Document 1413

Interview 12: Shetland woman talking about languages in Scotland

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): Dr Holger Schmitt, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

M865 Are you interested in languages at all?
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 Well I've no really I've no really studied any but I'd quite like tae ehm learn Norwegian, //cause we've we've been over tae Scandinavia like three times//
M865 //Oh right.// Uh-huh
F951 an I always feel it's a bit of a cheek really that
M865 Yeah.
F951 they talk English while we're there so,
M865 Yeah.
F951 so that's the, I suppose the greatest motivation for me has been tae tae learn Norwegian like, //Norwegian or maybe like Danish or somethin like that, so.//
M865 //Uh-huh mm.//
F951 Because that's always the the a- the area o the world that we tend //tae always [?]go[/?].//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //doggy//
M865 //Yeah.//
U1028 hot. //Hot.//
M865 //[laugh]//
F951 //Is it still hot?//
M865 What do you teach then?
F951 Teach primary seven since I ehm //which is like age ten an eleven.//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //Okay,// //primary seven, that doesn't mean that children get schooled at age three,//
F951 //Yeah.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 does it?
F951 //Eh, no they go, well they go to school at age five in Ge- in Britain//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //Right.//
F951 //so they have// nursery age from age three to five.
M865 No, I mean why do you call it primary seven then?
F951 Because because there's seven primaries, so that's like age five tae eleven, //an then,//
M865 //Oh okay uh-huh// //ah yeah okay okay//
F951 //an then second- then they go intae secondary one up tae secondary six,//
M865 okay, I see yeah.
F951 so it gets called primary.
M865 Right, now ehm, you've got quite a number of languages and dialects in Scotland, //so I'm basically//
F951 //Yeah.//
M865 interested in all the the Scottish dialects and languages, eh what languages and dialects are you aware of //in Scotland?//
F951 //Well I ken there's// Doric in Aberdeenshire,
M865 Yeah.
F951 which is incredibly difficult to understand an I spent a few, I spent five years livin in Glasgow; //they've got an interestin,//
M865 //Oh yeah.//
F951 Glaswegian ehm but they they I've no I've no ehm, I've been ower tae the, I've no been in the Hebrides but I had some I have some Gaelic speakin friends,
M865 Uh-huh uh-huh.
F951 so we kinda had some fun when we were students wi the Gaelic //students,//
M865 //Right.//
F951 cause I always got lumped in wi them //cause they assumed that if ye were frae Shetland then ye could speak Gaelic//
M865 //Uh-huh// //[laugh]//
F951 //[laugh]//
M865 //Did you did you study at Glasgow University?//
U1028 //[cough]//
F951 Eh Strathclyde.
M865 Oh right, okay.
F951 Yeah, in Glasgow.
M865 In case you'd studied at Glasgow University we might ha- could have had one common acquaintance.
F951 Possibly, //that would have been//
M865 //Well.//
F951 that was from nineteen ehm ninety, ninety-one tae ninety-six.
M865 Eh well, John Corbett, he's a lecturer //at Glasgow University.//
F951 //Oh right. John Caldwood?//
M865 Corbett, C.O. eh R.B.E. double T. //Oh well, teaches English Language.//
F951 //No oh right.//
M865 Okay so ehm you've mentioned Glasgow, Doric, Gaelic, any other dialects or languages you can think of?
F951 Not really.
M865 Okay. Ehm, //Do you think there's there's any variety.//
F951 //The Fife people.//
U1028 //Doggy [inaudible] doggy.//
M865 Fife, //yeah.//
F951 //Fife.// They ehm they like there's there's a place in Fife I've been through there, an an they pronounce it "Enster" but it's it's called Anstruther. //Well [?]I[/?] was like,//
M865 //Oh right, okay, yeah.// //Uh-huh ah//
F951 //"she comes fae Enster", I'd never heard o Enster but when someone, "no that's Anstruther", I was like, "oh yeah, okay I do know where it is"// //an the Gla- an the Dundee folk always, they have a very interestin dialect, they speak aboot "pehs"//
M865 //uh-huh yeah.// //Oh right! [laugh]//
