Document 1765

Scots Tung Wittins 114

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 114
Mey 2003

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

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaign
e-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

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

Conference Cries On New Pairlament Tae Gie Mair Uphaud For Minority Languages
Minority language upsteerers forgaithert in Perth on Thursday 27t Mairch tae discuss the Education, Culture an Sport Comatee report tae the Scots Pairlament anent the pairt taen bi minority languages in Scots cultural life.

The conference wis arranged an peyed for bi the Scots sub-comatee o the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL) an the Scots Language Resource Centre (based in Perth).

In her address tae the conference, the author o the report, Irene McGugan MSP, said that ane language dees somewhaur in the warld ilka twa week. She pyntit oot that if Scotland's minority languages (Scots an Gaelic) wis tae cairry on providin thair rich inpit tae Scotland's life, then it wis necessar for meisures tae be taen noo afore it wis ower late.

Allan Campbell, that sterts as the first Chief Executive o the new Gaelic Development Board (GDB) on 1 Aprile, spake o the 20 year o upsteerin that in the hinneren haed led tae the settin up o the Board. He gied particlar wecht tae his consait that the Board wadna can hain the language on its ain. It needit a weel planned maucht cairriet oot thegither bi awbody that wantit tae see the language survive.

John McIntyre frae Belfast, the Secretar o the UK comatee o the official European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages, ootlined ongauns in the Irish Language Board. Ulster-Scots wis tae get £1.4m (€2.06m) tae bield, forder an develop the language. This wis ten times the siller gien for the same purposes tae the mither language, Scots. It wis a guid demonstration o whit cuid be duin if the political circumstances wis richt.

John Law, convener o the Scots Language Resource Centre, cried on aw the sindry bodies an upsteerers in the Scots language muvement tae pou thegither in thair ettles if Scots wis tae hae ony real future.

The conference feinisht wi awbody greein that the incomin Scots Pairlament shuid be egged on tae accept the findins o thair ain Comatee's report an in particlar tae gie thair hertie uphaud tae the GDB an tae set up a study o the wants o the Scots language sae it wad cairry on wi its contribution tae Scotland's rich an sindry culture.

Whit They Aw Said Afore The Votes Wis Cast
BI the time ye read this, awbody will ken the mak-up o the saicont Scots pairlament but here a leet o whit they aw promised anent languages tae wheedle a sate oot o ye.

Labour haes gien a specific pledge in its manifesto tae legislate for the Gaelic language if re-electit on 1t. Mey sayin, "We recognise Gaelic as an important pairt o Scotland's livin national heritage. Throu Bòrd Gàidhlig na h-Alba we'll mak the future o Gaelic siccar bi pittin forrit a national language plan an a Action plan tae guide the ongauns o a reinge o agencies uphaudin Gaelic. We will pit forrit a bill tae provide the siccar status o the Gaelic language."

They promised as weel tae "cairry on investin in Gaelic-medium education, alang wi the provision o mair teacher trainin places", forbye makin a commitment tae uphaudin ither languages in Scotland. "Scotland haes mony ither languages. We will sort oot a national language strategy tae guide development an uphaud for thaim aw, includin British Sign Language an ethnic languages. Local language plans will eik tae the meisure o uphaud athort Scotland."

The Scots Liberal Democrats said they wad,"Introduce a Languages o Scotland Bill that will gie cooncils an ither public bodies an owerance tae sort oot a languages plan that reflects the commonties they ser an will pit Bòrd na Gàidhlig on a mair siccar staundin bi makin it a statutory body wi owerance for pittin oot a Strategy for Gàidhlig." They promise an aw tae rax oot foreign languages teachin in primary schuils an say they want tae "provide teachin facilities in Gaelic an ither minority languages whaur there fowk that wants it."

The SNP promised tae big on Mike Russell's Gaelic Language Bill that rin oot o time in the hinnermaist pairlament, an legislate for baith Scots an Gaelic. Forbye that its manifesto threapit that the SNP "Will pit oot a Languages Act giein siccar status for the Gaelic an Scots languages an encouragement tae community leids. We will estaiblish Bòrd Gàidhlig na h-Alba in statute an strenthen its ability tae perswad public an private bodies tae consider thair attitude tae the language in a creative wey. We will pit oot meisures tae gar the lairnin o Gaelic, includin the lairnin o Gaelic as a saicont language in schuils an adult lairnin centres."

The Scots Conservatives makit nae specific commitment tae a Language Act but promised insteid tae mak siccar that the Gaelic language an culture cairried on gittin a healthy dale o fundin an tae uphaud the leid bi pittin the Gaelic Board on a statutory staundin.

