’s an honour that people want to learn the Celtic languages, Tapaidh Leat.


While I am a language nut, and I've never studied a Celtic language, I waited until Scottish Gaelic was offered to dive it. I'm adopted and when I found my biological parents, I found that both sides had a lot of Scottish ancestry, as do both sides of my husband's family. We visited Scotland for the first time this past summer with our adult kids and all loved it. I also like dank weather, fatty food, hard liquor, and cranky foul-mouthed people, so there's that. Just kidding on that last bit. Sort of. ;^}


I am astounded by the number of languages you have studied! How many have you had the opportunity to speak? Also, I'm glad you were able to find out about your heritage. I have ten adopted siblings and none of them could find out anything because they came to us through Catholic Welfare Services, which closed the files, at least in those days. All they know is things like "mostly Hawaiian" or "Chinese and Irish" ... information given to our parents at the times of the adoptions. I guess that's better than nothing.


I started learning as we are planning on retiring to the Hebrides in a few years. I want to take the time to get to know the language properly before we do. I would like to be able to speak and write gaelic fluently whilst avoiding previous mistakes. I lived in Portugal for a while and could read and understand portuguese ok but would reply in English which is just daft.

I started the Beag air Bheag course online but have halted that a little now I know the Duolingo Gaelic was out. I'm going to work through Duolingo first and then go back to Beag air Bheag. I listen to BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal in the background although I can only understand a few words but they are increasing. Not sure where I'll be going after that. I could do with a talking group.


My mum's family are from a Gaelic speaking region of Canada. The last one of that generation passed away a few years ago. For a long while, the coal mines were one of the few places of employment where people could hold onto their language, and so they lived and died in those horrible mines tucked into a still beautiful part of the country. My grandmother left after the war, married a french Canadian man - their common language was English. While I fluently speak English and French... I never learned Gaelic. That said, while living in Europe no place felt more like home than Inverness and the places west of there. Friendly, funny, self-effacing people and, of course, the wilderness. The culture is so familiar, but the language has been so foreign.

TL;DR: It's snowing something fierce here and I need to learn to bitch about the weather in another language.


I've always wanted to speak Gaelic - we had a guy at my primary school who was a fluent speaker, and it made him windswept and interesting, to quote Billy Connolly. But beyond that, it's mostly to do with my country, both the physicality and cultural. I love hillwalking and climbing, and you simply cannot do that in Scotland without almost immediately bumping up against Gaelic. Plus, my ancestry is a mix of Highland and Irish (yes, I'm almost inevitably a ginger...), so there's something almost visceral about my connection to it. It feels like it's a part of me that I hitherto couldn't quite reach...hence my efforts to learn.

And, on a childish level, another Gaelic speaker would get it right up the rockets with their roadsigns rage!


My overall goal is to revive my areas dialect to which there is only 1 fluent speaker left.

I've used a variety of resources... programs like Can Seo and Speaking our Language and apps like utalk, Mango and recently Duolingo. The website LearnGaelic.net has also been a useful tool and its dictionary is a weapon o a thing.

I plan to learn Gaelic to fluency.


I'm not too sure how far I want to go with it. I'm just following my curiosity with seeing what different languages look like, to be honest. I believe I can commit to finishing the Gaelic tree for certain, but it's more of a diversion to remind me why I love language learning, before I return to developing my Esperanto or Spanish, which I am much farther along with.


I’ve always had an interest in the language, ooth from having Scots ancestry and living there through my 20s, and my main goal at this point is to be able to hold basic conversation, correctly pronounce the names on whisky bottles, and sing some Gaelic songs


I've always wanted to learn the language but to be honest I've been lazy and have never got around to it. Having been brought up in Ayrshire, the Scots language was more prevalent although only really interspersed within English. I now live in Dundee and my connections are widespread, up as far as Thurso, so when Duolingo announced they were starting the language I was really intrigued. Having used Duolingo for other languages, I was more than pleased to jump at learning something closer to home, where I can actually use it. I look forward to understanding some of the Runrig songs (was at their last ever concert) and reading road signs etc.


I was there too, I cried. Got close enough to the front you can see us on the dvd, was fun watching it back trying to spot us!


Nice question! I started learning Gaelic years ago when I found out I'd be immigrating to Scotland because of my parents' work. Back then I used Beag air Bheag and Speaking Our Language on Youtube. When I moved to Scotland I took evening language classes for a few years and started watching BBC Alba and listening to Reidio nan Gaidheal.

Last year I did a masters in Celtic and Scottish Studies and took Gaelic classes full-time for the first time, so that really helped improve my Gaelic. I needed Gaelic for my masters topic which was Gaelic work songs in the fishing industry. Now I am hoping to expand that topic to a PhD and want to keep my Gaelic up, so the Duolingo course came at the perfect time. My goals are to continue improving my Gaelic so that I could...

  • one day work in a heritage industry job requiring Gaelic
  • speak Gaelic fluently with others
  • make use of Gaelic in my academic work


My sole reason is so I can sing along to Runrig's Gaelic songs and understand exactly what I am singing! Its been 30 years, its about time I did... (of course I know the song names and general gist of the song, but I really want to understand it properly) I do have Scottish ancestry that inspires me too but Runrig is my main reason to do this.


My goal is to have conversations in Gaelic. I had some basic Gaelic before starting Duolingo. To be honest, German is far easier as it’s closely related to English, Gaelic has virtually nothing similar to English, except computer and Helicopter :-) I’m sticking with it, as I’m a Scot who has had the mother language denied, and I want it to thrive. My wife is German and said I should learn to speak German properly, but I told her I need to speak my own language first! I’m determined to speak Gaelic, and I’m grateful to Duolingo for opening up this opportunity


I started without any real goals but my current goal is knowing enough to surprise strangers in pubs next time I'm in the Outer Hebrides. I'm not from Scotland but I love the country, the landscape, the people and have a lot of Scottish ancestry on my mother's side that I wanted to feel more connected to. I also find it so sad that my ancestors had their language stolen from them and it feels good to bring it back even a little bit into my own family. So I guess I will be content with however far I get but being conversational would be awesome :)


My only goal is to see how much I learn from making the tree golden. After that, who knows?


I've always wanted to learn it, so I'm going to. I don't know that I need much more reason than that!


is mise English and have lived on an inner Hebrides island for 40 years. There were many native speakers who taught me phrases,sat me down to Can Seo then told me it was Lewis Gaelic and not the best! but with faulty and failing hearing I stupidly gave up. This format works ,I can use ear phones and constantly repeat the listening elements. Sadly there are very few indigenous Gaelic speakers left now and I am getting old too. Glad to have this chance though


I, too, remember Can Seo well!


It's complicated.

I lived in Scotland for 25 years (mostly in Edinburgh). I'm involved in both traditional music and Celtic Studies, so I've dabbled with Gaelic for most of my life. Realistically, I know that unless you go out of your way to make it happen, you won't use Gaelic unless you live in a Gaelic speaking community. So I told myself that I just want to improve my Gaelic, mostly from a literary point of view.

It's not working, though. Because my instincts as a language learner are very oral/aural. I definitely read and write Gaelic better than I speak it, but I am also obsessed with accents and having really good pronunciation and aural comprehension (even though I'll probably never use it now!).

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