F951 //which are pies,// but then there's always, cause in Shetland there's got such a mixture of Scottish people fae all ower the place //so ye hear them all.//
M865 //Yeah, yeah.// That's right. I've actually met quite a l- quite a number of English people //[inaudible] just knock at//
F951 //Yeah ye ye will have.//
M865 knock at the door and they say, "Okay, no I'm English, that's okay"
F951 Well where I work in [CENSORED: placename] that, there's a a m- a real mix o people livin there because there's the Shetland people who live in the village, who've ken had generations o people livin //there//
M865 //Uh-huh//
F951 but the the majority o the folk that live in the community I work in have all come to Shetland to work in the oil industry,
M865 Mmhm yeah yeah.
F951 an they've come from, well a number o them have come fae like the sooth o England an then there's a num- there's also a lot o people that have come fae Fife,
M865 Yeah.
F951 so there's a good, there there's a real mixture o dialects an accents. It's more accents.
M865 Yeah.
F951 The dialect kind o thing has, I would say, has has died, it's really just, for us anyway it's really just an accent.
M865 Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.
F951 Whaur are you goin? Sit down. //Sit down. No, [CENSORED: forename]'s had her l- she had some lunch at nursery.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 Come on.
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
F951 //[inaudible] are they still hot, let me try.//
U1028 They're //hot.//
F951 //They're not hot, they're good.// Sorry, carry on.
M865 //Eh//
U1028 //They're hot.//
M865 do you have any favourite accent or dialect or whatever in Scotland where you'd say, "Okay I enjoy listening //to this sort of language".//
F951 //Oh I I never// mentioned the Orcadian accent. //I love the Orcadian accent cause it's very, it's//
M865 //Ah right, uh-huh uh-huh yeah.//
F951 //they almost they a- they they it's like they sing//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Yeah.
F951 when they talk. //It's very, it's almost quite similar to Welsh.//
M865 //Is that what you like?// Oh right, yeah, actually I've done a a number of interviews on //Orkney Orkney Orkney,//
F951 //You might have spe- you might might have s-// //met a lass fae Orkney an she'll talk a bit like this an it's very, a lovely lilty accent.//
M865 //Yeah, uh-huh yeah, yeah// sing-song, //yeah.//
F951 //That's my first, that's my favourite.//
M865 Okay. Any accent, dialect or language where you'd say, "Mm I don't really enjoy listening to that one, makes me kinda feel [inaudible]".
F951 Well I think the Glasgow accent's a bit coarse.
M865 Mmhm okay, yeah. Glasgow accent, I mean people seem to be divided, some people love it, some people mm no, [laugh]. //It's [inaudible], yeah, yeah yeah.//
F951 //I think it depe-, well I lived there, and I I still thought it was a bit coarse.//
M865 Uh-huh. Do you think there's any speech variety of whatever sort eh in Scotland that represents Scotland best, where you'd say, "Okay, somehow this is typical Scotland, that represents Sto- Scotland"?
F951 Mm gosh! Well I don't think that Shetland really does represent Scotland, I mean. Is, I don't know. //I don't know what the true Scottish accent is,//
M865 //Mm ah yeah.// I mean that's a //a difficult one because, yeah, mm.//
F951 //cause there's cause there's influences fae all different places, I mean we've got our like Dutch influence on our accent and the Scandinavian and the German// //influence but ehm//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 the S- I suppose it's I suppose it's kinda I would say Scottish Highlands //would//
M865 //mmhm//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
F951 //be the most true Scottish accent cause there's maybe been less people actually movin in tae the// //movin intae the Highlands; the people that are there are kinda s- generations o, I suppose, survivors.//
M865 //Yeah, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Yeah.
F951 //What's happened? Oh the [?]carrat[/?].//
U1028 //[inaudible]// Car.
F951 It'll be okay, there you go.
U1028 [inaudible] No a bin.
F951 It's no a bin, no, we no need to put it in the bin, it's clean.
M865 How would you describe your own //speech?//
