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Scottish vs Irish Gaelic

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
Bilingual Triglot
Joined 4107 days ago

24 posts - 25 votes
Speaks: Modern Hebrew*, Russian*, English
Studies: German

 Message 1 of 3
02 April 2011 at 1:49pm | IP Logged 
Which is better to learn and can they understand each other?
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4929 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 Message 2 of 3
03 April 2011 at 6:57pm | IP Logged 
"Better"? That's a dangerous word.

(Scottish) Gaelic has fewer verb tenses, and a slightly simpler set of sound changes, but on the other hand verbs are slightly more regular in Irish than in Gaelic.

They're quite different from each other for the most part, although certain dialects of one sound like dialects of the other. In some respects, they're about as similar as Italian and Spanish -- knowing one makes the other much easier to learn. In both pairs Italian/Spanish and Gaelic/Irish, some speakers of one claim to have few problems understanding the other, but other speakers don't understand a word of the other.

Many older Scottish Gaels used to listen to Irish radio before BBC Scotland started broadcasting in Gaelic, but it's hard to say whether this is proof of mutual comprehensibility, or just the result of a lot of time spent listening.
3 persons have voted this message useful

Bilingual Triglot
Joined 4010 days ago

3 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*, Irish*, Spanish
Studies: French

 Message 3 of 3
05 April 2012 at 8:01pm | IP Logged 
As a speaker of Irish Gaelic, I would say that Scottish Gaelic is easy enough
to understand when written down, but quite hard to understand in speech. The Scots Gaelic
I can understand the most is the Isle of Lewis.

4 persons have voted this message useful

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