Scotland

What does Scotland look like? What languages do they speak? And what can you do in Scotland? Read and find out!

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises to check your understanding.

Scotland is a country in Great Britain, to the north of England. Scotland has nearly 800 islands, but people only live on some of them.

Scotland is a very beautiful country with many mountains, forests, beaches, rivers and lochs (the Scots word for lakes). In the north of Scotland it is light until 11.30 p.m. in summer and in winter you can sometimes see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, which are spectacular lights in the sky. Energy from the sun turns the Earth’s sky green, red and other colours.

Scotland has its own parliament which makes laws for Scottish people. The Scottish parliament is in the capital city, Edinburgh. About five million people live in Scotland, which is 8.5 per cent of the UK population. Most people live in the south of the country in and around the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Dundee.

Language

There are three languages in Scotland. Most people speak English and Scots. Scots is spoken by young and old people in cities and rural areas and sometimes people mix Scots and English. Some words in Scots are the same as in English and some are different. Look at these sentences. Can you see the difference?

  • Scotland is ane o the fower kintras that maks the Unitit Kinrick. (Scots)
  • Scotland is one of the four countries that make the United Kingdom. (English)

A minority (around one percent of the Scottish population) speak Scottish Gaelic, an old Celtic language which is very different from English. For example, the Gaelic word for Scotland is ‘Alba’, ‘What is your name?’ is ‘Dè an t-ainm a tha ort?’ and ‘Goodbye’ is ‘Slàn leat’.

Music

At public and cultural events you can often hear traditional music and see traditional dancing. Pipers play music on bagpipes, a Celtic wind instrument with pipes and a bag. Pipers and dancers usually wear kilts. A kilt is a traditional skirt with a tartan design which is worn by men and women. Scots enjoy all types of music from folk to rock and pop, and festivals like the Edinburgh Festival or concerts like ‘T in the Park’ are very popular. Famous Scottish singers and groups include Paolo Nutini, Franz Ferdinand and The Fratellis.

Sport

The most popular sport in Scotland is football and famous teams include Celtic and Rangers, from Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. Another popular game, golf, was invented in Scotland in the Middle Ages. You can go skiing or snowboarding in winter at Scotland’s five mountain ski resorts and any time of the year at snowsports centres around the country. In rural, Gaelic-speaking regions people play shinty, a traditional sport similar to hockey that is played in Scotland and Ireland.

The famous Scottish Highland Games are a combination of culture and sport. Competitors do heavy sports like ‘caber tossing’, where they throw big tree trunks, and there is traditional Scottish music and dancing. Highland Games are celebrated all over the world. The first Highland Games in New York were in 1836, the most northern games are in Norway and the most southern ones are in New Zealand.

Food

When people think of Scottish food they often think of haggis, a type of sausage made from parts of a sheep. However, Scotland is also known for its variety of seafood such as lobster and oysters, fish such as salmon and trout, and beef.

Symbols

Blue is a colour which is often associated with Scotland. The Scottish flag is blue with a white X-shaped cross called the St Andrew’s cross. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and his day is celebrated on 30 November. On this day, everywhere you go in Scotland you will see tartan, kilts and bagpipes. Also, look out for the national animal, the unicorn, and the thistle, the purple flower of Scotland.

Discussion

Have you ever been to Scotland? Would you like to go?

Language level
Grammar
Average: 3.8 (8 votes)
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Comments

Submitted by Jacknu771 on Fri, 05/14/2021 - 07:24

I'd like to go to Scothland also because I wasn't gone there since today. The most beautiful place that I would like to visit are the northern islands, for example the Ebridean Islands. Loch Ness is the second place that I would like to visit.

Submitted by valevale on Fri, 05/14/2021 - 07:18

Scotland is a beautiful country, I would visit it and see the Aurora Borealis! :)

Submitted by Federica33 on Fri, 05/14/2021 - 07:18

Scotland has a beautiful landscape, it would be exciting to visit it and especially see the earth’s sky green! :)

Submitted by Arivelde on Wed, 05/12/2021 - 16:16

I've never been to Scotland. It seems a nice place to visit an also to live. With lots of diferent type of food and traditions.
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Submitted by Cfvdv on Mon, 05/03/2021 - 15:56

I have never been to Scotland. But of course I'd like to go to there, it's a very intresting and beatiful country!

Submitted by hermione123 on Tue, 02/09/2021 - 12:21

Oh, yes of course. Scotland sounds good. I didn't know that there is Scots language. Cool article, by the way :)
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Submitted by Andrii on Fri, 09/04/2020 - 15:02

I've never been to Scotland, but it's a nice country and I'd like to go there once.

Submitted by falleetto on Tue, 05/19/2020 - 16:13

No, I've never been to Scotland but one day I would like to go

Submitted by beasam0109 on Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:15

No, I've never been to Scotland but I think it is a beatifull country and in a few years I would like to visit it

Submitted by Desy on Wed, 04/15/2020 - 12:08

I have never been to Scotland but I know that it is a very beautiful and interesting country, then I like to visit many places and I hope to go soon.

Submitted by MatildePace on Wed, 04/15/2020 - 10:22

No, I have never been to Scotland. I would like to go to Scotland to visit the beautiful landscapes, castles and lakes including Loch Ness.

Submitted by gattifederica on Tue, 04/14/2020 - 15:33

Yes, I have. I went to Edinburgh for one week two years ago because my old school organized this study trip. We students stayed in nice host families and we only slept and had breakfast with them. I visited the city and some museums and I went to school in the morning to improve my English. I’d like to go back to Scotland to visit again Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Submitted by bea_mara on Mon, 04/13/2020 - 19:33

No, I never been to Scotland and yes, I would like to go.

Submitted by AnastasiiaS on Fri, 04/10/2020 - 15:20

Have you ever been to Scotland? Would you like to go? No,I have never been to Scotland, but I would like to go ,because I because I want to know more about their customs and how they spend their day. Scotland is one of the most interesting countries within the UK. Edinburgh is regarded as one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. I know that there are many historical sites in the cities and I would like to see them. I dream to visit this wonderful country.I hope ,one day my dream will come true.
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Submitted by empty on Mon, 07/08/2019 - 07:38

I've never been to Scotland . But I'd love to go . I know that Scotland is a beautiful country and I guess the people are friendly too .
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Submitted by Youjiro on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 14:26

I have never been to Scotland because My country is so far from Scotland.I understand Scotland have beautiful nature and breath taking lochs .I love loch ,I'd like to go there .I guess nature gives us opportunity that I can relieve stress .My country have a lot of beautiful nature I love that.I guess Scotland have same opportunity .
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Submitted by SLMT on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 08:37

I’ve never been to Scotland .If I get a chance ,I’d love to go there.Because Andy Murray is one of my favorite tennis players.He is Scottish. And one of my English teacher is Scottish too.He always talk how beautiful Scotland is.He said Scottish are very friendly and they always help others.The sensory is fantastic and nature is breath taking.He even invite students to his home in Scotland.That’s why I want to visit there one day.

Submitted by daisy (not verified) on Sat, 09/05/2015 - 17:17

that is amazing and useful . i never thought that in Scotland the sun sets at 11:30 PM WAW
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