Insular Celtic languages

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Insular Celtic languages are the six Celtic languages that originated in the British Isles.[1] All surviving Celtic languages are from the Insular Celtic group; the Continental Celtic languages (the other group) are now extinct. The six Insular Celtic languages of modern times can be divided into 2 groups:

  • The Goidelic languages: Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic[2] They are also called "Q-Celtic" because of the use of a Q sound (spelled with a C or a K).[2]
  • The Brittonic languages: Breton, Cornish, and Welsh[2] (another language, Cumbric, is extinct). Brittonic Celtic is also called "P-Celtic" because of the use of the letter P.[2]

By the 4th century BC most people in the British Isles spoke a Celtic language.[3] When the Irish abbot and missionary Columba met the Pictish king Bruide they needed a translator.[3] Columba spoke Q-Celtic while the Picts spoke P-Celtic.[3]

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