Document 1815

Scots Tung Wittins 164

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 164
July 2007

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid, hert an mooth!!

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

A Puckle Thochts Efter The Election
"....unionist pairties in Scotland maks a shaw o giein
mealy-moothit uphaud tae Scots..."
Efter aw the election stour haes dee'd doon, it's gey interestin tae see the differences atween the wey that the Scots language is hauden in Scotland an the wey that the Ulster Scots language is hauden in Northern Ireland. Tae stert wi, there nae compare atween the siller gien tae Ulster Scots an the insultin haundfu o baw-bees that's gien tae the Scots language in its ain mither country.

In NI a growein Irish Gaelic language is seen bi the unionists as somethin that's gaun tae mak the province seem less British an syne weaken its cleeks wi the UK. In the same wey, a growein Ulster Scots language is seen bi unionists as makin the province seem mair British, as lang's Scotland is a pairt o the UK, an syne this souders the province's cleeks wi the UK.

It's agin this backgrund that there talk noo o the unionist hauf o the government yaisin a veto agin the proponed Irish Language Act unless the same staundin is gien tae Ulster Scots as weel or at least a sicht mair nor it gets the noo.

A body wad think frae aw this that it wad gar the Scottish estaiblishment tae gie a sicht mair uphaud tae the Scots language in Scotland but it disnae aye wark this wey.

Richtly or wrangly, Gaelic in Scotland isnae seen as ony threat tae the union but a growein yuiss o the Scots language is seen bi some fowk as makin fowk feel mair awaur o thair Scottishness an less awaur o thair Britishness an syne a threat tae the union itsel. Thae fowk maun hae missed the fack that Gaelic speakers is like tae feel mair Scottish an aw or if no mair Scottish then at least mair Celtic an less Anglo-Saxon British.

Aw the unionist pairties in Scotland maks a shaw o giein mealy-moothit uphaud tae Scots but they aw mak siccar that naethin o a practical meisure is duin an siller is hauden doon tae whit they can get awa wi.

Scottish uphauders o unionism in NI, for aw that they uphaud the Ulster Scots, are that agin Scottish independence that they tak a similar line as the ither Scottish unionists whaur the Scots language is concairned.

There nae doot that some o the estaiblishment is feart that a growein yuiss o the Scots language micht be a threat tae the staundin o the English language itsel in Scotland but this is the kinna thocht that only growes in mono-lingual heids, the heids o fowk that speaks juist the ae language. They cannae accep the fack that, ower aw the yird, its mair natural for fowk tae be bi-lingual or multi-lingual. The monolingual English speaker is a modern airtificial creation wrocht for nairra nebbit political raisons an ane that Europeans an the lave o the warld luiks doon on.

If we gaun back in time tae the wars o independence, Wallace an Bruce atween thaim cuid maister at the verra least Scots, Gaelic, Latin an Norman French an aiblins a sicht mair. Sae whit wey can the estaiblishment noo-a-days no see the possibeility o a nation that's bi-lingual in Scots/English or Gaelic/English an e'en some fowk bein tri-lingual in Scots/Gaelic/English?

The difference atween a bi-lingual view o the warld an a mono-lingual ane can be taen tae be like the difference atween stereo soond an mono soond. There nae compare atween the quality o the experience. But no juist that. York University in Toronto, Canada haes discovert that the oncome o symptoms o senility in auld age averaged oot at 71.4 year auld in mono-lingual fowk agin 75.5 year auld for thaim that's bilingual. It can be jaloused frae this that thae hinnermaist exemplars indicatit that bilinguals shawed symptoms o dementia an loss o cognitive functionin fower year later nor monolinguals did.

CPG on the Scots Leid 2007
THE first forgaitherin o the Cross Pairty Group on Scots syne the election an the kythin o the Scots Pairlament's third Scottish Executive, taen place on Tuesday 19 Juin in the pairlament biggin at Holyrood. The forgaitherin wis weel tendit wi a wheen o weel kent auld faces an a haundfu o new anes an aw. Gin aw the apologists haed tendit as weel there wad hiv been a sair want o sates an some wad hiv haed tae staund.

