More on ‘The Outlander effect’

Historical films give boost to Scots tongue

Their stars might be more Hollywood than the Highlands, and on occasions their attempts at a Scottish accent may well stray closer to Brigadoon than Buchan. But two new films that tell the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce, along with global success story, Outlander, are said to be set to help dramatically revive the fortunes of the once dying Scots language.

Two new films that tell the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce, along with global success story, Outlander, are said to be set to help dramatically revive the fortunes of the once dying Scots language. Ethnologist Dr Irene Watt, whose researches cover the ethnology and folklore of Scotland, said the future for Scots was “starting to look optimistic” partly as a result of popular culture like Outlander. “Outlander is part of the rehabilitation, putting Scots back on the lips of our ancestors where it belongs, in its central place in Scottish identity and heritage.” She added:

“Scots is beginning to feature in the media, with Outlander at the vanguard, and is backed by the Council of Europe charter on Minority Languages. The Scottish government has some initiatives in place for its promotion and teaching, although they are not particularly well funded. In wider Scottish cultural life … Scots is reappearing in places it has been absent for generations. There suddenly exists a plethora of excellent books such as Harry Potter in Scots, The Gruffalo in Scots, the new Sanners Gow book of Buchan folktales. The language is finding itself back in favour in academia, with researchers studying Scots’ effect on the brain and the National Library of Scotland appointing a ‘Scots Scriever’ to produce new work in the tongue”.

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