Document 1816

Scots Tung Wittins 165

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 165
Aug 2007

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid, hert an mooth!!

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Thochts On Language Revival
A Wikipedia paper on Language Revival wis raicently pit stravaigin the e-mail gates bi Colin Wilson o Aiberdeen.

The paper sterts aff wi threapin that Language Revival is an ettle, bi governments, political authorities, or upsteerers tae bring back the spoken yuiss o a language that's no spoken ony mair or is weel on its wey oot. Language daith is the process bi whilk a language staps bein yaised bi the fowk that yaised tae speak it. Language Revival ettles tae bring back a language that is deid or deein.

Conterin whit the paper cries language shift, haes been a maitter o study amang sociolinguists, includin ane cried Joshua Fishman, in raicent times. Conterin language shift taks in estaiblishin hou faur a particlar language haes sunk sae that the best wey tae assist or spunk it up can be warkit oot. (Culture Minister, Linda Fabiani MSP, haes threapit she wad consider commissionin a report intae the state o the Scots language in repone tae a quaisten speirt bi Rob Gibson MSP, Convener o the CPG on Scots - see ower)

Joshua Fishman's ploy for revivin threitened or deid languages, or for makin thaim sustainable, taks the form o an aicht-stage process. Wark shuid be concentratit on the airlier stages o restoration until they've been consolidatit afore gaun on tae the later stages. Thae aicht stages is as follaes:-

1. The acquirement o the language bi adults, that in effect act as language apprentices.

2. Create a socially integratit population o active speakers or yaisers o the language (at this stage it's usually best tae concentrate maistlins on the spoken language raither nor the written language).

3. In airts whaur there a wicelike nummer o fowk that maks a habit o yaisin the language, gie a lift tae the informal yuiss o the language amang fowk o aw age groups an athin faimlies an bowster its ilka-day yuiss throu the estaiblishment o local neibourheid institutions whaur the language is gien a lift, proteckit an whiles, yaised exclusively.

4. In airts whaur oral competence haes been won in aw age groups, gie a lift tae literacy in the language but in a wey that disnae lippen on uphaud frae (or guid will o) the state education system.

5. Whaur the state allous it, an whaur nummers warrant, gie a lift tae the yuiss o the language in lieu o compulsory state education.

6. Whaur the abuin stages haes been won an consolidatit, gie a lift tae the yuiss o the language in the wark place (nether wark sphere).

7. Whaur the abuin stages haes been won an consolidatit, gie a lift tae the yuiss o the language in local government services an the mass media.

8. Whaur the abuin stages haes been won an consolidatit, gie a lift tae the yuiss o the language in higher education an government etc.

The paper gauns on tae say that this model o language revival is intendit tae airt efforts tae whaur they're maist effective an tae evyte ill-wared smeddum ettlin tae win tae the hinnermaist stages o recovery whan the airlier stages hisnae been won tae. For exemplar it's maist like wastefu o smeddum tae campaign for the yuiss o the language on TV or in government services gin haurdly ony faimlies is in the habit o yaisin the language. (This isnae the case wi Scots).

It's no an easy maitter tae jalouse hou the Scots language meisures up tae thae aicht stages for, in mony weys there twa sindry pairts tae the Scots language. The 1996 test census question threapit bi extrapolation there micht be at least 1.5 million Scots speakers but the feck o thaim wad maistlins be Scots speakers that's in the maist pairt illiterate in the language apairt frae bein able tae read Oor Wullie an the Broons an aiblins a bit o Burns. A sma minority o that 1.5m is literate in Scots an contributes tae modern Scots literature. Howanever, ower mony o thaim cannae richtly claim tae be Scots speakers in the sense o communicatin in Scots wi ither maimbers o the public on a raigler basis. No juist that tho, but there still ower mony o thaim cannae gaun intae a Scots language forgaitherin an communicate in Scots. Some thinks they're daein weel speakin in English wi the occasional obligatory Scots phrase spoken in sic a wey that the invertit comas aroond it is plain for awbody tae hear. This tells the warld that they're feart or ashamed tae converse in Scots in case fowk thinks they're ower donnert tae learn hou tae speak proper an sae thair social staundin maun faw in the een o the listeners. If this is hou they see thirsels then thon maun be thair ain reaction tae hearin ither fowk speakin Scots. Linguistic cockapenties sic as this that chuises tae be inarticulate in Scots daes nae want o skaith!

