Scottish Cant or Scots Romani

Scottish Cant is spoken between Scottish Gypsy Traveller or Nacken people.

While there is a standardised strain of Cant, localised dialects mean there are multiple evolutions of the dialect. The language is almost entirely oral and differs between geographical locations or through family and social preferences. The language is constantly evolving. For Scottish Gypsy Travellers, Scottish Cant is often the first language for children, but will be accompanied by other languages used by parents.

Scottish Cant shares greater commonality with Rromanés than with Gaelic languages, revealing the lineage of Scottish Gypsy Travellers from Northern India, with Roma peoples. It is part of the phenomenon of Indic diaspora languages spoken by travelling communities of Indian origin outside India. There are different dialects of Scottish Cant and in Scotland alone, there can be differences in words commonly spoken across the country and differences in spelling between people.

Thank you to our friends who speak Scottish Cant for providing support with these translations.

How are you? Irr ye weel?
I'm good, thank you I’m barrie, parruka tute
What is your name? Sossi tiro nav?
My name is... Miro nav si...
Are you looking for a cup of tea? Irr ye deekin’ fur a tasseo’ char?
I'm dying for a drop of tea I’m moudin’ fur a toti wichin o’ char
One, two, three Yeck, dui, trin

If you are a teacher, take a look at our teaching resources.

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