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Well, a little bit odd I know, given that worldwide it's probably a language with at an absolute maximum, around five million speakers, but it's close enough to English that some of you may be interested in little phrases or whatever that you could insert into English conversation. In fact, a few terms from Scots are used in everyday conversation, "wee" for small being probably the most obvious example.
So, what is Scots? Scots is, contrary to popular belief, even sadly, amongst people within Scotland itself, a distinct language and not merely a dialect of English. It evolved alongside English and whilst having many similiarities, also has differences, and often, Braid Scots is utterly incomprehensible to even a very capable English speaker. It's not to be confused with Scottish Gaelic which is a Celtic language related to Irish, Manx, Breton, Welsh, Cornish etc. whilst Scots is a Germanic language.
The Scots language is sadly in the modern era seen by many Scottish people as an embarassing anachronism, and they perceive it as simply a low-class way to speak English, but I myself am very proud of Scots, which has it's own rich literary tradition, with the likes of Robert Burns having his works translated from Scots to English.
Anyways, I'm going on something of a rant, there will probably be very few interested in this, but hey, I'll make the effort. So, any questions, any phrases you'd like the meaning of and so on? Fire away.
Hello! I want to say that the first post is very educational. I never knew that Scots and Gaelic are different. LOL @ my ignoranace. Alright then, could you please name the other terms from Scots that are inserted in English aside from "wee"?
To be honest, most people think of Gaelic too, and I would like to learn it, but in truth it's only really of historical importance, as it's something of a dead language outside the Highlands and some of the remote islands, whilst Scots is still used to some degree, even the book and movie Trainspotting contains a fair bit of Scots and that was fairly successful abroad. It isn't ignorance not to know about the obscure languages of little countries.
You might know "ken" for know, usually used in a question, in place of know in the phrase "Do you know?" or something like that, although that's very Eastern and I just use "know" myself. "Aye" for yes, "bairn" or "wean" for child or kid respectively are also used, although I'm unsure how widespread they are. Now for some ones that everyone uses in English: flit, greed, eerie, cuddle, clan. There are a few other shared words, difficult to tell whether they were Scots or English words first.
Hehe, nice thread.
There's also a wikipedia in scots: http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
I definitely use "aye" from time to time, thanks to military training *is a reserve officer*. I never used "ken", "bairn" and "wean", but I do encounter these words in some readings. I would never have guessed that greed is ScotsOriginally Posted by Binky
sorry if my question sounds stupid, but I'm really curious. Is it in Scots that you guys say "me guitar" instead of "my guitar"?
@eni: Yeah, it's actually going quite well, it's getting close to 2,000 articles now which'd be a nice landmark, I keep meaning to contribute, but I'm too argumentitive about everything.
@Ayah: I wouldn't have guessed it either, but apparently so, I only just found out when I was checking to see if I could find a list. Yeah, aye is probably the most heavily used word that people might recognise as coming from Scots.
@ibra87: It's actually not a stupid question ibra, Scots uses grammar that often looks a little, well... Dodgy to an English speaker, I'll give you a couple of examples of simple sentences (I lifted these from Wikipedia, naughty me ) in English, then re-arrange them into the Scots order and then finally translate it.
English: He turned out the light.
Scots With English Word Order: He turnt oot the licht.
English With Scots Word Order: He turned the light out.
Scots: He turnt the licht oot.
English: Give it to me.
Scots With English Word Order: Gie it tae me.
English With Scots Word Order: Give me it.
Scots: Gie me it.
To give an exact answer to your question, you're pretty close, but it'd be "ma guitar" (Just a short 'a' noise, in case you're interested the word branch would be me, ma, mines instead of me, my, mine, usually you'd say "That guitars mines" instead of "That's my guitar"), have you visited Scotland or Ireland at all or picked anything up from elsewhere?
