Grammar and Coursebooks

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Blas na Gàidhlig

Blas na Gàidhlig by Michael Bauer. Akerbeltz, ISBN: 9781907165009, 584 pages. This book contains everything you ever wanted to know about the Gaelic sound system: useful exercises and detailed information about the sounds of the Gaelic language, from how to produce the sounds to the writing system. Very useful both for beginners and for people who wish to improve on their accents. For the sound files and buying a copy go to Since any first printing of any book will contain mistakes, we are collecting them here.

Schottisch-Gälisch Wort für Wort

Schottisch-Gälisch Wort für Wort by Michael Klevenhaus. Reise Know-How Verlag, Kauderwelsch Band 172. ISBN 3-89416-352-6. If you are a native speaker of German or your German is very good, this is the book to get. It is a travel language guide with an easy to read grammar section that includes everything you need to get going, and it is very well structured. It is a bit short on explaining the pronunciation, so you might want to get the CD as well.

Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic by William Lamb. Lincom, Languages of the World/Materials series #401. ISBN 3-89586-727-6. This is definitely not a book for the average beginner, but rather something for advanced learners and crazy linguists like me. So, I suggest you have a peek at it before you buy it. If you understand what he's talking about, it is an excellent resource, especially once you start constructing complex sentences. I also found the treatments of verbs enlightening. It doesn't contain much in the way of pronunciation. There's an index at the end of the book that helps you find things. Overall, it crams a lot of information into little space, so it's quite a thin book for a steep price. I personally love it, but it's not for everybody.

A revised edition of this grammar can be found in William Lamb's new book Scottish Gaelic Speech and Writing: Register Variation in an Endangered Language, Belfast Studies in Language, Culture and Politics #16, Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 2008. ISBN 978 0 85389 895 5. I suggest you get this version, since it will come you much cheaper.

The book is available online as well.

Teach Yourself Gaelic / Complete Gaelic: Teach Yourself

This coursebook by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor comes with a tape (if you get an old version) or a CD (with the new version). There is also a dictionary in the same series (Teach Yourself Gaelic Dictionary) that we can recommend.

To help you use the book as a reference, there are two indices available online that have been compiled by learners:
  • Index created for Teach Yourself Gaelic by Ted and Nancy Neveln (Download a pdf here)
  • Complete Gaelic index by R Michael Small (pdf) (xls)
  • Complete Gaelic - 2010 edition, index by bodach (forum post)
Last edited: 12 June 2022 20:35:45