Scottish Parliament launches Gaelic language plan


The Scottish Parliament is to launch its second five-year Gaelic Language Plan as part of its commitment to give the language equal respect as English.

A series of proposals will be published at a reception in the parliament on Wednesday 15 May.
The Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, said:

"I am pleased to introduce our latest Gaelic Language Plan as it demonstrates the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body’s ongoing commitment to Gaelic, and to the principle that Gaelic should be given equal respect with English, as set out in the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act.

"Development plans across the next five years have been put in place to enhance the status, promote learning and encourage the increased use of the Gaelic language.

"These initiatives will build on the range of services on offer at the Scottish Parliament and I encourage all visitors, Gaelic speakers and learners to take advantage of the opportunities to use and learn more about the language."

The Scottish Parliament’s Gaelic Development Officer, Dr Alasdair MacCaluim, said: "Gaelic is an integral part of Scotland's heritage, national identity and cultural life.  The five-year plan is the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body's contribution towards the Gaelic language having a sustainable future.

"This plan provides opportunities for Gaelic speakers to use the language in day-to-day activities and it enhances the status and visibility of Gaelic to visitors to the Parliament."


The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body’s (SPCB) Gaelic Language Plan for 2013-2018 sets out the development plans, including how Gaelic will be used in the Parliament's operations and communications with the public, MSPs and key partners.

The Plan has been prepared in accordance with statutory criteria set out in The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

The SPCB asked the public for its views on the proposals for the plan last year:

  • 56 submissions were received, an increase of 65 per cent on the previous consultation. 34 consultation responses were received on the first plan in 2007;
  • 45 per cent of responses were from people and organisations out with traditional Gaelic-speaking areas; 
  • 47 responses agreed with the overall direction of the plan, 8 disagreed and one did not state either way;
  • 29 responses were inGaelic . 27 were in English.

Gaelic speakers are spread throughout Scotland. Just over half live in Highland, Argyll & Bute and Western Isles regions, with the remainder across the rest of Scotland. (Source: 2001 Census)

The total number of people recorded as being able to speak, read, write or understand Gaelic is 92,400 - 1.9 per cent of the Scottish population. (Source: 2001 Census)

Large concentrations of Gaelic speakers live in Greater Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen, according to the 2001 census, the most recent population survey.  The new census is to be published later this year.

Contact information

Media information

Scottish Parliament’s
Gaelic Development Officer

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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