Scottish Gaelic political terminology – Term formation in the Scottish Parliament Annual Report

Lena Krochmann

Leipzig University , Germany


This paper analyses the Scottish Gaelic political terminology used by the Scottish Parliament, based on the translations of three Annual Reports. Applying principles from terminology theory and taking minority-language concerns into account, the Scottish Gaelic terms are examined for methods of term formation and their relation to their English and, where applicable, Irish equivalents. Inconsistencies in the terminology are also considered. The results are placed in the wider context of research on Scottish Gaelic terminology and corpus planning. The paper argues that the examined terminology is shaped by the dominance of English, as well as by practical concerns arising from the current language planning situation.


Scottish Gaelic, terminology, corpus planning, translation

Arntz, R., Picht, H., and K.-D. Schmitz. 2014. Einführung in die Terminologiearbeit (7th ed.). Georg Olms.

Bauer, M., Ó Maolalaigh, R., and R. Wherrett. 2009. Survey of Gaelic corpus technology. University of Glasgow. (Accessed 22/06/2021)

Bell, S., McConville, M., McLeod, W., and R. Ó Maolalaigh. 2014. Dlùth is inneach – final project report. Linguistic and institutional foundations for Gaelic corpus planning. Soillse. (Accessed 22/06/2021)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig 2007. The national plan for Gaelic 2007–2012. (Accessed 29/01/2022)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig 2012. National Gaelic language plan 2012–2017. Growth and improvement. (Accessed 29/01/2022)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig 2018. National Gaelic Language Plan 2018–2023. (Accessed 29/01/2022)

Cooper, R. L. 1989. Language planning and social change. Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Cronin, M. 1995. Altered states: Translation and minority languages. TTR 8(1): 85–103. DOI:

Csonka, V. 2016. Compounding, preposed adjectives and intensifiers in Scottish Gaelic (Publication ID glathesis: 2016-8220) [PhD thesis, University of Glasgow]. University of Glasgow Enlighten: Theses.

Dunbar, R. 2010. Language Planning. In M. Watson, and M. Macleod (eds.), The Edinburgh companion to the Gaelic language, 146–171. Edinburgh University Press. DOI:

Gillies, W. 1993. Scottish Gaelic. In M. J. Ball, and J. Fife (eds.), The Celtic languages, 145–227. Routledge.

Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. 2005 asp 7. (accessed 02/09/2021)

Klein, J. 1989. Wortschatz, Wortkampf, Wortfelder in der Politik. In J. Klein (ed.), Politische Semantik: Bedeutungsanalytische und sprachkritische Beiträge zur politischen Sprachverwendung, 3–50. Westdeutscher Verlag. DOI:

Krochmann, L. 2019. Politikwortschatz im Schottisch-Gälischen – Verfahren der Wortschatzerweiterung am Beispiel des Annual Report (Aithisg Bhliadhnail) des schottischen Parlaments [Unpublished MA thesis]. Leipzig University.

Lamb, W. 1999. A diachronic account of Gaelic news-speak: The development and expansion of a register. Scottish Gaelic Studies XIX: 141–171.

Lamb, W. 2008. Scottish Gaelic speech and writing: Register variation in an endangered language. Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.

MacAulay, D. 1992. The Scottish Gaelic language. In D. MacAulay (ed.), The Celtic Languages, 137–248. Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Mark, C. 2004. The Gaelic-English dictionary. Am faclair Gàidhlig-Beurla. Routledge. DOI:

McLeod, W. 2000. Official Gaelic: problems in the translation of public documents. Scottish Language 19: 100–116.

McLeod, W. 2001. Faclair na Pàrlamaid: a critical evaluation. University of Edinburgh. (Accessed 22/06/2021)

McLeod, W. 2004. ‘Feumaidh sinn a’ Ghàidhlig a chumail pure’: Problems of linguistic purism in Scottish Gaelic. In D. ó Riagáin, and T. Stolz (eds.), Purism. Second helping. Papers from the conference on ‘Purism in the age of globalisation’, Bremen, September 2001, 25–45. Brockmeyer.

McNeir, C. L. (ed.) 2001. Faclair na Pàrlamaid. Dictionary of Terms. The Scottish Parliament.

Sager, J. C., Dungworth, D., and P. F. McDonald. 1980. English special languages: Principles and practice in science and technology. Brandstetter.

Scottish Parliament 2019. Scottish Parliament translation guidelines. (Accessed 24/09/2021)

Scottish Parliament. 2017. Annual Report / Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2016–2017. (Accessed 24/09/2021)

Scottish Parliament. 2018. Annual Report / Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2017–2018. (Accessed 24/09/2021)

Scottish Parliament. 2019. Annual Report / Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2018–2019. (Accessed 24/09/2021).



Krochmann, L. (2022). Scottish Gaelic political terminology – Term formation in the Scottish Parliament Annual Report. Linguistics Beyond and Within (LingBaW), 8, 99–113.

Lena Krochmann
Leipzig University


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contributions to this journal are published under a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons Licence