View site in Scots

Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid


1st February 2011

On 27 January the Scots Language Centre visited the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, in Glasgow, as part of its continuing research into public attitudes and personal experiences of the Scots language. Students at the RSAMD who are studying for the Traditional Scottish Music Degree are required to take courses in the Scots language, which include the history, language, literature and traditional song. Two of the students, Robyn Stapleton (from Stranraer) and Grant McFarlane (from Paisley), took time out of their schedule to speak with Dauvit Horsbroch and Katrina MacLeod about their own experiences of the language. Both students come from family backgrounds in which Scots is, or had been, spoken, though they agreed that in their own lifetime the language was not a tongue that had been much encouraged in public life. They described briefly the language spoken in Paisley and Stranraer and, in particular, Grant McFarlane thought the Scots spoken in Paisley was still very strong. Both students had not previously known much about the background to Scots but agreed that taking Scots language courses had not only enhanced their understanding of traditional song, but had positively changed their perspective on the language. When asked about the forthcoming census question on Scots (27 March 2011) Robyn Stapeleton thought it would certainly be good to know where Scots was still spoken while Grant McFarlane saw it as an important part of the identity of Scottish culture. When asked to take a look at some texts in Scots both students read with great fluency. The SLC would like to thank Dr Josh Dickson, Head of Scottish Music, for kindly arranging our visit.