Voice Over Sydney: Scots Language

Voice Over Sydney: Many people have heard about the Scots language but aren’t sure what it is. Scots has been spoken in Scotland for several centuries and is found today throughout the Lowlands and Northern Isles. The name Scots is the national name for Scottish dialects sometimes also known as ‘Doric’, ‘Lallans’ and ‘Scotch’, or by more local names such as ‘Buchan’, ‘Dundonian’, ‘Glesca’ or ‘Shetland’. Taken altogether, Scottish dialects are known collectively as the Scots language. Scots is one of three native languages spoken in Scotland today, the other two being English and Scottish Gaelic.

Voice Over Sydney: Where is Scots spoken?

Scots is mainly a spoken language with a number of local varieties, each with its own distinctive character. Scots is spoken in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, and Edinburgh as well as in the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, central Scotland, Fife, the Lothians, Tayside, Caithness, the North East and Orkney and Shetland.

Voice Over Sydney: Who Speaks Scots

Scots is spoken by old and young alike and can be heard in both cities and country areas. People can have a strong emotional attachment to the language and often feel most comfortable using it amongst their family and friends. Because the Scots language was for a long time discouraged by officialdom and schools, many people who speak Scots will speak differently when talking to strangers or in formal situations, by mixing their language with English. Scots was the language used by Robert Burns to write much of his poetry. Today Scots is still used by poets and writers but the places you are most likely to encounter it are in people’s homes, in the streets, and in the everyday life of communities. At the present time there are no Scots-medium programmes, but you will hear varying degrees of Scots used in TV programmes such as ‘Chewin the Fat’ or ‘Gary Tank Commander’, films such as ‘Sweet Sixteen’ and ‘Neds’, or hear it spoken on radio phone-ins, interviews, or used for e-mails and text messages.

Voice Over Sydney: Some Scots Words

Here are some Scots words. You will hear them used all over Scotland. Aboot, bairn, bonnie, brae, cooncil, doun, dreich, faither, fitba, flit, glaikit, gowk, heid, hoose, ken, kirk, laddie, lang, lassie, mither, nane, poke, rare, scunner, speir, stooshie, stramash, threap, wean. People who speak Scots use these words and many other words like them.

Voice Over Sydney: Other names for Scots

There are lots of names for Scots dialects. You’ll probably hear them used more often than the word Scots. These names are usually connected to a place and you may have your own local name for the way you speak. These local ways of speaking are called dialects. Taken altogether these dialects are called Scots.