Mutual Intelligibility between English and Scots

Frisian is often cited as the language that is closest to English, but Scots is actually closer (i.e. has a higher degree of mutual intelligibility with English). Not Scottish English, which is a variety of English, or Scottish Gaelic, which is actually a Celtic rather than a Germanic language, but Lowland Scots.

ScotsLanguageMap

Map of the areas where the Scots language is spoken.

There are just over 100,000 native speakers and it is classified as a traditional language by the Scottish government and a regional or minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Here is a lecture in Scots about the history of the Scots language. How much can you understand?

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  • http://blog.fluenthistorian.com/ Natalie

    Very cool! I love mutual intelligibility between languages (it’s like you get two languages for the price of one, you know?). I understood quite a bit of that lecture, which was really nice. If you hadn’t said anything, I would have thought it was just in heavily-accented English.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Isn’t it weird how you seem to understand everything he’s saying and then all of the sudden, you understand nothing? I love it!

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cz.prialabs.dictionary&hl=cs Jason

    And that is the thing any dictionary cannot help with :-)

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cz.prialabs.dictionary&hl=cs

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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