Sean of the Dead wrote:Also, which dialect/dialects are the farthest from English?
Shetlandic (classed "Insular Scots") is what you'll be after. It's a mix between odd spoken Northern Scots and Norn influences (old Norse). Unlike English as it's the furthest away, even unlike Scots. It uses the 'ö' with the two dots above it and other characters.
But that had sadly been hammered but are trying to maintain. Very little online however. It is a small remote place. It's being done direct straight into the schools where it's needed. They have a local group doing that.
Click the song audio "Boannie Tammie Scolla" below for an example of this begin used. This is from a new CD to teach the young. http://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/1620
I am Scottish and understand only a few words. People might even think that it's Gaelic or something totally different but it comes under Scots, hence why Scots is rightfully recognised as it covers a number of things like this and not just the situation in 2009.
Pure bulk standard Scots can be unlike English too, just like the Shetlandic. There's as much from mainland Europe in the thing, such as Norse, German, Icelandic and others.
For example, the proper Fife dialect (east central) called 'succur' for sugar, 'bouler' for kettle, and 'chambra' for parlour - all from the French thanks to trade links. That's only a few examples. Now magnify, coupled with a very strong accent. Sadly these words doesn't occur now though.
Any of these modern dialects - you can increase by many times and you may get to where they could or should be. I think it will get there but after some decades and hard work. It's only now people like myself are realising this even exists.