THERE have long been those who think broad Scots is impenetrable gobbledygook.

And, for years, thanks to mobile phone auto-correcting our second most-spoken language, they might just have had a point.

Now, however, Scots speakers can text or tweet without their words being mangled thanks to a new app.

Scottish Language Dictionaries, the nation's main lexicographers, have joined forces with app maker SwiftKey to add Scots to their predictive keyboard for Android and iPhones.

"Being able to type in our own language stops auto-correct turning guid Scots into bad English," the dictionary maker said. "Scots won’t have to worry that typing 'an awfy blether' will end up 'awful belt her', or 'peely-wally' will get reshuffled to a 'perky wall' as they type.

SwiftKey is free and lets users work with multiple languages at the same time.

The Herald:

Anyone who downloads it can set it to use only Scots words, or words from both Scots and English.

That should make it easier for the majority of speakers who can use a Scots and an English term in the same text.

The keyboard uses words from the newly-published November 2017 edition of the Concise Scots Dictionary.

But it has also mined a a collection of texts in Scots and material from Andy Eagle's Online Scots Dictionary to get the vocabulary for the app.

Crucially, the new system allows different spellings for words, reflecting the reality that the many dialects of Scots have no standardised written forms.

So you can key in 'aw', 'aa' and 'a'' without being corrected.

The app also offers predictions based on the preceding words; for example, if you write 'ma', it will suggest 'mither', guid and faither, and if you type 'gie's', it will suggest 'peace'.

The app will teach itself with time, many more varieties of Scots - such as less spoken dialects in Orkney or Shetland - will become acceptable.

Dr Rhona Alcorn, chief executive, of Scottish Language Dictionaries, added: "Predictive keyboards go hand-in-hand with thriving languages, and it is really exciting to see Scots validated in a way that is particularly relevant for its speakers.

“We are delighted that smartphones will no longer make their users feel like they are using ‘wrong’ English when they are actually using good, living Scots words, all with a long history.”

The app, built with the help of dictionary IT expert Thomas Widmann, went live on Thursday evening.

The Herald:

Predictive Text disasters from Scots to English

1. Jings, Crivens Help Ma Boab

  • Kings Cribs End Help May Bob

2. Haud Yer Wheesht

  • Gays Year Wheelhouse

3. Dinna Fash Yersel

  • Finns Dash Persil

4. Aa the ganfers cam oot at grimlings (The ghosts come out at twilight)

  • As the ganders cam pot gremlins

5. A'm no lukkid at this beuks fer year, thir ferfil foosty (I haven't looked at these books for some years, they are awfully mouldy)

  • Am no lick kid at this Brum's fed Thor Fergus Footy