If you are planning to move to the UK for work, visit or if you work with people from the UK then this guide to Scotland will be very useful. If you are learning English it can be very useful to understand a little more about how the UK is made up of different countries. This can be very important if you are going to be working with people from the UK.
Scotland is one of 4 countries that make up the parts of the United Kingdom. Unlike Northern Ireland, Scotland is part of the same island as England and Wales. It is well known for its mountains, forests, beaches and Lochs.
Scotland is north of the top of England. It is the very top part of the United Kingdom. Because it is so far north it often gets a lot of snow and you can even see the Northern Lights from some parts and has sunlight until 11:30pm in the summer. It can also rain a lot and be very cold!
Scotland has its own parliament which is in the capital city of Edinburgh. Around 5 million people live in Scotland which is around 8.5% of the total UK population. Glasgow is another famous Scottish city. Most people tend to live further South and the more mountainous and cold country is further north. This northern part of the country is called the Highlands.
A loch is a Scottish word for a large lake. There is a very famous Loch called Loch Ness where a famous monster called the Loch Ness Monster is said to live. Over many years there have been photographs of this monster but most are hard to see and the monster is considered a myth; it is often called Nessy!
Like other parts of the UK modern music is very popular but Scotland also has a very traditional type of music and a very famous instrument called the bagpipes. This instrument is made up of an airbag and a number of pipes. It creates a very unique and beautiful sound.
In Scotland there are actually 3 languages; English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic. Around 30% of the population are able to speak Scots but everyone in Scotland will understand and be able to speak English. Scots actually has a lot of words that are the same in English but it would be very hard to understand.
Football is very popular in Scotland. They have their own large football league called the Scottish Premier League. Huge matches are played between Celtic and Rangers and it is worth remembering some fans of these teams do not like each other. Scotland also hosts a more traditional collection of sports called the Highland Games. These events include dancing, music and games involving huge tree trunks being thrown.
Like other parts of the UK, the food is very similar but each part has some of its own traditional food types. Haggis is something eaten at certain celebrations in Scotland. It is a kind of round sausage made using a sheep stomach, oats and meat. Scotland is also famous for amazing seafood because of its rich coastline.
Scottish people are often very friendly but also very proud of their country. As the film Braveheart shows, the Scottish and English have not always got on well so be aware of that if talking to Scottish people.
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