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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Scots gets smart

9th December 2017

A London-based company named SwiftKey has recently developed the first Scots-speaking predictive smartphone keyboard. This means that phones can now recognise, correct, and predict texting in the Scots language and get it right. The company was assisted in developing the app with sample texts provided by Scottish Language Dictionaries and other sources. The AI system learns as it goes and will quickly recognise the preferred spelling conventions and language of a particular Scots-speaking user. Dr Rhona Alcorn who heads the SLD said that they were very excited by this app and that “This is a validation of a living, thriving language.” Previously Scots texters had been plagued by garbled English instead of Scots, provided by English-only systems, but now Alcorn said we have a “powerful tool” that explicitly flags up Scots. The Scots language app joins a number of other tongues including Arabic, Cantonese, German, Mongolian and Zulu.