Culture Shift

gaelic_1_fig095Bella is delighted to announce a new strand of work celebrating Gaelic and Scots language and culture with regular content to be published in both languages and in other forms (featuring poetry, music and visual art).

The work will be led by three commissioning editors, from Gaelic: Ruairidh Maciver, Daibhidh Rothach and Rona Dhòmhnallach and Billy Kay, Matthew Fitt and Janet Paisley from Scots. Editor Mike Small said:

“It’s an outstanding group of people who are joining our editorial team – we are going to bring new richness and depth to Bella’s cultural content and stand-up for Scottish culture. We have established a pool of contributors from up and down the country to create content and welcome input and submissions from others. It’s time to take a far more pro-active and confident approach to defending and more importantly celebrating our cultural diversity.”

Matthew Fitt has said: “Bella in Scots is Bonnie and this is a Braw initiative that will help address the treatment of Scotland’s 1.6M Scots speakers as third-class citizens.”

Ruairidh Maciver commented: “I am delighted to be joining Bella Caledonia’s editorial team. I look forward to working with Daibhidh Rothach and Rhona Dhòmhnallach as one of the Gaelic commissioning editors, and to working alongside the new Scots commissioning editors. Bella Caledonia is synonymous with high-quality and innovative online journalism and provides an excellent platform for new writing in Gaelic, which is particularly welcome at a time when Gaelic print journalism is in decline. Bella will draw on and contribute to the rich linguistic landscape in Scotland, representing voices from what Iain Crichton Smith memorably called ‘our three-voiced country.’

The announcement happens as the Scotsman announces the end of its own gaelic pages after 79 years and where attacks on our own culture (s) have become routine. While we will respond to and rebut these attacks our main focus will be on celebration and giving people the same Bella content of commentary and opinion but in our indigenous languages. We will also be celebrating new publications, events, projects and concerts with interviews and features reflecting the cultural revival.

The group have agreed the following working practice. That our different languages and cultures are part of a rich continuum and heritage, it is counter productive (and a historical) to set one against the other. Our languages are living and used in everyday life, so it makes no sense to only value them in a traditional context, nor to think of them as existing only in particular parts of the country.

Gaelic
Tha Bella air leth toilichte sreath ùr de dh’obair ann an Gàidhlig agus a’ Bheurla Ghallta a ghairm. Bithear a’ foillseachadh sgrìobhadh san dà chànan gu cunbhalach, cho math ri obair ann an cruthan eile (leithid bàrdachd, ceòl agus ealain lèirsinneach).

Thèid an obair a stiùireadh le tri deasaichean – airson na Gàidhlig: Ruairidh MacÌomhair, Daibhidh Rothach agus Rona Dhòmhnallach, agus Billy Kay, Matthew Fitt agus Janet Paisley airson na Beurla Gallta.

Thubhairt an deasaiche, Mike Small:

 “’S e buidheann air leth làidir a tha gu bhith a’ cur ri ar sgioba deasachaidh. Tha sinn dol a chur beartas agus doimhneachd ri obair chultarail Bhella, agus seasaidh sinn gu làidir ri cultar na h-Alba. Tha buidheann de chom-pàirtichean againn bho air feadh na dùthcha a’ bhios a’ cruthachadh stuthan ùra, agus cuireamaid fàilte air beachdan sam bith bho chàch. Tha an t-àm ann dòigh-dhèiligidh fada nas misneachaile a chur an sàs ann a bhith a’ dìon agus a’ moladh ar n-iomadachd chultarail.

Thubhairt Mata Fitt: “Tha Bella sa Bheurla Ghallta Brèagha agus ’s e iomairt ghasta a th’ ann  an seo, agus ’s e cothrom a th’ ann dèiligeadh ris an làimhseachadh mì-chothromach a tha 1.6m luchd-labhairt na Beurla Gallta a’ faighinn”.

