Supplementary Gaelic Learning Texts

learn scottish gaelic language

I have developed a list of several excellent Scots Gaelic books for your learning and enjoyment. Many are wonderful for beginners.  If you know of any others, please let me know.

Ròna agus MacCodruim by Jason Bond – This novel was designed specifically for beginner learners who have studied some Gaelic on their own. It tells the story of MacCodruim the fisherman and the mysterious Ròna. They make a life together but will MacCodruim find out her secret – one that could tear them apart?

Deirdre agus an Rìgh by Jason Bond – This novel is a step above Ròna agus MacCodruim. It tells the story of Deirdre, a young Irish woman with a heavy fate on her shoulders. King Connor wants her but she wants to marry a warrior she saw in a dream. She’s going to go find him, and the king has a plan…

Everyday Gaelic by Morag MacNeil – An excellent resource for advanced beginners and up. A wealth of phrases for many different situations.

Progressive Gaelic by Moray Watson – This series is the textbook component of an academic Gaelic course. These books are intended to be used with an instructor and may be of limited use for self-study. The focus is on grammatical explanations in both English and Gaelic.

Gràmar na Gàidhlig by Michael Byrne – A thorough stroll through the key aspects of Gaelic grammar. If you love grammar, then this is the book for you!

Learn Gaelic in 12 Weeks – Although the title may be a bit misleading, this is a thorough textbook in the essentials of Scottish Gaelic. Audio CDs are a must to get the most out of it. Beware – contains a lot of “grammar-speak.”

Complete Gaelic – This is the updated version of the useful Teach Yourself book courses. Build your knowledge of Gaelic step-by-step through dialogues and word lists.

Colloquial Gaelic – A conversational approach to learning Gaelic through dialogues. Audio CDs are a must if you can get them. The content is useful, up-to-date, and easy to access (i.e.: limited grammar-speak). Very useful if you’re looking to learn every-day, less formal Gaelic.

Author and Curator

  • Jason studied with native speakers in Nova Scotia and Scotland while completing 2 degrees: a BA with First Class Honors in Celtic Studies and a Bachelors of Education in Gaelic, Art, and History. He has been teaching Gaelic professionally since 2012. Jason taught for 5 years on the Isle of Islay in Scotland and has been teaching for the University of Dundee in Scotland since 2018. “In high school, I discovered a deep appreciation for the culture of Ireland and Scotland. Traditional music filled my music collection and I taught myself how to play the harp. Stories of the Fairy Folk and great heroes like Cù Chulainn and the Fianna burned in my imagination. I had to learn more. “I followed these stories to Nova Scotia, Canada, where I started a BA in Celtic Studies. During my first year, I fell in love with Scottish Gaelic.”

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