Friday, April 10, 2015

Say That in Gaelic by Victoria Roberts

Photo courtesy of Starz

Every week the clan and I tune in for Outlander, but believe it or not, Jamie and Claire are not the only reasons why we watch the show.

Of course I love the brawny men in kilts. I think that's pretty much a given. But my family and I thoroughly enjoy the breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands. Between the lochs and streams, heather-draped moors, formidable castles, and the Scottish Gaelic, what's not to love? Outlander definitely has the ability to take you away to another time and place.

Duone Castle photo courtesy of New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes

I've had an interest in Scottish Gaelic ever since I started writing my first novel. Learning the language is my way of giving back to the genre that I love to write. I've taken Gaelic classes, purchased books, and one day I'd love to do what Grace Burrowes is doing right now—taking Gaelic classes at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig college on the Isle of Skye. Lady Grace is surely living the dream.

When I watch Outlander, not only is the visualization stimulating, but when the men speak Gaelic... Och, aye. I'm no master of the language, but I get really excited when I'm able to comprehend parts of what the men are saying.

As many of you know, my kids are huge supporters of me, especially my son who dons his kilt at every signing or event. When I started studying Gaelic greetings, he was right along with me and wanted to learn. (My son was five at the time. He's now ten.) To this day, both my kids are able to say simple Gaelic greetings and respond. Imagine my surprise when during last week's episode of Outlander one of the Scottish actors bursts into the great hall and says, "Ciamar a tha sibh?" How are you?

My son jumps off the couch and says, "Oh, my gosh! He just asked how they were! Tha gu math, tapadh leibh." I am well, thank you. "I can't believe that I knew that! He said that in Gaelic!"

I guess all the times that I told my son to "say that in Gaelic" paid off. That was another proud mom moment.



  1. I totally agree that Outlander treats us to some breathtaking scenery. I adore the opening of each episode. It feels almost magical the way it draws me in. Gaelic is another story. Thank goodness we have it recording, so we can stop, rewind, and listen to it again. It's hard to cut through that accent with no much background in it! LOL
    All I know is what I've critiqued with my fabulous critique partner, Mia Marlowe. She has been to Edinborough and has so lovely pictures too!

    1. I give people credit who can travel to Scotland and come back. I'm still taking bets that Grace won't be returning and places a forwarding address. ;-)

  2. Love this! That is my goal one day also, to speak Gaelic. :) If I ever get the chance to travel to Scotland, you can bet your booty I am NOT coming back! LOL

    1. I bet a lot of people feel that way, Susan. Could you imagine living over there? *sigh*

  3. I am sad to say that I have neither read the books nor watched the show. I am afraid to get started, because I know that I will be sucked in and unable to accomplish anything else, lol. That's so neat that your son understood what they were saying!