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23 September 2014
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Your comments

Reet Ernits Estonia
Dear Scots people, don´t be afraid using your unique old language! Don´t care if someone says it's not proper. Be proud of it. The world without differences is boring! I know what I´m talking about. My language is small, but it has some very different dialects and the way other people treat those speakers is very similar-they just tell you arrogantly that you should speak "properly" - what a noncense! I spent a week in West Lothian. It was a nice experience to hear and to try understand Scots (or perhaps English with Scottish accent) - it was quite hard, but absolutely interesting! Since that I´ve searched in Internet for everything connected with Scotland or Scottish languages. Scotch is wonderful, because it is the language of Scottish people. So be proud of it!Sorry for my poor language.

Ann from Fife
I have only received positive comments about my Scots tongue except for one memorable occasion in Kent, where I asked for a bottle of lemonade, using those exact words. The shopkeeper turned round to her assistant with the really clear enquiry, 'Woats she toekin abaht?' I rest my case!Good for you, Karin from Dunfermline. Let's keep the old Scots tongue alive.

Kirsty, Glasgow
Why are assumptions made that a person speaking with a dialect or in a Scottish accent are just working class, uneducated and less able. Why do people feel the need to have posh phone voices? Why are people made to feel ashamed of their own language? I think the pressure on people to speak 'properly' will eventually push out the Scottish accent entirely.

Michael Hance Bo'ness
Lots of people have said that they would like to hear Scots but can't find any on the web. If you'd like to listen to some Scots go to the web site of the Scots Language Centre at When you're there go to the "Listen tae Scots" swection to hear this lovely language. There will be even more from 1 October 2006 when our new improved web site goes live.

Monica Sao Paulo Brazil
I love the Scots accents is wonderful! they speak with the soul, a friendly people with a friendly and soft language. Amazing people.

Richard Archibald from Ballymoney
Gled tae finally hear fae sae many Scotch folk that're aa fired up aboot thair ain leid. A'm fae oor the sheugh in Ulster maesell but A wus rared tae taak the Ulster Scots an A finn it gie hard naw'ae drap intae it when A'm taakin wi Scottish folk noo an again but sae many o them arnae fasht wi it.

W. Allan Ingram Burlington Canada
having been born and lived in Scotland for 34 years before coming to Canada I truly believe that once your adult speech pattern is formed unless you make a deliberate effort to change it it will stay. I aam proud of my Scottish heritage and my Scottish Accent ( Although I tell my canadian friends I'm the one without an accent. As far as words and dialogue is concerned you have to phrase and sometimes use North American idiom especially with U.S. people but otherwise its spoken as it was taught!!

Jeanne McWhorter from Louisiana, USA
I love the Scots accent, though I'm not sure which is which as I can't find a site that gives examples or even has people speaking with the accent(s). All the radio people (announcers, djs) seem to have British accents or none at all. It's sad to see such great sounds disappearing. I'm in the South USA and we have our own strong accents. What accent is Mark's? Where is he from?

Boris Madsen from Curitiba, Brazil
Beeing an English speaker since the age of 8, I've first got in touch with Scots a couple of years ago during a trip to Scotland - and found it incredibly amusing! Hope I could listen to it more often.

Sam Heron Australia
Interestingly the accents of locals in Scotland are gradually sounding more and more alike in that it is not as easy to tell where someone comes from just by the sound of their voice, words used perhaps yes, sound of voice not as pronounced as it used to be. Older Scots who migrated overseas say fifty years or more ago have retained their accents locked in as it were as if they were in a time warp whereas those who still live in Scotland regardless of age have 'modernised' accents that have very gradually evolved with the passing of time. Those living in Scotland have kept up with the changes in local speech whereas those living overseas have few counterparts with whom they speak regularly in their native accent and so the accent remains as it was so long ago. In the past I have noted occasions where elderly relatives visiting a sibling in Australia with the long term overseas resident having a stronger sounding accent than the visiting Scot. Also the overseas older very ill Scot in hospital reverts to the accent and words of their youth and have great difficulty being understood by hospital staff. I know I have visited several just so they could have a fluent conversation.

Steve sanders Aberdeen
I am very proud to use scots language. You tend to hear it a lot more in the north east.

June in Ogden Utah U.S.A.
My great grandmother immigrated from Glasgow in 1860. She lived to be 97 yrs old. My cousins tell me that she said that one of her grandparents was Jewish. I think she may have said Irish. What do you readers think? How would a Scotsman say Irish or Jewish? Would they be similar? I need to understand this so I can go back in my family history and look in the right direction: Europe or Ireland. Oh, how I wish I could have heard her speak. I love the language, though I don't understand too much. If I see a Scottish television show, I havae to put on the captions. This is a great website. I will get a plugin so I can listen to it. Thanks, June in Ogden Utah

James Fitt, Ballater
It should be called "Lowland Scots". If folk called Gaelic "the Scottish language" there would be an outcry, but this is exactly the same thing.

