Friday, 18 December 2009



The Scottish language is World famous in every country known to man. The earliest story I can recall as a child was about a man who's roots are reputed to descend from the highland Livingstones.
I write about the famous Dr David Livingstone who as well as being one of Scotland's original explorers being from the central belt, ie; Blantyre, Lanarkshire his World famous meeting with Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born:John Rowlands) a Welshman who also became famous for his African explorations and searching the jungle for Dr Livingstone, Sir Henry is supposedly have uttered the statement;
"Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Although the authenticity of this now famous greeting is in doubt it seems likely the Scottish language would not have been mistaken, in exactly the same way a Scotsman can tell at once the lilt or dialect of the Welsh language.
Although Scotland's population is over 5 million the visitor to Scotland would be amazed at the differences in the Scottish regional dialects such as Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dumfries to name a few and the visitor should also note that the Scottish regional dialects should not be confused with English regional dialects which are completely different and causes great confusion among those visiting Scotland for the first time.
The Scottish language we all know today comes originally from Gaelic, German, Scandinavian, Angles and Northern Anglo-Saxon and described as; Scots is the traditional Germanic language of Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles.
For many years and in some quarters today the Scots language is denigrated as bad English or slang which thankfully today recognised academic language experts will tell you is complete and utter nonsense as the two are completely different languages. Take for example English language speaking countries which all have different local,regional,national and international English dialects such as; Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A., Canada, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland etc...
The majority of listeners will know instantly the difference between an American accent and a Scottish accent although both languages are English and both will understand each other, likewise the rest of these English speaking countries.
So the next time you ask a Scotsman, "speak English", you'll completely understand that he can no longer speak English than you yourself can speak Scottish - it's a language and dialect thing!
Some useful links which will help to clarify the comments made here;
Link to the Scots Language Centre?
Information on the origin of Scots: .
Another useful link is the Scottish Language dictionaries
They also provide a useful resource for schools, the scuil wab
Please note all constructive comments will be appreciated and posted for feedback and information which you may feel relevant for Scotland's future visitors.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Burns biography wins book prize

Burns biography wins book prize

written by,
Robert Crawford
Mr Crawford won the top prize for his biography of Burns

A biography of Robert Burns has won the £10,000 book of the year prize at the 2009 Saltire Society Literary Awards.

Robert Crawford won the award for his book The Bard, against stiff competition from authors AL Kennedy and Janice Galloway.

Other awards went to a history of Scottish philosophy, a biography of John Muir and the Historical Thesaurus of the English dictionary.

The award ceremony was held in Edinburgh on Monday.

The awards were presented by Culture Minister Michael Russell, who said: "It is great to see the prestigious Saltire Society Literary Awards fully involved with the Homecoming Scotland Finale celebrations.

"The awards play a huge part in celebrating Scotland's literary heritage and the incredible strength of talent displayed by our contemporary writers.

"It is fitting that we applaud this talent on St Andrew's Day - our national day - particularly when this year's winning entries reflect the rich cultural, natural and intellectual heritage of this nation."

Martyn Wade, National Librarian, said: "It has been an honour to host these prestigious awards for the 12th time, recognising the wealth of literary talent Scotland has to offer."

The annual awards have been held for the past 27 years.

Report from the BBC