Ar Canain - Our Language

Scottish Gaelic belongs to the Celtic family of languages and is closely related to Irish Gaelic and Manx. Welsh, Breton and Cornish, the other Celtic languages, are more distant cousins.

No other modern language has been spoken in Scotland for so long as Gaelic. It is at the very heart of Scotland’s history and culture and its imprint is almost everywhere in the nation.


Economic hardship in the late 18th and 19th centuries resulted in both forced and voluntary emigration from the north of Scotland which meant that many thousands of Gaelic speakers left for the industrialising Lowlands or for the New World mainly in Canada but also Australia. This, together with factors such as the failure to give Gaelic its proper place when universal education was established in the late 19th century, caused the number of Gaelic speakers to decline.


Remarkably after centuries of repression, it is still spoken by around 65,000 people in Scotland. Gaelic is strongest in the Western Isles but there are substantial Gaelic communities elsewhere in the Highlands and Islands and in the nation’s cities. Gaelic is currently enjoying a revival in its fortunes with more interest being shown in the language and its health that at any other time. Crucial to supporting this revival have been developments in education and in promoting Gaelic culture. Gaelic playgroups and Gaelic-medium education at both primary and secondary levels have undergone unprecedented growth in many areas of Scotland. Gaelic is increasingly used on road signs notices and in advertisements, and with the setting up of a fund to provide a Gaelic television service in 1992, more Gaelic television and radio programmes are now available than in the past. At the same time there has been a healthy and growing interest in Gaelic music and arts.

With many thanks to Seonaidh MacFhraing please find the following Gaelic lesson. 

Lesson 1.

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Lesson 2.

2017-01-17_1-00-36 SGL 002.mp4 2017-01-17_1-00-36 SGL 002.mp4
Size : 6519.949 Kb
Type : mp4

Our Classes

Classes commence on the first Wednesday of February each year


Classes are held on Wednesday evenings during school terms from 7.00 to 8.30 pm


The Celtic Club
420 - 424 William Street 



Fees for our language classes are determined by the students at the beginning of each year.

Class members are required to pay the annual membership of the Scottish Gaelic Society of Victoria. The annual subscription is determined each at the AGM in March.

Our Library

The Scottish Gaelic Society of Victoria is especially fortunate to have a wonderful collection of books and other resources available to all its members.

Beginners of the language classes usually find the range of reference books particularly useful.

For further information about our classes and library, please e-mail us by clicking here.


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