Document 1822

Scots Tung Wittins 171

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 171
Feb 2008

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]

Whit Kinna 2008 For The Scots Language?
[NOTE: a photograph of Linda Fabiani in original]
AS the young 2008 warks its wey throu Januar's celebratory sair heids frae Hogmanay tae Burns Nicht an intae Februar, nae doot mony a resolution haes been chynged frae an ettle intae a memory. But whit aboot the Scots language? Weel we dinnae ken gin the Scottish Government haed ony resolutions anent the language but we ken a haundfu o its MSPs did.

The back end o the auld year wis a richt dissie for the Scots language speakers an its upsteerers whan the Scottish Government brocht oot its National Conversation wabsite in August alang wi eicht owersettins intae minority languages includin Gaelic but missin oot the Scots language. There wis reports frae some MSPs that a Scots owersettin wis expeckit tae be furthset in the wabsite bi Christmas but Christmas came an Christmas gaed an the Scots language steyed as invisible as the Liberal government o 1872 ettilt for it tae be aw thae years syne. But e'en thon wisnae aw doom an gloom for on the 21t Januar, five month efter the National Conversation wabsite wis first furthset, lo an behold, juist like glamour, an owersettin o the N.C. in Scots kythed alangside the ither eicht. Sae noo there nine owersettins. No juist that tho, for raicent reports in the media wad suggest that the Scottish Government daes hae a resolution anent the Scots language efter aw.

Reports threaps the Scottish Government will cairry oot an audit on the praisent fendin o resources for the Scots language sae that it can leuk intae hou the profile an yuiss o the language can be gien a heeze.
The Government haes said it uphauds the kythin o a question on Scots in the census an says it will wark an aw tae mak siccar that European obligations tae forder the language is cairriet throu.

Speakin in English, Culture Meinister Linda Fabiani (see picter) said, "Scots is pairt o oor identity an oor heirship as a nation. We maun gie a lift tae the yuiss o Scots in aw its forms an create inlats for it tae dae guid. The Scottish Government is committit tae biggin up awaurness o the Scots language, literature an sang. Schuils haes a particlar contribution tae mak sae that as mony young fowk as possible haes the inlat tae enjoy warks o literature bi Scots authors.

Oor national languages haes been doon-hauden an oppressed ower the centuries but they shuid be as valued as ony ither language spoken in the warld. As a signal o this government's uphaud for the language, A hiv telt ma officials tae commission an audit o the praisent day provision an seek recommendations on hou we can mak siccar that Scots daes guid for oncomin generations."

The report wis walcomed bi Rob Gibson MSP, Convener o the Cross Pairty Group on the Scots Language, wha wis reportit as sayin that he fully uphaudit the threap bi the Culture Meinister whan she telt BBC Scotland Sunday Live that the repones o the public, private an voluntary sectors will be auditit wi regaird tae thair consaits anent the yuisses o Scots. He eikit that syne it is the daily speech o aboot ane an a hauf million Scots, this is lang syne past its time.

Scots Tung is gey heartened an aw wi this new report but, mindfu o the words o Professor Joe LoBianco aboot governments that blaws aboot daein but disnae dae, ware in case the words juist bides as words an disnae kythe intae deeds.

We wad mind the Meinister an the Scottish Government that time isnae on the side o the Scots language. It's stop-watch haes stertit!

Nòs Ùr 2008 - New Sang Competition
[NOTE: image of poster advertising Nòs Ùr 2008 in original]
Nòs Ùr (Gaelic for 'New Style') is a new sang competition in the Celtic an Scots languages that will tak the pairt o a regional final for the Europe braid minority languages sang competition, Liet Lavlut, tae be hauden on 18 October 2008 in Lulea, Sweden.New sang entries in Scots, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Manx Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish an Breton is bein speirt efter.

On 21 Juin 2008 in the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, twa acts will be walit, ane bi jury vote an ane bi public vote, tae represent the Celtic an Scots languages regions at the Liet Lavlut competition in Lulea in the north o Sweden.

Singers an sang-writers is invitit tae send thair entries in tae Nòs Ùr alang wi an application form afore Friday 14 Mairch 2008. This will be the first sang contest tae be hauden in Inverness as pairt o fower regional finals hauden athort Europe.

This contest is the only sang competition o its kin in Europe an follaes a format the likes o the Eurovision Sang Contest wi singers an bands repraisentin a particlar country but, in the case o this ane, repraisentin a minority language insteid.

