Columnist and Scots language advocate Alistair Heather has seen his short video on BBC Social shared and viewed tens of thousands of times. In the short clip he introduces a new audience to the concept of Scots.
As one might expect, the video received some hate.. Heather believes the antagonism towards the video and Scots in general, is down to misconceptions about it. “Once it is realised that Scots is a language – a 2010 Scottish Government study found that 64% of Scots do not see it as such – people may start to embrace the idea that they are bilingual. Heather makes an interesting comparison with Gaelic. “Lesley Riddoch hud a great story aboot talkin about Radio Nan Gaidheal and when that wis founded. Gaelic speakers didnae think thit Gaelic wis a proper language,” he says. “It was considered to be like Scots is noo. “People on the east coast wid think ‘Och, thit’s no a language, it’s jist a dialect ae, it’s nae a real thing’. And so people in Uist nivir even kent thit people in Strathnaver spoke Gaelic. And people in Argyll and Stornoway thought thit Gaelic wis essentially Irish. But when they started listening tae Radio Nan Gaidheal all the time, and they hear aw the different dialects of Gaelic, they realised thit it wis actually part of the linguistic family it jist hudnae been aware of itself fir 50 years, a hunner years.”