F951 //Okay,// well when I ehm when I maybe go to visit my ehm //my family in Unst which is like the island that lives, that's right in the north of Shetland,//
M865 //Mm mm// //mmhm//
F951 //then I'll probably spik broad Shetland// //tae, but as soon as I meet somebody that's, I know is not a Shetlander, then I just switch it off,//
M865 //mm mm mm mm.//
F951 //an an mak sure that whatever I say is is like communicated//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Yeah yeah.
F951 an like when you answer the phone
M865 Yeah. //Okay [laugh].//
F951 //you don't talk broad Shetland on the phone.// An when I was a girl at school it was very much //ehm not the thing to do.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //mm mm//
F951 //We were encouraged to talk at school.// I don't think, I think there's a lot less of that now. //Talk properly.//
M865 //Encouraged to talk what? Proper// //proper standard English that is, uh-huh mm uh-huh uh-huh//
F951 //Yeah, yeah and especially when you were addressin an adult or a stranger there was absolutely no// ehm no way that you, I could say, "How do the day?"
M865 uh-huh uh-huh //uh-huh ah//
F951 //It would it w- I mean I I would just get get detention, shot doon in flames.// So my accent is ehm can be quite broad. //It isn't always.//
M865 //Yeah.//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //Do you use your, your// well, what what kind of accent do you use at school, //and encourage at school?//
F951 //I ehm//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 well I I I I actually speak to the Shetland bairns in Shetland
M865 mmhm
F951 an the rest in //just well Scottish I suppose.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Do you switch //depending on who you talk to? Wow!//
F951 //Switch, yeah, depending on who I'm talking to.// Yeah.
M865 There's no particular accent or dialect that you encourage at school? //[inaudible] mm mmhm//
F951 //No cause well we do in when we get we've been encouraged tae encourage the Shetland dialect. I mean there's actually a// //a ehm initiative at the moment in Scottish schools,//
M865 //mmhm mmhm//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //mmhm mm mm mm//
F951 //which is meant sorta, we're meant to enhance and value the dialect of our community.// Ehm so there is actually a package I suppose where y- whaur you c- you're meant to like share Shetland dialect //stories an things with children.//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 But that's only meaningful to bairns who've actually got a Shetland //heritage in some ways.//
M865 //Mm// mmhm mmhm
F951 I mean my some o the little children that I teach who've been brought up in Cornwall
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
F951 //they're [laugh] which is an in- interestin dialect of its own,//
M865 Yeah.
F951 //ehm [laugh] they ehm//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //mmhm mm//
F951 //listenin to stories in Shetland dialect is maybe no just a very good use of their time at school.//
M865 //Do you think this is a good idea; should er the local dialects be encouraged at school?//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //Yeah,//
F951 //Yeah I think it should be.// //I I think it should be but I think it has its its place//
M865 //uh-huh// //Yeah, yeah, yeah,//
F951 //an I mean you canna have ye canna encourage the Shetland dialect if you're no a Shetland speaker.//
M865 yeah.
F951 I mean there's there's only in the, my school which is a teachin or eh six teachers, //there's only two Shetlanders.//
M865 //Mm.// //Yeah, yeah.//
F951 //So we can't teach all the children in the Shetland dialect, can we?// //An it wouldnae be fair on the rest.//
M865 //Yeah.//
F951 But I think there's times perhaps when, for example, ehm we're studyin the Victorians in my school at the moment an there was a famous disaster that happened in nineteen oh one where the majority o the men in the community were drowned at sea.
M865 Mm
F951 An we have lots, we have some footage //recorded//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //mm mm mm mm//
