Scottish Gaelic

Publicado: 5 septiembre, 2011 en History of the language

           Scottish Gaelic is one of the Scotland’s national languages. It belongs to the Celtic languages. It has evolved from Old Irish. Old Irish arrived into Scotland around the middle of the first millennium and for several centuries there was sufficient contact between Ireland and Scotland to keep the language from changing much. 

          Scottish Gaelic has other names like Scots Gaelic and Highland Gaelic but it is good to have in mind that Scots Gaelic should not be confused with the Scots language, that is a language belonging to the Anglic languages and comes from Old English.

         By the middle of the 20th century the Scottish Gaelic language was declining but in the mid of the 1970s the number of speakers increased. Moving to the 21st century, the census of 2001 showed that there was a total of 58.650 Gaelic speakers in Scotland. Comparing this to the census of 1991 we see that the number of speakers decreased in 7300, meaning that Gaelic decline in Scotland is continuing.  An important factor that contributes to this decline is the used in Scotland of English language. It is becoming so important that is substituting the Scottish Gaelic. . All this is because political reasons and because Scotland it is not independent from England. So, although Gaelic is endangered right now, we can say that it is almost spoken in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland with a few locations in Skye and there are also speakers spread around Glasgow. I would like to add, that outside the main Gaelic-speaking areas a rather high proportion of Gaelic speaking people are socially isolated so they cannot practice the language. Complete monolingualism is almost non-existent except among native speaker children under school age in traditional Gàidhealtachd regions.




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