The Celtic Languages

The Celtic languages are part of the Indo-European language family. Before the Romans they were spoken throughout central and western Europe. As a consequence of economic and cultural shifts over the millennia, they are now only spoken on the edges of Europe in Britain, Ireland and Brittany, France. There are 6 modern Celtic Languages: Breton, Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic. All the languages are highly endangered and are at risk of extinction. Two of the languages (Cornish and Manx) ceased being transmitted generationally from parent to child and now exist as "revived languages". The other 4 languages are still spoken in families and the community, but we see an emergence of a phenomenon where there are more second language speakers in urban areas than in traditional communities. The attached pages have information on each of the languages.