Amang the ither pairties, the SSP led bi Tommy Sheridan promised tae provide Gaelic language lessons for aw bairns an adults that want tae lairn the language an tae gie Gaelic an Scots equal legal staundin wi English. Thair manifesto threapit they wad uphaud a Gaelic Language Act, kivverin education, braidcastin, public bodies an law.
The Scots Greens said it wad mak aw schuils able tae offer languages reflectin Scotland's cultural an ethnic diversity, includin Gaelic, British Sign Language, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi an Chinese languages.

The Catalan Tongue
IN the Catalan speakin areas o Spain, Sant Jordi's Day (23-4-03) haes been celebrated bi giein awa thirty thoosan copies o a Catalan vairsion o the Basque daily newspaper tae doon-cry the shuttin doon o the Catalan language paper, Egunkaria. Howanever, Sant Jordi's day haes a romantic side tae it kinna like St. Valentine's day sae the freebie paper uises the slogan 'utilitza la llengua' that juist means 'uise yer tongue' an the organisers haed thocht up new weys o promotin the Catalan language an culture that aw cam tae a heid that nicht wi awbody uisin thair tongue in a muckle communal "French" kiss.Aw languages is like a rugby baw. The rules threaps "use it or lose it" sae aiblins the Basques haes juist gotten thairsels a new wey o eggin fowk on tae uise thair tongue.
Wad there be ony scowth here tae egg on Scots speakers tae uise thair tongue mair or daes the creenge apply tae thon kiss an aw?

Nixt Forgaitherin
Date tae be decidit
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Conference Aboot Linguistic Diversity in Europe
THE action plan for diversity in Europe taen a loup forrit at the abuin collogue (10/4/03) when it wis addressed bi European Commissioner Viviane Reding. Speakin as a Luxemburger, she pyntit oot hou, for her, it haed been mair uissfu tae lairn the leids o her neibours raither nor juist English an, tho English micht weel be the ingua-franca in Europe thae days, the future lies wi multilingualism leadin the wey tae a 'multiple response', an that 'we maun forder linguistic diversity in language-lairnin.'

She pyntit oot hou lairnin languages gied mair cognitive skills tae the individual body, hou they war an economic investment in Europe leadin tae mair competitiveness, an hou they uphaud mobility an social contacts athin Europe. She said that „foreign languages is basic skills' an that Europeans shuid 'cairry on alang the gate o teachin at least twa foreign leids tae the unco young.' The Commissioner telt hou the action plan will gaun hail heidit for three heidmaist categories. Foremaist, it will forder the advantages o language lairnin an the oncome o metalinguistic competence raither nor concentratin juist on English itsel as a saicont language.

She pyntit oot hou „mony fowk haed been lairnin a language for years but still cuidna speak it', an hou the 'mither-tongue-plus-twa norie haes tae be cairriet oot throu aw Europe. Saicontly, there haes tae be a focus on betterin language teachin, that is 'necessar for the creation o a multi-lingual Europe' an the third pairt o the plan will be 'tae create an environment that languages can thrive in' an that fowk maun 'try tae truly value aw fowk that speaks languages ither nor the ane o the state' an that 'the nummer o languages available tae the public shuid be addit tae.'Speakin aboot lesser-uised leids, she pyntit oot hou, for legal raisons, it wisna possible tae fund projects ony mair binna they war taen up as pairt o a lairger program. Howanever, she felt that a sindry program wisna aye the best wey tae gaun. 'Fundin for programs haes tae be melled thegither sae as tae be seen tae be effective' she said, referrin tae the norie o 'mainstreamin' lesser-uised leid projects. Mistress Reding concludit that 'ilka language tint is pairt o wir heritage tint' an that 'nae maitter hou muckle or hou sma, we hiv tae git yokit thegither tae hain threatened languages'.

Delegates makit mair contributions tae the development o the action plan an mony ideas wis acceptit bi maist fowk, for example, whaur the maist threatened leids wad be gien the maist help an the Preses o EBLUL proponed that the action plan shuid hae a needs-foondit approach tae different language commonties whaur there wad be particular programs for regional an minority languages an that the waiker language commonties shuid be prioritised wi a 'kinna positive discrimination'. He addit that there shuid be an official leet o European languages whaur there nae distinction drawn atween the official languages an the regional or minority languages.

A forespeaker for the Open University o Catalunya, said that; 'We need tae define the exact wants o ilka different linguistic commonty' an that 'this cuid be duin bi an agency for linguistic diversity'.