Ae wey that this forgaitherin wis different frae bygane anes wis the walcome nummer o fowk that makit a richt maucht tae speak Scots insteid o English tae the flair, an guid Scots it wis tae. It wis guid tae see an hear hou mony fowk haed gotten a grip on thair creenge an the anes that hidnae wis in a sindry minority.

Efter aw the political chynges syne the election the souch o the forgaitherin wis a sicht mair optimistic for the weird o the Scots language tho it wis speirt bi some tae caw cannie in the licht o the minority nature o the praisent executive's pouer.

Syne the SNP manifesto threapit tae forder an increased awaurness o Scots an Scots literature includin haein a quaisten on Scots in the Census an makin siccar that aw the requirements in Pairt II o the ECRML is cairriet oot alang wi giein an eydent lift tae the yuiss o Scots in education, braidcastin an the airts, the CPG proponed tae speir a forgaitherin wi Linda Fabiani MSP, Minister for Europe, External Affeirs an Culture an anither ane wi Maureen Watt MSP, Minister for Schuils an Skills tae see whit can an cannae be duin.

Maitters tae be speirt aboot wad include, a Curriculum for Excellence, the cairryin oot o aw the requirements o Pairt II o the ECRML an its Comatee o Experts, re-writin o the noo deid National Languages Strategy tae include Scots, the Census an the settin up o a report on the Scots language alang the lines o the Macpherson Report for Gaelic. It wis pyntit oot that the timescale for sic a report comin oot wad be gey important for it wad be nae yuiss if it didnae come oot till near the hinnerend o this pairlament leavin nae time at aw tae get onythin positive duin for the Scots language afore the neist election.

An AGM wis proponed for Tuesday 11t September 2007 whaur it wis howped the CPG wad be pitten on tae a mair formal staundin wi the proper election o its office beirers.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsite at:-
A hard copy o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September. €9 (Ireland/EU)

Henry Adam's "E Polish Quine"
A review bi Irene Broon (Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image of the poster advertising the play titled 'E Polish Quine' in original]
THE lane soonds o The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie dwined an the clankin noise o screamin train wagons taen its place. This wis shawn on the stage bi wey o screened silhouettes. The time is 1946 an Davie Gordon is juist back frae the war tae his faimly's NE ferm. He's been tae the University but gied up his buiks tae be a sodger. He noo haed tae mak the chyce o whuther tae gaun back tae his buiks or tae gie his auld faither a haund wi the ploo. Davie haed seen things raicently that his gentle faither, Alex, wheedelt oot o him bi awnin tae some o his ain pain. As a laddie, Davie haed thocht the ferm wis the hail warld. Noo the warld haed chynged an Davie haed chynged. The kythin o a Polish faimly that gets the lease o a nearhaund ferm aheid o Davie's sister Kate an her man gars ill-feelin amang the locals that shaws itsel in attemptit rape an wickit blethers.

'E Polish Quine wis screivit bi Henry Adam an praisentit bi the Dogstar Theatre Company. Adam's play taks a clair ee'ed keek at human naitur. The Polish Anna micht be an incomer an a weedae afore her time but she is strang an no feart tae speak her mind. She is nae caricatured as ony victim. Davie's haurd hertit mither, the ironically named Mercy, wis played siccarly bi Anne Kidd. She's a haurd warkin, God fearin wumman that rins her hame an her faimly as strict-like as ony camp commandant. She haes a horror o her or ony o hers bein the 'spik o the country'.Davie dales wi his doonhauden demons bi seekin his ain company but finds easement wi Anna. Mindin hou it gart him grue at seein slauchter wi his faither as a bairn an bein telt they war 'only sheep', aw cam back tae him whan he seen the horrors o the Nazi camps in the hinnermaist week o the war. Anna's consait that the Poles that wis taen awa bi the Nazis wis 'only Jews' cured him o his ain auld consaits in the short tairm but his pal Tim, a son o the manse that becam a preacher o Communism, said that wis 'ignorance – nae evil'. Alex, Davie's faither, never traivelt muckle in his time, no gaun ony faurer nor the nearest toun juist tae fund oot he didnae care ower muckle for it! Davie descrived his fellae ferm fowk as 'simple people…fenced off like cattle'. That micht hiv been true but his faither wis wyce eneuch tae ken that it 'taks time for the earth tae get in till ye and ye tae get in till the earth.' Anna an her faimly wis physically displaced but the experiences o war haed makit Davie psychologically displaced. For aw that Anna wis the obvious Polish Quine, it wis the 'straw girl' that Davie helped tae nurture efter the war efter he'd fund her left for deid in the camp durin the hinnermaist week that wis the real ane. In spite o the daith o his faither tae-warts the hinnerend o the play, it ends on the positive forrit lookin note o 'a new ploo' an a 'fresh field'

