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The Scots Language

November 11, 2005

Government policy documents generally make for pretty dry reading, but this one is well worth a keek. It’s a Scottish government policy document on the road forrit fae the Scots tung, in Scots.

In case you didn’t know, several languages are spoken in Scotland. English (with a Scots accent and some Scots words) is the most widely spoken language, but about 30% of Scots speak the Scottish tongue, sometimes called Lallans. It has the same roots as Northern English, but more Norse and Gaelic influence, and it has several dialects of its own, such as Doric (in Aberdeenshire) and Ullans (in Ulster).
Gaelic is still spoken in the Highlands and Islands, and gets some TV and radio coverage. Indian and Pakistani languages, as well as Polish and other European languages, are also widely spoken – definitely a multilingual society.

But the language that intrigues me the most is Scots, because it is so rich and expressive, and relatively easy to pick up, because of its similarities to English.
The Declaration o Calton Hill, fae a Scottish Socialist republic, also makes interesting reading.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ian permalink
    November 12, 2005 6:42 am

    There’s a Scots version of Wikipedia too :)

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