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Oor Vyce is a campaign for the legal recognition of the Scots language.

Oor Vyce is a campaign fir the lawfu recogneetion o the Scots leid.

What is Scots?

Whit is Scots?

Scots is a language spoken and written everyday by people across Scotland. It has been acknowledged as a distinct minority language by the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and the Council of Europe under the European Charter For Minority Languages. The 2011 Census found that there was 1,541,693 people in Scotland that could speak Scots, equivalent to 30% of the population at the time.

Scots is a leid spoken an scrieved ilkaday by fowk aa ower Scotland. Scots is kent as a minority language by the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and the Cooncil o Europe (as pairt o the European Chairter For Minority Languages). The 2011 Census reportit that 1,541,693 fowk in Scotland cuid spik Scots—in ither wirds, aroon 30% o the hale Scottish population at the time.

Isn't it just English slang?

Jist English 'slang', or Scots in its ain richt?

The Scots and English languages have similarities and a shared history, both being part of the Germanic language family. Due to differences in influences on their development, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, they are recognised as distinct languages.

While they are distinct, the similarities can make them mutually intelligible to some, leading to confusion of Scots as slang. This is partly down to the way many learn Scots at the same time as English when growing up. In different situations of everyday life, people either use what's known as Broad Scots or Scottish Standard English separately, or mix some of both at once.

Wi baith bein pairt o the same Germanic leid faimly an haein a shared history as a result, Scots an English hae plinty in common; but the differences atween thaim in terms o their development, pronunciation, grammar, an wirds mean they're kent as distinct leids.

Files there's clear differences atween the twa tongues, their similarities can lead tae a degree o mutual intelligibility, garrin some fowk tae think on Scots as jist slang. Pairt o this is doon tae the wye maist spikkers learn Scots at the same time as English as bairns. As they ging throwe ilkaday life, fowk micht use whit's kent as Braid Scots in some situations an Scots Stannart English in ithers, or they micht spik wi the twa leids bein mixed thegither aa at aince.

Why should we care about Scots?

Whit wye shuid we be carin aboot Scots?

Scots is a language that is integrated within Scottish culture, is part of our identity, and is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Many folk have attachments to the Scots language from their childhoods and homes without even realising it. Scots has always had speakers at every level of society, from all backgrounds and from all walks of life.

It also has a rich and proud literary history. While Robert Burns might be the most well-known writer of Scots, he's just one of many from over the years. Fast forward to the present, and Scots is still a vital presence in contemporary Scottish literature, with writers such as Irvine Welsh, James Kelman, Liz Lochhead, Chris McQueer and many more using Scots to much acclaim.

While the 2011 Census found over a million Scots speakers, it also found that older generations were more likely to speak Scots meaning the language is in danger of dying out. As a minority language, talking and writing in Scots is subdued in place of Scottish Standard English. Scots is often treated as though it is a second class language, or a poor form of English, and, as such, Scots speakers can be discriminated against in the workplace, education and other settings.

Scots is a leid thit is integratit intae Scots cultur, is pairt o wir identity, an is whit maks oorsels different fae the rest o the warld. A wheen o fowk hae an attatchment tae the leid fae bairnheid an their hames wi'oot even kennin it. Scots has ayewis hid spikkers at aa livvels o society, fae aa backgruns an fae aa waaks o life.

It haes a rich an prood literary history. While Rabbie Burns micht be the maist weel-kent Scots screiver, he's jist ane o mony fae ower the years. Some twa-hunner year efter Burns' death, the Scots leid is still gaan strong in the acclaimed wark o the likes o Irvine Welsh, Liz Lochhead, James Kelman, Chris McQueer, an mony mair.

Aatho the 2011 Census reportit that mair than hauf a million fowk spik Scots, auler fowk were mair likely to cry thaimsels Scots spikkers than younger fowk: this means the leid is in danger o deein oot. As a marginalised leid, spikkin an screivin in Scots haes tae compete wi Scottish Stannart English, wi Scots aftimes bein treatit like the puir relation: a saicont-cless leid or a broken English. This means Scots spikkers can be discriminatit agin in the warld o wirk, in eeducation, and in ither settins.