F951 //with folk remem- auld Shetland people rememberin how this affected them and their families, things that happened at the time// an we use that //wi all the children,//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //Yeah, yeah, yeah.//
F951 //so they an they have they, I mean an it's an experience for them because they've no really heard anybody talkin broad Shetland dialect, kinda they've always had a very watered-down version.// //[laugh]//
M865 //Yeah. [laugh]//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
F951 //I think somebody's goin to play wi you [CENSORED: forename] [laugh]//
M865 Uh-huh //yeah.//
F951 //So I say I'd say I I I agree that it should be encouraged in school but I think it has its place.//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //Who who actually encourages you or// //you know, future teachers to use dialect?//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //Is that in universities?//
F951 //Well I mean it in// //ehm well when I was studyin at university which is a bit of a while ago now//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
F951 //there I mean you could you could elect to do a dialect kinda block.//
M865 Right.
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
M865 //mm//
F951 //Ehm I didn't do that at the time; I actually studied French instead, [laugh]// but ehm the the Shetland, I mean they're like wh- in Scotland there's the five tae fourteen curriculum
M865 mmhm mmhm
F951 in in the la- in in the English language //document,//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 there is actually me- like a a special section mentionin spoken language, //and that we should//
M865 //mmhm mm//
F951 ence- enc- enhance an encourage
M865 Mmhm mmhm.
F951 dialects and accents //o your community.//
M865 //Mm// //Yeah.//
F951 //So it's I mean it's it's it's a broad thing.// //So in so in Glasgow they'll dae they'll do Glasgow poets an things like that an//
M865 //uh-huh, yeah//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 here we read trowie stories an an things like that, hello, now, //where are you goin?//
U1028 //[inaudible]// I'm goin car.
F951 You goin to that? No you're not. //You gonna go an see [CENSORED: forename]?//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 She's got a video on upstairs.
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 [laugh] Your car is not goin there [laugh]. Behave [laugh]. //Carry on. [laugh]//
M865 //[inaudible] between a microphone and a car.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Eh have you ever heard the term "Scots" referring not to the people but to the //language, yeah?//
F951 //Yeah uh-huh.//
M865 //Wh- what do you mean by that?//
U1028 //[inaudible] car.// //[inaudible]//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 //Well I don't really know to be honest. When I think o Scots I tend to think o Robert Burns an things like that.// //That's the type o image it conjures up, conjures up for me.//
M865 //Yeah, yeah.//
F951 Burns' suppers an haggis an
M865 [laugh] Right, //tartan [laugh] uh-huh ah okay yeah.//
F951 //William, tartan an William Wallace an aw that kind o patriotic stuff,// //that's what [laugh].//
M865 //Interesting conversations eh.// Well I mean linguists nowadays would say is Scots is ehm, well, basically connected also to to eh Robert Burns, spoken way be- before that and today survives in a number of dialects, like for example, ehm Glaswegian, Shetland, Doric, //ehm.//
F951 //Mmhm// I wouldnae really actually think o the Shetland dialect as Scots.
M865 Mm, you wouldn't agree?
F951 No.
M865 Okay why not?
F951 That's just the noth- I mean it's just no what I immediately think of; when somebody speaks aboot Scots I think s- o a di- o a la- o a dialect that actually belongs somewhere on Scottish mainland.
M865 Uh-huh uh-huh okay. Yeah. //I think, yeah, yeah, yeah.//
F951 //Shetland has its own identity an I think you'll find that that most folk will say somethin along those lines tae ye.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 It's interesting point ehm I started out you know asking for interviews saying that ehm I was interested in in the Scottish dialects and languages, ehm and that I travel all over Scotland, and I found people [inaudible] wouldn't let me in for some reason so I thought, "Well, why are people more reluctant here than a- anywhere else in Scotland?" so I just changed you know my my saying, my little saying, and said, "Okay, I'm interested in languages eh languages and dialects, I travel all over the place". //I think it made a difference [inaudible] yeah.//