It wad seem that the Scots language is in sair want o nummers 1 & 2 but wi 1 chynged tae read, "The acquirement o the spoken language bi adults". The Scots language is gaun tae bide sindert till sic time as thae twa stages haes been won tae an thae fowk that writes but disnae speak haes lairnt thirsels hou tae be articulate in the language they scrieve in nae maitter wha they're speakin tae.

The Scots language muvement maun cairry on wi stages 3 tae 8 whaur they're daein that areddies but it shuid tak tent that if success in thae stages haes been gey disappyntin up tae the noo, then Fishman micht weel be richt an the resources bein pitten intae thae stages isnae punchin thair ain wecht cause stages 1 & 2 haes been missed oot. Tak guid tent that whit's speirt for in stage 8 is "yuiss o the language in higher education, government etc.", no the "study o the language".

Ane or twa haes been haein thochts areddies on hou stages 1 & 2 cuid be won tae an some o thae thochts includes the likes o :-

A hale day or hauf day warkshop wi tutors tae learn fowk hou tae be articulate in Scots an hou tae get ower thair creenge sae they can orally express thair thochts in the Scots language in baith formal or informal situations athoot ony embarrassment or shame.

Nicht-schuil clesses tae lairn fowk hou tae get ower thair creenge an learn tae be articulate in thair ain mither tung.

The yuiss o a hypnotist tae help fowk redd oot thair psychological barrier tae speakin Scots.
Speir aw estaiblisht Scots curns includin the CPG tae hae a reglar session at aw thair forgaitherins whaur awbody haes tae staund up an speak for twa meinits in Scots wi nae exceptions alloued.

Gin ye want tae tak pairt in or eik yer ain thochts tae whit's proponed abuin, ye can dae this bi wey o the Scots Language Centre at

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsite 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. €9 (Ireland/EU)

Mary Johnston's
Smaa Spangs - Deutsch to Doric
A Review bi Irene Broon (Owerset intae Scots bi the editor)
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
MARY JOHNSTON'S love o German poetry gauns back tae her bairnheid days in Ellon Academy. In her pamphlet Smaa Spangs Deutsch to Doric, she haes owerset 15 18th century poems frae the original German, that she fund "cowps ower… readily into the Doric". She tells the reader that German Lieder can be "naïve, sentimental an romantic" Howanever, her chyce o texts, maistlins bi Göethe an Rückert, is in the maist pairt aboot loass, daith an hert hunger, sae there a dowieness rinnin throu aw the pages.

The pamphlet is neiboured wi a CD o Mary readin the poems an singin ane o the sangs, Hedder Rosikie. She haes a clair, licht, cantie singin vyce an it's guid tae hear her NE Scots spoken bi her. The readin pints up the kinch o writin in Scots dialecks. Writers is keen tae get thair ain native soonds ontae paper. Syne there nae staundart wey o daein this, the reader haes tae adjust tae a writer's vairsion o a particlar word. Mary's vairsion o 'beauty' is written as 'byowty', tho it's clairly soondit as 'beauty' on the CD sae leuks orra on the page. Her yuiss o 'e' for 'the' taen an adjustment as weel an I taen tent that baith soonds wis yaised in the recordin. Nae rule really seemed tae apply, but Mary maistlins said 'the' at the stert o the sentence an 'e' at ither pairts o a sentence – but no aye! In a sic-like wey, she yaises 'I' in the written text, but aft soondit it as 'A', the mair common Scots pronunciation, in the recordin.

There a real souch o ither warlds in mony o thae poems. The unnerwater warld o the marmaid that wiles the fisherman awa; the warld o nature whaur a rose reeks revenge on a méchant for bein poued; the warld whaur Daith comes lik a seductive suitor tae a young lass; the fairy unnerwarld whaur elves is only seen bi the laddie they're aboot tae steal an the efterlife that's a warld somewhaur "up …on thon knowe heid".

She speaks aboot the surfacin o "NE pragmatic sensibilities" an this is weel seen in the poem Ony Shape or Form whaur the first twa verses shaws the lengths a lover wad want tae gaun tae get the beloved's attention, than the hinnermaist verse turns tae "I am fit I am, tak me or get on yer bike".

