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A Quick Guide to Scottish Dialects

Mastering regional British accents and dialects provides both professional and personal benefit. Many language courses focus on Received Pronunciation (RP) English, also known as Standard English or BBC English. Learning English is the first step to understanding regional British accents, such as the local Glaswegian dialect or an Edinburgh accent.

Learn Scottish colloquialisms

When you are learning a new language in a classroom situation, everything can seem as though it is going faultlessly. You get to grips with your vocabulary. You learn the grammar. You listen to your teacher or voice recordings in perfect BBC English... and then you visit the UK, head to Scotland and realise that Scots regional English is very unlike anything you have probably heard during your lessons! This can be incredibly disheartening and lead students to think that the challenge cannot be overcome.

The first step is to really work on your English so that you have the vocabulary, grammar and overall language skills that you need to get you started. From this point, you can learn Scottish colloquialisms so that you can better understand your new Scottish friends and contacts. The second step is to choose a language instruction programme that recognises the need to learn British dialects and which includes specific examples of Scottish accents and dialects. For example, the Glaswegian dialect includes plenty of words which aren't found outside of the city region!

Scottish dialect

Exampels of Scottish dialect

If you want to learn English in a way that will set you up for success with Scottish, it is worth looking at modern methods of language instruction. Many courses ensure that your growing abilities include regional accent appreciation, and promote the learning of local and regional words as you develop your abilities with the rich and nuanced language of the British Isles.

Study foreign languages online

Most of us simply don't have time to attend evening classes or to read books. Summer schools are nice - if you have the time and money and aren't in a hurry to learn! Conversational practice is great if you have another suitably experienced speaker who is available when you are... and yes, there is content available online, but it tends to be community-curated, which means that it is of varied quality. Where it's free, you will also invariably be inundated with irritating adverts. A better approach can be to try a modern language app such as Babbel, which allows you to learn at your own pace from your phone, with Scottish accents, and no adverts ever!

Scottish accents

Features of the Babbel app

  • Courses devised by 150 language experts
  • Bite-size lessons built around real-world situations
  • Voice-recognition technology for instant learner feedback
  • Authentic accents that allow you to learn English across different regions

Learners wishing to study Scottish accents and local dialects will discover a plethora of information online. In just 15 minutes a day, Babbel students progress at rapid pace and thus interact with locals fast. Why not download the app to begin your first language lesson online for free?