Scottish Accent Tips: Hollywood Dialect Coaches Give You Their Favorites

Welcome to our first in a series of posts designed to help jump-start your accent mastery process. First up: favorite Scottish accent tips from DCW registered dialect coaches Jack Wallace, Eliza Simpson, Chris Lang and founder Pamela Vanderway! 

Jack Wallace : For a small country, Scotland has a rich history and that is apparent in its three main accent categories: Edinburgh and the east coast; Glasgow and the west coast; and the Highlands.

Below are a few examples for you to listen to for the differences:

Edinburgh and the East CoastEwan McGregor (from Perth, Scotland)

Glasgow and the West CoastKatie Leung (from Motherwell, Scotland) 

Scottish Highlands - Karen Gillan (from Inverness, Scotland) 

Next time you are asked for a "Scottish" accent make sure to choose the most appropriate one!

Eliza Simpson: One of the first things to master when learning a Scottish accent is the tapped /r/. I've got a youtube tutorial right here. Boom.

Pamela Vanderway: One thing I find helpful when learning an accent is to choose local words and phrases that catch my fancy and then use them aloud in accent as often as possible with as much true intention as possible. The goal here is to not only get the sounds of the accent accurate, but also to really USE these words as communication.  

Here are a few of my faves from Scotland: 

'Pure dead brilliant' as in ‘This new iPhone app is pure dead brilliant.’

'Yer aff yer heid' (You're crazy) ‘ as in ‘Yer off yer heid if yer thinkin’ I’ll be giving you a car at Christmas.’

'Haud yer wheesht' (Be quiet! ) as in ‘Haud yer wheesht! I canna hear myself think!’

 'Peely wally' (looking unwell / pale) as in ‘Have you seen Angus? He’s lookin’ a bit peely wally.”

Chris Lang:   When you are looking to master any accent, it can be really helpful to immerse yourself in the culture and sounds of the accent… but if you’re like me, traveling to Scotland on short notice to do this kind of thing isn’t always possible!  So, the next best thing is to immerse yourself at home!  These TV shows and films have lots of great examples of Scottish people speaking in their own, native Scottish Accents!!

1)      Shetland (2013)

2)      Outlander (2014)

3)      Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown (1997)

4)      Trainspotting (1996)

Also, check out the Scottish Accents board on Pinterest when you are researching authentic accent models. Selecting a video or audio clip of an accent model who has the accent you are targeting is the best way to ensure that your dialect coach will be teaching you the version of the accent you want to master. 

For more tips on learning accents, follow us on Twitter! 
@dialectcoaches (
@dialect411 (Pamela Vanderway)
@accentsnow (Eliza Simpson)
@accentcoachjack (Jack Wallace)
@dialectcoachCL (Chris Lang)