Document 1757

Scots Tung Wittins 106

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 106
Sept. 2002

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Copiericht for awthin screivit in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot leemit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for onie pairt o the wittins blat that's furth-set in onie ither publication.

Mind Yer Language!
[NOTE: three images of headlines in original]
THE 19t. WARLD CONGRESS ON READING, that wis hauden in Edinburgh University, got a richt guid coverage bi the press, maist o it fair an guid but, it wadna be the Scottish estaiblishment press gin it didna hae its usual parcel o rogues walin its ain bits oot o context tae gie the story the kinna birl that suited thair ain ettles.

The wis a hantle sicht o kenspeckle fowk wi an eddication backgrund thare, the likes o Janet Paisley, James Robertson, Graham Caie, Irene McGugan MSP, Prof. Charles Jones an mony ithers, maist uphaudin the airgiement for Scots but wi the orra ane dingin it doon. Aiblins, apairt frae a Swiss delegate that didna seem tae be shuir if he wis speakin aboot Scots or aboot his ain hamelt Swiss, the maist reportit ane o the hinnermaist lot, wis Judith Gillespie o the Scottish Parent Teacher Cooncil. Shawin aw the classic symptoms o a monolingual, creenge ridden mindset, she said, "We would be denying our children success by allowing them to only use their local dialect." Thare speaks a wifie that's aither donnert, deif or juist daesna listen tae whit's bein said. The feck o the speakers wis threapin the bairns wad ken the guid in mony weys, throu bi-lingualism or e'en multi-lingualism. Mistress Gillespie wis the ae body that thocht this meant juist learnin the bairns Scots an na-sayin thaim onie learnin o English at aw. Her ain interpretation maun shuirlie shaw up the dangers o a monoglot eddication an a monoglot wey o thinkin.Irene McGugan MSP, depute eddication forespeaker for the SNP, said that bairns shuid be fluent in baith Scots an English an threapit forbye that Scots is uised bi mair than a million fowk ilka day an is the UK's biggest minority language. She pyntit oot that a projeck tae pit a new dictionar o Scots on tae the Warld Wide Wab wis a guid exemplar o the chyngin mood in Scotland an she said that if the Scots thirsels didna keep thair ain hamelt cultur an language alive an weel, naebody else wad dae it for thaim.

Janet Paisley, poet, playwricht an ae time teacher, telt the twa thoosand delegates at the collogue hou Scottish bairns uisin thair hamelt Scots tongue in the clessroom is bein traited as saicont cless citizens an the uiss o guid Scots words is daured an ridiculed bi some teachers. She said that speakin Scots haes the same effeck on some teachers as sweirin in the cless. The bairns is hauden back wi haein tae lairn tae read, write an speak in a "foreign" language, wi laddies bein parteeclar sweir tae volunteer for onie projecks that haed tae dae wi spoken words cause it gart mony o thaim tae feel like big jessies when they haed tae speak in "polite" English. She eikit that maist Scots pupils is fluent an articulate in thair ain language if alloued tae be an the tellin o stories comes as saicont naitur in thair mither tongue. She threapit that the Scots language haesna dee'd oot wi maist o the fowk in this kintra still uisin it but efter 300 year o brainwashin an suppressin the language's name, the feck o thaim isna awaur the language they cry thair ain is cried Scots an aw.

It's the consait o Janet Paisley that fowk the warld ower, an parteeclar in Europe, is chyngin thair attitudes tae language an cultur an it will chynge in Scotland an aw. Respeck for hamelt languages is noo the gate the warld is traivellin. The'r ower muckle swall o chynge in kintras roond aboot for Scotland no tae be catched up an cairiet alang wi it as weel. The hinnermaist quaisten she haed tae answeir, cam frae a Scottish teacher that haed fund oot for hersel the want an importance o Scots bein spoken, written an read in the clessroom. She wanted tae ken whit the Scots pairlament wis daein tae forder an uphaud this. The international eddicators waited wi real interest tae hear her answeir only tae be telt that the new Scottish pairlament wad hae signs in English, Gaelic an Braille but nane in Scots, the current majority hamelt language o Scotland. A muckle pech o disbelief wis easily heard bi awbody in the lectur chaumer. An nae wunner tae!

