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  1. #1
    hinhinhaha is offline Newbie
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    Default Scottish English

    Is Scots equal to Scottish English?
    I've read some books concerning this matter but still a bit stuck here.
    I know that it's rather controversial that whether Scots is a variety of British English or it is a seperate language. But I've read that there's a thing called Scottish English.
    So is Scottish English a synonym of Scots or Scots being a variety of Scottish English or Scots and Scottish English seperate variety?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Scottish English

    It can be hard to say whether something is a dialect or a separate language; there's no clear definition and history, nationalism and other forces play a large role in how people view what they speak. It's a sensitive area and some see it as a language and others as a dialect, so you'll see terms like Scots, Scottish English and Lallans used, and there are variations, regional and social, so there's a spectrum rather than clear-cut categories. It's not a completely separate language like Gaelic, but if the speakers of it consider it to be a language, then a language it is IMO.

  3. #3
    hinhinhaha is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Scottish English

    Alright Tdol, by a spectrum, you are trying to say that Scots and Scottish English are two different 'things'; just that their status are controversial. Am I making sense or I misunderstand you?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Scottish English

    Scottish English is, as understand, closer to standard English, with regional characteristics, while Scots is further apart, but they're all part of the wider English family; if you see them written, you'll see they are forms of English- the question is whether they are dialects or languages.

    Furthermore, they're not necessarily two specific forms that can be clearly identified and labelled, more points of reference on the spectrum I referred to. Just as there are strong regional variations in England, there are in Scotland, with forms spoken on islands, geographical variations of the Highlands and Lowlands and major cities. It's all English of some form, but the question is what those forms are- is English a family of languages or dialects? Different people will give different answers.

    If you look a this: Auld Lang Syne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (lyrics- halfway down) you can see the issue. What he's writing is clearly part of the English language family, but it is distinctively different and there are English versions described as translations.

    And there are comprehension difficulties in many cases- the First Minster of Scotland is easy to understand, so I (an English English speaker) would regard what he speaks as Scottish English, but speakers from some regions can be very difficult to understand- when there are such comprehension difficulties, can we talk of separate languages? We don't have an Academy or any body to look into these questions, so in the absence of any real consensus, it's largely down to individuals to decide.

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