Document 1788

Scots Tung Wittins 137

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 137
Aprile 2005

A guid Scots Tung in yer heid's nae guid if yer mooth's ower blate tae uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINs

Eydently Campaignin for the Scots Leid
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung Wabsteid: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Cultural Discrimination bi British Estaiblishment
[NOTE: image of Colin and Cumberland in original]
The Foreign Secretar, Jack Straw, haes telt the British pairlament that the proponed EU Constitution will be owerset intae Welsh but no intae Scots or Gaelic e'en tho the European Commission haes agreed for it tae be owerset intae baith o Scotland's vernacular languages, Gaelic an Scots - as lang's the UK government speirt for it.

The Foreign Office haes telt Eurolang that the UK government haes nae intentions o owersettin the proponed EU constitution intae aither Scots, Gaelic, Irish or Cornish. Thochts wis threapit in the European Pairlament that Europe winna be Europe if aw its minorities wisna includit an thae minorities winna be includit in Europe if thair languages is left oot.Nae doot the UK Government will jouk ahint the threap that Scots an Gaelic is devolved maitters an they hiv tae gaun bi whit the Scots government tells thaim, but it disnae maitter whit wey ye leuk at it, baith the Scots an UK Governments is singin frae the same hymn sheet an whit better wey tae forder baith thair ain sleekit agendas than for ilka ane o thaim tae say, "It wisnae me. It wis him!"

Efter the UK haes haed its say, it'll suin be time for the Scots Executive tae hae a shot for July is the month it haes tae pit in its saicont report tae the Comatee o Experts tae shaw that they've cairriet oot the Comatee's hinnermaist recommendations frae last year wi regaird tae the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages. Here whit the Executive wis telt last year:-
"The Commitee of Experts recommends that the British authorities take account of all its observations and, as a matter of priority - create conditions for the use of Scots in public life, through the adoption of a language policy and concrete measures, in co-operation with the speakers of the language."

Scots Tung haes heard tell frae reliable sources athin the Scottish Executive that, for aw the mealie-moothit words o encouragement gien bi ministers tae pairlamentary speirins, the Executive disnae hae ony real interest or intention in daein onythin constructive tae uphaud Scots or tae estaiblish ony language policy for it.

The Australian Professor Joe LoBianco, in a paper anent minority leids, descrives this kinna behaviour as juist a richt sleekit wey o deliberately killin aff a language bi staundin back an allouin it tae dee oot.
Efter they've finally gotten thair wey, they'll aw haud up thair haunds an say, in true Holyrood fashion, "It wisnae me! A didnae dae onythin!" But the hail warld will ken that, because they didnae dae onythin, it really wis thaim efter aw.

As if aw thon wisnae enough, the biggest quango in the British estaiblishment, the BBC, loups in tae keep the pat bilin wi its ain kinna discrimination an a wee bit o traditional British "divide an conquer" chucked in for guid meisure. It haes furthset a new wab-steid cried Colin and Cumberland sae the viewers can lairn tae speak an unnerstaund Welsh an Gaelic. Oh, an there a wee note tae say that Irish will be comin suin tae Northern Ireland. Whit aboot Scots, Ulster Scots an Cornish? Awbody in the UK, includin Scots, Ulster Scots an Cornish speakers peys the BBC's licence fee sae whit wey is the BBC echoin the cultural discriminations o the UK Government an the Scots Government an sleekitly leavin thae languages oot?

New EBLUL Forgaithers
Are-biggit EBLUL forgaithert in Barcelona ower the hinnermaist weekend o Februar tae sort oot its new structure an on-gauns an tae elect a new Praisident an Board.Ae-time Irish TV praisenter, Neasa Ní Chinnéide wis electit Praisident wi John McIntyre o the UK EBLUL comatee an Frisian language planner Alex Riermersma electit as Vice-Praisidents.

Threapin tae the cooncil, Mistress Ní Chinnéide gied wecht tae hou EBLUL shuid be a "lairnin organisation", an shuid mak mair o its "key strenth" o maimber state comatees, that gies the NGO a wechty an unique democratic owerance frae Europe's minoritised language commonties. She ootlined hou EBLUL warks as a pletform for languages, an that mair importance will be gien tae attractin the young an tae braiden the Buroo's financial foonds.

Retirin efter seeven year as praisident, Bojan Brezigar wis gey weel thankit bi EBLUL's Cooncil. In his speech, he gied wecht tae the importance o the pairt EBLUL plays as an organisation that's "representative o minority leids, dalin as an NGO at the highest level, lobbyin amang politicians an institutions an fetchin the maitters tae dae wi linguistic diversity an minority languages tae the relevant decision makin bodies".

He pyntit oot whit EBLUL haed eikit tae the Draft Constitution an tae the European Year o the Leids an feinishin wi the threap that "EBLUL will be respectit an cairry oot its pairt in Europe, juist if it is a democratic an autonomous NGO, wi its ain policy anent the European Institutions".

Neasa Ní Chinnéide is frae the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht (Irish speakin) commonty o Wast Kerry in the sooth-wast o Ireland an stertit a career in braidcastin wi Raidió na Gaeltachta, the Irish language wireless station. She got tae be a television praisenter in 1986, co-praisentin an Irish language current affeirs program on the national public service braidcaster, RTE.

She makit forrit tae bein a television producer/director in 1988, warkin maistly in heidmaist current affeirs programs in baith Irish an English. She wis a maimber o the foondin Authority o TG4, the Irish Language TV Service (1995-6), an Chyre o the Celtic Film an Television Festival (1998-2000).
EBLUL, that's nou based in Dublin, will lench its brand new wabsteid athin the neist puckle weeks. Watch oot for it.
Owerset frae Davyth Hicks, Eurolang © 2005

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsteid 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.
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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.

Juist The Puir Relation Agane?
AIBERDEEN University, for the fifth year in a raw, is hostin a three day literary festival cried The Word an haes brocht oot a hail day program in Mey tae celebrate Gaelic literature. Kenspeckle Scots writers an politicians haes cried for ony Aiberdeen literary festival tae be giein as muckle wecht tae the Scots language, Doric Scots in particlar, as it is giein thae days tae Gaelic. The extract frae John Barbour's The Brus, furthset on this page, wis written aroond 1375 in the Aiberdeen airt an is a braw guid exemplar o the muckle want in the praisent literary festival. "Equal Opportunity?" Noo there a thocht tae chew the fat ower!

The Scots language haes been gien some sma praisence in the form o a puckle speakers an ongauns but it disnae hae onythin like its ain fringe program the wey Gaelic haes. Critics haes pit the blame for this want doon tae a cultural Scots cringe suffered bi a nummer o academics whaur the mither tung is concairned. Writers an uphauders o the Scots language believes that thair vyces shuid be gien the same meisure o wecht, in literary festivals an in legislation. Aiberdeen haes a Doric festival areddies but it's maistly ceilidhs an soirees raither nor academic collogues.

Organisers o The Word festival says that there juist no eneuch time for a Scots program athin thair weekend festival but they threap writers o Scots haes aye been gien a fair pairt in the ongaun.

The airtistic director o Word, Alan Spence, says that in a weekend festival, it's a bit ticht tae hae a Doric day. He addit, "There a faur bigger Gaelic element this year. Whaur we are located, there a strang Gaelic praisence, sae it's guid tae refleck that. But Doric haes a kenspeckle pairt tae play an Sheena Blackhall haes been takin pairt syne the stert o the festivals."

If the criteria for a language haein a major pairt in the festival is, as he says, that it haes a strang praisence in that airt, then whit wey is the Doric Scots kept hauden doon. Naebody, no e'en Alan Spence, can na-say that Scots haes a gey strang praisence in that airt an there nae wey it can be descrived aroond Aiberdeen as a minority leid sae whit wey is it no guid tae refleck thon strang praisence o Scots an aw?

The writer, John Aberdein, threapit Scots an Gaelic shuid baith be fordered in literary ongauns an legislation an agreed that, raither nor bein divisive agin Gaelic, baith leids shuid be uphaudit in Scots Executive legislation sae they can baith win tae equal staundin wi ane anither. He addit that when Scots is spoken bi fower million folk, it seems negleckfu that it disnae hae that staundin.

The Gaelic makar an braidcaster, Aonghas MacNeacail, threapit the new Gaelic program wad gar folk see it as a livin literary language,an he addit that Scots shuid be gien the same meisure o staundin an aw.

Scots screiver, James Robertson, pyntit oot some o the difficulties o forderin the Scots language an said that maist Gaelic screivers wis blithe tae see investment, no subsidy, in baith leids. They shuid be seen as languages that belangs the hail o Scotland.

Makar an screiver, Sheena Blackhall, that's a research fellow at the Elphinstone Institute forbye, an institution that forders the Doric in Aiberdeen, threapit that this hamelt tung shuid be fordered in the Word festival an aw in a braider wey. She gaed on tae say Doric in the northeast taks in awbody, an ilka ethnic group shuid be fendit for, but we dree the cultural creenge ower aften an organisers can whiles be a bit sweir tae include thair ain culture.

"Scots isnae a minority language," she said, "but the kinch is the evendoon want o publishers an a national distrbution wab, an this maks it harder tae forder Scots literature athoot it gets a wechty fundin an subsidy."

Michael Matheson, the SNP's culture forspeaker, said that Scots an Gaelic shuid baith be apprised the same an hertened bi wey o a Languages o Scotland Bill.

Apairt frae the organisers o the festival, it's guid tae see baith the Gaelic an Scots language upsteerers stickin up for ane anither. Scots upsteerers will aye fecht for Scots tae be gien the same staundin as Gaelic but nane o thaim wants thon at the expense o Gaelic. On the contrar, maist wad seek for Gaelic tae be gien mair than it haes at praisent - wi Scots follaein suit.

The King's Bishop
THE time o the absence o King Robert the Bruce in Ireland, whaur he haed gaed tae uphaud the pretensions o his brither Edward tae the croun o thon country, a pairty o English, sent tae invade Scotland bi sea, anchored aff Inverkeithing in the coonty o Fife. The Earl o Fife an the sheriff o the coonty, haein five hunder men unner thair command, attemptit tae conter the landin but, intimidatit bi the nummers o the English, they made a retreat. William Sinclair, bishop o Dunkeld, happened tae meet the fugitives. "Whaur are ye fleein tae?" he speirt the commanders; "ye deserve tae hae yer gilt spurs hackit aff ." Then thrawin aff his ecclesiastical vestment, he grabbed a spear an cried, "Wha loves Scotland follae me!" He led the Scots agane tae the chairge, an impetuously attacked the enemy, that hidnae feinisht thair landin. The English gied wey an wis driven tae thair ships wi considerable loss. When the king heard o the intrepidity o this prelate he said "Sinclair sall be ma bishop." an the title o King's Bishop stuck tae him frae then.

Makar's Neuk

'Lordingis, we aucht to love and luff
Allmychty God that sytts abuff
That sendis us sa fayr begynnyng.
It is a gret discomforting
Till our fayis that on this wis
Sa sone has bene rabutyt twis,
For quhen thai off thar ost sall her
And knaw suthly on quhat maner
Thar vaward that wes sa stout,
And syne yone othyr joly rout
That I trow off the best men war
That thay mycht get amang thaim thar,
War rebutyt sa sodanly,
I trow and knawis it all clerly
That mony ane hart sall waverand be
That semyt er off gret bounté,
And fra the hart be discomfit
The body is nocht worth a myt,
Tharfor I trow that gud ending
Sall follow till our begynnyng.
The quhether I say nocht this you till
For that ye suld follow my will
To fycht, bot in you all sall be,
For gyff you thinkis spedfull that we
Fecht we sall, and giff ye will
We leve, your liking to fulfill.
I sall consent on alkyn wis
To do rycht as ye will dyvys,
Tharfor sayis off your will planly.'
And with a voce than gan thai cry,
'Gud king, foroutyn mar delay
Tomorne alsone as ye se day
Ordane you hale for the bataill,
For doute off dede we sall nocht faill
Na na payn sall refusyt be
Quhill we haiff maid our countré fre.'

Frae 'The Brus'
Bi John Barbour (c1320-1395)

The abuin text is no sae hard tae read as it leuks first aff, as lang's ye uise a wee bit imagination wi the spellin an pronunciation an tak tent o the aften, but no aye, silent penultimate 'i' an 'y'. Maist o the vowels haes mair nor ane pronunciation sae, if a word is giein ye bother, try uisin aw the ither soond values the vowel haes regairdless o the letters roond aboot. Efter that, maist words turns oot tae be gey like modern Scots or English anes. Howanever, the meanins o the follaein wee haundfu o auld farrant Scots words, that micht gie bother, is gien ablow:-
alkin wis.......every wey/aw kinna weys
Na na payn....Nor nae pain (2 vowel soonds)

Nixt Forgaitherin
Tae be arranged

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Scots Tung Wittins 137. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from

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Information about Document 1788

Scots Tung Wittins 137


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2511
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2005
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