Great Glen Way 👣 Slighe a'Ghlinne Mhòir

Gaelic on the Great Glen Way
Gàidhlig air an t-Slighe

The Gaelic language plays a very distinct part in the everyday lives of the people of the Highlands and Islands. This is illustrated in place names, hills, mountains, lochs, dams, shops and businesses. There are even Gaelic schools in Drumnadrochit, Fort William and Inverness, making these towns the hotspots in the Glen for the language. For every £1 of public money spent on Gaelic, it brings £3 back into the Scottish economy in diverse economic benefit.

The educational, artistic, cultural, social and economic influence of Gaelic helps make our route special and unique.  It transforms our Glen into a living and vibrant experience, rich in history, authenticity and legend.

"A country without its language is a land without its soul"
Translation of Gaelic proverb

Where can I find out more?

There are many different websites where you can find out about Gaelic in the Highlands - whether you want to learn about history and culture or about the language itself. Please find a brief selection below.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Central agency for Gaelic in Scotland
Am Baile Information and resource site
BBC Alba BBC bilingual news and features
Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba Gaelic placenames of Scotland

Fun and functional phrases 

Below are some useful and fun Gaelic phrases you might want to try out while walking along the Great Glen Way.  In order to help you pronounce the words correctly we have added the phonetics for each phrase. Have a go and see how you get on! 

Are we there yet?

A bheil sinn gu bhith ann?
A vel shin goo vee awn

I'm knackered

Tha mi gus leigeil roimhe
Ha me gus legal roy-v

That walk was fantastic!

Bha a’ chuairt sgoinneil!
Va a her-sh-t scun yell!

How far is it to the top of this hill?

Dè cho fada ’s a tha e gu mullach na beinne?
Jay cho (as in Loch) fata s a ha goo mulach na ben?

Wee midgies!

Meanbh chuileagan!
Mee-niv choo-li-gan!

How long will the rain last?

Cuin a nì i turadh?
Coon a nee i to-riv?

Is there a pub in the next village?

A bheil pub san ath bhaile? 
A vel pub san a val-i?

When does Nessie get fed?

Cuin a bhios Nessie a' gabhail grèim?
Coon a vos Nessie a gaval gree-im?

The scones are gorgeous

Tha na sgonaichean math fhèin
Ha na sconachan ma hain

Where's the nearest cludgie?

Càite bheil an taigh-beag as fhaisge?
Catch a vel an tie beck ass ashk?

My blisters hurt

Tha builgein orm is tha iad goirt
Ha boolgen orm istha e-at gorsh-t