Who are we?

Wha are we?

Oor Vyce a civic association of people with a personal or professional interest in the Scots language, including speakers, entertainers, makars, writers and academics. We've come together from different backgrounds, outlooks and parts of Scotland to campaign for the statutory recognition of the Scots language by the Scottish Parliament.

Oor Vyce is a ceevic associe o fowk wi a personal or professional interest in the Scots tongue. The group is formed o Scots spikkers, entertainers, poets, makars, scrievers an academics. We've brocht oorsels thegither fae aa the airts an pairts of Scotland tae campaign fir the statutory recogneetion o the Scots leid by the Scots Pairlament.

Members elect an Executive Committee for the campaign, the current committee members are:

Memmers elect a Executive Committee for the campaign, the present committee memmers are:

What are we campaigning for?

Whit are we campaignin for?

Once the language of court and parliament, of farmtouns and the fishertowns, of the mines and the shipyards, of the playground and the home, Scots and all its dialects are in decline in usage without equal protection alongside English, Gaelic and British Sign Language.

We want to increase the provision for, funding for, and the presence of the Scots language in Scotland’s culture and public life by:

With these actions together, we can ensure the Scots language's long history of usage continues into the 21st century and beyond.

Aince the leid o the coorts and Pairlament, o the fermtouns and fishertouns, o the mines an the shipyairds, o the playgrun an the hame, Scots an aa its dialects are in decline an will dee oot wioot equal protection alangside English, the Gàidhlig and the British Sign Language.

We're needin tae increase the provision and fundin fir Scots and pit forrit the presence o the Scots leid in Scotland's cultur and public life by:

Wi these actions thegither, we can mak siccar that Scots' lang history hauds forrit in the 21st century an ayont.

Multilingual countries aren't unusual!

Multilingual nations isna by-common!

Many countries in Europe and the world have minority languages. The Council of Europe has recognised the cultural value of these minority languages, and the need for their protection, through the European Charter of Minority Languages, which the United Kingdom ratified in 2001. This charter is the only international treaty in the world to protect minority languages and states obligations on countries to protect their minority languages that they have listed under the Charter. For Scotland, this includes Scots and Gaelic.

Other campaigns across Europe call for the protection and promotion of their languages. This includes Frisian, Breton, Corsican, Swabian and Kashubian and Welsh minority languages. We want to ensure Scots is afforded the same.

Maist kintras in Europe an the warld hae minority leids. The Cooncil o Europe haes recognised the cultural value o these minority leids, an the need fir thaim to be protectit throwe the European Chairter o Minority Languages that the UK ratified in 2001. This chairter is the first o its kyne in the warld in that it sets whit kintras hae tae dee for tae protect their minority leids listit aneth the Chairter. Fir Scotland, this includes the Scots and the Gàidhlig.

Ither campaigns athort Europe caa fir the protection an promotion o their leid. Amang these is Frisian, Breton, Corsican, Swabian, Kashubian and Welsh—aa o them minority leid in their respective kintras. We're wantin Scots tae be giein the same.

Join us to help preserve the Scots language!

Jyne us and help preserve the Scots leid!

Membership of the campaign is free and open to all individuals (aged 16 or over) and organisations who have a personal or professional interest in the Scots language.

Members can:

Campaign memmership is free and open tae aabody (aged 16 or abuin), and organisations that hae a personal or professional interest in the Scots leid.

Memmers can:

You can also join our mailing list to follow campaign developments and receive updates about opportunities to get involved.

Ye can also jyne oor mailin list tae follow campaign developments or get updates aboot opportunities tae get involved.



If you have any questions, you can email us using the link below.

Gin ye’ve got ony questions, ye can speir at us ower email usin the link ablo.

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