Sots, Gaelic






Language and Identity
Reality and Belief


Jan 2000

A Language is a Dialect with an Army

Et Sprog er en Dialekt der har en Hær

- Anmeldelser Reviews Discussions -

fra / from
L O W L A N D S - L * ISSN 189-5582 * LCSN 96-4226

Loch Ness Uhyret Hear
the radio documentary about
Scottish Languages

First broadcast Oct 19,1999
It lasts about 55 minutes

Producer: Ole Stig Andersen
Technician: Jesper Tholl

Article: Should Auld Languages Be Forgot
Back to Scotland

mandag 10. januar 2000 3:06:36

From: R. F. Hahn [sassisch@yahoo.com]

Subject: Web resources

Dear Lowlanders,
<...> Bravo, Ole Stig Andersen! Bravo, Radio Danmark!

I am very much impressed by your contributions to spreading the word about Scots and also about the language situation in Scotland in general. I had the most wonderful time listening to the recorded radio program tonight here in Seattle, USA. (I did so while cooking and burnt something because I was so captivated by the program and didn't pay enough attention to what I was doing. Never mind!) It was a marvelous half hour or so of listening. Radio Danmark, with which I was madly in love in my late teens in Northern Germany, just went up a couple of notches on my personal radio popularity meter, not only for expending the time and energy to tackle this language issue but also for doing so in an exemplary fashion, with fine, elegant reporting and smooth editing, all based on sound, in-depth research. Bravo indeed!

On behalf of the subscribers of Lowlands-L, please allow me to thank you and congratulate you on a job well done in introducing Scots and its struggle to the Danish-speaking world. I hope Lowlands-L was of some help with your research.

Thank you also for mentioning Low Saxon (Low German) in the program. I would probably not be the only one on this list who would be delighted if you considered doing a similar job reporting about our language sometime. There are much ignorance and many misconceptions about it in Denmark and elsewhere, including in Germany and the Netherlands where it is used. After all, Low Saxon used to be used and may still be used in Southern Jutland, its ancestors of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance exerted tremendous influences on the development of Danish, and its northernmost dialects have noticeable Danish/Jutish substrates. As for its history and current status, you'd have an easy job. Pretty much all you have to do is "translate" the Scots situation. The two languages have a lot in common in many respects.

I also enjoyed your introductory piece posted on the web, Ole Stig, even though it is only that, introductory. I hope you don't mind me posting for the benefit of our subscribers who do not understand Danish. This is only an excerpt, only of the part dealing with Scots. (Please let me know if there are any errors.)

Again, thank you so much for a marvelous job and for sharing it with us.

Best regards and wishes,

Reinhard "Ron" Hahn
Administrator, Lowlands-L

{English translation of the Scots-related part of the introductory article}

mandag 10. januar 2000 16:43:53

From: R. F. Hahn [sassisch@yahoo.com]

Subject: Web resources

Dear Lowlanders,

Yesterday, in my laudatio of Ole Stig Andersen's radio program about Scotland's language situation I wrote the following among other things:

"It was a marvelous half hour or so of listening."
Actually, as Ole Stig had mentioned, it is more like *one* hour. Time flies when you are having fun. <-->

Best regards, Reinhard/Ron

tirsdag 11. januar 2000 1:17:11

From: Colin Wilson lcwilson@iee.org

Subject: LL-L: "Web resources" LOWLANDS-L, 09.JAN.2000 (06) [E/S]

At 19:06 09/01/00 -0800, you R. F. Hahn wrote (to OleStig Andersen):

"On behalf of the subscribers of Lowlands-L, please allow me to thank you and congratulate you on a job well done in introducing Scots and its struggle to the Danish-speaking world. I hope Lowlands-L was of some help with your research."

If I may, I'd like to endorse R. F. Hahn's sentiments here. I don't understand Danish, unfortunately, and so don't understand all of the programme, but I'm glad it was made. I met OleStig Andersen a number of times during his visit to Scotland, and was glad of the chance to be of help to him.

