THE campaign to recognise Scots as a language has been given a major boost after it was the focus of an article in one of the USA's biggest newspapers.

The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “What’s That the Scots Are Speaking on TikTok? It Might Not Be English“ in which it explains how Scots has soared in popularity online in recent years.

It’s given the debate around Scots a huge platform and campaigners have told The National what they think it means for the resurgence of Scots art.

Activists want an official Scots language act, similar to Gaelic legislation, which would promote the language and ensure its presence as an important aspect of Scotland’s culture.

READ MORE: This is why there's such a stigma around the Scots language

The 2011 census reported that more than 1.5 million people in Scotland spoke Scots. That’s nearly a third of the population.

Award-winning Scots singer Iona Fyfe said the coverage of the issue is a huge step for the campaign for an official Scots language act.

“The more legitimacy that huge newspapers like the Wall Street Journal gees tae the Scots language basically helps our push for the Scots language act,” she told The National.

“The fact that 35 out of 129 MSPs signed the Oor Vyce Pledge is telling that there is an appetite for a Scots language act.

The National: There are increasing calls for Scots to be treated on par with languages such as GaelicThere are increasing calls for Scots to be treated on par with languages such as Gaelic

“I think the Wall Street Journal covering a minority language is a huge step forward for having recognition of that language.”

She said there isn't as much of a revival in the numbers who speak Scots, but those who do are now given a massive international platform to share their culture.

She said: “Folk music, Scots language, Gaelic language, it ebbs and flows in this continuum, a living tradition. The fact we now consume Scots language and music in a different way is telling.

“Instead of reading auld fusty Burns books, kids are going on Twitter, they’re going on TikTok, they’re going on Instagram and they’re finding people that they can look up to like Len Pennie.

“I have a degree in Scots song. Years and years ago people had a degree in Scots song but they weren’t using social media like they are now.

“The mainstream audience is now seeing Scots as a legitimate living thing that is represented in chamber, in parliament and entertainment especially. We are seeing actors and actresses use it more.

"It’s always been in things like Rive City but only now are we realising that Scots is a formidable thing that represents us as a different nation.

“I do think the resurgence it’s making is not necessarily a comeback though because it never went away. It never got away we just didn’t have a means of outlet for it.”

Alistair Heather, a Scots broadcaster and advocate for the Scots language, agreed with Fyfe: “I think that the fact that the Wall Street Journal notices that it's happening is an indication that Scottish culture is much more prominent than it used to be.

READ MORE: Calls for a Scots language act as attacks on speakers increase

“Symbols of Scotland have always been known around the world. But these kinds of granular cultural distinctions and cultural discussions that are happening here, are being picked up on and are relevant to other places. I think that's quite interesting.

“If you remember five to 10 years ago when Scottish Twitter became a big thing and that was like really hot and then we saw Harry Potter in Scots getting published, selling tens of thousands of copies America.”

Heather said Scotland has seen a cultural revolution in light of the independence debate where Scots are starting to recognise the importance of their own culture.

The National: Alistair Heather said more literature is being produced in ScotsAlistair Heather said more literature is being produced in Scots

He said people haven’t spoken more or less of Scots languages and dialects but that many Scots are now being given a platform to share and appreciate their culture.

He continued: “There has been a really significant change in the way we feel about our language.

“And there's been a really significant revival in Scots publishing, you get lots more books in Scots now.

“And social media has forced Scottish people to decide how to write their own language because most Scots speakers can't read and write it fluently.

READ MORE: Scots language poet Len Pennie leaves Twitter after vile abuse

“It’s forced us to say ‘well if this is how I speak, how am I going to represent that?’ It was first in text with the likes of Facebook, football forums, Twitter, and now it is TikTok with video. It's so much more visible now.

“And because TikTok is informal, and Scots is often used as an informal register. It's natural that the Scots language would be way more visible or audible on there than on other social media platforms.

“So don't think that the Scots language revival is a significant shift in folk's speech, but there is a really significant change.

“There is a fundamental cultural shift in Scotland where we are now valuing our own culture more or recognising our own value more.”