As you can see, these are phrases that are really similiar in English and Scots, although Scots uses 'ch' often instead of 'gh', and which is kind of a thick sound, which I'm guessing may come naturally to a German speaker (?), but you'll probably know the noise from the word Loch (I'll dig through the German thread and see if I can find a good description on how to pronounce it, because I can't think of how to explain it, it's not really used in English, the closest I can think of is in the word 'chronic' only you'd almost roll the 'ch' in your throat).
EDIT: Just thought I'd add that I'm delighted that anyone bothered to reply, it make-a me happy.
hehe, keep the good work upOriginally Posted by Binky
Er schaltet das Licht ausOriginally Posted by Binky
The word "Licht" and the sentence order is the same as in German. How do you spell "licht"?
"mines" sounds like the German "meins" -> That is mine - Das ist meins.Originally Posted by Binky
I now what you mean^^ ... it's everywhere in German language. But there's no good example in the English language ... *think think*Originally Posted by Binky
ok, you can hear examples of German words:
What you search for should be the German "och-laut" e.g. "doch":
uuh, and I think this is quite interessting:
As a non-native English speaker, methinks I've pulled of an English sentence with Scots word order once in a while. Example 1 is more probable though. I've encountered ma instead of my before, but it's usually something I hear being spoken rather than read.Originally Posted by Binky
thanks for the explanation~ Now I know much more about Scots then before. And no, I haven't been to Ireland or Scotland, but seen movies where they talk Irish and Scottish (like for instance "In the name of the father" so I was wondering if they spoke Scots.
@eni: Interesting that the word order is similiar, I would spell 'licht' exactly as you did, Scots uses the exact same alphabet as English, it could be that Scots is slightly closer to German though, certainly in pronunciation, although with more borrowed English words. Actually, I have a question, in German, does a speaker prompt an answer to a question?
For example in English, I would say: Is Shona at home?
Whilst Scots would have it: Is Shona hame, is she?
And if you're expecting the answer to be 'yes' you make the question negative, like so: Shona is hame, is she no?
Even in normal conversation an answer is usually prompted.
English: Let me put my coat on, it's not too big is it?
Scots: Lat me pit ma coat on e? It's no ower muckle, e?
Although, English could have a prompt here, (Let me put my coat on, would you?) which is what makes it a very complicated and difficult language I think, it ignores it's own rules sometimes.
@Ayah: I am basically a native English speaker and I would use that word order from time to time too, it's just that it's not the typical order. It's actually a little difficult for me to speak normal English because, although I've studied it and understand how to speak it, here in Glasgow almost everyone speaks a strange mixture of Scots and English most of the time, but when I'm writing, it comes naturally, because I've always written in English.
@ibra87: They probably mixed a bit of Scots speech into their English, which is a pretty common thing to do, not so much in the Republic, but certainly in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
That's called question tags if I remember it correct, huh? I remember learning them in school, it was so boring^^Originally Posted by Binky
But that's something we don't use in German. At least not in the same form.
English: That is right, isn't it?
German: Das ist richtig, oder nicht? ... or ... Das ist richtig, oder?
oder? = or?
oder nicht? = or not?
The last part "oder?/oder nicht?" is a attachment we use colloquial when not sure about it. But I would say it's kind of slang and more correct would be a full sentence like "Das ist richtig oder denken Sie nicht so?" (That is right or don't you think so?).
By reading so much international forums and watching anime I was taken to use "..., huh?" or "..., eh?" when talking to friends.
In German you could also say:
English: You live in Scotland, don't you?
German: Du lebst in Schottland, nicht wahr? .. or ... Du lebst in Schottland, stimmts?
nicht wahr? = isn't it true?
stimmts? = right?
We have a few more of this. But I think it's different from the English ones.
Hope that was understandable >.<
Yeah, it was understandable.
To be honest, I am not really sure what it should be properly called, although question tags sounds right, I was just interested to see whether German was similiar in that respect, and hey, if Ayah thinks it is ignorant not to know about a tiny little language from a tiny little country then I must be ignorant about pretty much everything, so I figured I would ask.
