Scots Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic) is a Celtic language of Scotland. Estimates on the number of speakers vary widely, from 20,000 to 60,000 depending upon the source and survey methodology. Most native speakers are concentrated in the Outer Hebrides. In addition to the population in Scotland, a variety of Gaelic is also spoken in Canada, primarily in Cape Breton where there are approximately 2000 speakers according to community estimates.
How endangered in Scots Gaelic? The number of native speakers in Scotland has been declining for several generations, leading to concern for the language’s long-term survival. There is, however, a great effort underway to revitalize the language, including immersion primary schools and a growing Gaelic media. The community in Canada is also active with efforts to promote and teach the language.
Toronto is home to several dozen native Scots Gaelic speakers, most of these being speakers of the Scottish variety, as well as many enthusiastic learners. There is an active local organization, Commun Gàidhlig Thoronto, which hosts frequent events and language courses. The following video features Toronto Gaelic speaker Oighrig Keogh discussing her life since immigrating to Canada from Scotland and the revitalization of the local Gaelic society.
If you are a speaker of Scots Gaelic in the Toronto area and would like to be involved with our project, please contact us.