The Erse leid (Airisch or Airish in Ulster-Scots; Erse: Gaeilge, Gaoluinn, Gaedhlag) is a Celtic leid frae Ireland. It is sib tae Manx Gaelic an Scots Gaelic, an is ane o the twa offeecial leids o the Republic o Ireland an ane o the thrie o Northren Ireland. Frae the 1st o Januar 2007, the Erse leid becam ane o the offeecial leids o the E.U. The Erse spak in Dunnygal is the nearest tae Scots Gaelic, but ither dialects isna sae eith tae lift for Scots Gaelic spickers.

"Gaelach" in tradeetional Gaelic teep
Native taeIreland
EthnicityErse fowk
Native speakers
73,803 daily speakers in Ireland (2016)[1]
4,166 in Northren Ireland[2]
L1 speakers: 141,000 in the EU (2012).[3]
L2 speakers: 1,761,420 in the Republic of Ireland (2016),[1] 104,943 in Northern Ireland (2011)[2]
Early forms
Staundart forms
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil
Laitin (Erse alphabet)
Erse Braille
Offeecial status
Offeecial leid in
 Ireland (Statutory leid o naitional identity (1937, Constitution, Article 8(1)). Nae widely uised as an L2 in aw pairts o the kintra. Encouraged bi the govrenment.)
 European Union
Recognised minority
leid in
Regulatit biForas na Gaeilge
Leid codes
ISO 639-1ga
ISO 639-2gle
ISO 639-3gle
Proportion o respondents that said thay coud speak Erse in the Republic o Ireland an Northren Ireland censuses o 2011.
This article contains IPA phonetic seembols. Withoot proper renderin support, ye mey see quaisten merks, boxes, or ither seembols insteid o Unicode chairacters. For an introductory guide on IPA seembols, see Help:IPA.

The pairts whaur Erse is still spak for common bi fowk is thegither cried the Gaeltacht. It is sindry bits o the kintra, whiles juist a single clachan, skailt athort sieven coonties - Dunnygal an Galway (the twa wi the maist), Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, an Meath. There's a wee pairt o Belfast whaur mony fowk spicks Erse an aw.

Aboot 1.66 million fowk spik Erse.


  1. a b "7. The Irish language" (PDF). Archived frae the original (PDF) on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  2. a b "2011 Census, Key Statistics for Northern Ireland" (PDF). Archived frae the original (PDF) on 8 Mairch 2013. Retrieved 10 Juin 2017.
  3. "Irish: Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Retrieved 30 December 2018. L1 users: 141,000 (European Commission 2012)
  4. "Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.148 - European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages". Archived frae the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017. Cite has empty unkent parameter: |1= (help)
  5. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Irish". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.