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Online Plan for Scots Dictionary

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  • Online Plan for Scots Dictionary

    This looks like something to look forward to!

    From the B.B.C. website today at

    A new dictionary is being compiled which will put tens of thousands of Scots words dating back as far as 800 years on the internet.
    Academics behind the project hope it will be available online by February 2004.


    And the project has won praise from the chairwoman of the Scottish Parliament's cross-party group on the Scots language.

    The MSP for North East Scotland said: "Vernacular Scottish is used by more than one million people daily and is the largest 'minority' language in the UK.

    "This indicates a changing mood towards our culture, which is vitally important. If we don't work to keep the indigenous languages alive, no one else will do it for us.

    "Making the Scots language accessible on the internet is a fantastic way to open it up to as many people as possible."

    The Dundee researchers are working through 100,000 Scots words, some of which date as far back as 1200.

    The team is then translating them into an electronic format which will allow them to be made available on the internet.

    Three-year project

    The Dictionary of Scots website will also include illustrative quotations which the researchers hope will lead to a better understanding of the history and use of the language.


    Academics from Edinburgh and Glasgow University are also working on a separate project to put the Scots language on the internet.

    They are trying to gather together as many examples as possible of how people north of the border write and speak in their own tongue.

    Future generations

    The results will be placed in an electronic archive - the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS) - which will be made available to the public and academics alike over the internet.

    This will allow scholars and students to investigate the languages of Scotland in new ways, while also providing a source of information for future generations.

    The project will initially examine two different varieties of the language, Scots and Scottish English.

    But it is hoped that the project will eventually expand to include Gaelic and non-indigenous languages such as Punjabi, Urdu and Chinese.

  • #2
    Gaelic available on internet

    Hello Celyn,
    This is indeed wonderful news. I am a Scot who has lived in Canada for a good number of years. I was under the impression that the Gaelic is being taught now in more schools in Scotland. I live in Guelph, Canada and I know of a Professor who taught Scottish history at the University and left a few years ago to go live in the North of Scotland as he had been left a croft by a relative and was actually turning it into a small school where he was going to teach the Gaelic. I have always thought that it should be our first language. I have travelled to Cape Breton and visited the Highland College there and was most impressed with the locals and their "Gaelic Tongue". I felt that as a Scot, I should have been able to converse with them in my native language. Good luck to everyone involved in this programme - they are to be commended. Dunnoter


    • #3
      Gaelic and culture

      I am an American with ancestors who immigrated to Canada from Ballachulish near Glen Coe in the Highlands. Some of the genealogical information I have references a Gaelic Bible of my GGG grandfather. I have been studying my history and the history of my forefathers and it seems to me that the Gaelic peoples who lived in the Highlands, imperfect though they are, have suffered disporportionally in terms of the loss of culture and way of life much as native populations have in North America. I have been listening to Gaelic music and have learned a few tourist phrases such as "Cimair a tha sibh?" however, I don't have enough time to properly learn the language of my ancestors and I am far away from anyone who is a native speaker. I don't want to butcher the language. Yet, I wonder what people in my position can do to support the preservation of that language? Any opinions anyone?