Colin Wilson.

the graip wis tint, the besom wis duin
Colin Wilson the barra wadna row its lane
postin fae Glesca an sicna soss it nivver wis seen
lik the muckin o Geordie's byre

From: R. F. Hahn [sassisch@yahoo.com]

Subject: Web resources

Dear Colin, Lowlanders, <...>

This was one of several strange cases of synchronicity today. I was just going to post another follow-up message when I found your submission (above), Colin. In fact, I was just going to apologize about failing to mention that included in the program are snippets of an interview with you, our very own Lowlands-L subscriber of long standing. The program mentions your textbook project (_Stairtin oot in Scots_, I believe), it's merits and target readership. (Now it's even harder to wait for it to come out.) Needless to say that I felt rather ... well, "proud" and certainly thrilled about that part of the program.

I can assure you that the program is of very high quality, outstanding in it's bredth and depth even for a public radio program. It is not above the heads of ordinary listener yet is still quite interesting to the listener with specialized knowledge. It is very well presented, with different speakers' segments and interview cuts arranged with smooth editing forming a cohesive whole. It ends with a general message about the impoverishment resulting from the death of "small" languages. In fact, I like it so much that I wish the entire transcript were available in languages besides Danish.

Best regards,



From: "Ian James Parsley" parsley@highbury.fsnet.co.uk

Subject: Web Resources

My thanks to Ole Stig also, and to Ron for his translation. It is nice to know the Scots gospel is being spread about a bit.

I should make two points if I may:

Firstly quite simply to note that Scots is also found in Ireland, in fact some would argue that it is in Co Antrim that its "broadest" form is still spoken.

Secondly, I am always a little wary of comparing the funding/status of Gaelic and Scots. It is true that in terms of funding per speaker even the most conservative estimates of Scots speakers would indicate that funding in he UK for the two languages is vastly disproportionate to the number of speakers (favouring Gaelic). However, there are a few other issues to be noted here. While Gaelic has remained spoken in Scotland and NW Ireland and has always been on the cultural agenda in Scotland and Ireland, it is only recently that Scots language issues have come to the public's attention - and this isn't always a good thing. While most people in Scotland, never mind Denmark, remain completely unaware of the Scots language and its history (spoken Scots to most Scottish people is seen merely as "bad English" unfortunately, a situation our Low Saxon speaking friends no doubt empathise with), the promotion of Scots in Northern Ireland has consisted of a series of own goals. Whereas the likes of R.Gregg and G.B.Adams were able to pursue studies into Scots in Ireland freely twenty or thirty years ago, the issue has now become politicised to the extent that I, as a student of Scots in Northern Ireland, am immediately tarred by the "Irishman on the street" as inherently "anti-Catholic", "anti-Irish" and "anti-nationalist" - allegations I am quite frankly fed up with refuting, as they are quite honestly totally offensive and have nothing to do with my interest in language. The central point is that while funding and status for Gaelic and Scots remain imbalanced, we have to be careful, particularly in Ireland, that although we make a valid point in campaigning for more funding and status for Scots, we do not to come over as "anti-Gaelic". Most people on this list would realise that it is illogical to be in favour of the revival/progress of Scots *at the expense* of Gaelic, but the general public are very good at assuming X is by necessity the opposite of Y. Scots and Gaelic have to work together (as may possibly be the case with the new all-Ireland language body being set up), and more importantly be seen to work together. Ideally one day funding will go to "minority languages" as a whole in Scotland and Ireland, rather than to specific groups.

All the best and a Happy New Year to you all,
Ian James Parsley
"JOY - Jesus, Others, You"

torsdag 13. januar 2000 20:13:20

From: "Ian James Parsley"

Subject: Web Resources


It would appear great minds think alike! I have always wanted to learn Irish (for several reasons in fact), the only thing holding me back is that the vast majority of classes are in fiercely nationalists areas aimed at people for political reasons. However, there are some that are run on a cross-community basis. I would love to sign up for one of these, but I don't actually know where I'll be in, say, six months' time, so I haven't been able to as yet.

That doesn't really take away the essence of my point, as I'm sure you'd agree, namely that Scots and Gaelic have a lot more to gain by working together than by against each other.

It also doesn't take anything away from my great respect for Ole Stig's and Radio Danmark's work. Tusend tak!

Ian James Parsley
"JOY - Jesus, Others, You"






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© Ole Stig Andersen, Jan 2000 (rev July 1, 2002)