I do not mean in Rome, however. I am asking what Celtic Languages existed or were created during the early years of Rome, if any existed at the time. This is for story writing purposes, specifically in creating a fictional language, but I felt it more linguistically oriented than world building.

And if many Celtic Languages existed, which would be considered the most prevalent of them at the time?

(I believe the celtic languages are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, and Breton.)

2 Answers 2


Proto-Celtic was spoken well before the foundation of Rome in 753BC; it is heavily associated with the Hallstatt culture which was developed by 800BC. Proto-Celtic branched out to several distinct languages early on, including Gaulish in France / Belgium (as early as 600BC) and Celtiberian in Spain.

The Celts spread throughout Europe in the days of the early Roman empire; they even reached modern day Turkey in the area known as Galatia. This map gives a pretty good picture of the expansion of the Celts in Europe.

  • I can't seem to find any helpful english to proto-celtic translators. My goal is to find a language that existed around 709 BC, so as to maintain "legitimacy" in the fictional language I'm constructing. This language that I'm constructing (according to my fictional "lore") had borrowed words from latin and (insert celtic language), so I need a language old enough to have been used. If I were to use a language that did not exist around 709 BC or later, then the legitimacy of my constructed language being that old is gone.
    – Anonymía
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:41
  • There's info at WP, including links to fairly extensive proto-Celtic to English wordlists. Apr 2, 2016 at 23:04

You could also just use a Gaulish dictionary. It's the earliest continental Celtic language we actually know a lot about.

I'd suggest Xavier Delamarre's "Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise". It's not online, but an actual book.

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