Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-used Languages


British-Irish Council Indigenous, Minority & Lesser-Used (IML) Language Resource Page

Croeso /  Failt erriu / Dynnargh / Bid ye welcome / Bianvu / Fáilte / Séyiz les beinv’nus/ Fàilte

Learning a new language can be fun, satisfying and opens up a whole new world of possibilities. We all learn in different ways and at different speeds, and learning a language is no different. But we can all learn new words. We do it all the time, without even thinking about it. And that’s all it takes for you to take your first steps to learning a new language.

Did you know that there are nine indigenous, minority or lesser used languages which developed on these islands that are spoken daily by tens of thousands of people from across the eight BIC Member Administrations? Have you heard of some or all of these languages?

Irish / Welsh / Gaelic / Scots / Ulster Scots / Manx /Jèrriais /Guernesiais / Cornish

Each and every one of them offers a different insight into the history and culture of these islands, and can offer a fresh new sense of belonging to them.

So, how about trying something new today? All you need to know about the languages and the easy way to start your learning is right here. Have a look and give it a go…! Oh, and be sure to tweet us to let us know how you get on.

NB-Please note that the content of this page is provided by each member administration of the British-Irish Council during a period of severe capacity constraints. Links to individual language resources are being added on a continuous basis and we will update this page regularly.

Guernésiais language resources

                  -          'Conversations in Guernsey French' with Harry & Hazel Tomlinson. 

                  -          Basic lessons

                  -          Songs

                  -          Christmas carols

  • There is a taster app for Guernesiais, called Warro, which currently sits within the Digital Greenhouse app.  To access it, first download the Digital Greenhouse Guernsey App from your chosen App Store, then select the 'Warro' section.  
  •  Warro! Activity book - this family resource is available to download for free from the Guernsey Museums website. Go to and then search for 'Warro'

Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government

Covid-19 has made us reconsider the way we teach Welsh.

With community based classes currently unable to meet, an increase in online learning options at all levels means that learners can study in their own homes, at their own pace, and at a time that suits them.

It is now easier than ever for learners outside of Wales to access learning opportunities. Now is a great time to give it a go!

  • The National Centre for Learning Welsh is responsible for all aspects of the “Learn Welsh” sector in Wales.
  • A range of Learn Welsh courses are available including learning in a virtual classroom, self-study courses, blended learning or learning in the classroom (currently very limited).
  • The Centre has many online resources to enable distance learning, offering 10 hours of free learning via their taster courses, free digital resources to complement the learning levels, and virtual classroom courses at all levels. It also has a YouTube channel which has useful tips for learners and a popular Facebook page – Learn Welsh / Dysgu Cymraeg.
  • Additional resources are available on the Duolingo and Say Something in Welsh websites, which can be found via the National Centre’s website.
  • Other resources are available in the attached pdf document.

Jèrriais language resources

  • Lettre! - La Lettre Jèrriaise. A weekly podcast in Jèrriais, broadcast every Saturday morning on BBC Radio Jersey. Includes up to date podcasts as well as archived broadcasts.


The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our indigenous languages and wishes to encourage those interested in the languages to do. There are a number of opportunities to learn Gaelic and Scots formally or informally from apps, such as Dualingo, to websites supporting the learners at all levels.

Gaelic language learning

  • LearnGaelic is a portal which supports Gaelic learners at all levels and has recently been updated with more content to help learners on their chosen path.
  • Information on LearnGaelic
    Why Gaelic – Watch the video and find out why Gaelic is important to Scotland.
    Reasons to learn – Learn why others have chosen to learn Gaelic in our video.
    Mythbusters – Watch learners bust some myths about the language.
    Pathways – Discover the different routes open to you to learn the language with these videos.
  • Resources on LearnGaelic
    Gaelic Sounds – Get to grips with Gaelic sounds with these 40 videos.
    Beginners’ Course This is a flashcard-based course aimed at those with no Gaelic.
    Beag air Bheag / Little by Little: - This is a text-based course which takes a traditional approach to Gaelic learning.
    Speaking our Language - This is a video-based course created from the TV programme and books.
    Fichead Facal / 20 Words - You can find almost any word in the LearnGaelic Dictionary, but here's some vocabulary lists to get you started.
    An Litir Bheag (The Little Letter)   - BBC Radio nan Gàidheal’s weekly letter to Gaelic learners with audio, transcription and translation. The letter is integrated with our dictionary and you can sort the letters. 
    Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh (Letter to Gaelic Learners) - BBC Radio nan Gàidheal’s weekly letter to Gaelic learners with audio, transcription and explanation. The letter is integrated with our dictionary and you can sort the letters.
    Find a Course - We have tried to list every Gaelic course within Scotland. Increasingly we are adding international courses too.
  • Scots Language Learning support

There are a number of Public bodies supporting Scots learning and some of their resources are listed below;

Irish language resources

  • Foras na Gaeilge is the body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the whole island of Ireland
  • Feachtas Reatha/Current Campaign #LeChéile – platform to share information, stories and entertainmen.

  • Fáilte ar Líne is a project which aims to provide online courses to graduate level in the Irish language and Irish Culture.
  • Click here to visit Fáilte Online

    The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht ( co-funds the project as part of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish language.

    Vifax  has videos and lessons for Irish language learners. During the school term, video clips featuring from Nuacht TG4’s bulletins are uploaded on the platform, along with Irish language lessons based on the news reports.

    Click here to visit Vifax

    Edcite As Gaeilge is an initiative to share a bank of Irish digital resources with teachers. This initiative has developed 200+ digital tasks that can be used in the classroom as well as two translated educational platforms: and PhET science simulations into Irish. All materials are free and available for primary and secondary teachers to use in their classrooms.

    Click here to visit

  • Dú are inviting users of the site to transcribe, on a voluntary basis, the stories that were collected as part of the Schools’ Collection. Dú hopes that this work will increase community participation in the project and make the material more accessible.
  • Click here to visit Meitheal Dúchas


    Trinity College are working on speech recognition for Irish (think, for example, of Alexa). To achieve this they need as many recordings as possible. It would be of great help to them if you could record a couple of sentences.

    Click here to visit Míle Glór

  • Siamsán sa mBaile
  • Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta, in cooperation with, are providing daily Irish language activities for families who are out of school.

    Click here to visit Siamsán sa mBaile

  • A file is attached to this page that contains links to over 30 more online resources through which you can learn Irish!

Cornish language resources

Manx language resources

  • has been redesigned as the online portal for the Manx Language Network, linking to other important online archives such as those held by Manx National Heritage, and texts developed independently on Gaelg-hasht.

Ulster Scots resources

Test yourself to see if you have some Ulster-Scots using the new Wheen O Wurds language quiz!

Get to know the Ulster-Scots language with our Wee Guide to Ulster-Scots!

Bust some myths about Ulster-Scots with Haivers!


Find out about Belfast’s many Ulster-Scots place names! You can find attachments below with all this info and more!

If you are interested in further information on the kinds of work done by the BIC IML Languages work sector here is a link to a conference organised by the sector to support adult learning of IML languages and explore the links of this activity with the community, workplace and society.