Seven Gaelic phrases and sayings for the absolute beginner

There is nothing like learning a new language to exercise your mind and impress your friends.

Beaches on South Harris in the Outer Hebrides. The islands retain the highest number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland. PIC Wikicommons.

Gaelic may have become a political hot potato but picking up a few key phrases will connect you to a language spoken in Scotland for more than 1,000 years.

Little over one per cent of Scotland’s population now speaks Gaelic with highest rates found in the Western Isles.

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Numbers of young people learning the minority language are on the rise while the proportion of the older population with a knowledge of Gaelic starts to fall.

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Quiz: Do you know these 25 Doric words and phrases?

Here are seven easy Gaelic phrases and sayings - with phonetic transcription - to try out for size,

Some may come in particularly handy over the festive season.

Good morning - Madainn mhath {mateen va}

Good night - Oidhche mhath {oycha va}

How are you? - Ciamar a tha thu? {kemar aha ooo}

I am well, thanks - Tha mi gu math, tapadh leat {ha mee goo ma tapa lat}

It is cold today - Tha i fuar an-diugh {Ha ee foor an joo}

Merry Christmas -Nollaig Chridheil {nolik chreeal}

I love you - Tha gaol agam ort {ha gil akam orsht}