Thubhairt Ruairidh MacÌomhair: “Tha mi air leth toilichte a bhith nam phàirt de sgioba deasachaidh Bhella Caledonia. Tha mi a’ dèanamh fiughair ri bhith ag obair còmhla ri Daibhidh Rothach agus Rhona Dhòmhnallach mar deasaichean na Gàidhlig, agus a bhith ag obair le deasaichean na Beurla Gallta. Tha Bella Caledonia aithnichte airson naidheachdas àrd-ìreach agus ùr-ghnàthach agus tha e a’ tabhann  cothrom air leth airson sgrìobhadh ùr sa Ghàidhlig, rud a thathar gu h-àraid a’ cur fàilte air aig àm nuair a tha naidheachdas Gàidhlig nam pàipear-naidheachd a’ crìonadh. Bidh Bella a’ tarraing air agus a’ cur ri àrainneachd bheairteach na cànanachais ann an Alba, a’ riochdachadh ghuthan bho air feadh na dùthcha.

Thathar a’ gairm seo aig àm nuair a tha an Scotsman air innse gun tig crìoch air an duilleagan Gàidhlig as dèidh 89 bliadhna, agus cuideachd nuair a tha ionnsaighean air cànain agus cultar na h-Alba air fàs bitheanta. Ged a bhios sinn a’ freagairt ris na h-ionnsaighean seo bidh am prìomh fhòcas againn air brosnachadh  agus a’ solair an t-seòrsa aithris agus beachdachaidh ris a bheil leughadairean Bhella Caledonia cleachdte, ach nar canain dhùthchasach. Bidh sinn cuideachd ag aithris mu fhoillseachaidhean, thachartasan, phròiseactan agus chuirmean ùra, le agallamhan agus altan mun ath-bheothachadh chultarail.

Tha am buidheann air aontachadh am modh-obrach a leanas. Tha ar cànain agus cultaran nam pàirt de dhùthchas agus oighreachd bheairteach; tha e ais-tharbhach (agus neo-eachdraidheil) aon a chur an aghaidh an tè eile. Tha ar cànain beò agus gan cleachdadh ann am beatha làitheil, agus mar sin chan eil e ciallach a bhith gan luach ann an co-theacsa traidiseanta a-mhàin, no a bhith beachdachadh orra mar rud a tha ceangailte ri aon àite.

Scots
Bella is delichtit tae annoonce a new strand o wark celebratin Gaelic and Scots language and culture wi regular content tae be published in baith languages and in ither forms (featuring poetry, music and visual airt).

The wark will be led by three commissionin editors, fae Gaelic: Ruaridh MacIver, Daibhidh Rothach and Rona Dhomhnallach and Billy Kay, Matthew Fitt and Janet Paisley fae Scots.

Editor Mike Small said:

“It’s an ootstandin swatch o folk that are jinin oor editorial team – we are gaun tae bring new richness and smeddum tae Bella’s cultural content and promotion o Scottish culture. We hae brocht thegither a wheen talentit contributors fae up and doon the kintrae tae create content and weelcome input and submissions fae ithers. It’s time tae tak a far mair gallus approach tae defendin and mair importantly celebratin oor cultural diversity.”

The annooncement follaes the Scotsman’s decision tae bring til an end its ain Gaelic pages efter 89 year and at a time when attacks on oor ain culture(s) hae become routine. While we wid aye repone til and ding doon sic attacks, oor main focus will be on celebration and giein folk the same Bella content o commentary and opeenion but in oor ain hamelt leids. We will be celebratin new publications, events, projects and concerts wi interviews and features reflectin the cultural revival and aw.

The group hae agreed the follaein warkin practice. That oor different leids and culturs are pairt o a rich continuum and heritage, it is coonter productive (and historically glaikit) tae pit yin agin the tither. Oor leids are leevin leids and yaised in everyday life, sae it maks nae sense tae ainly value them in a tradeetional context, nor tae hirsel them intae particular pairts o the country.

Comments (47)

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  1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    Deagh naidheachd dha-rìribh! Is e leasachadh brosnachail a tha seo. Bu chòir do gach neach aig a bheil ùidh ann an cànain shaidhbhir ar dùthcha a bhith an comain Bhella airson seo a chur rompa. (Chaidh m’aire a ghlacadh leis an “historically glaikit” a bha siod mar Bheurla Ghallta air “neo-eachdraidheil”) 🙂

  2. Fearchar says:

    Fàilte oirbh uile!

