The history of the scots language

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Perhaps. ;) Once, on a Håkon IV trek, I found myself in Balfour on Shapinsay and needing to purchase some stamps, I headed for the post office. My Scottish friends offered to come along and translate for me. Said me (in my foolishness): "Don't be daft--after the years I lived in Edinburgh, plus the fact I understand Norwegian, the Balfour post office will be a snap". Inside the clerk opened her mouth and made noise. I couldn't understand a word of what she was saying--and I fled in search of my Scottish friends. What ever she said, it certainly didn't sound like English to me! :crying:
You should have given her a piece of paper and asked her to write down whatever she was saying. At least that way you could have probably understood her. :)
 
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Jun 2017
634
maine
You should have given her a piece of paper and asked her to write down whatever she was saying. At least that way you could have probably understood her. :)
Whatever language she was using sure didn't sound like any form of English that I knew. I had no trouble with Scots and could even bumble along in Gaelic, but this was nothing I'd ever heard before. If it wasn't English, what good would writing anything down do? I had already--publically--proved myself guilty of aphasia and didn't want to add illiteracy. :crying:
 
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PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
Maybe she was a Geordie (person from Newcastle) who had moved North??? Geordies have one of the hardest accents and fastest accents.
 
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Aug 2019
571
North
The basic history (which is broadly accepted) starts with the Northern dialect of Old English (Northumbrian) as the South-Eastern part of Scotland was in this Saxon Kingdom, this becomes a version of Middle English with more Norse influences than seen elsewhere. Then it starts to diverge into a visibly different "language"; Early Scots. Gaelic influences are visible but limited, mainly concerning geographical features. It starts to get slightly more complicated when you're looking at Ulster Scots, the version spoken in Northern Ireland. In Scotland today, Scots is used to describe a wide variety of regional dialects (spoken across Southern and Eastern Scotland including the Orkneys and Shetlands) which are a spoken vernacular differing from the accepted written version of written Southern English.
There is an argument as to whether Scots should be considered a language or dialect of English; this is made hard to answer though, given that there is not one accepted form of Scots and there's no official criterion on the matter of dialects. There have been some that have posited that Scots is actually a Germanic Language which has arisen separately from English, but that it is just similar. This view is generally disregarded though.
Can you see any corellation whatsoever with the doric greek ancient macedonians doubtfully spoke and the attic greek of the ancient achia, i.e. athens, with respect to scots and english? Could such a parallel be drawn?
 
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Jun 2017
634
maine
Maybe she was a Geordie (person from Newcastle) who had moved North??? Geordies have one of the hardest accents and fastest accents.
Although I can't communicate in that accent, I'd have recognized it. I suspect that this was some very local tongue (or extreme dialect) that had developed in Orkney. I never heard it in Kirkwall or Stromness so perhaps it was something that remained only the smaller islands.
 
Jun 2015
1,261
Scotland
A little bit of topic but related.

All emergency and police vehicles in the whole of Scotland have had their markings made in Gaelic as well as English at great expense. It is only one example of how Highland Gaelic culture is being foisted on the whole country regardless of any historical reality. Gaelic was never widely spoken in the south and east of the country and there are today probably a handful of people in these areas that can speak Gaelic with any competence. It sometimes feels that lowland and north eastern history and culture are totally swamped by Walter Scotts romantic imaginations.

I would be interested on others opinions as to how they feel about the hijacking of history and the burying of inconveniant historical reality for modern nationalistic political reasons?
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
A little bit of topic but related.

All emergency and police vehicles in the whole of Scotland have had their markings made in Gaelic as well as English at great expense. It is only one example of how Highland Gaelic culture is being foisted on the whole country regardless of any historical reality. Gaelic was never widely spoken in the south and east of the country and there are today probably a handful of people in these areas that can speak Gaelic with any competence. It sometimes feels that lowland and north eastern history and culture are totally swamped by Walter Scotts romantic imaginations.

I would be interested on others opinions as to how they feel about the hijacking of history and the burying of inconveniant historical reality for modern nationalistic political reasons?
Couldn't agree more mate.
If we want to promote an old language, then why not go for Scots. At least most people in modern Scotland would have a basic understanding of the tongue.
As I understand it, Gaelic is taught in Ireland from primary school age and yet hardly anyone in Ireland speaks it. I wouldn't like to see the same thing happen in Scotland.

My ancestry is 69% Irish/Scottish and 31% English. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case I get accused of being anti Irish.
 
Jun 2017
634
maine
I would be interested on others opinions as to how they feel about the hijacking of history and the burying of inconveniant historical reality for modern nationalistic political reasons?
This sort of silliness has been going on for a long time and in a lot of places. The Irish had the same sort of reaction when street signs went up in Gaelic (in the '60's?). Here in the US, we are swamped with stories and sayings that are questionable: George Washington and the cherry tree; Nathan Hale's final speech, the Lost Cause, etc. Marginalized people have a need for legitamacy; wrong-doerers have a need for justification and we all like a good story. Perhaps this is how the saying "It doesn't matter what happened--but what people THINK happened" developed. Just as there is junk science, there is junk history.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,590
Netherlands
Couldn't agree more mate.
If we want to promote an old language, then why not go for Scots. At least most people in modern Scotland would have a basic understanding of the tongue.
As I understand it, Gaelic is taught in Ireland from primary school age and yet hardly anyone in Ireland speaks it. I wouldn't like to see the same thing happen in Scotland.

My ancestry is 69% Irish/Scottish and 31% English. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case I get accused of being anti Irish.
We have this with Frisian. Though people actually do speak it in the province, so I don't have a problem with it.
But yeah in Dublin you get very annoyed very quickly with all the Gaelic signs and television, while I didn't actually catch anyone there speaking it.

PS "modern Scotland"??
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
By modern Scotland I mean that most Scots today will carry on speaking the language of convenience. Whether that language is Queens English or American English, I'm not sure but it definitely isn't Gaelic.

Willemple.
I read somewhere that modern English and therefore Scots is most closely related to Frisian. As a you are a speaker of Frisian, I would be interested to know whether you agree with that or not.