Gaelic Language

Gaelic Language Plan

Fife Council is currently consulting on the draft of its second Gaelic Language Plan.

The Gaelic Plan for Fife 2019-2024 sets out Fife Councils commitment to supporting Gaelic development and equity of language in line with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

Gaelic in Fife
Fife has a long and rich history of Gaelic, predating the crowning of Malcolm Cannmore (a corruption of Ceann mòr meaning chief), at Dunfermline Abbey, and lasting after the Fife Adventurers (a group of 12 men from Fife sent by James VI in an attempt to ‘civilise’ the Macleods of Lewis).
Gaelic in Fife is not widely known of but is well documented, with Fife being mentioned in the Book of Deer, the earliest surviving written Gaelic in Scotland. The vast majority of placenames in Fife are Gaelic in origin, indicating not only how long Gaelic was spoken here but that it was the main language of the area for a substantial period of time.

Gaelic in Fife Today

The 2011 census showed 87,000 people in Scotland having some Gaelic language skills, an increase on previous census returns. Current estimates would attribute 5% of all Gaelic speakers in Scotland currently living in Fife.

It is worth noting that Gaelic speakers living in the rest of the UK are not recorded.

Gaelic Development in Fife is a community led affair with a range of groups and service providers coming together to create a sustainable network of events, activities and opportunities for the Gaelic community of Fife and those seeking to engage with Gaelic learning. Currently the following provisions regularly take place across Fife:

• Adult learning Classes
• Conversation Groups
• Book collections in libraries
• Bookbug and Gaelic Bookbug gifting
• Early years provision
• Gaelic Learning in Schools
• And more in partnership with Fife Gaelic Development Group and the Partnership Group for Gaelic in Fife.

For more specific details on any of these areas please use the contact below.

Gaelic placenames 

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

Place name

Gaelic Name



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


Beagan Gàidhlig/ Wee bit Gaelic



Suggested Phonetics*

Good Morning  

Madainn Mhath

matting vah

Good Afternoon

Feasgar Math  

feskar mah

Good Night

Oidhche mhaht 

EYE-che vah

How are you?  

Ciamar a tha thu?

Kimura ha-u

I’m fine

Tha gu math  

ha g’mah

I’m tired

Tha mi sgith   


Don’t worry

Na gabh dragh 

na gav drugh

Thank you 

Mòran taing   


   *Phonetics are a suggestion only and largely depends on your own accent. 


Useful Links



Gaelic Development
Contact Gaelic Development online
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