As of 2005, there is a Scots Wikipedia
. This is odd, because Scots is one of those tongues that is so similar to its mother language, English in this case, that linguists cannot agree on whether it is its own language at all or merely a dialect. Ideally we'd want Wikipedias in all sorts of languages so people from all over the world could use them, but would a native Scots speaker really have that much trouble reading the English Wikipedia
? I mean...I can't even fake Scots, but the Scots Wikipedia is perfectly comprehensible to me. Then again, we do have Wikipedias in Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Interlingua, and Klingon, so perhaps accessibility isn't the consensus objective here.
Forgive me if this viewpoint is a little Anglo-centric--I obviously have not a drop of English blood in me, though, like many of you, I spent much of childhood spent reading fantasy stories intended to resonate with the experiences of an early 20th century British upper-class child, with all the racist biases inherent therein--but there's something about the flavor of the language that makes the Scots Wikipedia incredibly endearing. It's hard to read the article on Harry Potter
, dry and encyclopedic as its tone may be, without imagining the soothing, somnolescent babble of a gentle Scottish grandmother. Even the article on water
, whose scientific tone I assume is trying to give a traditionally colloquial language some scholarly credibility, sounds remarkably pleasant. (Cloods! Shapit o solit an liquid watter pairticles suspendit in the lift! Ae molecule o watter haes twa hydrogen atoms covalently bondit tae the ae oxygen atom!)
And then there's the articles on Cheenae
and the Fowkrepublic o Cheenae
--for some reason, the language makes me feel more relaxed and at home than the subject matter. Just look at how the China article begins: "Cheenae is a muckle kintra in Asia. Syne the Cheenae Ceevil War, Cheenae haes been splitten intae the lsirger Communist Fowkrepublic o Cheenae (on the Cheenae mainlaund) an the smawer Republic o Cheenae on the island o Taiwan. Cheenae is ane o the maist auncient naitions in the warld, wi a heestory guan back five thoosand year..."
Wow. I am spellbound
And none of these articles, in inadvertent down-home folksiness, comes even close to the article on Jesus Christ
. The Scots Wikipedia, like the English Wikipedia, is bound by NPOV and strives to maintain an encyclopedic tone, but even so, there's something so friendly and colloquial about the account of Jesus's life--like hearing one of his best buddies narrate it to you down at the pub. Add some gentle bagpipe music, a couple fiddles, and a stirringly proud male voice, and aye, you can almost imagine Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount in a kilt.
God bless W.L. Lorimer and his beautiful Scots translation of the New Testament.
"It isna the haill an fere hes need o the doctor, but the síck an dwinin...I haena come tae invíte the weill-lívin, but outlans an ill-daers. (Matthew 9: 12-13)