Bill from North Carolina, USA
I love the Scots accents. To an American, it sounds warm, inviting, and affable--a friendly language, that I have found reflects well upon the character of the Scots people. (Oddly, I have considerably more trouble understanding some British dialects.)

David Caplan, Glasgow
I was born and brought up in Glasgow until I was 26. I associate my accent with poverty, ignorance and violence - all of which I have had first hand experience. Having now lived in England for 25 years I am still bemused by people who constantly tell me what a wonderful accent I have. I am deeply ashamed of it and eternally grateful my children were born in the south of England. My biggest problem, and the source of much merriment amongst the 'Pudding Race' is my inability to say 'Book' or 'Blue' without making the extended 'oooo' sound.

David Cook, Dorset
You never hear any decent country accents on BBC News as all people with country accents are obviously deemed stupid by the media. Less people from Northern cities any more bumpkins please.

Mark Jones from Watford
I find the Scots accent appalling! Everything about it is so abrasive. Im glad its dying out so that the real 'English' language can flourish.

Kim Traynor from Edinburgh
I feel that the whole concept of 'BBC English', for whom, ironically, we have a Scotsman to thank, i.e. Lord Reith, damaged the language, speech and perhaps even the psyche of many Scots of the post-war generation. I believe that the idea that what we heard on the radio was 'proper English' undermined confidence in our native speech, resulting in a lack of social confidence whenever one felt 'out of one's depth' among 'standard English' speakers. One of my earliest recollections regarding my natural use of Scots, which I learnt as a wee laddie in the street and the school playground - I couldn't have been more than five or six years old - was being told by my socially aspirational mother not to say, "the dug jumped o'er the wa'" when what I really meant was, "the dog jumped over the wall". This kind of speech correction was massively reinforced during my schooling when it was noticed that I failed to roll the Scots 'r' properly. I seemed to use a more English-sounding 'r', as in the English word "really?" Because of this 'speech defect'', I was extracted from class once a week by a lady in a white coat who held up flashcard pictures, while I pronounced words like 'Rrrrobin Rrrredbreast'; another method was to have me make the flame a candle flicker as I expelled breath in phrases like 'rrred lorrrry'. Of course, this meant that when I moved to England, people found it hilarious to impersonate my peculiar Scots pronunciation of phrases like 'the end of the worrrld' or 'is she your girrulfriend?' Fortunately, by the end of my primary schooling I had mastered standard English by dropping my Scots dialect - while retaining my Scots accent - and managed to make great progress on the educational ladder. I felt sorry, however, for all those working-class Scots who remained apparently 'trapped' in their dialect which was subliminally implied to be inferior because of its conspicuous absence from broadcasting and public life in general. You can see the result in any Scottish television news broadcast from the seventies and eighties when the camera is taken into the street to do vox pop interviews: the man (or woman) in the street becomes tongue-tied as they try to break out of their normal Scots and find appropriate English words which sit uncomfortably in their mouths. Unless they are unselfconscious speakers of Scots, the effect is that they come across as inarticulate (and so, by implication, a bit thick). This inability could also be seen in any university tutorial where the English students tended to lord it over the Scots who remained curiuously reticent and afraid to participate - not because they had nothing to contribute, but because they no longer knew how to say it effectively in a speech other than their own. The rising tide of Scottish nationalism in the nineteen eighties, the wave of anti-Thatcher sentiment in Scotland, which wiped the Tories off the political map, the expansion of broadcasting which seemed to result from the advent of local radio and a more localised television service, which followed the political devolution debate, the folk music of the Corries, the pop lyrics of the Proclaimers, Runrig and others - all seemed to inspire the Scots with a new confidence of speech and social confidence which has been expressed in a new-found pride in their language. They can haud their heids high again. To my mind, this has been one of the most significant social developments north of the border in my lifetime. Everyone recognizes the disadvantages of being trapped in a parochial dialect and being unable to participate in national discourse through lack of a common standard language. But what BBC English did was persuade people repeatedly on a daily basis (not just the Scots!) that the sounds that came out of their mouth were somehow inferior and not worthy of being broadcast. I am now a standard English speaker most of the time. I have to be because I am a schoolteacher and feel it is my duty to children to empower them socially by enabling them to move beyond the confines of their own dialec.

Juan Manosalva from Chile
I'm learning english at university and I found very interesting Scots accent despite my university is aimed at teaching British R.P. accent. Nonetheless, I would like to get better at scottish accent, I've got to thank to, because it's the only source where I can find scottish accent in the web at the moment. Thanks for reading, bye!

Meg Young from Edinburgh
I love my accent, although other people sometimes find it hard to understand, especially english people.

