How to Say “Well Done” in Scottish Gaelic: A Comprehensive Guide

Gaelic, a beautiful and ancient Celtic language, is spoken mainly in Scotland and parts of Ireland. If you’re looking to express your appreciation or congratulate someone for a job well done in Scottish Gaelic, you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll explore various ways to say “well done” in both formal and informal contexts, focusing primarily on the standard Scottish Gaelic dialect.

Formal Expressions

When offering formal praise or addressing someone in a professional setting, using the appropriate language is crucial. Here are some formal ways to say “well done” in Scottish Gaelic:

1. “Gu math sgeulach” (Goo mah skye-lach)

This phrase translates to “very good” and can be used to express approval or commend someone for a job well done. It carries a touch of formality, making it suitable for professional environments.

Example: Tha thu air an obair gu math sgeulach! (You have done the work very well!)

2. “Tha thu math” (Ha oo mah)

This simple phrase means “you are good,” and it serves as a formal way to congratulate someone for their accomplishments.

Example: Tha thu math air d’ obair! (You are good at your work!)

Informal Expressions

When interacting with friends, family, or in casual situations, a more relaxed and informal approach is often preferred. Here are some informal expressions for saying “well done” in Scottish Gaelic:

1. “Mòran taing” (More-an tahng)

This phrase is a common way to say “thank you very much.” While not directly translating to “well done,” it can be used informally to show appreciation and acknowledge someone’s efforts.

Example: Mòran taing airson an cuideachadh! (Thank you very much for the help!)

2. “Tha thu sgoinneil” (Ha oo skoy-nel)

Used more casually, this phrase means “you are fantastic” or “you are brilliant.” It conveys a sense of admiration and is a great way to compliment someone for a job well done.

Example: Tha thu sgoinneil airson an obair sin! (You are fantastic for that work!)

Regional Variations

While the provided phrases are widely understood across most regions where Scottish Gaelic is spoken, there might be slight variations in specific dialects. Here are a couple of regional variations:

1. In the Western Isles:

If you’re in the Western Isles, you might hear the phrase “Chan eil a leithid agad roimhe” (Khan el a lay-chk akad roh-ve). This expression is used to mean “you’ve never had the like before” and can also serve as a way to say “well done.”

2. In the Northern Highlands:

In the Northern Highlands, an alternative phrase to express congratulations is “Tha thu air do shon” (Ha oo er do hun), which translates to “you are on your luck” or “you are lucky.”


Being able to offer praise or congratulate someone in Scottish Gaelic is a wonderful way to connect with the rich culture and traditions of the language. Whether you choose to use a formal or informal expression, the key lies in speaking from the heart and showing genuine appreciation for someone’s achievements. Remember to adapt your language based on the setting and the relationship you have with the person you are addressing. With the phrases and examples provided in this guide, you’re well-equipped to say “well done” in Scottish Gaelic with confidence and warmth!

Written by Ada Genevieve

Hi there! I'm Ada, a language enthusiast with a love for everything phonetics. I dedicate my time to helping people communicate effortlessly across different languages and cultures. It's not just about saying "I love you" in Pig Latin or discussing selling skills in a resume, I truly enjoy the challenge in teaching others to deliver words and phrases correctly – even tricky ones like "Carcharodontosaurus". My curiosity about languages also takes me to some offbeat territories; you wouldn't believe how much fun I have figuring out names like "Aivaras" or discussing menstrual pain professionally. Join me on this linguistic adventure!

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