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Recommend books to help our learning?

Hello all,

I have nearly completed the tree. I am thoroughly enjoying the course so far. And I am looking forward to the new, expanded version.

In the meantime I have obtained a couple of books (Kindle versions) as well as the paperback version of Robertson and MacDonald's "Essential Gaelic Dictionary". The kindle books I have are "Complete Gaelic Beginner to Intermediate Course" by Robertson and Taylor, and "My first sentences in Scottish Gaelic" by Mia Bowen and a couple more of her short books. These are working well so far - early days, but they look like good, well written, easy to understand, resources.

I'm now looking at two George McClennan books: his earlier (1987) "Scots Gaelic: An introduction to the basics", and the newer (2009) "A Gaelic Alphabet: a guide to the pronunciation of Gaelic letters and words". The samples from Kindle that I have suggest they may be relatively similar. At least the start of the books has a high degree of similarity.

Does anyone have either of these and could comment on them to help me make my decision?

tapadh leibh!

February 27, 2020



I have both and really enjoyed them. They are small, short books (78 and 75 pages) but provide a lot of information about SG.

In "Gaelic Alphabet" the chapters are one for each letter and each chapter talks about history, pronunciation, relationship to usages in other languages. It does help with learning how and why SG are letters are used in words and pronounced.

"Introduction to the Basics" has chapters separated by topic and each chapter covers why that topic (Lenition, for example) is important in SG. I found a description of the book here (there's a list of chapter titles):


It is hard to say which book is better - they are different. Neither one is a textbook for learning. But both were very helpful to me in understanding how SG works. If you can, I'd suggest getting both. Either one will help you understand why SG works the way it does. I read "Introduction to the Basics" first and "Gaelic Alphabet" second.


Thank you, I was hoping someone would reply. I think I'll look at getting these books on Kindle.

Oh, and have a lingot, thanks.


On a similar topic, can you recommend a good dictionary?


I have the Essential Gaelic Dictionary (Teach Yourself series) by Robertson and MacDonald.

I found this site useful to choose one https://gaelic.co/gaelic-dictionary/

I chose Robertson and MacDonald because it was a reasonable price and size and seemed well reviewed. I like the sound of the Angus Watson dictionary, but am not advanced enough to justify a desktop reference dictionary yet.

I find myself using "Am faclair beag" online. It has Dwelly's entries too now they are online. See https://www.faclair.com/

Good luck choosing, and do let us know what you get and how you find it.

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