A Lecture About the History of the Scots Language … in Scots: How Much Can You Comprehend?

Dauvit Horsbroch has served as the Language and Information Officer of the Scots Language Centre since 2007, and has spent considerable time living in North East Scotland. Above, watch him give a 19-minute lecture on the history of the Scots language … in Scots. For the first 20 seconds, you might think, no sweat, I can hang with it. Then suddenly your comprehensions fades out, only to return moments later, before disappearing again. And on it goes.

As you listen, you can entertain the long-simmering debate: Is Scots a distant dialect of English? Or is it its own distinct Germanic language? Writes Slate: “Both modern English and Scots descended from Old English in the 1100s, and developed separately for hundreds of years. When Scotland and England joined to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, Scots was widely regarded as its own language, distinct from English. It is still one of Scotland’s three official languages (the other two are English and Scottish Gaelic), but because it is mostly mutually intelligible with English, it’s sometimes regarded as a dialect of English or slang.” If you’d like to see Scots written, as opposed to just spoken, spend time over at the Wikipedia Scots page.

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