The Accent and Vernacular

Yes, English is spoken in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but between the local expressions, heavy accents, and thick burr (trilling of the letter "r"), it can occasionally sound like a foreign language. Don't worry; at times even Scots from one region don't know what someone from another area is saying. The standard joke about England and Scotland is "two countries divided by a common language." Differences of Scottish English include: r's being rolled, "ch" taking a hard throaty sound, and the "g" often being dropped in words ending in "ing."

Braving the Burr

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In Glasgow, Glaswegians (which the residents are called) tend to be very friendly toward tourists. There's no need to feel intimidated by their heavy accents and colorful local expressions. Be patient and ask those you don't understand to repeat themselves or to slow down. And if someone says to you, "Hi, how ye dae'in?" Reply with, "I canna complain." You just may be mistaken for a local -- for a minute, anyway.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.