Low Scottish, or Scots as it is also called, is the dying language spoken by most people in the Scottish Lowlands from the late Middle Ages until the 20th century. Today there are few who speak it and all the more who speak English with a Scottish dialect, but there is still literature in the language.
The language also has its own Wikipedia, but now reports The Register that almost all articles – and there are over 57,000 such – are not written at all in Low Scottish but in English where words have been replaced by Low Scottish words here and there and without any thought of grammar.
A Reddit user has reviewed many articles and believes that the most active editor of the site has simply taken articles from English Wikipedia and either manually or automatically replaced words with a dictionary.
Apart from the fact that those who visit the site may be misled into believing that it is actually written in Low Scottish, this is a problem in our modern ai-driven world. Several language engines have been trained to recognize Low Scottish on these very pages, and have thus learned the wrong language. In addition to the fact that it may make more people doubt the status of Low Scots as a language of their own, it points to a general problem with how texts are selected to train ai.
Verdict has spoken with the author Matthew Fitt who, among other things, has translated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone into Low Scottish, who says that despite the problems sees something positive in the fact that someone who does not seem to be a Scotsman has spent so much time trying to improve the encyclopedia.