Gaelic & Climate Justice

Did you know that there are over forty different words in Gaelic for ‘bog’? The English word ‘bog’ itself comes from Gaelic! Or that Cairngorm means blue mountain?

Languages are more than just words. They are an essential part of the cultures and communities they belong to, that stem from a strong relationship to the environment and hold a wealth of history, generational knowledge, and understanding of the world. At present, 96% of the world’s approximately 6,700 languages are spoken by only 3% of the world’s population. Sadly, some studies estimate that every two weeks another language is lost to pressures like globalisation and climate change.

Scottish Gaelic is one of Scotland’s indigenous languages, and an important piece of Scotland’s heritage and cultural identity. Although widely spoken before, today is spoken by around 1% of the population, mainly concentrated in an area where rising seas are becoming a real threat.

Watch again

Catriona Mullholland, our Gaelic Education Officer, leads this Live Lesson to learn more about the Gaelic language in Scotland and to discover how we can protect languages across the world as part of our climate justice work. 

About halfway through the lesson, please pause to watch this video from Climate Action Network International which we think is an excellent example of a young Gaelic speaker sharing how climate change will affect their community.  You can find out more about Climate Action International and their work on their website


Download lesson resources


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