After attending many languages events around the world, I had lots of people approach me to ask about the Scots language and how they could learn it. I didn’t really have an answer for them. I did some research and there were no online courses I could find. Because of that, I decided to work with Language Boost to create this course with audio for beginners in Scots. You can learn Scots online or offline with this course. There are more details about the format of the course towards the end of this post.
Scots is one of three native languages spoken in Scotland (the other two are English and Scottish Gaelic). Although Scots is closely related to English, speaking Scots is not the same as speaking English with a Scottish accent (that is Scottish English). Speaking in Scots means using many words, phrases and grammar found only in Scots.
Where do they speak Scots?
As well as in the main cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, Scots is spoken in the central areas, Borders, north east, Orkney and Shetland. There are several different dialects and no formal written standard. Our course is based on the Glasgow & West Central dialect.
The origins of Scots
The Scots language originated after the Angles tribe arrived in Northumbria from Germany around the year 600 AD. In the centuries that followed, the Germanic language brought over by the Angles spread north and south and evolved into Scots and Old English. Scots used to be the national language of Scotland, was spoken by Scottish rulers, and was used to write the official records of the country. However after the political union with England in 1707, Scots took second place behind English and was no longer a national language, although it continued to be used mainly in spoken form until the present day.
When I was a child, there was nothing written in Scots apart from cartoons in newspapers and we were discouraged from speaking it at school. In school, all reading and writing was in English. Nowadays we have children’s books, literature for adults and even some newspaper articles written in Scots. Things are now changing for the better as people are realising we need to preserve our native language.
How to Learn Scots Online & More About The Course
The Scots VocaBooster Course will teach you 500 phrases and everyday vocabulary in Scots with audio for each word and phrase. The course also gives you Anki flashcard decks to study from. You can study online or download the PDFs and audio files to study offline.
I previously wrote a review of the Language Boost Russian VocaBooster course after I used it for a 50 day challenge. I found the method of this course to very effective for beginners which is why I was happy to go ahead and create a similar course for Scots. If you read my review, you will understand more about the format of the course.
Want to hear what Scots sounds like?
To hear some Scots spoken, I have uploaded two videos. The first video is where I read a 19th century poem which was anonymously written and left in a hotel visitors’ book in the Isle of Arran (I start reading the Scots poem at 54 sec). Some of the words are old-fashioned nowadays but I have added subtitles & a translation in the description under the video.
The second video teaches some typical words we use in the Glasgow/Central Scotland area. You will come across some of these in the Language Boost course.
The course costs $59 and to buy it, click here!