F951 //Mmhm yeah, maybe, could have been,// but a-a- a lo- some o the time Shetland Shetland folk dinna see themselves //as very Scottish but I certainly do.//
M865 //Yeah yeah.// Yeah. Now there's people both in the Parliament and private people and eh language organisations who would like to ehm encourage Scots, give Scots a greater prominence within Scotland and so on, what do you think about that?
F951 I think it's got prominence already, I think that when we got wur Scottish parliament,
M865 mmhm
F951 //I mean immediately we had had a [tut]//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
F951 //a building whaur the majority o the folk who are ehm// leaders o the land I suppose, are all communicatin in Scottish in one way or another fae all fae all corners o Scotland.
M865 mmhm
F951 So I actually think that we've got a a high- it's got a greater priority noo as it's ever had before.
M865 So you don't think it's necessary to
F951 I don't think it's necessary //to broaden it out any//
M865 //No.//
F951 further.
M865 Okay right. //Could just//
F951 //And I would actually like to see the U.K.// ehm bein far more o a of all of us together //rather than so much where's Iri- Ireland, Scotland and England//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //Separated? Uh-huh yeah.//
F951 //separated.//
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
M865 //Okay, hiya, what's that? Cool!//
F951 He said, "What is it?" [CENSORED: forename].
M865 //[inaudible]//
U1028 //[inaudible]// [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
F951 //[inaudible]// A r- oh a rabbit. //I think it's a ra- it's [CENSORED: forename]'s rabbit is it?//
U1028 //[inaudible] rabbit.//
M865 //Uh-huh yeah.//
F951 //My children speak Shetland,// but when they go to their English childminder then they come home goin, "Mummy, can I have a drink now please?" //[laugh]//
M865 //[laugh]// //mmhm//
F951 //[laugh]//
U1028 //[inaudible] draw.// //[inaudible]//
F951 //Just goin tae dra, uh-huh.//
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
M865 //Can I just show you something ehm this is a children's book by a publisher called Itchycoo,//
F951 //Oh right, whit's this, is this [inaudible].// Oh!
M865 and they produce all kinds of children's books in in Scots or what they think Scots is.
F951 Oh right, "blether" that's that's actually a She-, we use that word.
M865 Yeah yeah.
F951 "You're a right blether".
M865 "Blethertoun Braes"
U1028 Beep beep! [inaudible] //[inaudible] bag.//
M865 //Come on, come on my lap?//
F951 //Yeah.//
M865 That's my bag, yeah.
U1028 [inaudible] bag.
M865 [laugh]
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 What a lovely book.
U1028 A book, a book. I want a book. [cry] //[inaudible]//
F951 //Book.//
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 You want to have a peery look?
U1028 [inaudible] A book. [?]A book.[/?]
F951 So is this ki- is this kinda mo- is this a modern //ehm poetry?//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 Yeah, well it's, I think don't know when it was released but eh certainly //not too long ago.//
F951 //Yeah// cause it's frae Glasgow I think.
M865 Yeah.
U1028 [inaudible]
M865 //So, no problem.//
F951 //Sorry it's me learnins-// //learnin my songs for a musical I'm goin to be in [laugh].//
M865 //Oh right [laugh]// So what do you think about this one? //Uh-huh//
F951 //It's quite nice, I think it,// I think that it would be more appropriate or in a Scottish mainland school. //I can imagine like a teacher usin this tae if I was if I was in Aiberdeen or Edinburgh or Glasgow,//
M865 //mmhm mmhm mmhm//
F951 certainly, ehm you could use it in language language //eh literacy hour with no trouble.//
M865 //Yeah uh-huh.//
F951 [?]About you?[/?] //Cause yeah we have we have a book similar to this,//
M865 //Well I mean it's supposed mmhm.// //Oh right, uh-huh yeah, uh-huh yeah.//
