Gàidhealtachd - the Gaelic for the Highlands and Islands to the west - were of course until recently on the whole Gaelic speaking. Gaelic has had an influence on the vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar of Scots spoken in areas, which until relatively recently, were Gaelic speaking.
Some well known Scots words of Gaelic origin are:
|Scots||Gaelic||St. English||Scots||Gaelic||St. English|
|cairn||cárn||a pile of stones||ingle||aingeal||fire (hearth)|
|ceilidh||ceilidh||a social gathering||loch||loch||lake|
In older literature representations of how Gaelic speakers pronounced Scots were frequent. That is unlikely today since access to the phoneme inventory of Scots has long been available to all through universal education in Scottish Standard English. Some of the most frequent pronunciations are:
The vowel /ɪ/ may be pronounced /ʌ/.
|A hae twa muckle fush.I have two big fish.|
The <th> /θ/, in a final position may be pronounced /s/. Written <s> or <ss> here.
|Hae ye seen Macbess?Have you seen Macbeth?|
|A sunk tare's a flee un ma mooss. I think there's a fly in my mouth.|
|A haed a het bass tus mornin.I had a hot bath this morning.|
At the beginning of words <th> /θ/ may be pronounced /ts/.
|Tsun's ussna whut tay seemt tae pe. Things aren't what they seemed to be.|
|Uss onytsun' un t' kustie?Is anything in the chest?|
The <th> /ð/, may be pronounced /t/, /s/ and / or /sz/.
|Tus uss ma hoose.This is my house.||t' tusser day.The other day.|
|Hut's furszer doun t' loan. It's further down the lane.|
The pronunciation /z/ may be replaced by /s/, written <ss> here.
|Tus uss a yowe.This is a ewe.||He wuss takkin ut tae pe shuirn. He was taking it to be shorn.|
|T' usser yowess wuss left un t' pairk.The other ewes were left in the field.|
The /ʒ/ as in pleasure may be pronounced /ʃ/ as in shut.
|Shaimass (Seumas) haes shust been made a sershant.James has just been promoted to sergeant.|
A /b/ may be pronounced /p/.
|Prung t' pox un t' caipun. Bring the box into the cabin.|
A /d/ may be replaced by /t/.
|A haed a gut trunk wi hum.I had a good drink with him.|
A /g/ may be replaced by /k/.
|Hae ye seen ma pet kait?Have you seen my pet goat?|
In Scots nouns are either masculine, feminine or neuter. Gaelic only has masculine and feminine, many neuter words may be referred to as she.
|She'ss no lang syne buggit. (The hoose)It's been built recently. (The house)|
In Gaelic the adjective may be repeated for emphasis.
|Ut'ss a weet, weet day. It a very wet day.||She'ss a gut, gut lassie.She's a very good girl.|
The pronoun A (I) may be replaced by masel, influenced by the Gaelic 'mi-fein'.
|Masel wull raw ye tae yer shup.I will row you to your ship.|
In Gaelic the preposition 'air' (on), is used for on, in, o (of) and tae (to). This may occur as on in Gaelic influenced Scots.
|Ut'ss gut on ye.Well done.||T' dug dee'd on me.The dog died in spite of all my efforts.|
|He wuss wirkin on me.He was nasty to me.||Put a quaisten on me.Ask me a question about it.|
|A body dud sometsun' on me.Someone did something to me.||Tsun'ss uss gaun wrang on me.Things are going wrong for me.|
|T' horse run awa on me.The horse ran away though I did my best to hold it.|
Gaelic only has a single verb form 'tha' for am, is and are, similarly Gaelic 'bha' means both wis (was) an war (were).
|Masel uss gauld.I am cold.||Ma haunds uss aw clarty.My hands are all dirty.|
|Tus dug uss gut, gut.This dog is very good.||Whut uss tsir?Which are these?|
|T' pairnss wuss here.The children were here.|
The Gaelic relative sentence using that may be used in place of a simple sentence.
|Ut uss me tsat uss t' fermer an you tsat uss t' cottar.I am the farmer and you are the cottager.|
Tenses. The verb 'to be', is the only Gaelic verb having a present tense. In Gaelic the present tense is usually formed by using a the present tense of the verb 'to be' and a verbal noun. As a result of substituting the Gaelic prepositions 'ag', 'aig' with at and 'air' with efter (after), the following may occur:
|Gaelic||Gaelic influenced Scots||St. English|
|Tha i ag radh.||She'ss at sayin.||She says.|
|Tha i air radh.||She'ss efter sayin.||She has said.|
|Bha i ag radh.||She wuss at sayin.||She said.|
|Bha i air radh||She wuss efter sayin.||She had said.|
|Bhitheadh i ag radh.||She wat pe at sayin.||She would say.|
|Bhitheadh i air radh.||She wat pe efter sayin.||She would have said.|
|Bithidh i ag radh.||She wull pe at sayin.||She will say.|
|Bithidh i air radh.||She wull pe efter sayin.||She will have said.|
Sites for people interested in learning Scottish Gaelic.