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Scottish: legal status & protection?

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  • Scottish: legal status & protection?

    I'm a Dutch student journalism who's writing an article about the Scottish language. According to the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL) an estimated 1.5 million people speak Scottish. But, also according EBLUL, the Scottish language has no legal status or protection.
    Should the Scottish language get a legal status & protection? Or is there no need for any legal status & protection?
    I like to know what you think. I also like to hear from you what the Scottish language means for you personally and what you think about the way the English (media) view the Scots and the Scottish language.

  • #2
    I assume that when you say the Scottish language you mean Lallans, or Lowland Scots, more commonly called Scots.

    Should any language receive legal protection? It is in the nature of any living language that it is constantly evolving and developing so "protection" could have a detrimental effect; trying to preserve a language in aspic could result in the death of that language. Scots is now recognised by the Scottish Parliament, and MSPs are free to use the language in debate or in the drafting of legislation.

    Having said all that, Scots is definitely under threat from English. Ever since the Acts of Union of 1707, the Establishment has tried to stamp out Scots and replace it with English. When I was in school, we were discouraged and even punished for speaking Scots rather than English. The practice continues to this day. Almost all broadcasting is in standard English so our ears and minds are subjected to a constant stream of the stuff. Scots is often looked down on as "common" or even as a corrupted dialect of English. It is neither of these.

    It is important to have a good understanding of English in the globalised world of business, but there is no reason to be saturated with it.

    The man o' independent mind,
    He looks an' laughs at a' that.