Bi gaitherin intrest frae singers frae minority language commonties, the competition ettles tae forder the sindry culture an music tae a muckle international audience. There haes been a guid puckle prent an braidcast media intrest in regional an pan-European competitions in the bygane. The profile an economy o the local airt haudin the ongaun haes aye kent the guid o this.

Ongaun organiser an Invernessairtit musician/airts consultant, Brian Ó hEadhra will manage the projeck for GoEvents that warks in the promotion an forderin o the creative industries in the Heilands an Islands o Scotland.

For aw e-mail enquiries contack:-
Brian Ó hEadhra:- [CENSORED: emailaddress]
Postal correspondence shuid be sent tae:-
Brian Ó hEadhra
[CENSORED: postaladdress]
or Tel:- [CENSORED: phonenumber]

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:-
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Hoo the Scuils Unlearnt Scots
Bi Dr Dauvit Horsbroch ©
IT is affen said that in 1872 the Scots leid wis banned fae the scuils conform tae the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act, but the story is faur mair quirky nor thon. Grunbrekin speirings bi Keith Williamson in the jurnal Scottish language (1983) haes shawn that the ettle tae redd Scots oot the scuils gaed back, in fact, tae 1845. In this year John Gibson (hisel a teacher o Inglis) wis appunctit the first HM Inspector o Scuils in Scotland. He belanged the middle an upper clesses, the verra fowk that wis thirlt tae the Union wi Ingland an the push tae Inglify society as a hail.

In the mid-19t century it is appearant that the ordnar dominie – whither in the burgh or paroch scuil – wis for ordnar Scots-speaking, an no jist thon, he learnt the bairns throu Scots an aw, regairdless o subject. The poseetion wis gey simple. Awbody in the hame-aboot community spak Scots sae the dominie haed tae fit in. Tae be shair, for a lang time bairns haed been learnt wrutten Inglis seen as this wis the leid o the Breetish state. It wis equate wi leeteracy an lare, an maist prent buiks cuidna be haed in naething ither. Aw the same, for maist Scots, Inglis wis a prent buik leid.

Hooever, in 1845 things chenged wi state inspection. Teachers wis noo expectit tae speak Inglis afore the bairns, gar the bairns speak Inglis in turn, an in awthing cairry clesses throu Inglis. This threap wis new. Inglis haedna been a subject in its ain richt til this time an lecturers in academies an colleges haed aye lecturt anent general leetratur that wis for ordnar drawn fae Greek an Latin screivars (the Humanist tradeetion). In thir early days, the inspectors fund that threapin on Inglis wis ane thing, but gettin mony teachers tae aye speak it, wis anither.

In 1852 HM Inspectorate markit oot "…the Scotch dialects, to which many of them have been accustomed from infancy, and which are still used by the great majority of those, with whom they have daily intercourse, and who, till lately, derided the conversational use of English in one from among themselves, calling him Anglified and pedantic." Atween 1845 an 1872 the inspectors pit doun the foonds for education policy. Thay jaloused that Scots distractit fowk fae bein versant in Inglis an socht tae ding doun the leid throu the teachers. The Education Act o 1872 wisna a new policy, but biggit on whit haed been gauin on fae 1845: noo the war a central-run scuil body for Scotland, wi clearer ettles an weys of cairryin throu thae ettles conform til a national ploy. The Act didna say a cheep anent langage ceptna ilka bairn in elementar education shuid tak "…reading, writing and arithmetic." An this is the verra dunt: Scots jist isna quotit.

The Scotch Code o 1886 establisht Inglis as a cless subject in its ain richt in aw scuils, an fae 1888 bairns haed tae gain a Leaving Certificate. Whauras afore 1845 bairns wis jist learnt leeteracy in Inglis, bi the 1880s thay war expectit tae hae an aw-roun can in unnerstaunin, writin an speakin Inglis. But the inspectors affen fund that while the bairns micht learn Inglis weel eneuch in the cless thay gied it ower aince thay haed gane hame. In 1878 it wis reportit: "They are seldom permitted to hear a good model, they read comparatively little, and the language they read is not the phraseology of their daily life. They read one language, they hear and speak another." An some parents at least wisna cantie wi whit the teachers wis noo daein.