F951 //that's eh in Shetland dialect that we use an it's pairt o our like language studies.//
M865 Ehm would you like your children to read this later on?
F951 Well I dinnae think, it's really no that i- appropriate for them. They're too they're too, my children are too young but I think that the children I wo- I teach in [CENSORED: school name] might be able to enjoy it.
M865 Mmhm okay.
U1028 [inaudible] car, car.
M865 I think it's it's meant to be eh //pan-dialectal//
F951 //Sorry.//
M865 //ehm Scots, not you know relating to any particular area.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //Eh. Yeah.//
F951 //No, it's quite accessible though,// //like I think aa Scottish folk could probably understand it.//
M865 //Yeah, yeah.// //Uh-huh, yeah, okay//
F951 //I mean I can read it no trouble at aa.// //Oh drawin. Haud on a meenit.//
M865 //If I can just show you something else, ehm, this is a print-out from,//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 yeah.
F951 //Ye wantin tae draw? Oh I had a crayon for you here earlier.//
U1028 //I'm gonna draw.//
F951 Ye have tae limit [CENSORED: forename]'s crayons tae one, and have tae keep track o them cause he draws on the walls. There you go, see. Come an draw! I knew he'd eat the sausages, //see.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 There you are, [inaudible], ye can draw it on the paper, yeah. //There you are.//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //rabbit. Rabbit.//
F951 //I'm gonna move you alang a bit, yeah you colour in the rabbit.// //There ye are.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 Sorry //Now, whaur's this come fae?//
M865 //No problem [laugh].// //Ehm this is from the Scottish Parliament, a print-out from the from the internet,//
F951 //Oh right.//
U1028 //[inaudible] Rabbit.// //[inaudible]//
M865 //webpage.//
F951 //Mmhm.//
U1028 [inaudible] //[inaudible]//
F951 //[laugh]//
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 Oh so they've actually done a, ye wantin your dinner, it's no there, your your dinner. A- the notice on their website [inaudible] in Scots I suppose?
M865 Uh-huh, yeah.
F951 Oh that's good! As lang as it's eh ehm there's also a translation, //[laugh] yeah.//
M865 //Okay, there is a an English version, yeah yeah.// So do you think it's a good idea? //Uh-huh, okay. Do you understand most of it or all of it?//
F951 //Yeah like, yeah mmhm, yeah.// Yeah. "We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as can be able tae find oot aboot //whit the shi- Scottish Parliament dis and whit wey it warks"//
M865 //uh-huh// //What does "siccar" mean?//
F951 //Yeah I can read it.// "Siccar" is like ehm [sigh] well we actually we actually describe "siccar" in a different way cause if we say somebody is siccar it's like they're ehm bad losers, //but but it's no in this context cause that's that's obviously the Shetland use.//
M865 //Uh-huh uh-huh [laugh] okay, no no, no no.//
U1028 //Oh-oh [inaudible]// Oh-oh
M865 Do you know what it means? //Do you have any idea, "mak siccar"? I mean many, many people struggle with the word "siccar".//
F951 //"We want tae mak siccar that as mony fowk"//
U1028 //[inaudible]// //[inaudible]//
M865 //Mmhm, yeah.//
F951 //Yeah well ye see I, I I wis wonderin when I read that word// //cause it's different tae what I understand as siccar.//
M865 //Yeah//
F951 "We want tae mak siccar that as mony fowk as can, as can as able tae fin oot",
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 Well I think it's maybe meant tae be "make available".
M865 "Make sure" //Yeah that's it.//
F951 //"Make sure", yeah.//
M865 And there's also another word which is rather difficult for most people ehm, "A range o different leids". Do you know this word, "leids"?
F951 "We hae Nope. //"Leids","leids", languages, oh no,//
M865 //Oh it means "languages", ehm "leids" yeah, mmhm, I think it's an ancient word, it's//
F951 it's too ancient //for me [laugh].//
M865 //Yeah probably, yeah.//
F951 //I think that most Scottish folk would probably find that too, but the, ken but but you,//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 it's like ev- it's like everything you read, you can get, you get the gist //o it.//