Launch o the Luath Scots-Language Learner
COLIN WILSON haes lat it be kent that his new an lang socht efter learn yersel Scots buik is tae be offeecially launched in Buckie on the 9t. September whaur Colin will be tae haund for the signin o copies an aiblins tae gie a puckle words (Scots anes it's tae be howped). This ongaun is tae tak place in W H Smith's stertin at 6.30pm. Colin will be haudin anither ongaun the neist day on Tuesday 10t. September at 7.15pm for 7.30pm in the Suruchi restaurant in Edinburgh. This restaurant is thocht tae be the only ane in Auld Reekie - an gey near the only ane in the warld - that haes its menu prentit aw in Scots.

The'r ettles tae hae buik-signins in ither airts forbye, the likes o Aiberdeen an Glesca at the verra least.

The buik is tae be cried the Luath Scots-Language Learner, furthset bi Luath Press Ltd., an cairies twa CD's forbye the buik itsel. Prices an ither particularities will be gien oot as suin as they come tae haund.

The Scots Executive's raicent answer tae a speirin frae the European Chairter aboot whit it's duin tae forder the teachin o Scots tae non-speakers that wants tae lairn, wis a muckle "naethin". Sae aiblins Colin's learn yersel Scots buik will gaun a lang gate tae daein pairt o the SE's job for thaim.

Letter frae Americae
A didna ken ava that "least-weys" wis Scots until ye uised it in this e-mail. Fowk in Dixie uises that sayin tae. A'm lairnin that mair an mair o the sayins we uise in Dixie (whit's cried here Southern English) is actually taen frae the Scots. It micht be guid for aa the fowk in Dixie tae lairn Scots for tae better unnerstaun the historie o thair ain speech.

Scott Stewart, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Neist Forgaitherin
Tak Tent!
Date chynged frae Mon. 9t Sept. tae:-
Monday 16t. September
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Itchy Coo Tae Girse Up Shakespeare
THE £200,000 Itchy Coo projeck haes been gaitherin in interest frae the media thae days an thair reports tells o hou the schuils is set tae mak uiss o a reinge o buiks that haes been developed bi researchers tae forder uiss o the hamelt Scots leid in the cless-room. The projeck is airtit at eddicatin collegianers aboot the differences atween the regional bye-leids athort Scotland. Thae researchers is conseederin an aw owersettins intae Scots o the likes o Treasure Island bi Robert Louis Stevenson an classics o English leeteratur includin the plays o William Shakespeare as weel as some o the day's fiction bi novelists sic as the U.S. crime owthor, Dasheill Hammett.

Areddies, they've breardit buiks for aw ages o bairns, frae nursery richt up tae Advanced Highers an thae buiks is expeckit tae tak thair place as pairt o the curriculum in mony o Scotland's schuils athin the comin weeks.

The Itchy Coo projeck, that's workin oot o Dundee University, ettles tae forder an uphaud the Scots language tae its richtfu staunin athin cless-rooms aroon the country.

Some o the first buiks tae be brocht oot, will hae titles sic as, Animal ABC - A Scots Alphabet, Planet Fankle, The Hoose o Haivers an A Scots Parliament. Researchers is ettlin tae pit oot aboot saxteen buiks for bairns o aw ages ower the neist twa year.

Ane o the owthors takin pairt in the projeck, Susan Rennie, telt the media that, cause o the muckle cultural, eddicational an poleetical chynges in the wey that Scots is seen the day, the time wis noo richt tae launch the projeck. Alang wi her colleagues, she sees the projeck as a wey o giein an inlat tae thoosans o young Scots tae express thirsels in, an ken the guid o, thair ain language an cultur in weys that haesna been open tae thaim afore.