Chris fae Edinburgh
When I was studying in London to be a Radiographer - the principal of the school called me in one day to tell me that I "had to learn to speak properly so that my patients understood me"! I was not speaking Scots to them - but English with a Scottish accent - and never heard any of my patients complain - it was just the principal's prejudices. I realised how ingrained the language was one day though after many years of living in London and not having the opportunity to speak Scots. I was on a bus one day with a friend from Dorset - a "kid" arrogantly pushed us -and even after many years of living in London - I came out with a torrent of abuse to him in Scots (unrepeatable here!)!! It was totally instintictive and this "kid" and my friend just looked at my open mouthed - and obviously not understanding a word -but sensing my emotion. I realised myself that if I had tried to express the same feelings and emotions in English - I just couldn't have - and I couldn't even begin to find the words in English the could express the same as in the Scots. In trying to learn to speak English down there as an everyday language (in Scotland only used it with the teachers at the school) - I found my jaw ached from trying to pronounce the words day in day out. Also, the word that I found hardest to get accustomed to saying was "yes" instead of "aye" - aye was much more natural and "yes" did not sound as sincere - as I was only used to using it in Scotland with teachers!

Ewan Anderson, Manchester

I left Blantyre, Lanarkshire five years ago and never really lost my Glaswegian accent. Although since moving to England from France two years ago I find that by force of making a constant effort to be understood, especially over the phone at work, it is getting less and less broad and I am losing my Glaswegian vocabulary and turns of phrase. Things that I used the say like "Jiy" I have had to adopt the more universal "Jay". Also points of grammar such as saying "this needs washed" I have caught myself saying "this needs washing". I find this disappointing because the way I speak has always formed a large part of my identity. Having said this it comes back thick and fast if I spend any more than a few days in the Glasgow area, something my English friends are always keen to point out when I go back to Manchester - not to mention the endless Taggart references and them asking if I'm going to "chib" them.

Effie from Gießen/Germany
I used to live in Montrose (Angus) an work in Brechin High School and Montrose Academy as a German Assistent Teacher. When I first heard the language spoken I thought it to be somehow funny, but then I learnt to understand and love it. As a German I found it easy to pick up the pronounciation. I am out of touch now (although married to a Scots, but we never talked dislect in 'GB far less in Germany together...), but whenever I am back , I get into it quite quickly. Furtheron I am a reader of Burns' literature and it was part of my chosen exam topic.

Ruaidhri from Oman
After moving away from the buchan plains and to the desert of Oman in the Middle east, I realised what an asset the Scots language is. People ofetn confuse Scots and a Scottish accent which are two completely different things, and I should emphasisie that there be a separation as opposed to a mingling use of the odd Scots word, which will result in a permanent dilution of our fine Languge. Yi maun mind foo tae spik yir ain leid!

alan thomson from langbank
we need newspapers such as the daily record wha pretend tae be Scots tae write mair in oor ain language.

Sophia from Edinburgh
Scots is really great language and the accent is perfect! The latter is a bit difficult to pick up, especially as a foreigner, but I try to use as many idioms and words as I can. So, "I'll be there the now"!...

Aidan Work from Wellington,New Zealand.
Surely,isn't the Scots language easily confused with Scots-Gaelic? I have always known it as the Scots-English language.

Pat Potts from Edinburgh
I lived in London for 10 years and never lost my Scottish accent - not even a little. Perhaps I refined it when talking to English or on the telephone but this was only because otherwise I kept having to repeat myself. I don't even class my self as having a very broad Scottish accent - I think it is quite refined.

Carrie Smith from Aberdeen
I think Doric is neither a dialect nor a complete language but a wonderful hybrid where the speakers are free to choose which words they substitute in order to provide more expression in any given circumstance. There are situations where only a Doric word will do!

Bill Davidson
Where does the doric fit in. Is it a dialect of Scots or a separate language?

I speak Scots as my second language, and speak it quite fluently. Living outside Scotland, when I use it, none of my English-speaking friends understand what I am saying. It is definitely a distinct language in its own right.

Brian Hunter from Wrexham
I am 57 and left my home in Paisley, Strathclyde for England in 1970. I have now lived in Wales for 7 years but in all that time have never lost my Scottish accent and am indeed extremely proud of it.

david watson from MAYBOLE
I come form a small town called Maybole in Ayshire.I have lived in england since i was 16 years old. A few years ago I was attending a wedding reception of a service friend in Ferndown, when one of the guests I was talking to ,suggested I was not only from scotland but Maybole in particular Nobody at the reception knew I was born in Maybole ! The lady in question apparently studied accents and dialects and recognised my voice whereabouts by the way I pronounced my L'S ! I was very impressed ! Have enjoyed your contribution to Radio solent. Yours dave from Hythe .

Karin Scott Dunfermline
I try to use as many Scots words as I can in my everyday vocabulary, because this rich and very descriptive language seems to be disappearing.


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