Difference Between Gaelic and Celtic (With Table)

Gaelic vs Celtic

The terms Celtic and Gaelic cause a lot of confusion among many due to how similar they are, and the reason for this similarity is that these two terms are interrelated to each other. The Gaelic language/culture comes under the Celtic branch of languages/groups.

The Celtic culture originated from central Europe, and the group of tribes that come under this culture were called “The Celts”. There were many languages, religions, and tribes that came under this collective group. Traces of the culture can still be found in parts of Europe.

The Gaelic language is one of the few languages that come under the Celtic group of languages. It evidently originated from Scotland and parts of Ireland. The Scottish Gaelic language was the primary language that was spoken in Scotland and few areas/islands surrounding it.

The difference between Gaelic and Celtic is that Gaelic is a language/tribe that originated in Scotland and belonged to the group of Celtic cultures. The Celtic culture encompasses many different traditions and religions and cannot be categorised under one single subculture.


 

Comparison Table Between Gaelic and Celtic (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonCelticGaelic
RelationThe Celtic or “The Celts” were a combination of many different cultures and languages all grouped into one.The Gaelic language and tribes are a subcategory of the Celtic languages and are a small branch that comes under it.
OriginThe Celtic culture began to rise in the year 1200 B.C. and first spread around parts of western Europe.The Gaelic Culture/language originated from Ireland and was introduced in Scotland in the 4th century.
FamilyThe Celtic languages are believed to have descended from the Proto-Celtic, and belong to the Indo-European language family.The Gaelic language comes under the Indo-European language family, and are part of the Goidelic subdivision or group.
LanguageHere, four primary languages were spoken, namely – Welsh, Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, including many more minority languages.Specifically, here, the language spoken is called Scots Gaelic language or the Scottish Gaelic.
RegionsThe cultures and languages can be found to be practised in places like Brittany, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall.The Scottish Gaelic language is commonly found to be spoken by the people living along the northwest coast of Scotland.

 

What is Gaelic?

The Gaelic language and culture is a part of the big branch of Celtic languages. It can be categorised as a subset of the Celtic languages and takes roots from the Celtic culture.

The Gaelic Culture/language primarily originated from Ireland. It was later on introduced in Scotland when tribes and small groups of people from Ireland migrated over various regions of western Europe in the 4th century.

Since the Gaelic language comes under the Celtic group of languages, it also gets its roots from the Indo-European language family. It is also part of the Goidelic subdivision or group that has been categorised under the Celtic languages.

Also, here, the language spoken is called Scots Gaelic language or the Scottish Gaelic. The Scottish Gaelic language is commonly found to be spoken by the people living along the northwest coast of Scotland.

Gaelic
 

What is Celtic?

The Celtic tribes or “The Celts” are a newer civilisation when compared to other civilisations, such as the Greek and the Roman. The Celtic or “The Celts” were a combination of many different cultures and languages all grouped into one.

The Celtic languages and cultures began to rise in the year 1200 B.C. and first spread around parts of western Europe, such as Spain, Ireland, France and Britain. The people that were able to survive in these regions went to become part of different tribes.

In terms of their roots, the Celtic languages are believed to have descended from the Proto-Celtic culture. The Celtic languages have been found to be a part of the Indo-European language family and acquired a lot of characteristics from them.

The Celtic cultures and languages that are still in practise can be found in places like Brittany, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, and a few have migrated over the past few centuries between other European regions.

Under the Celtic group of languages, there were four that were primary; they included – Welsh, Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, including many more minority languages.

Celtic language

Main Differences Between Gaelic and Celtic

  • The Gaelic language and tribes are a subcategory of the Celtic languages and are a small branch that comes under it.
  • The Celtic culture had originated in 1200 B.C. and started to spread all across parts of western Europe, while the Gaelic culture originated when a few people from Ireland first migrated and introduced it in Scotland, around the 4th century.
  • Many languages come under the Celtic, and the primary four include – Welsh, Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, while those from the Gaelic tribe/culture speak the language of Scottish Gaelic.
  • The Celtic languages are believed to have descended from the Proto-Celtic, and belong to the Indo-European language family. In contrast, the Gaelic language has been categorised under the Goidelic subdivision or group.
  • The Celtic cultures and languages can be found to be practised in places like Brittany, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall. In contrast, the Gaelic language, i.e., Scottish Gaelic, is spoken by people living along the northwest coast of Scotland.

 

Conclusion

The Gaelic and the Celtic have been around for quite a long time and have influenced various cultures and traditions all around Europe and its western regions. The Celtic tradition originated primarily around 1200 B.C. and encompassed a number of different languages and tribes that shared common roots.

The Gaelic language is just a subset of the Celtic group of languages and belongs to the same family, which is the Indo-European language family. The different tribes present within the Celtic group shared many parts of their traditions with each other, and a few people can still be found practising those traditions in parts of Scotland and Ireland.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Gaelic and Celtic

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Gaelic and Celtic. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Between Gaelic And Celtic