Some people believe that spoken Scots is now so far removed from the Braid Scots of a century ago, that any remaining Scots in the Scottish language mix has been fragmented to a series of regional dialects, such as Ulster, Doric, Shetland and the urban varieties of Glasgow, Dundee and so on (see map above).

In my view dialect diversity is widely overstated, all dialects are mutually comprehensible and share the same core vocabulary and grammar structures, based on the Braid Scots blueprint.

The reasons for the perceived divergence are easy to list,

  • the lack of any official ‘school’ standard
  • woeful exposure to language diversity in the media
  • he widespread rejection of the teaching of general Scots literature, poetry and songs in the last quarter of the 20th century.

People are understandably proud of local identity but often seem to be quite unaware that words and phrases spoken in their hame toon are almost identical to those used daily in the next toon along.

But judge for yourself. The Scots Language Centre hosts a useful page of dialect recordings from all over Scotland.

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