Results from the Gaelic Usage Survey

Bòrd na Gàidhlig are delighted to publish the results from their Ceisteachan air Cleachdadh na Gàidhlig (Questionnaire on Gaelic Usage) 2022. This snap-survey was published at 8pm on Sunday 19th June and ran for 24 hours. In that time, we received 761 responses – an increase on the 473 received in 2021 when the same survey was run on the same date. We are very appreciative to every person who took the time to complete this important survey.

The same questions were put to the public this year to enable us to make comparisons on the answers each year.

Amongst the results, 69% of respondents said that they use Gaelic daily.

More than half (50.3%) reported to be using more Gaelic this year in comparison to last year.

People were asked to answer questions around their Gaelic usage in the past year across a range of situations in comparison to their usage last year.

The majority of people said that they use as much (48%) or more (45%) Gaelic online.

The majority of people said that they use as much (63%) or more (30%) Gaelic at home.

The majority of people said that they use as much (64%) or more (25%) Gaelic in school/university/college/at work.

The majority of people said that they use as much (60%) or more (29%) Gaelic in their communities.

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “It brings us great joy to see the increase in Gaelic usage across these various sectors. Although this is a snapshot in comparison to the Gaelic community as a whole, it is very helpful for us to be able to make comparisons on the responses received each year and it also adds to our aims in the National Gaelic Language Plan to normalise Gaelic.”

The survey will be held again in June 2023.

Cross-Party Group on Gaelic AGM

The next meeting of the Cross-party Group on Gaelic will be on Tuesday, 2oth September at 6:30pm and will include the Groups AGM.

The meeting will take place both in-person, at the Scottish Parliament, and online, through Zoom. Translation will only be available through the online meeting, but people attending the meeting in person will still be able to connect to this through a personal device.

If you wish to attend the meeting in person, please register before midday on Friday, 16th September.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) is the secretariat of The Cross-Party Group on Gaelic . The group meets at least twice a year, and is hosted by Chair Alasdair Allan (MSP).

Register here.

Agenda 20.09.2022.

Minutes from the previous meeting.

Annual Return can be found here

If you have any question, please email

A Modern and Sustainable Ferry Service for Scotland – Response by Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament consultation on a A Modern and Sustainable Ferry Service for Scotland.

Points raised in the response include the following:

“We recognise that a holistic approach is required for sustainable island communities and thus for sustaining the Gaelic language.”

“The importance of a modern and sustainable ferry service for Scottish islands is of utmost importance in sustaining the island communities of Gaelic speakers, and in sustaining the language and culture.”

The full response can be read here.

Initial Findings from Nationwide Consultation Ahead of Updating the Gaelic Language Plan

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has unveiled the initial findings from a nationwide consultation which will help shape the latest stage of the National Gaelic Language Plan.

The consultation focused on the ambitions, direction, and themes for Gaelic, with Bòrd na Gàidhlig seeking input and feedback on the draft plan which sets out the next five years for the language.

Over 250 responses were received following an extensive programme of community meetings, both in-person and online, across Scotland.

The majority (65%) of organisations and individuals who responded agreed with the direction of the draft plan, which has a particular focus on increasing the use of Gaelic and its learning.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig also received positive feedback on increasing the number of initiatives to raise confidence when using Gaelic, as well the importance of Gaelic education in revitalising the language for both fluent speakers and learners.

Feedback reinforced that Gaelic education should happen in context of other developments, including the establishment of Gaelic Hubs, a greater online presence, as well as a greater media profile – including an extended service from BBC Alba. GME should also be developed and promoted by local authorities, while links with communities must be strengthened.

The consultation also indicated the need for an increased emphasis on the wider context of Gaelic development – including societal issues affecting communities in island and rural areas, and those in towns and cities.

Other responses support the Bord’s continued focus on increased usage of Gaelic in island, rural and urban communities. As it stands, around one quarter of Bòrd na Gàidhlig development funding currently enables the creation or maintenance of around 60 Gaelic officers – 46 in island and rural communities and 14 in urban areas.

Elsewhere, feedback on the structure of the plan highlighted the need for an increased focus on targets, and the requirement for information on progress to be placed earlier in the document.


Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:

“It was very apparent during all the public meetings and the majority of the responses that there is real enthusiasm for the language and a developing understanding around how important the National Plan is in securing the future of Gaelic for everyone in Scotland and beyond.