M865 //Yeah, yeah.// //Okay.//
F951 //An I an I mean an I don't suppose if I// //if you took the novel I was readin at the moment an said, "What does every word in this paragraph means?" I would be able to tell you exactly so,//
M865 //Yeah, yeah.// //These are just the the two words that most people struggle with, yeah, yeah.//
F951 //but then I [inaudible] well I think there's quite a few that I would maybe struggle wi.// I dinna ken what this "follae" is //foll- f- foll- oh I ken "follow" but I've never ever heard that said "follae", "fo- follae this link",//
M865 //"Follow", "follow", "follow this link", uh-huh.//
F951 maybe mm
M865 What would you say, "follow"?
F951 Yeah.
M865 Mm
F951 //"Follow this link", yeah.//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
F951 "Follae" [laugh] I think maybe if somebody had read it aloud tae me, //"follae this link",//
M865 //Uh-huh, yeah.// //Fine.//
F951 //[inaudible] Scots [?]going to bed[/?].//
M865 Now I've just given you two examples of eh modern usage of //Scots ehm,//
F951 //Yeah.//
M865 these are rather rare examples, now at the moment Scots defined as the language spoken by some people in the Lowlands and also here in the Northern Isles, eh and comprising various dialects like Shetlandic, ehm Glaswegian, Doric,
F951 mmhm
M865 almost always only used for private conversation. In which of the following language situations would you also welcome the use of Scots?
U1028 [inaudible]
F951 Right, well I mean, things like newspapers I dinna think there's any need for them to be written in Scots,
M865 Mmhm, okay.
F951 roadsigns, again I mean they have to be in English so everybody can understand them, it has tae be the common //language,//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 //private letters and emails an things like text messages we write them in Shetland//
U1028 //[inaudible]//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 //dialect the whole time,//
M865 [laugh] yeah I've heard this before yeah, must be interesting you know reading them [laugh] //yeah, yeah, people actually write this in in//
F951 //"come alang", "see dee eftir", kinda [laugh].// //Yeah, that's//
M865 //Shetlandic, oh it's amazing, yeah.//
F951 "whaur's, whaur's du at?" //that's that's a famous text message, "whaur is du?"//
M865 //uh-huh// "where are you?" //Oh right, uh-huh,//
F951 //Yeah, "whaur's du?"//
M865 [laugh]
F951 But it'll just be "W.A.R.S. D.U"
M865 uh-huh //Yeah, yeah.//
F951 //"whaur's du?"// So, children's books, I think there's a place for them too //ehm//
M865 //Mmhm//
F951 not non-fiction books except [inaudible] well I suppose if you were studyin it,
M865 Mmhm.
F951 "websites o companies or government bodies". //I don't think so. I liked the Scottish Parliament one because I think it's just a bit o fun, isn't it? It's tryin tae mak a wee bit light I think.//
M865 //Mmhm mmhm, well, mmhm, okay.//
F951 "Official speeches?" ehm not a f- not a formal official official feeches- such, speeches such as these but //perhaps if//
M865 //mmhm//
F951 ye were doin a speech at a weddin or whatever, //you know?//
M865 //Sorry, a speech?//
F951 it says it says "formal //official speeches" here.//
M865 //Yeah.//
F951 I dinna think any o these are, should be in S- dialect,
M865 Okay.
F951 but it just depends who your audience is.
M865 Mmhm, okay. //[laugh] mmhm//
F951 //Teachin in schools, I try my best tae mak everybody understand what I'm sayin,// then they have a few children who've lived in in, like, Shetland aa their lives an they actually just love when we have a peerie discussion in Shetlandic,
M865 mmhm mm //mmhm mm mm//
F951 //cause they spik back to me an it's like, they they canna speak like that tae abody in the class; it's a [?]peerie[/?] special thing.// Ooh, yes we should do it at school. I think we should do it more in secondary school as well //as what we do, we do it more in primary school.//
M865 //mm// //mmhm//
F951 //Poetry certainly, there's a, there's a ehm// a magazine in Shetland, eh produced I think it's quarterly, an it's, encourages Shetland writers an
M865 mm //mmhm//
