Document 1821

Scots Tung Wittins 170

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 170
Jan 2008

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 Guid New Year Tae Ane An Aw
An Walcome Tae 2008

A Year o Chynge For The Scots Language?
THE ootgaun auld year stertit oot wi sic guid promise. The Mey elections seen an incomin new Scottish Government an, for aw that it wis juist a minority ane, it wis nane the less a nationalist ane for a chynge insteid o aw thae unionist anes that fowk haes gotten yaised tae an scunnert bi ower the years. Ay, noo Scotland haed a government that wad pit Scotland an aw things Scottish first an fowk aw jaloused this wad include the sairiously endangered Scots language an aw. It wis sic a guid thocht tae hing on tae while it lestit.

It wis sic a dissie for the Scots language whan the Scottish Government brocht oot its National Conversation wabsite in August wi the text owerset intae eicht minority languages includin Gaelic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi an Urdu but excludin the vernacular Scots language. A Scots owersettin wis brocht oot richt awa bi Colin Wilson o Aiberdeen an he raxed it on tae Linda Fabiani MSP thon same month but nae meaninfu repone wis gien oot bi the meinister or her office.

At the time o writin, the Scots language, for aw that it's the biggest spoken language in the UK efter English, finds itsel the only ane tae be singelt oot for this kinna linguistic discrimination bi the Scottish Government an still hisnae been gien its richtfu place on the National Conversation wabsite.

Maureen Watt MSP, the meinister for Schuils an Skills, acceppit an invite tae come an speak tae the Cross Pairty Group on the Scots leid in December an telt the forgaitherin that the Scottish Government haed agreed tae allou a particlar reference tae Scots in "Building the Curriculum 1", the document that ootlines the government's ettles for forderin the curriculum in the neist year or twa. This haed cam aboot efter months o eydent campaignin agin government civil servants bi Scots language upsteerers heidit bi Matthew Fitt, the kenspeckle author o bairns' buiks for Itchy Coo. Efter thon, Matthew telt hou pleased he wis that, efter generations o bairns bein telt the wey they spake wis wrang, the Schuils Directorate haed noo gien baith the bairns an the teachers permission tae speak Scots alangside English an Gaelic in the schuils.

This soonds like guid news for Scots an there nae doot it is but, as the meinister telt the forgaitherin, the Scottish Government cannae tell the schuils or the cooncils whit tae dae, they cuid juist recommend or advise. Aw this maun shuirly speir the question o whit kinna country we bide in an whit kinna governments it haes haed ower the years whan bairns an teachers haes tae speir permission tae yaise thair ain vernacular language in thair ain schuils in thair ain country.

Maureen pyntit oot an aw that forbye no bein able tae tell the schuils an cooncils whit tae dae, the government wis sair trauchelt wi a muckle want o siller that pit leemits on whit it cuid dae. She proponed that forderin the cause o Scots wad hae tae be mair frae the bottom up raither nor frae the tap doon.

Gin the meinister is richt then hou is the Scottish government gaun tae cairry oot aw the requirements o the European Chairter? Hou is it gaun tae be able tae cairry oot the demands o the Chairter's Comatee o Experts whan thon comatee is speirin for a mair "frae the tap doon" policy bi cryin for the government, as a maitter o priority, tae create conditions for the yuiss o Scots in public life, throu the adoption o a language policy an concrete meisures, in co-operation wi the speakers o the language?

Scots Tung unnerstaunds that a minority government cannae dae aw the things it wad like tae but there nae excuise at aw for cairryin on wi the linguistic discrimination o bygane governments an no haein a Scots owersettin in its ain National Conversation wabsite, particlar whan the Scots owersettin haes been gien tae thaim for free. Gin the will is thare, hauf an oor is aw it wad tak tae pit thon maitter richt an gin it's no pit richt then it maun juist be cause the Scottish Government disnae want tae dae it. Whit for no?