Aw the wey throu the play, NE Scots is spoken bi aw the characters, excep for Anna that offers at ae pynt tae learn Davie English! No aw the cast comes frae the NE but thair accents wis richt convincin sae thair abeility tae adapt thair ain accents is weel wordy o praise, as daes the skill o the vyce an dialeck coach, Alex Gillon. The program fendit a sma vocabular, but on the nicht I seen the play, the audience haed nae bother follaein whit wis bein said.

The play's tour dates wis 16 May tae 23 Juin 2007.

Dogstar's neist production, The Tailor of Inverness is scheduled tae stravaig Scotland in 2008. Accordin tae the program, it can be seen as a neibour piece tae 'E Polish Quine. For information aboot the company, gaun tae
In raicent years, Dogstar haes stertit tae estaiblish itsel as a leadin producer o new plays in Scotland. Aiblins its success reflecks the growein prominence o the Hielans athin Scotland an a wheen o thair wark haes gien a vyce tae aspects o history, politics an culture frae a Hielan consait. There somethin awfu warmin aboot seein the box office for the Strathpeffer shaw bein June's Card Shop, Dingwall!
© Irene Broon

The portrait in the flyer wis drawn bi an Auschwitz - Birkenau inmate o a fellae prisoner, Mally Zimetbaum. The airtist, Zofia Stepien-Bator is still aye livin the day an bides in Krakow.

[NOTE: a photograph of Auschwitz - Birkenau Concentration Camp in original]
Auschwitz - Birkenau Concentration Camp

National Languages Strategy
WHAN the ECRML's Comatee o Experts gied the lest Scots Executive a 'FAIL' merk for its answers tae the quaistions they'd speirt anent hou they haed cairriet oot the requirements o Pairt II o the Chairter for the Scots language, the Executive's defence wis that aw thae pynts wad be taen care o in the National Languages Strategy they war fetchin oot. Weel the draft NLS wis brocht oot in the ware o this year an haed nocht tae say aboot Scots apairt frae a puckle lines taen frae the Scots Language Factsheet pitten oot bi Michael Forsyth's Scottish Office aroond 1995. This haed been chucked back tae the Executive bi the CoE areddies.

Syne this draft NLS wisnae passed bi the pairlament afore the election, it can noo be taen tae be deid an that means that the CoE is still aye waitin for an honest answer tae the quaistions it speirt. The new Scots Executive haes threapit in its election manifesto that it wad cairry oot aw the requirements they're behauden tae unner Pairt II o the Chairter sae, nae doot, the Comatee o Experts will be champin at the bit tae get a written copy o aw the missin answers tae thair previous speirins. This shuid include a copy o a new National Languages Strategy that gies the Scots language the same meisure o uphaud as is gien tae baith Gaelic an English an ane that gies the Scots language the meisure o respeck an staundin it deserves as ane o the twa hamelt Scottish languages. An NLS that disnae include a positive an practical ettle tae hain an forder the Scots language haes nae richt itsel tae a place in the Scotland o the 21st century.

Makar's Neuk

Nae man wha loves the lawland tongue
But warstles wi the thocht -
There are mair sangs that bide unsung
Nor aw that hae been wrocht.

Ablow the wastery o the years
The thorter o himsel,
Deep buried in his bluid he hears
A music that is leal.

An wi this lealness gangs his ain;
And there's nae ither gait
Though aw his feres were fremmit men,
Wha cry: Owre late, owre late.

William Soutar (1898 - 1943)

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Information about Document 1815

Scots Tung Wittins 164


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2436
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2007
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood