Document 1773

Scots Tung Wittins 122

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 122
Jan 2004

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
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

LIET, The Alternative Eurovision Sang Contest
Owerset intae Scots frae Davyth Hicks' original report in Eurolang
[NOTE: a photograph here of Gwenno performingin original]
TAK ten bands, flee thaim tae Fryslân an whit dae ye get? Liet! It means 'sang' in Frisian an is whit the Alternative Eurovision Sang Contest is cried. This contest is a sicht mair original, dynamic an sindry nor its peelie-wallie rival, the Eurovision Sang Contest, but ye micht speir whit haes this ane got that's different? Weel, this ane is richt by-ordinar cause aw the bands sings in thair ain hamelt, regional, stateless or minority language an aw the music haes tae be 'alternative'.

Liet wis hauden ower the fowert weekend o November in Ljouweert (Leeuwarden) Fryslân, wi a win for the Sami band, Transjoik an hauden in a muckle, stowed oot concert ha. Gwenno, singin for Cornwall, taen the gree for the audience's favourite act.

No mony ongauns cuid be the maik o Liet in it's abeility tae speak for Europe's linguistic diversity nor this festival, an in particlar, thae's aw hamelt, regional, stateless, or minority languages that's bein uised bi young fowk baith in thair music an in thair ilkaday lives frae Catalan tae Cornish.

This ongaun haes a mair faur-raxin potential nor it's mair kenspeckle but forfochen rival cause it reflecks the real, livin linguistic diversity in Europe. Mony fowk sees Eurovision noo as a comic imitation o itsel wi identikit groups, music that's no awfu original, an the sangs bein sung mair an mair in juist English alane. Taen aw thegither, the professionalism an originality o aw the acts takin pairt in Liet wis fu o wunner but ane or twa stuid oot abuin the lave.

Transjoik frae Saamiland wis the winners. Thair dwam-like music agin a backgrund o drums ower the whilk a Sami 'joik' (high fleein vocals) wis eikit, thair pouer an praisence winnin ower the audience an maist o the jury.

Gwenno frae Cornwall makit the croud haud its wheesht wi her hert-scaudin sang 'Vodya', descrivin 'hireth' ( a word athoot a maik in English, the maist sib bein 'yearning') an the dowie feelins o thaim in exile frae thair kintra. Her faither, Tim Saunders, a kenspeckle Cornish makar, screivit the lyrics.

Close rinners-up wis Nux Vomica frae Occitania, upsteerin the audience wi thair spicy mell o rap an breck-beats wi a sang that got tore intae the French state's traitment o its regional languages.

Epitaff frae Wales makit thirsels awbody's darlins wi thair wunnerfae like pit thegither pop sangs echoin an acoustic Oasis or, whiles, Travis.

Howanever, it wis oot-bye the contest itsel that mony o the bands wis able tae mak thair merk, playin cutty twinty meinit sets. It wis here that Gwenno won throu tae tak the audience's favourite act award. She gied a live performance o fern year's hit, 'Mor Hud' wi its modal melody giein pleisure tae the senses, a particularity o maist Cornish an Breton music.

Onno Falkena frae the Frisian wireless station Omrop Fryslân, an ane o the organisers, telt Eurolang: "We hiv haed strang uphaud frae the regions an kintras takin pairt. We're haein words wi the Basque government the noo anent pairtnership an we're ettlin tae mak a TV program aboot Liet that'll be braidcast aw ower agane in Catalunya an Galicia."

Liet soonds like the kinna competition that cuid dae nae want o guid for the Scots language gin thare wis ony guid entries frae the musical side o the Scots language muvement. It's no aw that clear frae the report gin uphaud frae the regional government is a necessar condition afore a particlar minority leid can tak pairt but it wadna be aw that difficult for maimbers o the Cross Pairty Group wi a musical interest tae spier thae wittins frae Eurolang or EBLUL. If thon wis a necessar element, winnin uphaud for the projeck frae the Scots Executive micht be mair readily gotten if a jynt approach wis makit bi baith the Scots an Gaelic language muvements.

Scots Signage
[NOTE: a photograph here from the meeting in original]
EDINBURGH'S Evenin News raicently cairried a fotie o a residents' forgaitherin demonstratin agin the raxin o parkin restrictions tae thair airt. This wis hauden in the gym ha o James Gillespie's Primary Schuil an the pairt o the fotie that's shawn ablow haes a bi-centenary banner on the wa wi the follaein slogan written in Scots. "Wha wad hae thocht it, that noses had bocht it?"

The foonders o the schuil, James Gillespie an his brither, wis kenspeckle snuff manufacturers in thair day an it wis snuff that the faimly fortune kythed frae. Ae day whan passin by the schuil wi a freend in a cairriage, the fre-end is reputed tae hiv said, "Wha wad hae thocht it, that noses had bocht it?"

It's guid tae see that James Gillespie's Primary Schuil isna sweir tae pit written forms o the Scots language on its was the day sae its students micht ken the kinna thochts that wis gaun throu the heids o its foonders an the words they uised tae descrive thae thochts.

Whit a peety the Scots Pairlament's Corporate Body didna hae thon kinna smeddum.

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:-
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© 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 furthset in ony ither publication.

Walcome tae 2004
A Guid New Year tae Ane an Aw!
THE stert o a new year is aye fu o howp. Howp o winnin an achievin things that ither years haes na-sayed us. Tae the Scots language muvement in particlar, 2004 will be the year the European Chairter's Comatee o Experts haunds doon thair verdict on whuther the Scots Executive haes cairried oot aw its obligations anent the Scots language unner the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Leids Pairt II. This wis signed an ratified bi the British government on the executive's behauf. If the CoE gies the executive a verbal clout ower the lug, will it mak ony difference?

Gaelic is covered unner Pairt III o the Chairter an the rumours comin oot o Holyrood the noo wad hae fowk believe that the pairlament's Corporate Body haes decidit tae dae awa wi Gaelic signage in the new Holyrood biggin an juist bide wi English alane. If this is true then the Chairter canna be worth the paper it's prentit on.

2004 is the year the Scottish Executive is ettlin tae push forrit wi its Scottish Culture drive an Jack McConnell is reportit as sayin, "Scotland can build self-confidence and rid itself of its infamous 'cringe'."

Up tae the noo, nane o the cultural proposals bein pit forrit haes said ocht aboot Scottish languages or ony ither kinna languages for that maitter. Daes Jack no ken that Scottish culture is whit haes been raxed doon tae us frae wir forebeirs an that canna be duin at-hoot language? In maist cases that language uised wad hae been Scots or Gaelic. Pittin forrit a Scottish Culture drive athoot ony reference tae thae languages is like ettlin tae big a dyke athoot ony stanes. Whit guid daes he think that daein awa wi Gaelic signage in the new pairlament is gaun tae dae for the self-confidence o the Gaels? An likeweys, whit effeck will no haein Scots signage at aw in the new pairlament hae on the self-confidence o the millions o Scots speakers?

The Scottish Creenge is the direck ootcome o the suppression o the twa Scottish languages in previous generations whaur the language that the bairns taen tae the schuil wis daured an makit a bauchle o. The Scots bairns spent the first five year o thair lives lairnin hou tae speak an descrive thair warld juist tae gaun tae the schuil an get telt thair language wisna worth a docken an they warna tae uise it but haed tae lairn tae speak 'proper'. In later years, whane'er they heard thon auld leid that they haed been learned tae be ashamed o, it gart thair flesh creep an the creenge wis born.There mony educatit fowk the day that hae nocht but guid tae say aboot the Scots language but aye juist in English. The shame o bein heard speakin Scots in public is washit that deep intae thair harns that they canna bring thirsels tae be heard uisin it. Daes Jack McConnell really believe that giein thae fowk mair exposure tae opera, ballet, theatre, music an the airts will rid thaim o thair Scots creenge an gie thaim the confidence tae be heard uisin Scots in public?

Fowk that uises Scots as thair first language daesna dree the creenge at aw for they're richt at hame an fully articulate speakin thair ain language but there times whan they feel obliged tae try an speak English. It's at thae times whan they're thinkin in ae language an tryin tae speak in anither that they aye hiv tae be on the kee-vee for fear o pittin thair fit in it sae thair self-confidence taks a heider an the 'inarticulate Scot' is the ootcome.

The Scots Executive's Scottish Culture drive cuid verra weel restore self-confidence an redd oot the creenge but juist if it embraces the language problem an daes somethin tae dae awa wi the stigma that's still attached tae the Scots language in the heids o ower mony Scots fowk. The first step alang thon gate wad be tae gie written forms o the Scots language a legitimate presence in the new pairlament biggin an in ither sib institutions.

