Outlander 'could spark interest in Gaelic and Scots'

Voice coach believes show's broad appeal has fuelled interest in the languages.

Outlander: Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have been praised for their voice work (file pic). <strong>Outlander</strong>
Outlander: Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have been praised for their voice work (file pic). Outlander

Hit TV series Outlander could fuel interest in Gaelic and Scots, according to the show’s voice coach.

Carol Ann Crawford believes the programme’s broad appeal has introduced the languages to a wider audience both in Scotland and elsewhere around the world.

The dialect coach primarily spent the first season training the show’s actors to get their tongues around Gaelic, Old Scots and the type of English spoken in Britain the 1940s.

She said: “I feel a wonderful spin-off would be if it did spark interest in Gaelic and Scots, Old Scots.”

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“Those languages deserve to be heard. I think what is great is that Outlander reaches a very wide audience, so hopefully it’s reaching people who perhaps wouldn’t be likely to encounter Gaelic and Scots.

“We try not to be obscure but it’s great that we are using some of these older Scots words (in Outlander) because it’s only by using them that you keep them alive. What a loss it would be if those words were no longer alive.”

With the action moving to France in the second series, Ms Crawford had a very different kind of tutoring on her hands.

Speaking on set in central Scotland, she said: “Season two was very different for me. Because the action moves to Paris, to Versailles, we have quite a number of French cast on board.

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“My work with them has largely been about helping them with pronunciation, for those who are less familiar with the English.”

She added: “I have to say they are fantastically good, the French cast, and sometimes we have to try and persuade them to be a little more French.”

Ms Crawford said the show’s main leads Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe excelled at the language work.

“Cat is really astonishing and has required very little input from me,” she said.

“She’s just got it. She’s captured that 1940s speech where everything’s a little bit crisper. You can definitely tell that she’s from another world than the Highlanders, it’s got that period feel to it.

“Sam is fantastic to work with, an incredibly hard worker. He has embraced the Gaelic and loves the sound of it. He’s from Dumfries but what he’s done with his accent is just make it softer, a bit gentler.”

Series two of the show, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, will be available on Amazon Prime from Sunday.


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