The conference wis pairt o the linguistic diversity consultation ongauns an the action plan is expectit tae kythe in the nixt twa three month.

Ann Donovan's ‘Buddha Da'
Bi Irene Brown
WHEN Alisdair Gray first published Lanark in 1981, he didnae juist publish a modern classic, but he pit Glesca on tae the literary map. He hysted up Glesca sae that it cuid be read wi imagination; hysted it abuin the mundane. He set the precedent for Glesca tae be the backdrap for oot o the ordinar events. Ower 20 year on, Anne Donovan haes setten her debut novel, Buddha Da, in Glesca whaur a series o events, some ordinar, some extrae ordinar, taks place in the lives o the three heidmaist characters. An example o this is the seekin o the new Lama in Carmunnock, bi wey o Castlemilk, Croftfoot, Clarkston an Cathcart.

Anne Donovan haes written the hail novel in whit can only be descrived as Glaswegian. In each chapter, she gies vyce tae wan o the three heidmaist characters in turn an in each case thair vyce is clear, natural an no pitten on. She haes managed tae get intae the skin o each wan. The story is aboot Jimmy McKenna, a lapsed Catholic an general punter that happens tae be a penter (an Decorator) an ae-time punk, his wife Liz an thair dochter, Anne Marie. It deals wi the wey each wan o thaim deals wi Jimmy's discovery o Buddhism an hou him daein this is the catalyst tae a series o chynges that affects aw thair lives.

Donovan's uiss o the Glesca vyce gies truith tae each character's perspective o the events. She never taks the pairt o the aw-seein author, preferrin tae come at each stage o the development frae the perspective o aither Jimmy, Liz or Anne Marie. Sic is her gift that the reader naturally chynges thair perspective tae that o the individual view o each character as it is exposed. This creates a cinematic view o the unfauldin events an gies the reader the privilege o bein the aw-seein wan.Enlichtenment appears tae be the hinnermaist goal o Buddhism. In this novel, a mellin o the sindry influences o Catholic tradition, self-awaurness, multiculturalism, growth, development, freendship, faimly an daith helps tae bring each character tae thair ain stage o it. Richt throu the piece, Donovan shaws that Jimmy, Liz an Anne Marie each haes the natural capacity o experiencin this hichtened awaurness o the essence o life. Like Jimmy when he wis bored at the retreat an cuid only think o the rain-draps, Liz in her first moments o passion wi her new click an Anne Marie when her ideas for her sang aw cam thegither. As Anne Marie says tae her Daddy at the beginnin o the novel, "....Mibbe you're a Buddhist and you don't know it." (P.4)

Donovan touches on the maitter o the colonisation o Tibet bi makin Anne Marie dae it as a geography project. She is stammygastered tae find that it disnae exist in its ain richt, but juist as a pairt o China.

'...'They've only got the Chinese flag here - you'd think they'd have wan of their ain.'
'Or a language.'
'no according tae this. Still,' she said, turning back tae her Maths book, 'Bet you Scotland's no in it either.'

And it wisnae. No as a country anyway, just part of the UK. (Capital: London, Status: Monarchy). And nae flag neither. Nor languages of wir ain." (P.262)

Aiblins Donovan's writin in her ain tongue will gaun a wee bit wey tae conterin that.

Buddha Da is published bi Canongate. Anne Donovan's first published wark wis a series o cuttie stories cried Hieroglyphics and other Stories published bi Canongate in 2001.

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 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.
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Seen in the Scotsman
THE follaein observation wis seen in the Scotsman Diary o Tuesday 29 Aprile an wis thocht tae be wordy o bringin tae the attention o Scots Tung WITTINS readers:-
A couple were strolling along Victoria Road on the South Side of Glasgow the other evening.

"Gie's a fag." the man grunted.
"Ye no ever heard the word 'gonnae'?"

Makar's Neuk
Ane doolie seasoun to ane carefull dyte
Suld correspond, and be equivalent.
Richt sae it wes when I began to wryte
This tragedie, the weader richt fervent,
When Aries, in middis of the Lent,
Shouris of haill can frae the north discend,
That scantlie frae the cauld I micht defend.

Yet nevertheless within mine orature
I stude, when Titan had his beamis bricht
Withdrawin doun, and sylit under cure
And fair Venus, the bewtie of the nicht,
Upraise, and set unto the west full richt
Hir goldin face in oppositioun
Of God Phebus, direct discending doun.

Robert Henrysoun (c.1420 - c.1490)

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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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Information about Document 1765

Scots Tung Wittins 114


Text audience

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Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2652
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2003
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