1845 The Stert o The Creenge
DID ye ever wunner whit gars fowk an governments creenge at the yuiss o Scots in formal seetiations? Weel thanks tae Dr Dauvit Horsbroch o the SLC in Perth, Scots Tung can tell ye that it aw stertit in 1845 whan the government o the day appyntit HM Inspectors o Schuils in Scotland. Appearinly thae inspectors wis telt tae threap that baith teachers an scholars shuid speak only English in the clessroom tho it wis weel seen that they haed a chauve for years tae come. Thae inspectors' reports frae 1845 on wis fou o pit doons o baith teachers an scholars sae in 1872 the Education Act o that year laid doon that English wis tae be the only language spoken in Scottish schuils. The brainwashin that follaed maun shuirly be the biggest stain on the Union flag or at least on the Scots pairt o it that fendit its backgrund. Like the ither colonial countries o the Empire, Scotland's vernacular languages wis sair hauden doon sae that the Imperial English language cuid tak its place. Thon haudin doon o the Scots language in the clessrooms wis maistlins cairriet oot bi a system o ridicule an the bairns wis telt it wisnae polite tae speak thon local street slang an they war gart tae speak "properly" insteid. Efter a while fowk that haed cam up throu the education system stertit tae jalouse the intellectual level o a body they haed juist met for the first time, bi hou weel they cuid speak English. Aiblins this micht explain whit wey native English speakin incomers frae ower the mairches haes mair nor thair fair dale o jobs as officials wi some o oor local cooncils the day.

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)

Angus Peter Campbell's "Fruit on Brainches"
Bi Scots Tung's Stravaigin Reporter (Owerset bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
ANGUS Peter Campbell haes a gret stage praisence. Aiblins this micht be nae surprise for he's no juist a makar an screiver but a film actor an aw. His warmth an humour is weel seen in his crack, like in his rhetorical joke whan he speirt gin a man cannae coont daes he ken that he's lucky if he finds a fower leaf clover! But it's whan he reads his poems that his depth an feelins comes tae the fore. His hinnermaist tri lingual walin haes a nummer o themes rinnin throu it. He writes aboot time, the land, his Christian faith, love, language an the auncient an modren warld. Amang the poems read bi Angus Peter Campbell an J Derrick McClure on the nicht the buik wis brocht oot wis Watlin Street (Clann Uisne) Licht an Libertie (Solas is Saorsa), an Key Door Hous (Luchair is Doras is Taigh). For aw his writin is weel seen tae be ruited in his Gaelic bygane, it's ne'er parochial an aye reflecks a braider warld an cultural awaurness. A braw exemplar o his licht yet sairious haund is in Ae Tattie whaur he loups frae descrivin modren conveniences tae the days whan the van cam roond on a Seturday nicht wi no muckle left but a Tobermory Tattie atween the weans while cleekin it tae the warld ongauns o thon time, an bein telt bi Harold McMillan that they'd "never had it so good". He metamorphoses language intae corpses in Banes o Leids an intae wather an stanes in the gey movin Storm that wis written efter the gruesome gell that killed thon Sooth Uist faimly in 2005.

In the innin tae the Scots owersettin o Fruit on Brainches, J Derrick McClure, that raicently wis awardit an MBE for his wark in the Scots language, writes aboot hou Gaelic an Scots is "twa brainches o ae national cultuir". Angus Peter Campbell descrived McClure's Scots owersettin o his wark as "faithful yet liberated".

This significant buik's lench was hauden on 28 November 2007 in the hame o the Scottish Buik Trust. Campbell, weirin cords "in honour of Sorley MacLean" an a tweed jaicket, spake in Gaelic an English congratulatin the audience for hivin fund the hidden venue doon the mirk an nairrae Trunk's Close tae fund Sandeman Hoose that's white wa's and plain wuiden bauks gied it a Presbyterian souch that wis dingit doon bi the warmth in the chaumer thon nicht o the appreciative an maistly multi lingual audience.

Cost £13 ISBN0-86152-330-x publisht bi Acair Earranta, [CENSORED: postaladdress], tel.[CENSORED: phonenumber]; [CENSORED: emailaddress],
Batter design bi Lindsay Campbell.
© Irene Broon

Syne the editorial on the front page wis written Scots Tung haes been telt bi an upsteerin MSP, Dave Thompson, the maimber for Highlands & Islands, that he haes been telt a Scots owersettin is expeckit tae be furthset on the National Conversation wabsite bi Christmas sae oo'll juist hae tae wait an see whit kythes.

