Edinburgh Up Close

(Scottish Language.  An article by Lucas Ostendorf, a project member on citytravelreview work/study programme in Edinburgh, summer 2015)

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Although Scotland belongs to anglophone Great Britain and Edinburgh‘s residents might easily understand your English it does not mean that you are able to understand them. It is not only that the locals speak very fast. Their dialect differs significantly from what is normally known as English. In Edinburgh people speak a mixture between Scots and Scottish English.

The term Scots describes a Germanic language variety spoken in the Scottish Lowlands. Many words are identical to contemporary Scandinavian words. This phenomenon goes back to the Viking influence on this area in the 10th century.

The famous Scottish poet Robert Burns, well known for his Auld Lang Syne, has written a lot of his works in Scots dialect. He became celebrated in Edinburgh in the year 1784.

There are many discussions whether Scots can be considered as an own language as it is still popular and commonly spoken. Many citizens of Edinburgh use it in their everyday life. Even important world literature is often translated into Scots. Travellers be aware: you should listen carefully to what the locals say. And if you do not understand very much, do not bother: a smile on a face sometimes tells more than a thousand words.

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