Website asks 'do you speak Scots?'
A website has been launched to help people in Scotland work out whether they understand the Scots language to help them answer a census question.
The 2011 population survey will for the first time ask those living north of the border if they can understand, speak, read and/or write Scots, the collective name for Scottish dialects such as Glaswegian, Doric, Buchan, Dundonian, or Shetland.
The Aye Can website aims to help people decide if they can use the language and features examples of written and spoken Scots.
Visitors to the site, developed by the Scots Language Centre, can listen to recordings of people around the country speaking their local dialect.
Michael Hance, director of the Scots Language Centre, said: "Many people speak Scots every day but may not realise they are doing so, thinking that it is slang or even bad English.
"This website, which allows people to listen to recordings of Scots words and phrases and distinct regional pronunciations, should clear up any uncertainty and help people work out how to answer the Scots language question in the census."
Mr Hance said he was pleased the Scots question had been included in the census.
He added: "It's really the first stage towards official recognition and that's something we are very happy to welcome.
"This is the first time we will really know where the population is and that's as important as knowing how many speakers there are."
The question also asks about the same abilities in English and Gaelic.