The Itchy Coo projeck is leukin at a hail reinge o ither projecks for the days tae come, includin the possibeelity o a Scots owersettin o Treasure Island for the aulder collegianers.Anither o the projeck's owthors, Matthew Fitt, haes been tae fowertie Scottish schuils areddies tae cairie oot Scots language warkshops an he says that mony o the bairns uises Scots in thair ilkaday life but are daured frae uisin it at the schuil an aften dinna ken the meanin o common words fund in thair ain street's name - sic as, „brae' an 'burn'.

Some o the buiks ettles tae learn the bairns wi drawins o baists that haes captions the likes o, crabbit crocodile wi clarty claes.David Eaglesham, general secretar o the Scottish Schuil Teachers' Associe, threaps that this is a braw projeck for, wi ower muckle wecht bein gien tae numeracy thae days, the'r aye the danger o lossin sicht o language aw thegither. He eikit that coorse a guid grip o the Scots leid or haein a guid Scots tongue in yer heid isna gaun tae be necessar for yer CV but hou mony fowk mak guid uiss o the French they war learnt at the schuil oniewey? It wis his consait that this projeck wis aboot gittin bairns interestit in language generally, an thon haed tae be a guid thing.

Anither o the projeck's owthers, James Robertson, haes feinisht A Scots Parliament (Itchy Coo £6.99). It's aw written in Scots an the follaein wee quote frae it kythed in the media:-

"The original cost (aboot £50 million) wis suin realised tae be unrealistic, but the costs hae risen ower an ower again sinsyne. The present estimate o the final cost is £280 million. Mony MSPs hae been concerned aboot these risin costs an the haill matter has been debated mair nor yince in Parliament There were further complications wi the daith, frae a brain tumour, o Enric Miralles in July 2000, an, in October o that year, the daith o First Minister Donald Dewar. In 2001 the project manager resigned. Due tae these an ither complications, the timetable for completion o the wark has skitit several times......
A wheen mair information....can be fund at the parliament's website."

Makar's Neuk
Shakespeare’s Hamlet Ack 3, Sc 1
Tae be or no tae be? Thon is the speir.
Whuther it’s mair mensefu in yer mind, Tae thole the thraws an arraes o Contermacious weird;
Or tae tak airms agin a sea o trauchles,
An by coonterin, mak them throu?
Tae dee—tae sleep nae mair;
An by a sleep, tae say,
We end the hert-scaud,
An the thoosan naitural dunts
That flesh is heir tae.........

Owerset bi Susan Rennie
o Itchy Coo
Dundee University

S.E. DUffs First Language Exam
AE towmond efter the requirements o the European Chairter For Regional Or Minority Languages cam intae force, the Secretar General o the Cooncil o Europe speirt the British government a wheen o questions anent whit they haed duin in the past year tae comply wi the requirements o the chairter. The questions anent Scots an Gaelic wis devolved for the Scottish Executive tae answer an, wi the Scots language bein dealt wi athin Pairt II o the chairter, the wis juist twintie questions tae be answered an wi twa o thaim no bein applicable tae Scots, that juist left aichteen for the executive tae deal wi.

Oot o thae aichteen questions, the S.E. answered three, nine wisna answered at aw an the ither sax haed answers that haed naethin tae dae wi the questions bein speirt. E'en ane o the three questions answered wis juist tae say, "There is no legislation pertaining particularly to the Scots language." (see peened on EXTRACTS FOR SCOTS)

The'r nae need tae gaun tae the SQA tae ken that three richt oot o aichteen is 16.7%, a lang gate short o a pass merk. Nae wunner they canna git thair sums richt wi the new pairlament biggin!

