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Scottish Accent

 
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Robert Hsu



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 5:13 am    Post subject: Scottish Accent Reply with quote

I'm a Chinese English teacher, working at a company helping the employees with their English. They have different needs like making phone calls, writing emails in English ect. I can solve most of the problems, but one of them is killing me. Some of their engineers have conference calls with people from Scotland and the Scottish accent is driving them nuts. What shall I do to make them understand Scottish accent? Are there any tapes or books on it?
Can anybody out there tell me what to do?
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natastar



Joined: 14 Sep 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

BBC Radio Scotland online will give you a host of audio - you can do listening work with them.

There are loads of Scottish accents. West/East and North/South are the main splits but that's rough. A major feature, at least in the west, is the glottal stop. There are also different vowels in Scotland: get hold of a phonology book which will go through them. The l is different; Scots are rhotic; which and witch are pronounced differently, the h has a sound.

try this poem http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/l/lamentld.html

Scots is a separate language still forbidden in many schools. It is long-suffering - it's been on the way out for 300 years and has changed form extensively through contact with english. It has no standard written form, and the poem plays with the 'acceptableness' of standard english. Many constructions that would be 'wrong' in standard english are acceptable in scots - eg "I seen". I don't know what kind of accent or people you're talking about - perhaps those making conference calls are more likely to speak standard scottish english, in which case the phonology should do the trick.

Vocab-wise... not sure where to start. really will depend on social and geographical background of speaker. i don't mean to be rude, but i'm not sure where you yourself stand - can you understand the scots callers? (folks from the south of England and US often can't.)

try to get films, comedy, songs. Trainspotting is the most famous; Shallow Grave; (Braveheart isn't really scottish - needless to say, neither is mel gibson, and the history'll mostly wrong, but good for a laugh), Breaking the Waves is a fantastic film by Lars von Trier, Ratcatcher, Wicker Man, Morvern Callar, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Try to find a real Scot to come to your classroom - China'a a bit far for me just now I'm afraid!

Good luck!
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emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The international dialects of English archive:




http://www.ku.edu/~idea/europe/scotland/scotland.htm
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iainutron



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:57 am    Post subject: Scots accents Reply with quote

What are you having trouble with?
What kind of business are you speaking to?

Ask them not speak colloquially or in their local dialect!

Not sure if films would help. Nobody speaks like Miss Jean Brodie and trainspotting has really heavy accents.

As far as I know local dialects like Doric and "Auld" Scots are actively taught in schools as part of language lessons and in the north Gaelic is widely used (though most gaelic speakers actually live in Glasgow!)

Our accents are still evolving though. The raised inflection? from Australia and West coast america where every sentence seems to be a question is making an appearance in younger folk. Soap operas have a lot to answer for.

The BBC scotland news readers, especially the sports presenters would be a good average scots accent with no slang. or me!

For genuine scottish accents in media I would suggest
Taggart, cop drama (There's been a murdur!)
Chewin the fat, (comedy)
Still Game, (Glasgow comedy but easy accents)
River City, (theres a really strong Aberdeen one here!)
Balamory, Childrens TV but vocab. would be perfect!

I would volunteer as a real Scot, you could video conference with me!

Hope this is useful
Iain
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Robert Hsu



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
Thank you all for the information.

I'm working for an American electronics company called CTS.
My students can not understand Scottish accent well, especially on the phone.

I'm using MSN Messenger. Please add me(newsars@hotmail.com),if possible, so that we can talk more.

Regards
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CEJ



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't find Trainspotting all that difficult to understand.

However, it took more than a few rewinds to get through 'My Name is Joe', set in Glasgow. That would make good training.

I think the sort of Scots accent that emerges from university education--the sort you might hear on the BBC news (at least with a reporter, I guess they are still rather haughty about who gets to anchor) is as easy to follow as any 'educated'/neutralized native speaker accent I've heard used for the purpose. A sort of Scottish RP?
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