A Scots speaker? Find out on new site

DO YOU speak Scots? Well now you can find out.

A new website, entitled Aye Can, has been launched to tell people whether or not their dialect is Scots.

It was created to help answer a set of questions about the Scots language in the 2011 Census.

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Although questions about Gaelic have been part of the Census for the last century, this is the first time questions about Scots have been included.

The results will determine how many people in the country speak Scots.

"We're trying to raise people's awareness of the questions in the Census and what they mean," said Michael Hance, director of the Scots Language Resource Centre, who helped formulate the Census questions.

"Our theory has always been that when you talk about Scots people generally struggle to understand what you're talking about, but if you hear the language you instantly recognise what it is and it gives a name to something that is often around us but we don't know how to describe."

Questions posed on the site include "do people in Glasgow speak Scots?" and "is the Doric of north-east Scotland part of Scots?" - the answer to both of which is yes.

The questions also aim to clarify some of the regional differences in Scots and reassure speakers that even if they don't know all the words used, it still means they speak Scots.

Rob Gibson MSP said: "The Census will ask the basic questions of whether people speak, read, write and understand the language.

"In Caithness for example, people are aware they speak in a Caithness dialect, but this will help them understand that they also speak a dialect of Scots."

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He added: "We need to have a fundamental understanding of people who feel they speak Scots, and this will help in a huge way. It's a basic tool that we can then apply to education and in all sorts of ways."

The 2011 Census is due to take place on 27 March.