Gaelic, Scots, and Outlander: Speaking Scotland

If you, a speaker of English, found yourself unexpectedly dropped back into the Highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, as protagonist Claire Randall does in the Outlander books and television series, one of the things you’d notice right away is that people would be speaking a language strange to you. Then there would be times, especially if you traveled further south and east in Scotland, when people would be speaking something that seemed to have a few words in it you recognized from English along with a lot you did not, and was a different language from the first one. The people in the Highlands were speaking Scottish Gaelic, and the people further to the south were speaking Scots.

While English is the first language for the majority of people in Scotland today, Gaelic and Scots still live on, despite both of them having been somewhat battered by social and political change and losing native speakers to emigration through the course of history.

 

 

 

 

Gaelic -- which is said in Scotland with a short