Regina Jensdottir, that's ane o the admeenistrators for the Chairter in the Cooncil o Europe, ([CENSORED: emailaddress]) pynts oot in EUROLANG the important job that estaiblisht language associes can dae at this stage, bi raxin forrit thair ain feedback tae the Cooncil o Europe. This is shuirlie a siccar invite tae clype the scant o substance in the Executive's repones tae the Chairter's Comatee o Experts bi wey o Mistress Jensdottir. A guid exemplar wad be question 7 in Part One. This question speirs whit meisures haes been taen tae mak better kent the richts an duties derivin frae the application o the Chairter. The S.E., or raither thair ceevil servants', answer tae cover for baith Scots an Gaelic wis, "The Minister of State for Scotland, George Foulkes, issued a press statement on 27 March 2001 welcoming ratification of the Charter. Opportunities are taken to highlight the Charter in speeches given by Ministers." Whit haes aw thon blethers got tae dae wi richts an duties?

The Scots Executive haesna gien onie serious thocht at aw tae answerin the questions on Scots an the British government maun be thinkin that gin they gie some guid answers tae the questions on Welsh, Irish, Gaelic an Ulster Scots, they wadna need tae bother aboot Scots an cuid safely ignore it. Efter aw, if they pass in fower subjecks an juist fail in ane (Scots), in thair een that wad be a pass an gin they keepit on giein Scots a deefie, suiner or later it micht juist gaun awa an dee. Noo’s the richt time for some serious flytin on behauf o Scots!!!!

Efter the Comatee o Experts haes processed awthin fowk haes clyped, they'll wecht aw the answers an, gin they fund thaim wantin,they.ll speir the British/Scottish governments for explanations an, gin no satisfied wi whit they're telt, the Comatee will come ower tae fund oot for thirsels whit.s gaun on. Associes that haes clyped tae the Comatee will nae doot be gien the inlat tae pit thair pynts ower face tae face.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haunnelt an prentit (noo in PDF format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September.
£6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

Scots Tung WITTINS

1. Please state the main legal act(s) whereby the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages has been implemented in your State. If you so desire, please mention the general considerations which have guided your country in the ratification process.
The main legal acts which have enabled the UK to ratify the Charter are:
There is no legislation pertaining particularly to the Scots language.

2. Please indicate all regional or minority languages, as defined in paragraph (a) of Article 1 of the Charter which exist on your State’s territory. Indicate also the parts of the territory of your country where the speakers of such language(s) reside.
There are Scots speakers throughout Scotland.

3. Please indicate the number of speakers for each regional or minority language. Specify the criteria for the definition of "speaker of regional or minority language" that your country has retained for this purpose.
The 1991 and 2001 Censuses did not include a question on Scots. However, surveys have indicated that 30% of respondents said they could speak Scots; a large proportion of the Scottish population speak Scots to a greater or lesser degree.
Scots is on a linguistic continuum with English. Many Scots literally switch between English and Scots in mid-sentence by using Scots words and Scottish grammar.

4. Please indicate the non-territorial languages, as defined in paragraph (c), Article 1 of the Charter, used on your State’s territory and provide statistical data concerning speakers.
Not applicable.

5. Please indicate if any body or organisation, legally established, exists in your State which furthers the protection and development of regional or minority languages. If so, please list the names and addresses of such organisations.
Nae answer.

6. Please indicate if any body or organisation has been consulted on the preparation of this periodical report. In the case of an affirma tive answer, specify which ones.
Nae answer.

7. Please indicate the measures taken (in accordance with Article 6 of the Charter) to make better known the rights and duties deriving from the application of the Charter.
The Minister of State for Scotland, George Foulkes, issued a press notice on 27 March 2001 welcoming ratification of the Charter. Opportunities are taken to highlight the Charter in speeches given by Ministers.

1. Please indicate what measures your State has taken to apply Article 7 of the Charter to the regional or minority languages referred to in paragraphs 2 and 4 of part I above, specifying the different levels of government responsible.

