The Gallaic Revival website is dedicated as a free resource to the
aid the revival of the Gallaic language, the Celtic language of Galicia
(Galiza), Asturias, Portugal, Spain and the Celtic civilisation of
Tartessos (Tarshish). Tartessian (Old Gallaic) is now classified as
an Indo-European Celtic language by the official LINGUIST List Multitree
Digital Library of Language Relationships alongside Celtiberian (Old
East Gallaic) and other Celtic languages. Read
the debate on the Old Gallaic language of the South-West inscriptions
of the Iberian peninsula here.
to the new website Atlantic
Europe in the Metal Ages for the
latest research particularly the work of Professor
John T. Koch and Dr
Catriona Gibson. In particular, read two of Professor Koch's 2013
papers in Spanish there: "La
fórmula epigráfica tartesia a la luz de los descubrimientos
de la necrópolis de Medellín" and "Las
inscripciones del suroeste y el Tarteso de la arqueología y
de la historia". Here is an interesting review of
Celtic from the West (Koch and Wodtko 2010) and interesting papers
by Professor Koch: Tartessian
as Celtic and Celtic from the West and Referring
back to the Bronze Age from the dawn of Palaeohispanic literacy: the
South-Western inscriptions interpreted as nativism. Read
Professor Koch's latest paper: Indo-European
from the east and Celtic from the west: reconciling models for languages
in later prehistory September 2014 here.
The Gallaic language, also known as Gallaecian or Callaecian, is
also called Hispano-Celtic in a broader sense. Evidence shows occurrences
in various scripts, time and space of what appears to be the same
language from Douro River Oghamic and southern Tartessian to northern
Callaecian (Celti and Celtici dialects - Primitive, Old and Middle
Gallaic) with continuity of dialects with Lusitanian and Vettonian
(Middle Central Gallaic) and shared innovations and development
with Celtiberian (Old and Middle Eastern Gallaic). It was spoken
and at times written by Celts in the Iberian Peninsula encompassing
both Spain and Portugal.
together with Asturias, Cantabria, north Portugal and hinterland
parts of Brazil have been the pioneers in efforts to revive
a Celtic identity in the Iberian peninsula and South America.
Other regions of Portugal, Spain and the Americas are interested
in joining this revival too because they consider it part of
their Celtic heritage. This heritage is particularly important
in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and northern Portugal which
have maintained links with other Celtic nations over the ages.
In this way they have gained increasing recognition as truly
Celtic nations. Examples of such recognition are the Interceltic
Festival of Lorient, the Celtic
Council of Australia and the Australian
Celtic Festival. Photo shows Galician representative on
the Management Committee of the Celtic Council of Australia,
Mercedes de Sanchez Williams, with Asturian friends at the Celtic
Council of Australia tent at the Australia Day Celtic Festival
2014 with their flags ready for the parade of Celtic nations
(see flag on left including Galicia and Asturia):
epitaph, consisting of 2 sentences in the Celtic Tartessian language,
comes from a tombstone from Alcala del Rio in Seville at the heart
of the fabled kingdom of Tartessos. It was carved in the period
750-500 BC. More than 95 such inscriptions have been found around
this with no substantial inscriptions of this period found there
in any other language. The words on these inscriptions have been
matched so closely with the Gallaic words preserved in later Roman
inscriptions from Galicia and Asturias that we can say that they
are representing the same language. This shows that the main language
of the Tartessian civilisation was in fact Old Gallaic and we can
now rename the Celtic words in the Roman-era inscriptions as Middle
Gallaic. The important Alcala del Rio epitaph for a "Minster
of State" in the Tartessian civilisation reads:
"Co tu-wa-ráte tumitesaman oramá sedá.
Lágenti Raha cassedanná Corbeo bárle."
This has been translated as:
"To the most fortunate goddess-place, the ancestral highest
resting place, she has been carried away safely. Raha, the Minister
of Bronze, daughter of Korbos, is now lain down here."
Note that in the Ogam insciptions of Ireland and western Britain
in Primitive Irish there is a similar name to Raha's father, Korbos:
This breakthrough in the revival of the Gallaic language was made
by Professor John T. Koch starting in the winter of 2006/2007 and
reaching the full translation stage in mid-2011 followed by acceptance
by most of the major researchers into Tartessian in late 2011 especially
Tartessian expert Professor Francisco Villar Liébana who
in 2004 had noticed the similarities of Tartessian with the Gaulish
language. In 2012, other linguistic researchers such as Dr. Christopher
Guy Yocum have used the Old Gallaic in the Tartessian inscriptions
to gain insights into the development of other Indo-European languages,
especially other Celtic languages such as Irish. This breakthrough
has also been hailed in the 2012 edition of "The Celts"
- the authoritative 2 volume encylopedia on the Celts, by the contributor
of the Celtic languages section, Stefan Zimmer:
"Evidence has been adduced for a Celtic language in the 'Tartessian'
inscriptions of south Portugal and southwest Spain (dating 7th-5th
The Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
at the University of Chicago, Eric P. Hamp, in August 2012 decisively
included Tartessian (Old Gallaic) as a Celtic language alongside
Celtiberian (Old East Gallaic) and other Celtic languages in the
tree of the Indo-European languages.
We have reconstructed
Modern Gallaic from the Gallaic, Celtic Oghamic, Tartessian, Lusitanian
and Celtiberian inscriptions of the peninsula along with the Celtic
words embedded in Latin inscriptions and used in the Portuguese,
Galego, Asturianu and Spanish languages developed from Latin. Since
Gaelic (Irish) and Brittonic (Breton-Welsh) were used on the peninsula
possibly as late as 900 AD, these languages have been used as further
sources where there are gaps in the record for the peninsula. Irish
Gaelic in particular has been used because we found that there was
a close match with basic Gallaic vocabulary and with the
Gallaic inscription carved on a buttress of a Galician church, Santiagos
Church, built in Betanzos in the 14th century. Conversational
free lessons are now available in Modern Gallaic. Lesson 1 "Past,
Present and Future" revised edition is now available by email.
These lessons are practical so you can get up to speed in some conversation
almost immediately. Lessons are in English and Portuguese though
Galego, Spanish, Gaeilge and Cymraeg version are available on request.
Part A of the first lesson is now available available on the Lessons
page of this website due to large demand and progress to later lessons/parts
is dependent on homework exercises being completed satisfactorily
to ensure comprehension. Join the people now using Modern Gallaic
! We currently have students in Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Australia,
USA and Cymru.
the Gaelaico Project for
further information on Gallaic language survival.