Their stars might be more Hollywood than the Highlands, and on occasions their attempts at a Scottish accent may well stray closer to Brigadoon than Buchan.

But two new films that tell the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce, along with global success story, Outlander, are said to be set to help dramatically revive the fortunes of the once dying Scots language.

Outlander, written by US novelist Diana Gabaldon and starring Irish actress Caitriona Balfe, is said to be “at the vanguard” of the renaissance of Scots as a language.

HeraldScotland: Outlander - Season 3- Episode 301.

And with two lavish film productions on the way – The Outlaw King is set to premier in Toronto next month, while Mary Queen of Scots is due to open in the UK in January – interest in embracing the mither tongue is expected to soar.

Ethnologist Dr Irene Watt, whose researches cover the ethnology and folklore of Scotland, said the future for Scots was "starting to look optimistic" partly as a result of popular culture like Outlander.

She added: “The past for Scots may have been bleak, but the present is improving and the future is starting to look optimistic.

“Outlander is part of the rehabilitation, putting Scots back on the lips of our ancestors where it belongs, in its central place in Scottish identity and heritage."

Outlander, now in its third series, has already been attributed to a remarkable tourism boom, with visitors from across the world descending on film locations associated with the series, which follows nurse Claire Randall as she time travels from the 1940s to Scotland of 1743.

Outlaw King, meanwhile, stars American actor Chris Pine in the leading role, while Mary Queen of Scots is played by Irish-American actor Saoirse Ronan.

Dr Watt, lecturer in Scottish culture at The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, said Outlander in particular was putting to an end the Scots tongue being "derided as backward.... forced out of education, media and business life".

She added: “Scots is beginning to feature in the media, with Outlander at the vanguard, and is backed by the Council of Europe charter on Minority Languages.

“The Scottish government has some initiatives in place for its promotion and teaching, although they are not particularly well funded.

"In wider Scottish cultural life ... Scots is reappearing in places it has been absent for generations. There suddenly exists a plethora of excellent books such as Harry Potter in Scots, The Gruffalo in Scots, the new Sanners Gow book of folktales.

"The language is finding itself back in favour in academia, with researchers studying Scots' effect on the brain and the National Library of Scotland appointing a 'Scots Scriever' to produce new work in the tongue.”

The use of Scots started to dilute after the Act of Union 1707, with English seen as the mark of the new Britain and the Scots tongue regarded as a “shibboleth” for Jacobitism, she added.

However, according to the 2011 census, Scots has 1.6m speakers in Scotland, making it one of the largest minority languages in Europe.

Scots expert Alistair Heather, who writes in Scots for The Herald and The National, said the revival of the language is already well underway, with Scots now included in teaching at undergraduate level at Aberdeen and Glasgow universities, while the Open University is building a module for Scots language distance learning.

“There has been a real cultural shift over the last few years,” he added. “Devolution has had a lot to do with it – if you have a parliament you want to have a recognisable identity. That cultural exploration from devolution and from the independence referendum, along with what has happened to Gaelic as a result of BBC Alba and the Gaelic Language Act 2005, had lots of Scots speakers asking where their language was going.

“North of the Tay you find Scots is far more common, with people speaking it all the time.”

Scots is now included in teaching in various undergraduate courses including teaching training and Scots literature, while the Open University is building a module for Scots language distance learning.

“From the 1920s onwards parents thought if children spoke Gaelic they would be thought of as wild highlanders," he added. "Perfectly nice people would think that if their kids spoke broad Scots they won’t get a job.

“But now that’s gone, there’s a new confidence and people are looking to share their identity.

“It’s similar to what we’ve seen with the Maori renaissance in New Zealand where in 1970 it almost died.

“As English becomes a global language it’s harder to express regional identity, and we need another language to keep our treasure trove of national attributes”.