Mary Johnston apens this walin wi the optimistic Feal Spring an feinishes wi the soothin, lullaby – like Fareweel. Thae twa taks the pairt o bookends tae a collection that for aw they're gey near aw sad in theme is ane that this reader at least wald want tae gaun back tae an baith read an listen tae agane. There a helpfu fower page glossary at the hinnerend o the pamphlet.

Smaa Spangs Deutsch to Doric
bi Mary Johnston,
Kivver design © Rosaly Johnston 2006
£4 frae Poetry Monthly Press, [CENSORED: postaladdress]
[CENSORED: emailaddress]
ISBN 1-905126-77-8

Makar's neuk

In iss wedder, iss bowstry wedder,
I wid niver hae let e bairnies oot;
somebody his tyced em awa:
I'd nae say in it.

In iss wedder, iss yowlin wedder
I wid niver hae let e bairnies oot,
I'd be feart they'd faa nae weel:
fit eese thinking aat noo.

In iss wedder, iss cankert wedder
I wid niver hae let the bairnies oot,
I'd be feart they'd be deed neist morning:
lang past fearin aat noo.

In iss wedder, iss affa coorse wedder
they're sleepin like at hame wi their midder:
nae gurlie wedder can fley em
beildit in God's ain hand.

Mary Johnston
Smaa Spangs - Deutsch to Doric

A Guid Reid
A'M traivellin in a taxi in Glesca in Mey thare. We'r held up at the traffic lichts, on the outside lane. The'r the soun o somethin skiffin aff the ruif. Ma driver rowes doun the windae on his inside an sterts a freinly bit flytin wi - A discover - a fella cabbie stopped on the inside lane alangside us.

A hear this yungir driver, wha sports a trig wee mouser, lauchin an giein back: "Mynd the langwige nou. A'v got a lady in the cab here."
Ma aulder driver: "See that hairy wurm abuin yer mooth, A'l pou it aff ye hair bi hair. See you, ye'v got mair on yer lip than ye'v got on yer heid."

The lichts chynged ti green.
Ye dinna get the lyke o that in Embra.
Aw the best.
Reid Moffat

Scots Language Report
[NOTE: a photograph of Linda Fabiani in original]
IN repone tae a quaisten speirt bi Rob Gibson MSP at a forgaitherin o the Pairlament's Education Comatee, the Scots pairlament's Culture Minister, Linda Fabiani MSP, (See picter) haes threapit she wad conseider commissionin a report intae the state o the Scots language. She said that gin the Cross Pairty Group on Scots wad like the Executive tae conseider commissionin an expairt report on Scots, she wad be mair nor blithe tae leuk at its submission. She said an aw that for aw that she hidnae haed ony official meetins wi forspeakers o the Scots language community up tae the noo, she wis howpin tae dae juist that afore lang.

Michael Hance o the Scots Language Centre said that he wis fair pleased tae hear that the Culture Minister wis open tae suggestions aboot a report an that they war howpin the new government wad tak tent o whit the Cross Pairty Group haes been sayin aboot the need for an investigation intae the best weys tae uphaud Scots an its dialecks. He said an aw that they war behauden tae Rob Gibson for bringin this maitter up an pyntit oot that syne the government haed gien £5 million areddies tae rescue a historical hoose, it wad be braw if they cuid find some siller tae help sauf the Scots language.
Frae SLC report

Whit For No?
A mairriet couple wis settlin doon in thair bed tae gaun tae sleep ae nicht whan the wifie speirt, "Darlin, if A dee wad ye get mairriet agane?"
"Naw." wis the repone.
"Whit for no? Ye're no that auld an A micht dee the morn."
"Ach weel mibbie A will."
"Oh! An will ye lat her bide in this hoose an sleep in oor bed?"
"Ay. Micht as weel."
"An wad ye lat her weir ma jewellery?"
"Naw, A widnae dae that."
"Whit for no?"
"A'd buy her new jewellery for hersel."
"Oh! An wad ye tak her oot gowfin tae oor gowf-coorse?"
"Ay. A micht as weel."
"An wad ye lat her yaise ma gowf clubs?"
"Naw, A widnae dae that."
"Whit for no? They're guid clubs."
"Ach she's corrie haundit."

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 165. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 165." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 23 February 2024.

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


Information about Document 1816

Scots Tung Wittins 165


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2462
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2007
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