  3. Peekay says:

    I’m sorry, but Scots is a multitude of spoken dialects, not a single written language. It’s supposed to evolve and be passed on verbally, not written down as though there’s an established and standardised form. The phonetic spellings in the above Scots section repeatedly made me both augh out loud and wince.

    1. Douglas says:

      Did you ever read Hugh MacDiarmid, Robert Garrioch, or Sydney Goodsir Smith, say? Or Burns for that matter? All of them wrote in Scots, which according to you, isn´t allowed….

      If you did read any of the above, what happened? Did you just not realize it was in Scots?

      The sense of strangeness some people feel when they see Scots written is merely another expression of the Cringe….and as long as the Cringe is alive and well, there´s no way we will ever be independent….it´s the Cringe which lost us the referendum….

      1. Peekay says:

        My point is that Scots isn’t one coherent language, it’s a range of local dialects that have evolved in different ways and directions.

        At no point do I state that writing in Scots is not allowed, just that I don’t think we should be looking to combine all the regional variations and pretend it’s a unified language. The above paras contain many phonetic spellings which, in different parts of the country would be pronounced differently (if in usage at all) and therefore be spelt differently.

        And throwing around the term ‘cringe’ (which in itself is a glib reduction of a complex antisyzygy) in an attempt to marginalise and belittle an opinion that isn’t yours, is the refuge of a intellectual pygmy and a coward.

        1. Douglas says:

          Peekay, an intellectual pygmy I take as a compliment….as for being a coward, well, I´m a Hibs fan, Hibs fans are known for their fortitude surely by now…

          …no sorry, man, I think I misread you somewhat. You´re right there is no one standard form or grammar. But there ought to be IMO. Your comments were:

          “My point is that Scots isn’t one coherent language, it’s a range of local dialects that have evolved in different ways and directions.”….
          …well, that´s is true of all languages until the POLITICAL decision is made to establish a standard form and a standard grammar, through a NATIONAL institution. “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy…” as somebody once put it…

          In Scotland that hasn´t happened. We have a national Makar no less, but I still don´t know if the past participle for the verb “to go” is “went” or “gone”…and I still don´t know what the words are to denote the meal around one o´clock and the meal around six o´clock. Is it lunch and dinner or your dinner and your tea? Pretty basic stuff…

          As for the Cringe being glib reductionism….no doubt it is reductionism, but I can´t see what´s glib about it…you´ll forgive me, but we are BTL on Bella Caledonia. You could write a theses on the Cringe….

        2. Graeme Purves says:

          Your point is simply incorrect, Peekay. Scots has been a written language since the 13th Century and is still a potent medium for prose, poetry and drama. All languages have dialects and the fact that Scots has several is itself evidence that it is a language and not a dialect. A lot of work has been put into establishing an agreed Scots orthography. My father, David Purves, was active in that cause. I take leave to doubt that you have the authority to determine what Scots is “supposed to be”.

        3. Colin McLean says:

          Scots was and is a European language. It was the official language of our royal courts, justiciary and the professions. It was the language of state papers and publications. Scots, like most European languages, has dialects spoken in different regions of the country. Just because German has different dialects this does not mean it is not a language. Such views have perhaps, in part, been formed by 300 years of anti-Scottish attitudes and indeed anti-Scottish legislation, governance and bias within a very one-sided political union. It is beyond good patience to expect that by 2015, Scots, Gaelic and English are treated equally.

      2. Craig mckechnie says:

        I admire your initial response. Unfortunately. Other people, common in Scotland, try to turn adventure, imagination and forward thinking into something banal.
        Thank you
        Craig

    2. Hi Peekay, of course we want to engage with all the complexity of Scots and all of our languages. With Billy Kay and Matthew Fitt we have two of the most experienced and well regarded proponents of the language. We’re delighted to have them on board. Sorry you had to “augh out loud”.

  4. Neil McRae says:

    Och, you mean Gilleasbuig Aotrom’s services aren’t required?