Scots Tung howps that 2004 will be the year that the Scottish fowk aw stoppit girnin - cause there wis naethin left for thaim tae girn aboot.

Scots an BBC Radio Scotland
RADIO Scotland haes greed tae gie a lift tae the Scots language bi garrin praisenters tae uise some o the mair weel kent Scots words in thair braidcasts tae help keep the language alive an haes approved a leet o Scots words that they can uise. Maimbers o the Scots Pairlament's Cross Pairty Group on the Scots Leid haes pitten pressure on tae the corporation an it haes respondit wi settin oot a leet o aboot a hunner words that praisenters shuid feel mair at hame wi on the air. The leet includes some kenspeckle gems sic as glaikit, dreich, crabbit an haar. BBC forspeakers says that some praisenters feels mair at hame wi Scots words than ithers. Some slips intae Scots words areddies cause they're pairt o thair normal ilkaday vocabular. The move haes been descrived bi some as "tokenism". Upsteerers wants Radio Scotland tae gie mair time tae Scots language programs an there wis reports galore in the press aboot this forgaitherin wi the Lesley Riddoch program giein it a guid airin on Radio Scotland. The wecht o Radio Scotland's interest in the subjeck wis demonstratit bi the praisence o Maggie Cunningham, the R.S. High Heid Ane, as Lesley descrived her. Ither sindry maimbers o the public taen pairt, some uisin sindry degrees o modern Scots an ae body frae the Scots language muvement. Apairt frae quotin the odd Scots word an quotin ane or twa Scots phrases oot o a gremmar buik tae mak a technical pynt, he spake in English an, for aw that Lesley an ithers wis verbally twistin his airm tae uise Scots, he wadna gie in. He said that haein a hunner words uised in an English context wis nae uiss an praisenters shuid be uisin thaim in a Scots context, speirin Radio Scotland athoot a blush tae dae whit he wadna dae hissel!

WHAN MSPs or onybody else for that maitter daurs ony reference tae Christmas or the New Year on thair Christmas cairds for fear o ither religions bein struntit, it tells the warld mair aboot thairsels nor aboot thae ither religions. Mony o the shops that blithely sells Scots Tung's Yule cairds alang wi the ordinar English language Christmas cairds is awned an operated bi ethnic Asian faimlies. In fack it's maistly Asian shops that comes forrit an speirs if they cuid get some o the 'Scottish Christmas Cards' tae sell. They hae nae fash at aw wi references tae Christmas or New Year juist as maist Scots daesna hae ony fash wi ither fowks' religious customs an celebrations. The only kinna fowk that micht think that ither religions wad tak the strunts ower it is thae fowk that juidges ithers bi thairsels; fowk that haes a deep-doon suspicion aboot religions that isna thair ain. Whit's mair, if maimbers o thae ither religions kens fine they dinna hae ony fash aboot this they're bound tae jalouse the kinch maun lie in the herts o thaim that thocht up this censorship.Is a censored pairlamentary vairsion o the Christmas carols nixt on the cairds or shuid thon be Seasonal carols?

Anent Aiths an Flags
INCOMMERS tae Scotland that wins thair applications for British citizenship in the oncome, will hae tae sweer an aith o allegiance afore the Saltire, the national flag o Scotland. New plans pitten oot raicently lays doon that new citizenship ceremonies shuid be shapit tae suit an refleck whit airt o the UK that they're cairried oot in. Sae the anthem "Flouer o Scotland" will be played an aw. The ettles o the new ceremonies is tae gie mair wecht tae the obligations as weel as tae the richts o bein a citizen an tae mak it a mair kenspeckle day for awbody takin pairt.

Makar's Neuk
At Hallowmas, whan nights grow lang,
And starnies shine fu clear,
Whan fock, the nippin cald to bang,
Their winter hap-warms wear,
Near Edinbrough a fair there hads,
I wat there's nane whase name is,
For strappin dames and sturdy lads,
And cap and stoup, mair famous
Than it that day.

Here chapman billies tak their stand,
An shaw their bonny wallies;
Wow, but they lie fu gleg aff hand
To trick the silly fallows:
Heh, Sirs! What cairds and tinklers come,
An ne'er-do-weel horse-coupers,
An spae-wives fenzying to be dumb,
Wi aw siclike landloupers,
To thrive that day.

Robert Fergusson (1750-1774)

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Information about Document 1773

Scots Tung Wittins 122


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2558
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2004
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