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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Draft Language Strategy

In 2003 the Labour-Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive made a commitment to introduce a national language strategy to guide the development and support of Scotland's languages.

The draft stratgey document, published on February 5, 2007 offered a number of guiding principles to shape the development of language provision in Scotland. For Scots it stated that "the Scots language will be treated with respect and pride" adding that Scots is closely linked to the cultural heritage of Scotland and makes  a significant contribution to Scottish arts and culture. A duty to protect the Scots language and celebrate its contribution to Scotland and the world was recognised.

The draft strategy observed that the Scots language is still widely spoken across Scotland "in a variety of forms such as Scots, Doric and Lallans" [sic].

The draft strategy's guiding principles for Scots concluded that the "Scots language will be treated with respect and pride" and the "use of Scots should be encouraged in the school curriculum (where appropriate) and its valuable role in promoting self-confidence and pride amongst those who speak it."

In February 2007, Michael Hance, director of the SLC, said: "I have examined the proposals in the strategy today and can't understand why the Executive has taken four years to produce this document. From the point of view of the Scots language, apart from the numerous errors of fact, there appears to be very little on offer that doesn't exist already. However, this is what we have been given to work with and it is the responsibility of Scots activists to communicate their points of view to the government in the hope something better will emerge from the consultation. In the meantime I will be asking others from within the community to meet to discuss what to do next."

The consultation documents can be found on the Executive's website at

The consultation finished on March 9, 2007.