Article 7: Objectives and principles

1. In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to the situation of each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:
a) the recognition of the regional or minority language as an expression of cultural wealth;

National Guidelines on the education of 5-14 year-olds advocate the inclusion of Scots literature in the Scottish curriculum, and the teaching of a proper awareness and appreciation of the language. The Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum produces teaching materials in support of this inclusive policy. (thae guidelines isna compulsory)

b) the respect of the geographical area of each regional or minority language in order to ensure that existing or new administrative divisions do not constitute an obstacle to the promotion of the regional or minority language in question.
Nae answer.

c) the need for resolute action to promote regional or minority languages in order to safeguard them
The Sport, the Arts and Culture Division of the Scottish Executive Education Department is responsible for providing policy advice, support and guidance to Ministers, colleagues and others on issues relating to Scottish Gaelic and Scots. (sae, whit resolute action haes it taen?)

d) The facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life
Nae answer. (Nae surprise!)

e) The maintenance and development of links, in the fields covered by this Charter, between groups using a regional or minority language and other groups in the State employing a language used in identical or similar form, as well as the establishment of cultural relations with other groups in the State using different languages
Scottish Gaelic and Scots are also represented on the UK Committee of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages.

f) the provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of regional and minority languages at all appropriate stages
Nae answer.

g) the provision of facilities enabling non-speakers of a regional or minority language living in the area where it is used to learn if they so desire
Nae answer.

h) the promotion of study and research on regional or minority languages at universities or equivalent institutions
The Scots language and literature may be studied at a number of universities in Scotland.
The Scottish Arts Council provides funding in support of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, the Scottish National Dictionary Association and the Scots Language Resource Centre. The two dictionary bodies are merging into a new Scottish Language Dictionaries body with effect from 1 May 2002.

i) the promotion of appropriate types of transnational exchanges, in the fields covered by this Charter, for regional or minority languages
used in identical or similar form in two or more States
Nae answer.

2. The parties undertake to eliminate, if they have not yet done so, any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relat ing to the use of a regional or minority language and intended to discourage or endanger the maintenance or development of it. The adoption of special measures in favour of regional or minority languages aimed at promoting equality between the users of these languages and rest of the population or which take due account of their specific conditions is not considered to be an act of discrimi nation against the users of more widely used languages.
There is no legislation or public administration rule/practice in Scotland or Northern Ireland that supports any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of regional or minority languages and intended to discourage or endanger the maintenance or development of such languages. (Pairlament signs?)

3. The parties undertake to promote by appropriate measures, mutual understanding between all the linguistic groups of the country and in particular the inclusion of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to regional or minority languages among the objectives of education and training provided within their countries and encouragement of the mass media to pursue the same objective.
The Scottish Executive's National Cultural Strategy states that: "A wide range of languages other than English, Scots and Gaelic is spoken in Scotland, representing the culturally diverse nature of the population and recent patterns of settlement. It is important that there are opportunities for all Scots to celebrate their language and traditions and to participate fully in the cultural life of their own community and of Scotland. The different languages and dialects spoken in Scotland provide clear links with the family and community traditions which enrich our culture."

4. In determining their policy with regard to regional or minority languages, the Parties shall take into consideration the needs and wishes expressed by the groups which use such languages. They are encouraged to establish bodies, if necessary, for the purpose of advising the authorities on all matters pertaining to regional or minority languages.
Nae answer.

5. The parties undertake to apply, mutandis mutandis, the principles listed in paragraphs 1 to 4 above to non-territorial languages. However, as far as these languages are concerned, the nature and scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Charter shall be determined in a flexible manner, bearing in mind the needs and wishes, and respecting the traditions and characteristics, of the groups which use the languages concerned.
Not applicable.

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


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Scots Tung Wittins 106. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from

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Information about Document 1757

Scots Tung Wittins 106


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 3978
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2002
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