Is Celtic Language Not Recognized by Governement

writing systems in celtic languages

Is Celtic Language Not Recognized by Governement

Is Celtic Language Not Recognized by Governement

(Last Updated On: December 15, 2023)

Is the Celtic Language Not Recognized by the government?

People worldwide have used the Celtic language for thousands of years, and it’s still spoken today. But despite its long history, does the government recognize the Celtic language? And if they do remember it, what are the requirements to learn this ancient tongue? These questions and more will be answered in this article on whether the government recognizes the Celtic language. Here are all the Celtic language not recognized by the government answers.

What is the Celtic Language?

The Celtic language, part of the Celtic language family within the larger Indo-European language families, is spoken across Europe, including in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, and Spain. There are approximately six million Celtic speakers worldwide, although English is the dominant language spoken by most in Ireland and a significant minority in Scotland and Wales.

Interestingly, the Irish verb displays a remarkable archaism not seen in any other recorded Indo-European language. The first British people were isolated from their Continental Celtic cousins for centuries until a recent initiative, about a decade ago, aimed to unify cultural aspects between Ireland, Scotland, and England. Despite this, a few native Celtic speakers still reside among diaspora communities beyond these countries.

Irish Gaelic faced prohibition by law from 1731 onwards due to its association with a robust cultural nationalist movement that opposed the British Government’s assimilationist policies, echoing similar struggles seen in the preservation of cultural heritage among Native American Indian tribes during colonization. Presently, there’s mounting pressure across European states, including Britain, advocating for more accommodating strategies toward national minorities, particularly advocating for the protection and promotion of minority languages like the Brittonic languages within the Celtic language family.

governement and celtic language
celtic language

Government Recognition of Celtic Languages

The United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands all have distinct national languages (English, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx, respectively). However, there are also many other languages spoken as a native language in these countries beyond these individual languages. Although at times dismissed as ‘dialects’ of one or more of these national languages, it is estimated that around 100,000 people in Scotland can speak Scots, [38] a variety descended from early northern Middle English.

Welsh has between 60,000[39] and 80,000[40] speakers in Wales, with another 20,000 Welsh speakers in England.[41][42][43][44] The Cornish language survives on its native territory but has no known living fluent speakers.[45][46][47] In Northern Ireland, an Ulster-Scots dialect is used by some Unionists.

Different Writing Systems in Celtic Languages

Several Celtic languages, including Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, and the Irish language, belong to the Indo-European family and have roots dating back to the 6th century. The countries where these languages are spoken have different policies towards them. In Ireland and Wales, all citizens have a constitutional right to use their language in court cases and legal documents, a privilege that has been established since the 18th century. Each of these languages has official status at the local level in Ireland, Wales, and Brittany (in France), which means that they can be used in public administration and education but not necessarily on a day-to-day basis outside these contexts. However, Scotland is different – there are no plans to give any official status to Gaelic there, despite numerous requests from campaigners. The English language, a prominent member of the Continental languages, has evolved significantly over the centuries and became a dominant global language in the 20th century. Additionally, some Celtic languages have faced decline and are considered extinct languages, despite efforts to preserve them by native speakers and language enthusiasts.

So, Is the Celtic Language Recognized by the government?

I’m just going to cut right to it. Irish is not an official language in Ireland, at least not yet. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working on getting it recognized as one. The negative particle cha(n) in place of the Munster and Connacht n is a distinguishing feature of Ulster Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx. There’s an entire committee dedicated to making sure it gets there and some other members of parliament pushing hard for recognition. While there’s been a lot of work put into it so far, there are still many problems with credit, and we can only hope these will be resolved soon.

As the fate of the national language in the Republic of Ireland shows, nothing kills enthusiasm like official approval. It is the only Celtic language still in use on the European mainland. The Irish government says that the change in status means a “bright future is in store” for the Irish language. Modern Irish, as evidenced by writers like Geoffrey Keating, can be traced back to the 17th century and served as the medium of popular writing. In the early 21st century, due to the political centralization of France, the influence of the media, and the increasing mobility of people, only about 200,000 people are active speakers of Breton, a dramatic decline from more than 1 million in 1950. Eurolinguiste maintains a list of Breton language resources for English speakers, including audio, text, and online tools for Breton learners.

Scottish Gaelic

Insular Celtic Insular Celtic refers to the Celtic languages of the British Isles, together with Breton (spoken in Brittany, France). Goidelic and Brittonic together constitute the Insular Celtic languages. Raiders from Ireland brought Scottish Gaelic to Scotland in the 4th and 5th centuries. Scottish Gaelic is primarily spoken in the Highlands of Scotland. It should not be confused with Scots, a Germanic language spoken in the Scottish lowlands and not a Celtic language.

