A NEW University of Glasgow project will look at how Scots is used in the 21st century in different parts of the country.

Speak for Yersel, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will crowdsource the words, sounds and sentences used to provide an online record.

People will be able to log on at speakforyersel.ac.uk to tell the project team about the words, sounds and sentences they use via a series of anonymous interactive resources.

Professor Jennifer Smith, a professor of sociolinguistics based at the University’s School of Critical Studies, said: “Lots of people say ‘Oh I don’t speak Scots’. But just because you don’t sound like Robert Burns, doesn’t mean you’re not speaking Scots.

“We sometimes have an idea that Scots was something that was spoken centuries ago and now it has largely disappeared. But step out on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow or Union Street in Aberdeen and you’ll hear people sounding distinctly Scottish.

“We know intuitively that people across Scotland sound very different, so here we want to capture those differences, providing a record of how Scots is spoken in the 21st century.”

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Scots comes in many different colours - the Scots spoken in Aberdeen is very different to that spoken in Glasgow, but it is all Scots. Speak for Yersel project is not interested in how Scots should be, but what it actually is today.

Mary Robinson, research assistant on the Speak for Yersel project, said: “Scots is not just a subject you learn in school: it’s a living language that’s spoken by millions of people in Scotland, whether or not they realise it.

“There is no wrong way to speak Scots. These surveys aren’t a test to determine if you’re a ‘real’ Scots speaker or not, or if your speech is ‘Scots enough’ or not. Instead, it recognises that there are as many valid ways to speak Scots are there are Scots speakers.”

Bruce Eunson, Scots language co-ordinator for Education Scotland, said: “It’s been fantastic working with the University of Glasgow on this new Scots language resource. Digital resources such as ‘Speak for Yersel’ are invaluable for both modern education settings, as well as for promoting use of Scots language in education.”