Ae body wrate tae the Shetland Times in November 1880: "Da skülmaisters hae nae bishiness tae interfere wi' wir guid midder tongue. We pay dem for laernin bairns English, no fur unlearnin wir Shetlan' speech…" For mony Scots it wis eneuch tae unnerstaun Inglis an read it, but faimly an community haed nae need tae speak it daily-day. But the teachers wisna jist learnin the bairns Inglis alang wi thair mither tongue but ettlin tae dae awa wi Scots awthegither. Leets o Scots words an pronoonciations wis noo keepit sae bairns cuid be pullt up an 'richtified' – a thing no heard o in the ordnar scuils afore 1845 – an leetratur bi Inglis screivars wis aye preferred ower Scotland's ain.

Abuin awthing the 1872 Act brocht thegither threids that wis awready tae the fore in 1845 an made official the opeenions held bi the Inglified upper clesses anent the langage o the wirking clesses. Scots shuidna a been a wirking cless leid alane, but it wis driven thon gait aince the upper clesses kest aff thair Scots identity.
Efter 1872 thir fowk got better at steerin Scots society thair parteeclar gait – wi the pouer o the state ahin them – an thay hae a lang airm even noo. Scots isna a subject in its ain richt, conform tae the ettles ahin the 1872 Act; indeed, it is a real clearance tae see whaur Scots daes get a shout.

Tho scuils wis tellt (fae 1996) tae tolerate the Scots spoken bi bairns, in 2007 ony mention o Scots wis eikit tae the Curriculum for Excellence unner the term 'English.' It wad be a bauld body (unkennin forby) that daurs tae eik, for an instance, Scots Gaelic unner the term 'Irish', but it shaws hoo muckle Scots speakers haes been learnt tae thole the yirdin o thair verra identity. We can thank thae scuil inspectors in guid pairt for pittin oor teachers (an govrenment) up this blin gait.

Walcome Hame!
EDUCATION Secretar, Fiona Hyslop MSP, haes threapit that Scottish history, efter years o suppression, is tae be brocht back an restored tae its position at the hert o the schuil curriculum tae conter a shamefu ignorance o thair ain nation's bygane amang the young fowk. This walcome wittins minds us o a while back when Scottish history still haed a place in education, a visitin Dutch historian wis fair taen aback tae fund oot that in Scottish schuils, Scots history wisnae lairnt in Scots but in English. Mind thon man that telt Robert the Bruce in Dumfries, "A'll gang an mak siccar!"? He didnae say it in English.

Year o Languages
THE year 2008 haes been threapit tae be the International Year o Languages bi the United Nations General Assembly.

Davyth Hicks in Eurolang reports hou Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General o UNESCO, threaps that the Organisation is richt awaur o the muckle importance o languages whan seen agin the mony challenges that humanity will hae tae staund up tae ower the neist puckle decades an hou athin twa three generations, mair nor hauf o the day's 7000 languages spoken in the warld micht be tint. He said that unner a quarter o thae languages is yaised in schuils an in cyberspace, an maist is yaised only noo an agane. Thoosands o languages, for aw that they're weel kent bi thae populations that yaises thaim as an ilka-day wey o expression, isnae seen in education systems, the media, publishin an the public domain in general.

Speakin in English he said, "We maun act noo as a maitter o urgency. Hou? Bi encouragin an developin language policies that maks ilka linguistic commonty able tae yaise its ain first language or mither tung, as braidly an as aften as possible, includin in education, while maisterin an aw a national or regional language an an international language. Forbye that, bi encouragin speakers o a dominant language tae maister anither national or regional language an ane or twa international languages. Juist if multi-lingualism is fully acceppit can aw languages fund thair place in oor globalised warld.

UNESCO syne invites governments, UN organisations, civil society organisations, educational institutions, professional associes an aw ither interestit bodies tae big up thair ain ongauns tae gie a lift tae respeck for, an the forderin an protection o aw languages, in particlar languages that's unner threat, in aw individual an collective contexts. It is important that the norrie that 'languages maitters!' is fordered everywhaur."

Mony a body wad think the Scottish government haes a moral obligement tae tak up UNESCO's invite an ithers maun hae thocht that so daes the BBC an ither estaiblishment bodies the likes o the press an ithers an aw.

Makar's Neuk
The Mither’s Lament

What care I for the leagues o sand,
The prisoners and the gear they’ve won?
My darling liggs amang the dunes
Wi mony a mither’s son.

Doutless he deed for Scotland’s life;
Doutless the statesmen dinna lee;
But och tis sair begrutten pride
And wersh the wine o victorie!

Sydney Goodsir Smith 1915-75

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Scots Tung Wittins 171. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1822

Scots Tung Wittins 171


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2524
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2008
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