Gaelic has a long oral and written legacy in Scotland. While the number of speakers has been declining for several years, the number of young people speaking the language has increased. Although the Scottish language movement has not been as successful as the Welsh language movement (see below), it has improved since devolution. A Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act was passed in 2005 to protect the language.

Manx Language

Scottish Gaelic Manx has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. However, while a genuine recovery prospect is small, they are far better than Cornish. The Common Book of Prayer, the Bible, and other catechisms were among the religious books translated into Manx. This indicates that the language has been kept better. In recent years, a primary school that teaches the Manx language has opened. As of 2019, there are 37 such primary schools in Dublin alone.

Welsh Language

Welsh is the Celtic language within the healthiest state. In Wales, there has been an honest and quite successful effort to restore the language. The number of speakers is increasing. The teaching of the language to all children under the age of 16 and the popularity of Welsh media channels have helped reverse the decline. The Welsh Language Act of 1993 also ensures that the public can avail of services in English or Welsh. The Welsh language in court was only prohibited in the 16th century.

Breton Language

Breton is the only living Celtic language that is not recognized as a national government official or regional language. The French monarchy was not concerned with the minority language of France, spoken by the lower classes. It required the use of the French language for government business as part of its policy of national unity. Irish was not marginal to Ireland’s modernization in the 19th century, as is often assumed. Since the 19th century, under the Third, Fourth, and now Fifth Republics, the French government has attempted to stamp out minority languages, including Breton, in-state schools to build a national culture.

Supporters of Breton and other minority languages continue to argue for their recognition and their place in education, public school, and public life. Simon Hooper declares that “despite its precarious situation, Breton has no formal status in France. Before becoming an official language, Irish was recognized as a treaty language, and only the EU’s highest-level publications were available in Irish. Unsplash, a Breton-language review aimed to increase Breton’s visibility and elevate it to the status of an international language.

celtic language recognized governement
celtic language dead

Brythonic or P-Celtic Languages

Brythonic is derived from the Welsh word Brython, which means “original Briton,” instead of Anglo-Saxon or Gaelic. The Brythonic languages are descended from an Iron Age British language. Several languages, notably Welsh and Cornish, arose from this over the centuries in the United Kingdom. Breton evolved in Northern France as emigrant Britons brought the Brythonic language with them. he supporters of Irish-medium education point to research showing that a bilingual environment healthily stretches children’s minds.

Cornish Language

There are ongoing attempts to revive the Cornish language, and several people are studying the language. There are many bilingual speakers, and Cornish is an indigenous language and is now recognized under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The ability of the revival movement to create a real momentum remains in doubt. Without significant support, it is hard to see a future for this Celtic language.


Despite their small size, Celtic languages exhibit some dialectal variation.

  • Welsh
    is divided into Northern and Southern dialects by pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary differences. Patagonian Welsh spoken in Argentina is influenced by the surrounding Spanish.
  • Irish Gaelic
    has three major dialects: Southern, Western, and Northern. There is considerable variation among the three.
  • Scottish Gaelic
    has several dialects, including a variety used in religious services only.
  • Breton
    has four recognizable dialects, namely: Leonais, Tregorrois, Vannetais, Cornouaillais (Ethnologue).

How Many People in the UK and USA Can Say ‘Hello’ in These 6 Celtic Languages?

We asked 1,000 people in the UK and the US if they could say ‘Hello’ in any of the six insular Celtic languages listed in the table below. The proportion of persons who can speak “hello” in each language from each country are as follows:

Celtic Language Percentage Of People Who Can Say ‘Hello’ From The UK Percentage Of People Who Can Say ‘Hello’ From The USA
Welsh 12.3% 2.4%
Scottish Gaelic 4.8% 1.4%
Irish Gaelic 4.3% 2.5%
Cornish 4.3% 1.3%
Breton 2.2% 1.2%
Manx 2.0% 1.8%
celtic english translations


What are the official languages of the United Kingdom?

The ten languages indigenous to the British Isles and still spoken today are English, Scots, British Sign Language, Welsh, Gaelic, Irish, Cornish, Manx, Angloromani, and Shelta.

What is the official language for England?

The de facto official language of the United Kingdom is English, which 59.8 million people speak over the age of three, or 98 percent of the population. (According to census statistics from 2011, 864,000 persons in England and Wales said they didn’t speak English at all.)

Did Ireland suffer a language and culture genocide?

Yes, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Oliver Cromwell committed genocide against the Irish Catholics.

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