“We look forward to using the findings to inform our final draft ahead of submitting to Scottish Ministers and would like to thank everybody who took the time to take part in the consultation process.”


The National Gaelic Language Plan will now be revised in light of the consultation and will be submitted to Scottish Ministers for their approval with the aim of publication in April 2023.

Impact on Gaelic is now a part of Island Community Impact Assessments for the first time

Bord na Gàidhlig has welcomed new guidance from the Scottish Government that will see public authorities assess the impact on the Gaelic language within Island Community Impact Assessments (ICIA) for the first time.

Bord na Gàidhlig has welcomed new guidance from the Scottish Government that will see public authorities assess the impact on the Gaelic language within Island Community Impact Assessments (ICIA) for the first time.

The revised guidance will require public bodies to place an increased focus on how their decision making affects the Gaelic language.

The new guidance supports the National Islands Plan, and applies to all policy, including housing, economy, health and social care, education, culture, and community development.

Under the changes, if an ICIA indicates that any policy, strategy or service will have an impact on Gaelic, then the public authority must identify what steps are being taken to mitigate or improve the effect on the language.

All decisions must now be made in line with the National Islands Plan, published in 2021 to outline the Scottish Government’s commitments to improve outcomes for island communities.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “This change in guidance from the Scottish Government is a welcome development for Gaelic among Scotland’s island communities. It places a greater emphasis upon sustaining and growing our language’s use in the these communities, ensuring that public bodies, communities and individuals work in partnership to build upon the continuing growth of Gaelic throughout Scotland.

“This marks a major milestone in strengthening policies for Gaelic among the decision makers and will increase the focus on the opportunities and challenges for growing Gaelic. That can mean only good things for Gaelic and the implementation of the National Islands Plan and the National Gaelic Language Plan. This will also enhance the National Gaelic Language Plan’s ethos that strategies address the needs of island and rural communities.”

New Survey Looking at Young People’s Engagement with Gaelic Online

At the beginning of the year, Young Scot ran an online survey to learn more about the online spaces where young people aged 11-26 see and engage with Gaelic and about the Gaelic types of Gaelic content they’d like to see more of. The survey ran between December 2021 and April 2022, just as it did last year, which gave Young Scot the opportunity to compare the responses between the two and track any differences between them.

1,153 young people responded to the survey this year, an increase of 437 on the previous year. Of the young people who answered the survey, 61.1% said they cannot speak, read or write Gaelic, 32.8% said they are currently learning Gaelic, and 6% described themselves as being fluent Gaelic speakers. While the young people answered different questions depending on the level of fluency they described themselves as having, all respondents were asked the same two final questions;

  • How valuable is Scottish Gaelic?
  • How valuable is Scottish Gaelic culture and heritage?

When asked these questions, over two thirds (69.7%) of young people said that Gaelic is valuable or very valuable and nearly three quarters (72.2%) said that Gaelic culture and heritage is valuable or very valuable. Now, that’s some positive news!

Almost three quarters (74%) also said that they would like to see more Gaelic content online and on social media and Instagram (74.1%), TikTok (70.5%) and YouTube (64.6%) are the platforms they use most.

The survey report was published at the beginning of June and you can read that on Young Scot’s corporate website to learn more about the reasons young people gave for wanting to learn Gaelic, the types of online content they like and their feelings towards the Gaelic language.

Read the report here.

New Stornoway Office

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are delighted to announce that they have opened a new office in Stornoway.

It has been some time since BnG had staff based in the Western Isles and as a result of Lockdown and the change in ways of working, they are now pleased to report that four members of staff are based in Lewis.

As a result of that and the changes in regulations about returning to offices, a new office based in Lewis was required to meet their needs. They now have an office in Seaforth House.

BnG staff remain on a ‘hybrid’ working pattern with staff working both from the office and from home but if anyone would like to come in to the Stornoway office to visit us, you would be more than welcome to do so.

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard Bhòrd na Gàidhlig said:

“Given the past two years, ways of working have changed for everybody worldwide. Those changes have given us opportunities to employ staff outwith our existing office locations. We now employ four staff members based in Lewis and it is great to have staff living in these Gaelic communities in the islands while adding to Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s work in the Western Isles.”

Photo credit – Sandie MacIver – Sandies Photos