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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

William Soutar and Scots language

The Perth poet William Soutar wrote in English and in Scots, many of the poems forming a collection of Bairn Rhymes still used in schools today. In 2014 the Friends of William Soutar Society began a project which would record interviews with anyone who had met Soutar before he died in 1943 or others who had a close connection with the poet.


Some of the interviews discussed the Scots language. These clips demonstrate Gracie and Christine’s memories of the use of Scots while children and Ajay talks about the challenge of coming to Scotland as an adult and needing to learn the language. 


The whole archive of 43 interviews is on the William Soutar website and includes videos of people talking about being a child in WW2, Perth and Perthshire in the 1930s and 1940s, being a writer in residence based at the Soutar House in Perth.