FRAE Stranrawer tae Weik, tourists in Scotland need never again be

baffled by the dialect of the indigenous populace when seeking

directions, with the publication this week of a map that gives place

names in Scots.

The cairte in the Scots leid (language) is the work of broadcaster and

writer Billy Kay and publisher David McCrossan. It is the first of a

series that will include regional maps, excluding the Gaelic-language

areas of the Western Isles and the west Highlands.

The map, which covers the whole of Scotland, has been aimed at

tourists as much as Scots language enthusiasts, and includes a guide in

French and German and a gazetteer which converts the Scots place names

into their more familiar Scots spellings.

On the new map, Anstruther in Fife is spelled Ainster, as it is

pronounced locally; around Glesca, Milngavie is Mulguy, Rutherglen is

Ruglen; and Jedburgh in the Borders is Jethart.

Mr Kay said yesterday that he expected the map to be controversial but

it attempted to have both ''academic credibility and the demotic power

of local speech''.

He said: ''Ninety percent of the time, the local pronunciation was

close to the historical spelling.''

The research for the map involved more than 30 local contacts around

the country as well as the work of the Scottish place names survey

undertaken by the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University.

In some cases, the map restores names that were changed on the whim of

the landowner so, for example, the anglicisation of Todhaugh in West

Lothian to Foxhall is reversed.