    Never mind, here’s his poetic tribute to the wonderful Gaelic sculpture featured above:
    http://iolairelochtreig.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/gilleasbuig-agus-na-creative-industries.html

  5. Ramstam says:

    The Scots leid haes mony by-leids but this is shairly a strength. We shuid be celebratin
    It everyday. This will come frae within the Scots speikin commonty an winna be handit doun frae sae-cried cultural bodies wha maistly hae nae time for Scots.

    This is a braw initiative that will mibbe gie speikers the confidence tae try Scrievin in Scots.
    Ye wad jalouse that efter the 1.6m figure frae the census we wad bi nou hae some proposals frae the high heid yins anent the uphaud / celebration o Scots for adult speikers.

  6. Calvin Davis says:

    If you really want to reach the widest possible audience with your gaelic language tuition, you should publish on Amazon’s Kindle. I’m a Scottish born ex-pat who travels constantly. I don’t speak a word of my native tongue. I can’t carry books in my luggage, but I have 300+ books on my smart phone. Please consider, thank-you.

  7. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    Readers of this thread will surely be interested in some of the following translations of Lewis Carroll’s “ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND” published by Michael Everson’s EVERTYPE:
    ——
    GAELIC (SCOTTISH AND IRISH):

    Eachdraidh Ealasaid ann an Tìr nan Iongantas (Scottish by Moray Watson):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-gd.html

    Eachtraí Eilíse i dTír na nIontas (Irish by Nicholas Williams):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-ga.html

    Lastall den Scáthán agus a bhFuair Eilís Ann Roimpi (Irish by Nicholas Williams):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/looking-glass-ga.html

    Eachtra Eibhlíse i dTír na nIontas (Irish by Pádraig Ó Cadhla):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-ga-1922.html
    ———–
    A PLETHORA of versions in variations of LOWLAND SCOTS:

    Ailice’s Àventurs in Wunnerland (South-Central Scots by Sandy Fleemin):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco.html

    Ailis’s Anterins i the Laun o Ferlies (Synthetic Scots by Andrew McCallum):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-synth.html

    Ahlice’s Adveenturs in Wunderlaant (Border Scots by Cameron Halfpenny):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-border.html

    Alison’s Jants in Ferlieland (West-Central Scots by James Andrew Begg):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-ayr.html

    Alice’s Adventirs in Wunnerlaun (Glaswegian Scots by Thomas Clark):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-glasgow.html

    Alice’s Mishanters in e Land o Farlies (Caithness Scots by Catherine Byrne):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-caith.html

    Ailice’s Anters in Ferlielann (North-East Scots by Derrick McClure):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-ne.html

    Alice’s Adventirs in Wonderlaand (Shetland Scots by Laureen Johnson):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-sco-zet.html

    Alice’s Carrànts in Wunnerlan (Ulster Scots by Anne Morrison-Smyth):
    http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-ulster.html

    —–
    Be mindboggled at the full list of language versions of ‘Alice’ published by Michael Everson:
    http://www.evertype.com/carrolliana.html
    ——-

    I’ll take the opportunity here to also mention the very exciting development of the superb innovatory IRISH-ENGLISH dictionary APP which has just been made available. This massive search-resource will enable a seismic shift forward for translation into contemporary idiomatic Irish:
    http://www.focloir.ie/en/page/app.html

    1. Thanks Fearghas, great share

    2. Douglas says:

      Great links….

      …but you have to scratch your head at the Scots. They´re no happy having one, robust national standard version of Scots, like most countries are, they want to have myriad dialects, by-leids before we even agree upon a standard form….

      …admirable enthusiasm but not a good language policy, particularly given the cultural hegemony of English which has seen thousands of Scots words disappear from everyday usage even over the last 80 years….and all of this in the age of mass media….

      ……any standard form ought to be agreed upon after a democratic process involving Scots from all parts of the country, from all walks of life, social classes and all professions, trades, community groups and organizations…

      Why do we need a standard from back by an official institution? Because otherwise, you can´t teach it. How would a Spaniard or a German learn Scots? Where would they go to learn it? Where is the official grammar?

