Concise Dictionary of Scottish Words and Phrases Review

Concise Dictionary of Scottish Words and Phrases
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Concise Dictionary of Scottish Words and Phrases ReviewThis little book was given to me by a blogger friend from Scotland who shares my love of words and language. Though reading is not exactly like being in Scotland, it sure does give you a feel for its mood and texture. The mood of the language, to my surprise,is far from the dour and conservative one I expected. The language is full of joyful, playful, and clever expressions. The author has compiled hundreds of words and phrases with brief definitions and examples of how they are used in everyday Scottish speech. She also provides a good deal of etymological detail, and it was surprising to learn how many languages have contributed to the Scottish vocabulary. Her many citations from Burns were an added treat! It's the perfect book for a train ride, a picnic, or a day at the beach.Concise Dictionary of Scottish Words and Phrases OverviewFew people who are either native speakers of English or who have learnt English as a foreign or second language visit Scotland with any expectations of experiencing language difficulties. For the most part, their confidence is justified, provided at least they stick to the traditional tourist places and pursuits. The most difficulty they are likely to experience is with regional variations in accent and pronunciation, and that variation is true of many countries. Discerning tourists may have some awareness of the fact the Highlands of Scotland have a language of their own, Gaelic, that is completely different from English. However, if they think about the language of lowland Scotland at all, they probably assume that this is more or less English with, perhaps, a few dialectal differences. In this they are quite wrong. Historically, Scots is not just a dialect of English. It is a separate language, being rather a cousin of English rather than an offshoot, both languages having their roots in Anglo-Saxon. The Scots language became different in several ways from English, having, for example, noticeable vocabulary differences. For example, it was subject to linguistic influences from other languages, such as French, which did not affect English. Scots, however, gradually lost ground to the language of Scotland's more powerful neighbour. This gradual process of anglicization led to Scots being replaced by English as the official language of Scotland. The English language then represented, as it were, the public voice of Scotland, and, as such, also became the chief literary language of Scotland.--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

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