A guid naem is suiner tint nor wun

Gan on frae ma screed seiven dey syne, a wheen fowk his cam bak speiran at me, whit wad we fash oursels wi the Ulster Scots for ava. Hit is a guid quaisten.

A canna gie a repoen tae it, an no first shawan at the linguistic oncum on Ulster Scots haes nocht a-dae wi the linguistic oncum o the Airis leid. The baith o thaim is claucht thegaither frae the 1998 Greeance, at caad for lyk respect for Ulster Scots an the Airis leid. This is nae fash tae me, but hit isna meanan the baith bes needan the ae thing.

The oncum o Ulster Scots (tak tent: “the variant of the Scots language spoken in parts of Northern Ireland and County Donegal”) maun be sindert frae the oncum o the Airis leid for thrie heid reasons:
– Scots is a mukkil nearder the admeinistrative leid (Inglis);
– thaim as taaks (Ulster) Scots deyandeilie disna forordinar pit it at the founds o thair national identitie; an
– Scots haes nae tradeition, athin the 400 year bygaun, o uiss in the admeinistration.
Thir thrie pynts is claucht tae ilkaither.

First aff, thaim as taaks Ulster Scots forordinar haes nae fash wi the readin in Staundart Inglis. Thon isna a-dae wi its staundin as “leid” or “dialect”, it is juist a fact o lief for thaim as bieds wi the Ulster Scots in deilie uiss.

Forby that, naebodie pits Scots alane at the founds o thair national identitie. Hit is a pairt o our linguistic identitie – wirds the lyk o “wee” or “anent” kythes ein in Staundart Inglis screeds in Scotlan an, whiels, on this sied o the Sheuch anaa – but juist a aefauld pairt o monie. Hit isna in uiss the wey the Airis is as a pairt o a oweraa national identitie, naither haes oniebodie as taaks it forordinar a notion o makkan it ane.

Linguists taaks o “Dachsprache”; “ruif leid”. Fowk as taaks ae leid forordinar deyandeilie whiels uises anither for admeinistration – for ensaumpil, fowk in Luxembourg taaks Luxembourgish forordinar but maks uiss o the Frens, an wrytan admeinistrative. The ae thing gaes on in Scots-taakan airts – fowk taaks Scots unformal an ocht near Staundart Inglis formal, an sae thay wryts Staundart Inglis forordinar. Sae the ar nae tradeition o, an nae caa for, the uiss o Scots in the admeinistration – fowk is blythe aneuch makkan uiss o Staundart Inglis, the warlds foermaist langage in uiss, for offeicial ettils.

The ar nae pynt fowk giean out services naebodie bes wantan, an nae caa ava for the govrenment tae be makkan uiss o our siller, an daean it. Scots is a langage fowk maks uiss o, an taakan about a wheen things. The ar a caa frae thaim as taaks it anaa for a bit creative wrytin in it – bairns stories an the lyk (an mebbes a orra blog screed this lyk o this ane!)

“Lyk respect” isna meanan “lyk oncum”, for Ulster Scots an Airis isna lyk things. Ane is gey near the big langage (Inglis), an haes its docht in fowks wey o taakin in the kintra an wi the creative wrytin (pairteicular poems); the tither is gey differan frae the Inglis, an haes its docht in the braidcastin an the studdie o the Celtic leids.

Fact, the siccarmaist wey o tynan respect for the Ulster Scots is makkan uiss o it for things naebodie bes wantan, an makkan uiss o thair siller for it! It’s a waur thing yet, haean fowk wi nae ken o the langage juist makkan it up for tae dae things, as disna (yet) ansuer tae it.

Thaim as kens the leid an taks tent tae it wad ken the auld Scots proverb: “A guid naem is suiner tint nor wun”!


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