Scottish Gaelic Scrabble Set Released in time for Nollaig/Christmas

01 November 2023
This Official Scrabble set was created in collaboration with 'An Taigh Cèilidh,' a community centre looking to keep this cultural language alive

Struggling to find the right gift for this upcoming Nollaig? Unsure what to buy the pearsa in your life who seems to have a h-uile rud?

Well for those who either love old languages or want to teach a little Scottish culture to your family and friends, An Taigh Cèilidh and Tinderbox Games have worked with Hasbro to create an official Scrabble product designed for the Scottish Gaelic language.

What is Scottish Gaelic?

Scottish Gaelic is the modern term for the cultural language of Scotland that was originally spoken in the region, with an estimated 50,000 native speakers still remaining today. The language originated from the same Celtic dialect which was also the root of Irish and Welsh, both of which are protected indigenous languages that also have their own official Scrabble sets.

Two players starting strong in their head-to-head game of Gaelic Scrabble

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Why have they released a Scottish Gaelic Scrabble Set?

Whilst the language is not widely spoken even in Scotland, there are many efforts to keep the language alive as part of Scotland's cultural heritage, the largest of which being An Taigh Cèilidh, a community centre in Stornoway. The centre runs regular meetings and games nights, welcoming guests to learn more about the language or to simply enjoy their time in Stornoway.

The Director of the non-profit organisation, Dr Teàrlach Wilson, spoke to The National about how excited they are for this game's release.

Dr Teàrlach Wilson enjoys Scottish Gaelic Scrabble along with other customers at An Taigh Cèilidh

"I enjoy playing Scrabble and I have wanted to play Gaelic Scrabble for a long time," says Dr Wilson. “Because of the popularity of the game, I think it will give the language a much-needed boost.

"It will also be a welcome addition to our wee gift shop in the Gaelic café, and I think that will really help with our revenue and social impact.”

How many different versions of Scrabble exist?

Scottish Gaelic will be the 39th officially licensed version of Scrabble to be released and the third Celtic-derivative language edition (after Irish and Welsh.) Scrabble has had academic papers showing its usefulness in teaching other languages, which Dr Wilson hopes will prove effective in building and supporting interest in the language.

The game was published by Tinderbox Games, the same company who released the Irish and Welsh editions of Scrabble. Jim Harrison, chief executive of Tinderbox Games, spoke about how happy he was with seeing this game finally get made. “It’s great to see this latest version of Scrabble joining our successful Welsh and Irish editions, thanks to a lot of hard work over the last couple of years from the team at An Taigh Cèilidh.

“I hope everyone enjoys playing it as much as we enjoyed making it.”

How can I get a copy of Scottish Gaelic Scrabble

The game will be available from the official An Taigh Cèilidh website as of 1st December, with the first World Championship of Scottish Gaelic Scrabble being held at the community centre on 2nd December. Speaking to The Press and Journal, Dr Wilson shares his excitement, but also his anxiety regarding the tournament. “I can’t wait to play,” Dr Wilson said. “But if I win, people will think it’s rigged and, if I lose, people will question whether I should have my PhD in Gaelic.”

Co-presidents of An Taigh Cèilidh Magaidh Smith and Dr Teàrlach Wilson, proudly holding an early copy of Scottish Gaelic Scrabble

If you're looking to improve your Scrabble game (whether you're playing in English, Scottish Gaelic or one of the other 37 languages) here's our story covering the most memorable moments of many Scrabble Champions, to get you ready for your own inevitable annual tournaments when visiting family for the holidays. Alternatively, here's 10 other great word games for you to try.


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