Gaelic Language

Gaelic Language Plan

Fife Council’s first Gaelic Language Plan, sets out our proposed outcomes and actions during 2015-2018.  Fife Council is committed to giving equal respect to the Gaelic language and providing an active offer of the Gaelic services.   The Plan has been prepared under Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and was approved by Bòrd na Gàidhlig on 17September 2015. 

Gaelic Language Plan 2015-2018

Comhairle Fhiobha Plana Gàidhlig 2015-2018

Gaelic Background

The Gaelic language (ancient celtic) dates back hundreds of years.  Gaelic is still spoken in parts of Scotland today.

In the history books describe Scotland as a 'three voiced country'.  This refers to the languages of Scots, Gaelic and English.

Fife Region is still referred to as a Kingdom.  The Kingdom of Fife still retains boundaries from the Pictish tribal era.  Long before the national states of Scotland, England or even Britain came into existence.

What is happening - Gaelic in Fife - Gàidhligh ann an Fhìobha

St Andrews University offers classes 

Contact :       Alex Allen, Director, Extension Language Programmes
Phone:         01334 46 7467

Glenrothes Lomond Centre is offering classes on Tuesdays:

Conversation Group 7:00-9:00 pm

2:45- 4:30 pm Level 2 cont.
5:00-6:30 pm Level 3 cont.
7:00-8:30 pm Level 1 cont.

Coming soon!

Beginners course in Levenmouth area

Back to fluency – for those who feel they have ‘lost’ their Gaelic   -   (details to follow). 

For more information on any of the above or to secure your place please email:

Contact:        Kirsty Strachan, Community Education Worker
Phone:           01592 583474

Place names in Fife 

Although Gaelic is no longer spoken as a native tongue.

In some areas, such as, Galloway, Fife and Aberdeenshire - the landscape is still one named by Gaelic speakers.


Scottish Gaelic

Meaning or Notes


Obar Dobhair

Mouth of Water


Coilltean Beithe

Birch Woods


Dùn Phàrlain






Inbhir Chèitein

Mouth of the Keithing Burn


Marc Innis

Horse Meadow


Ros Fhìobh

Headland of Fife 

St Andrews

Cill Rìmhinn

The town was first called Muckross (boar-wood), then Kilrymont (church on the royal mount), then Kilrule (church of St Regulus) and finally St Andrews after the church of St Andrews


A Flavour of Gaelic – A few phrases in Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic Phrase

Rough English Translation





Latha math

Good Day

Ciamar a tha thu?

How are you?

Ciamar a tha sibh a tá

How are you? (Plural, singular formal

Madainn mhath

Good Morning

Feasgar math

Good afternoon

Oidhche mhath

Good night

Ma's e do thoil e

If you please

Ma's e (bh) ur toil e

If you please (plural, singular formal)

Tapadh leat

Thank you

Tapadh leibh

Thank you (plural, singular formal)

Dè an t-ainm a tha' ort?

What is your name?

Dè an t-ainm a tha oirbh?

What is your name?(plural, singular formal)

Mar sin leat


Mar sin leibh

Goodbye (plural, singular formal)

Dè a tha seo?

What is this?


"health" (used as a toast [cf. English cheers"] when drinking)

Càit a bheil a' phoit-ti?

Where is the teapot?

Cuin a tha an ath bhus?

When is the next bus?

Càite bheil an tràigh?

Where is the beach?

Hallò. Is mise Anna.

Hello. I'm Anna.


Gaelic in Fife

As current statistics show that Gaelic is no longer a language spoken in Fife on a daily basis, (see table below from 2011 census)

Gaelic Language Skills

All people aged 3 and over

Understands but does not speak, read or write Gaelic

Speaks, reads and writes Gaelic

Speaks but does not read or write Gaelic

Speaks and reads but does not write Gaelic

Reads but does not speak or write Gaelic

Other combination of skills in Gaelic



















Scottish Gaelic has a rich oral and written tradition and following the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, Fife in conjunction with Bòrd na Gàidhligdeveloped their Gaelic Language Plan to ensure Gaelic receives the same respect as English within the community.

Gaelic Language Plan 2015-2018 (put in link once established in Fife Direct).

Useful Links


·         Bòrd na Gàidhlig - National Gaelic Language Board

·         Comunn na Gàidhlig - Gaelic development agency

·         Gaelic4Parents- the website for parents and children interested and involved in Gaelic education

· web site devoted to the language and culture of the Gaels,

·         Learn Gaelic - Online resource for Gaelic learners

· a starting point for English speaking people who want to learn about the Scottish Gaelic language

·         Scottish Qualifications Authority - Qualifications authority, providing Gaelic qualifications for learners and fluent speakers

·         Ulpan- A method of learning for Scottish Gaelic



Equalities Unit
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 12 42 Contact Equalities Unit online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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