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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Language of My Roots

They don't speak English in Scotland. And I'm not talking about Gaelic, the language of my ancestors. Once in danger of being exterminated, a Gaelic renaissance has slowed this trend, if not yet reversed it.

I'm talking about their normal everyday speech. I need an interpreter when I'm there. I can handle Edinburgh, where it's ever so 'refeened' but anywhere else, I'm lost. And oh my goodness in little Lower Burnmouth, with those accents, I just nod and smile and hope that's an appropriate response to whatever is being discussed. I sometimes think though, that they call me 'yon nodding nugget' behind my back.

Scottish Vernacular Dictionary

It's an interesting language, to be sure. To wit:

cuntybuggeryfucktoleybumshite : the ultimate Scottish swear word (yes, it's one word) - now how colourful is that!!!


Trueself said...

Oh dear, and here I've always thought I could travel there and have no problems understanding them. Ah well, I'm pretty good at that smile-and-nod thing myself so I'm sure I'd get along. And then they could laugh and poke fun at me after I leave.

Rhea said...

I went to a conference recently in Boston that attracted some participants from Ireland and Scotland. I thought one of the women from Scotland wasn't speaking English. She was impossible to understand. I don't know what region she was from.

Fiona said...

TS - stick with the smiling and nodding bit. You can get away with it coming from shores over yonder. As a Scots lass I'm sure they think I let the side down :)

Rhea - even when speaking English, the Scottish accent blurs all but the simplest of phrases! Thank you for visiting :)

Anonymous said...

You've just got to admire swearing like that, at least I do.

Sunny Delight said...

You have got to call me and give me the proper pronunciation! I love it......and if pronounced correctly....no one here in the states would have the slightest idea of what I really saying! *VBS*

Fiona said...

I do indeed Deb....tis an art form when done correctly ;)

Sunny - but, but, but I don't have a Scottish accent!!! I'd not do it justice. I sound kinda English mostly. Are those audio thingies still available on blogger? *L*

anna said...

I absolutely love the scottish accent and would love to visit Scotland one day soon and do some smiling and nodding as well.

LePhare said...

I have a friend who lives just outside of Glasgow When we used to meet on holiday, it used to take me three days to be able to understand what he was saying, and even then it sounded if every other word began with an 'F'....... which they probably did!

Fiona said...

Anna - I've got the nodding and smiling down pat. I may not understand much, but I'm nice to be around ;)

Ian - oh my god Glaswegian!! No doubt about the 'f' words....hahahaha they are something else those westies!!


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