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Counting in Scottish Gaelic

Language overview

Forty-two in Scottish Gaelic The Scottish Gaelic language (Gàidhlig), or Scots Gaelic, belongs to the Celtic languages of the Indo-European languages family. Spoken in Scotland, and to some extent in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada, it counts nearly 60,000 speakers.

Scottish Gaelic numbers list

  • 1 – aon
  • 2 – dhà
  • 3 – trì
  • 4 – ceithir
  • 5 – còig
  • 6 – sia
  • 7 – seachd
  • 8 – ochd
  • 9 – naoi
  • 10 – deich
  • 11 – h-aon deug
  • 12 – dhà dheug
  • 13 – trì deug
  • 14 – ceithir deug
  • 15 – còig deug
  • 16 – sia deug
  • 17 – seachd deug
  • 18 – ochd deug
  • 19 – naoi deug
  • 20 – fichead
  • 30 – trìthead
  • 40 – ceathrad
  • 50 – caogad
  • 60 – seasgad
  • 70 – seachdad
  • 80 – ochdad
  • 90 – naochad
  • 100 – ceud
  • 1,000 – mile
  • one million – millean
  • one billion – billean

Traditional Scottish Gaelic numbers

Traditional Scottish Gaelic uses a full vigesimal system, hence based on twenty and its multiples, rather than on ten and its multiple (the decimal system actually used in Modern Scottish Gaelic). Its tens are: deich [10], fichead [20], deich air fhichead (ten on twenty) or fichead ’s a deich (twenty and ten) [30], dà fhichead (two twenties) [40], dà fhichead ’s a deich (two twenties and ten) or leth-cheud (half hundred) [50], trì fichead (three twenties) [60], trì fichead ’s a deich (three twenties and ten) [70], ceithir fichead (four twenties) [80], ceithir fichead ’s a deich (four twenties and ten) [90]. This system goes on after one hundred too: sia fichead (six twenties) [120], seachd fichead (seven twenties) [140], ochd fichead (eight twenties) [160], naoi fichead (nine twenties) [180].

In the vigesimal system, compound numbers from 21 to 29 have three different forms:

  • unit followed by air fhichead (on twenty), like in dà air fhichead [22];
  • unit followed by thar fhichead (over twenty), like in dà thar fhichead [22];
  • twenty followed by ’s (and), the counting particle a, then the unit digit, like in fhichead ’s a dhà [22].

Compound numbers from 31 to 39 have the same three different forms, using the teen numbers:

  • teen followed by air fhichead (on twenty), like in dà dheug air fhichead [32];
  • teen followed by thar fhichead (over twenty), like in dà dheug thar fhichead [32];
  • twenty followed by ’s (and), the counting particle a, then the teen, like in fichead ’s a dà dheug [32].

Scottish Gaelic numbering rules

Now that you’ve had a gist of the most useful numbers, let’s move to the writing rules for the tens, the compound numbers, and why not the hundreds, the thousands and beyond (if possible).

  • Digits from zero to nine have specific names: neoni [0], aon (or h-aon when preceded by a) [1], dhà [2], trì [3], ceithir [4], còig [5], sia [6], seachd [7], ochd (or h-ochd when preceded by a) [8], and naoi [9].
  • The tens in decimal Modern Scottish Gaelic are: deich [10], fichead [20], trìthead [30], ceathrad [40], caogad [50], seasgad [60], seachdad [70], ochdad [80], and naochad [90].
  • Teens are formed by starting with the unit, followed by deug or dheug (for twelve) (e.g.: dhà dheug [12], còig deug [15]).
  • Compound numbers beyond twenty-one are formed starting with the ten, followed by ’s (and), the counting particle a, then the unit (e.g.: fichead ’s a còig [25], ceathrad ’s a trì [43]).
  • Hundreds are formed by stating the multiplier digit before the word for hundred (ceud), except for one hundred: ceud [100], dhà ceud [200], trì ceud [300], ceithir ceud [400], còig ceud [500], sia ceud [600], seachd ceud [700], ochd ceud [800], and naoi ceud [900].
  • Thousands are formed by stating the multiplier digit before the word for thousand (mile, or mhile for 2,000), except for one thousand: mile [1,000], dhà mhile [2,000], trì mile [3,000], ceithir mile [4,000], còig mile [5,000], sia mile [6,000], seachd mile [7,000], ochd mile [8,000], and naoi mile [9,000].
  • The word for million is millean, and billion (109) is billean.

Write a number in full in Scottish Gaelic

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Scottish Gaelic. Will you guess how to write a number in full? Enter a number and try to write it down in your head, or maybe on a piece of paper, before displaying the result.

Books

Colloquial Scottish Gaelic: The Complete Course for Beginners Colloquial Scottish Gaelic: The Complete Course for Beginners
by , editors Routledge (2015)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

Blas na Gàidhlig: The Practical Guide to Scottish Gaelic Pronunciation Blas na Gàidhlig: The Practical Guide to Scottish Gaelic Pronunciation
by , editors Akerbeltz (2011)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks
by , editors Birlinn Ltd (2008)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

1001+ exercices Français - gaélique écossais 1001+ exercices Français - gaélique écossais
by , editors CreateSpace (2016)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Celtic languages

Breton, Cornish, Irish, Manx Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh.

Other supported languages

As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the full list of supported languages.

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