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A Land of Many Languages

When one thinks of Scotland we are often given contradictory views. We see the image of the Highlander with his huge sword and kilt, but then again we also see the pleasant shepherd with a crook and a border collie, and more modernly we may see the Union Jack. These symbols will help us in our brief journey into the languages of Scotland; Gaelic, Scots and English.


Gaelic was the language of the Highlands. Although it is from the Indo-European language family it only rarely will seem familiar to the Romance languages or even Russian. At its peak the langauge was spoken through many different forms and variations over all the British Isles, France, and parts of Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Today it is still spoken by pockets of people in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Mann, Wales, Cornwall. Britanny in France and Galiza in Spain. Over the last few years the importance of the Gaelic langauges has been seen and many attempts by various groups has led to the popularization of this language. For those of you who wish to learn the Gaelic langauge this link will be helpful. Gaelic Lessons:


Okay this language is less an original language and more a mixing of words and phonetic spellings of several languages. This language is shown to us in the 'brogue' that we often see, words like "ach" and "ken" are several of the most well known. Unfortunately ths language is one of the few that I haven't been able to study in. The following website is a place that may be useful in your learning. Scots Lessons:


The English langauge is by far the most popular language in modern Scotland. It was introduced into Scotland through traders and traitors alike. With the unification of the crowns under James VI and I a common language was needed more than ever and the English language that was already spoken in the lowlands of Scotland won out.

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