F951 //dialect writers an things like that.// An I dinnae see any, well I dinnae see any need for academic texts or the Bible to be in Scots either.
M865 Okay. Actually there is a a translation of the New Testament in Scots, //I don't know if you know this, yeah, there there are several but one's rather famous by Lorimer,//
F951 //There's, yeah mmhm mmhm.// Oh right.
M865 he's the translator yeah, I think it came out in nineteen eighty-seven. It was rather famous at the time and you can still get it at bookshops, //but just a, yeah [laugh].//
F951 //I would struggle tae read it [laugh].//
M865 Okay, ehm just to finish off one brief questionnaire about your personal background.
F951 Oh right, okay.
M865 Ehm can you give me the //decade of your birth?//
F951 //Sure, ehm I was// born in the seventies, //and I was born in Lerwick,//
M865 //Okay, okay.//
F951 and I've been in Scotland all my life //so it's thirty-three years.//
M865 //Okay, okay.//
F951 An I'm a teacher.
M865 Right, how long have you been living here //in Shetland?//
F951 //In// in Shetland? Well I, thirty-three take away five, //twenty-eight [laugh], ehm//
M865 //Okay [laugh] I would have to work it out, yeah, okay.// //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F951 //my occupation is a teacher, as is my husband.// //And,//
M865 //And finally how// strongly do you feel British, Scottish, English and any //other,//
F951 //Oh!// //Okay.//
M865 //eh from zero meaning "not at all"// //to four meaning "very much".//
F951 //I feel, I think I'm// probably a three on British //and a four on Scottish,//
M865 //Okay, mmhm// //mmhm//
F951 //and a zero on English,// and I think I would would have to say that maybe a two for the other, just because I I still have a feeling that there's somethin slightly Scandinavian aboot a- all us //Shetlanders as well.//
M865 //Okay, okay.// //So eh you would say two for Scandinavian, any for Shetland?//
F951 //There's a draw from there.// Oh and four because I'm yeah, I'm a true Shetlander, //okay.//
M865 //Okay, right.// Most people would say yeah I think. //Right, yeah yeah, yeah yeah.//
F951 //Sorry I thought I wis- I wisnae I wisnae thinkin aboot Shetland whan it cam doon tae other.// //Okay.//
M865 //Okay,// //thank you very much.//
F951 //It's no trouble.//

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Interview 12: Shetland woman talking about languages in Scotland. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Interview 12: Shetland woman talking about languages in Scotland." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Interview 12: Shetland woman talking about languages in Scotland," accessed 2 March 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1413

Interview 12: Shetland woman talking about languages in Scotland


Audio audience

Adults (18+)
For gender Mixed
Audience size 1

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2005
Recording person id 865
Size (min) 27
Size (mb) 103

Audio setting


Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other N/A

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 631
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2005
Word count 4778

Audio type



Participant details

Participant id 865
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1960
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Occupation University teacher / researcher
Country of birth Germany
Place of residence Bridge of Allan
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Engineer
Father's country of birth Germany
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's country of birth Germany


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes Mother tongue


Participant details

Participant id 951
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1970
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher
Place of birth Lerwick
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Lerwick
Region of residence Shetland
Residence CSD dialect area Sh
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Butcher
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Care assistant
Mother's region of birth Shetland
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots No Yes No Yes


Participant details

Participant id 1028