Thursday, 29 April 2010


Yesterday the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Census Order with a historic inclusion of a question for speakers of the Scots tongue.

The work of many members of the Cross Party Group for Scots over eight years has led to the trial and inclusion of this question on Scots in the Scottish Census, due in March 2011. Alongside English and Scottish Gaelic, Scots speakers will have a chance to answer tick boxes for Q 16 - which can you do? Understand, Speak, Read, Write, or none of these.

Scots, the tongue of Robert Burns, has dialects that span Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, Moray and all the way through Aberdeenshire and central Scotland to the Borders and far South West. Many Scots don't realise that's what they speak. Between now and the census next year a profile of the local versions of Scots tongue will have to be made very public. We look to the Registrar General to fund this information campaign.

The SNP welcomes this historic recognition for the Scots tongue by its place in the census. We hope all parties in the Parliament will help to get the question fully answered.

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