Ughhh, it’s happened again. My early morning Radio 4 slumber disturbed. Yet again, an international spokesperson referred to the whole UK-wide population, as da da da…
FYI the correct term is:
Why does it matter anyway?I’m sure that you know that the UK is made up of 4 different nations: Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Of course we have many cultural similarities and political ties, but each nation does have cultural differences that we are proud of. Individual identities matter (to us) because a large part of the history of our ‘united’ nations is the struggle to keep them.Did you know it was illegal to speak Gaelic in Scotland from 1616? Less than 100 years ago children were still beaten into speaking English at school.Gaelic was banned as it was the language of conspiracy – of plots again the Crown: over centuries it’s spoken traditions were broken apart as thousands of Gaelic speakers were exiled all over the world: families forever divided.It’s not known how many highlanders emigrated (voluntarily or otherwise) at this time but estimates put it at about 70,000. Whatever the exact figure, it changed the character and culture of the Scottish Highlands forever.English became the dominant language of Scotland, with ‘dominance’ a loaded term.“Ah but you’re taking it all awayThe music, the tongue and the old refrainsYou’re coming here to playBut you’re pulling the roots from a dying age”
OK so far, but surely politically, ‘British’ and ‘English’ mean the same thing?
Oh no! I said ‘English’ not ‘British’ to describe people from the UK: How bad a language error is it?
So is this “the big mistake” you mention?
But, what about the regional accents? I don’t want to learn Scottish!
Your English Language Challenge
We hope you’ve enjoyed our introduction to choosing an English language learning holiday in the UK. We cover a broad range of topics in our blogs – some a lighthearted look at Scotland, others an in-depth look at art and culture. There’s something for everyone.
If you’ve liked this blog, you might want to read our funny article on how to make the most of a trip to Scotland here.
Your Blue Noun English Language Challenge is:
Use the comment section below to tell us about: an aspect of your countries culture that you love.
Write as much as you like, and if you would like us to check & correct your English, write CP (correct please) at the end.
Live language learning!
“tell us about an aspect of your countries culture that you love.”
Our small teaching team coach you in a mini-group (maximum 4 learners) in the mornings and take you on a schedule of tours, introductions, guest presentations and complementary activities each afternoon: we also have social events in the evening. It’s all designed to be both an introduction to Scottish and British culture and a fun, creative way to pick up and practice English language skills.