Scottish English

Caoimhin O Donnaile caoimhin at
Thu Oct 20 12:04:46 CEST 2005

> standard gripe....
> from the material available from ISO 639, there's no way of telling for 
> sure whether "sco" ("Scots") refers to a language related to English or a 
> language related to Gaelic.
> In this case, there's a broad hint given by the existence of the tag "gla" 
> (Scottish Gaelic) that indicates it's probably English-related

The Ethnologue is very clear of course.

In Scotland itself, there would be no doubt at all that "Scots"
refers to the Germanic, English-related language and not to
Scottish Gaelic.  (Even though the name derives from the "Scotii", the
Gaelic-speaking tribe which first brought the Gaelic language to 
Scotland in about the 6th century!)

What adds to the confusion, though, that Scottish Gaelic is often 
referred to, especially outside Scotland, as "Scots Gaelic".
Historically, this is perfectly correct.  However these days
the adjective "Scots" is not productive and it is best to refer
to the Gaelic language in Scotland as "Scottish Gaelic" to avoid
confusion with the language "Scots".

> the judgment on whether a particular text or movie was to be tagged 
> en-gb-scottish or sco would definitely need some supporting 
> documentation on the difference...)

The line between en-gb-scottish and sco is so blurred these days
that it would take quite a lot of defining.


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