(Scottish Language. An article by Lucas Ostendorf, a project member on citytravelreview work/study programme in Edinburgh, summer 2015)
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.
Beautiful lochs, great mountains, historic castles – a trip into the Highlands is unforgettable.
(An article from a student on a City Travel Review programme in Scotland)
You will be impressed by the amazing landscape surrounding you. Explore the wildlife with sheep, goats and highland cows grazing in the meadows and enjoy the calmness of nature.
The Highlands are the mountain range located in the north-west of Scotland. They are home to 650 000 people living in Inverness, the northernmost city in the UK, in small villages or even in the “middle of nowhere”.
Due to its natural beauty thousands of tourists come every year to spend some relaxing days in the mountains.
Loch Ness, famous for its legendary monster Nessie, is beyond doubt the most visited place in the Highlands. With an impressive depth of 226 metres it is the largest loch in Scotland by volume.
On your way to Loch Ness you will pass another superlative – Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is 1344 metres high and simply known as “the Ben”.
Many locals and visitors refer to the Highlands as ‘the real Scotland’ and indeed you can see traditional culture there. The Gaelic language has survived and although everybody understands English the native folk are still able to speak the old language.
If you are there in summer don’t miss the chance to see one of the highland games that are held in different villages. You can observe matches in disciplines like throwing the hammer or putting the shot, as well as enjoy music and dances in traditional kilts.
Since Queen Victoria first attended the games in Braemar in 1848 the Royal Family is traditionally a guest of the spectacle.
|The Scottish Kilt – Did you know..?
– the history of the kilt dates back to the 16th century
– its origin lies in the Highlands – in the rough land kilts were more practical than trousers
– most clans have their own tartan
– it is knee-length and shouldn’t touch the ground when the wearer kneels down
– most people don’t wear it in everyday life but on formal occasions and sport events