EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 17 (UPI) -- Scottish police officers will soon be given English lessons to avoid confusion when Britain gets a national police radio system.
That's because much of the Scots dialect would not be familiar south of Gretna Green, even when it sounds like English. A bobby from the Met -- that is an officer from London's Metropolitan Police -- would be unlikely to know that "jakey" means drunk.
The Scottish government expects to spend 25,000 pounds ($50,000) in language training -- not much, when the usefulness of the multi-million-pound Airwave radio system is at stake, The Scotsman reported.
The National Police Improvement Agency hired Edward Johnson, a linguistics expert at Cambridge University, to study the language barriers in an island with numerous regional dialects still extant.
Johnson, examining police talk around Britain, found 50 ways officers say "yes" -- ranging from the traditional Scots "aye" to the American "OK" and the modernistic "wilco." At least on the air, officers are being asked to abandon all but three forms of "yes" -- "received" for "I understand," "yes, yes" for "I agree" and "will do" for "will do."