Gaulish was a Celtic language spoken in Gaul (modern France) until about the 5th century AD, when it was replaced by Latin and Germanic languages. It is classified as a Continental Celtic language, and is thought to have been related to Celtic languages spoken in Iberia, central Europe, parts of the Balkans and Asia Minor, though the relationships between them, and with the surviving modern Celtic languages are uncertain.
Gaulish is known from about 800 inscriptions, most of which are short, and many of which are fragmentary. The inscriptions include calendars, accounts, funeral memorials, dedications to gods, curse tablets and coins. There are also a few longer texts. Gaulish was written in the Greek alphabet in southern France, in an Old Italic script similar to Etruscan in northern Italy, and in the Latin alphabet after the Romans took over these areas. There are also references to Gaulish personal and place names in the work of Roman and Greek writers, and there are several hundred Gaulish loanwords in French.
This chart shows to monumental and cursive versions of the Latin alphabet.
Hear the reconstructed pronunciation of Gaulish:
The pronunciation of some of the letters is uncertain.
Σεγομαρος Ουιλλονεοσ τοουτιους Ναμαυσατισ ειωρου Βηληςαμι σοσιν νεμητον.
Segomaros Uilloneos toutius Namausatis eioru Belesami sosin nemeton.
Segomaros, son of Uillu, citizen of Namausos, dedicated this sanctuary to Belesama.
Sample text supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum
Information about Gaulish
Modern Gaulish - a revived version of Gaulish
Page last modified: 31.03.22
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