Forbye the abuin, Dr Bill Wilson MSP, the upsteerin maimber for Wast o Scotland, speakin at a raicent forgaitherin o the Scottish Pairlament's Equal Opportunities Comatee anent the 2011 Census, speirt Duncan Macniven, the Registrar General for Scotland, that syne sindry raisons haed been gien in the bygane for no eikin a question on Scots in the census, did the test survey come up wi ony indication at aw o whit wey Scots shuidnae be gien the same staundin as Gaelic in the incomin census.

Mr Macniven reponed that fowk haed pitten forrit a demand for information aboot Scots. He confirmed that it wis ettilt tae eik a question anent Scots intae the census but that the particlars o the question itsel hidnae been finalised yet. Dr Wilson then socht assurance that the GRO for Scotland wad conseider owersettin the main questions intae Scots juist like whit wis duin for Gaelic an juist sic an assurance haed been gien.
Speakin later on, Dr Wilson said he haed taen nae sma comfort oot o the answers he haed been gien an eikit that he thocht we war lang syne past the time whan Scots wis seen tae be naethin but an inferior dialeck o English. He said he wis gled that Gaelic haed gotten its richtfu staundin in raicent years as a language wordy o respeck like ony ither an cried on the same kinna respeck an uphaud for Scotland's biggest spoken language, Scots.

Makar's Neuk

Liggin in the bath
I goam at it: the roun hereditary swelchie.

Tetherin me
on my mithers side, ye'll ken,
tae Kirstie dochter o Elspeth dochter o Peggy
dochter o Muckle Kate
wha yince gaed sailin aa her lane
in a canoe she biggit hersel
atween Canna an Barra.

She wis bringin hame a poke o mael.

Throu thon sneddit pipe o maet
I souk't my mither's puirtith
jist lik her swallaein
her mither's puirtith pynin.

But here's me in the bath,
drouned in yoamin haar:
the freithin strawberry faem (frae the Copie)
haps ower the glaur o my history.

Angus Peter Campbell

Scots Baurs
A Glesca wuman gauns tae the dentist an sattles doon in the chyre.
"Comfy?" speirs the dentist.
"Govan." she repones.

Whit did the Siamese twins frae Glesca cry thair autobiography?
"Oor Wullie."

While bein interviewed for a job as a bus driver, a Glesca man is speirt, "Whit wad ye dae if ye haed a rowdy passenger?"
"A'd pit him aff at the next stop." he says.
"Guid. An whit wad ye dae if ye cuidnae get the fare?"
"A'd tak the first twa weeks in August."
Efter threapin he's gettin mairriet, a laddie tells his pal he'll be wearin the kilt.
"An whit's the tartan?" speirs his pal.
"Och, she'll be wearin a white dress." he repones.

Hou mony Spaniards daes it tak tae chynge a licht bulb? Juist Juan.

Het Kail!
WE war telt abuin that a Scots language owersettin is expeckit tae be postit on the Scottish Government's National Conversation wabsite bi Christmas. Howanever, noo that Christmas haes come an gane, there still aye nae signs o this promised ninth owersettin jynin up wi the ither eicht that's been thare syne August.

In his Christmas massage tae the nation, Alex Salmond, the First Meinister, said that fowk expeckit the Scottish Government tae staund up for Scotland whaur it maitters.

If like us, the Scottish Government thinks the vernacular Scots language really maitters tae Scotland an the fowk that yaises it then lat us see bi thair actions thaim staundin up for it the wey they staund up for awthin else that maitters. Failure tae dae this will gie oot the message tae aw Scots speakers that thair ain vernacular language disnae really maitter tae thair ain Scottish Government.

The Government wants aw Scots tae tak pairt in its National Conversation includin Scots that's Gaelic speakers, Arabic speakers, Bengali speakers, Chinese speakers, Hindi speakers, Polish speakers, Punjabi speakers an Urdu speakers. Whit aboot Scots speakers?

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 170. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20 April 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 170." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 20 April 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 170," accessed 20 April 2024,

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1821

Scots Tung Wittins 170


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2337
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2008
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