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Relationship with English

Events, however, soon led to a process of anglicisation which prevented the development of a standard form of Scots.

After the Scottish Reformation in c. 1560, Scotland began to look to Protestant England rather than to Catholic France. In the absence of a Scots translation of the Bible, an English one, the Geneva Bible, was used in churches, encouraging anglicisation.

With the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603, the court of James VI moved to London, removing much of the focus of literary and cultural life from Edinburgh.

With the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, anglicising influences were strengthened and English became the language of government and of polite society, though the vast majority of people continued to speak Scots.

The 18th century saw a development towards a standardised written form of English alongside the creation of deliberately 'polite' ways of speaking in both Scotland and England. Even with English emerging as the accepted official written language, it took until the 19th century for its written forms to be truly standardised.

Today Scots is a continuum from Scottish Standard English, which varies more from the English of England than most of its speakers realise, to the demotic speech of the cities and to rural dialects scarcely intelligible even to other Scots speakers.