Strangely enough I think that it bears a similiarty to Japanese, where "wakarimasenka?" is a question with a negative, because the speaker is expecting a positive answer, similiar to "is she no?"
EDIT: Figured, that since this is a thread about the language in general I could give you a little information from a recent study, it'll also let me show you what a body of text in Scots looks like and then translate it for you. It also seems my estimate was overly-kind and there are only supposedly around 1.6 million Scots speakers, which is very sad, although, the article mentions 'passive' speakers, of whom there are likely many. Anyways...
Nae sleekit, cowrin, timrous beastie (Scots)
A recent Scottish Executive survey jalouses that there are 1.6 million active Scots speakers in Scotland the day, an Scots Leid inkenners jalouse that there are muckle mair folk that yaise the leid 'passively'. Thon latter group unnerstaun Scots an likely yaise a puckle o Scots words on an ilka-day basis. Furth o Scotland, whaur there is a skailin o rochlie forty million sowels awnin Scottish originale, it's sairer tae jalouse linguistic tholability. Sweirly speakin, Scots forenent the Gaelic is the spikk o the Lawlanders. Yet, even although the feck o the Scottish diaspora wid awn Hieland descent, it isna unco for the default leid atween brither an sister Scots abroad as cleekit in the hunners o clishmaclaver rooms on the internet tae be Gleswegian. Which, as awbody kens, is Scots. It's eneuch tae say: the leid o Burns, the warld's second maist blethered-aboot poet, is vieve an is weel. An has a muckle an growthie audience.
No sly, cowering, fearful creature (English)
A recent Scottish Executive survey estimates that there are 1.6 million active Scots speakers in Scotland today, and Scots language insiders estimate that there are many more people who use the language 'passively'. This latter group understand Scots and likely use a lot of Scots words on an everyday basis. Outside of Scotland, where there are around forty million people claiming Scottish descent, it's harder to estimate linguistic survival. Strictly speaking, Scots - in contrast to the Gaelic - is the tongue of the Lowlanders. Yet, even though the majority of the Scottish diaspora would claim Highland descent, for many, the default language between brother and sister Scots abroad - as spoken on the hundreds of chat rooms on the internet - would be Glaswegian. Which, as everyone knows, is Scots. It's enough to say that the language of Burns, the world's second most discussed poet, is alive and kicking and has a large and growing audience.
I have some issues with the article itself, particularly on the whole Glaswegian equals Scots point, but hey, it'll do. Notice that even though I didn't really rearrange much of the word order, other than adding in a few commas here and there, it still makes sense in English, which is bizarre and just goes to show how flexible the English language is. It's a little awkward at points, but I'll leave it that way so you can see where the equivalent Scots word for each English word is.
I'm pretty embarassed to not have known that Scots was an actual language rather than a dialect, considering I'm half-scottish and all. I used to think that such words as "wee" and "aye" were either dialect, or gaelic. Is "nay" also a Scots word?
What's even more embarassing is that I've a book on Scottish fairy-tales in which said stories are written in Scots. I just assumed it was archaic english :O.
Scottish kinda reminds me of Low German/Plattdeutsch, I wouldn't be surprised if there were many similar words. As eni already noticed, quite some scottish words are surprisingly close or even same to German ones, while Plattdeutsch is quite related to old english language again. Also, Plattdeutsch is pretty much between beeing an own language and beeing just a dialect as well, and the sound is surprisingly similar
Wikipedia has some examples (nd. means "Niederdeutsch" which means Plattdeutsch/Lower German, so the order is: Lower German, English, Danish, Swedish, Dutch)
(This is from a german page, so "A" is not like the english "A". It's which is rather like the "A" in "arm" or maybe "Cat" in british english, but definitly not like in american english. In American english it would be rather like the "u" of "cut".
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; October 17, 2010 at 08:57 PM.