      How can bairns at school be taught Scots when there is no official standard form?

      I recently re-read “The House With The Green Shutters”. A great deal of the vocabulary is now only vaguely familiar to me and I am sure the vast majority of Scottish people. The future of a great part of Scottish literature hinges on a proper Scots language policy, which we still don´t have after 8 years of a so-called nationalist government…

      1. Douglas says:

        I mean is Scotland a NATION, or is it a number of different regions joined together at the hip with a common border with England?

        Sometime you wonder. The Lowlander who resents investments in Gaelic is maybe a Lowlander more than a Scot. The Gael who derides Scots is maybe more of a Gael than a Scot.

        So many by-leids and no standard form? Madness.

        Obviously, a standard form doesn´t mean people can´t speak in the dialect they want. It is not prescriptive, it is about having a common reference, a kind of linguistic gravity.

        You have to have a standard form backed by an institution, otherwise there will be nothing left of Scots two generations from now.

        1. Graeme Purves says:

          Perhaps those advancing the case that Scots is nothing but a rag-bag of divergent dialects would like to tell us which of those dialects Sheena Wellington and Karine Polwart are singing in here:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FisdvJmgVNY

          And if Scots is not a written language with recognisable standards, it is quite remarkable that Violet Jacob was able to write it down in the first place.

          HALLOWEEN

          Violet Jacob (1920)

          The tattie-liftin’s nearly through,
          They’re plooin whaur the barley grew
          And efter dark roond ilka stack
          You’ll see the horsemen stand and crack
          O Lachlan, but I mind on you.

          I mind fu aften we hae seen
          Ten thoosand stars keek doon atween.
          The naked branches, and below
          Baith fairm and bothy hae their show
          A-low wi lichts o Halloween.

          There’s bairns wi guys that’s at their tail
          Cloorin the doors wi runts o kail
          And fine you’ll hear the screechs an skirls
          O lassies wi their drucked carles
          Bobbin for aipples i the pail.

          The bothy fire is loupin heat.
          A new heid-horseman’s kist is set.
          Richt’s o’er the lamp whaur by the blaze
          The auld yin stood that kept yer claes.
          I cannae thole tae see it yet.

          But gin the auld folks’ tales are richt
          An’ ghaists cam hame on Hallow’n nicht,
          Oh freend, oh freends, what would I gie
          Tae feel yer axe yer hand tae me
          Atween the dark an coral licht!

          Awa in France across the wave,
          The wee lichts burn on ilka grave
          An you an me their lowes hae seen.
          Ye’ll maybe hae yer Halloween
          Yont whaur you’re lyin way the lave.

          There’s drink an daff an sang an dance,
          An ploys an kisses get their chance,
          But Lachlan, man, the place I see
          Is whaur the auld kist used tae be,
          An the lichts o Halloween in France.

          1. Douglas says:

            Graeme, great stuff.

            I know and admire your dad´s work, I have read his books and have his grammar. I´m not saying that there aren´t grammars out there, what I am saying is that there is no official grammar or orthography recognized right across the country and used by Scottish institutions (on the other hand we have great dictionaries, which, of course, are full of alternative spellings for the same word…surely a symptom of the point I am making).

            To take the third line of poem you quote above, why is it “efter” and not “aifter”? There is as much logic for one as for other. The same could be said of thousands of Scots words. And the phonetic Scots writers would say, in the first line, it´s not “through” but “thru”….

            …it´s not that complicated to decide, but that process has to engage with the full spectrum of Scottish cultural and social life to have any legitimacy. The linguists or the universities or the passionate aficionados cannot do it on their own…you need to involve the whole community, and as a strategy to keep the YES campaign going, it´s not a bad one by the way. As I have mentioned before, when Catalan was revived as a written language after 300 years, they called a literary congress and representatives were sent from all over Catalonia and all walks of Catalan life to contribute to that process. So it was very democratic. If most of the joiners in Scotland refer to themselves as jyners, then surely in Scots that ought to be respected?

            English can get away without an Academy, but English is a unique case…the French, the Spaniards, the Catalans, the Italians….they all have Language Academies…we need an Academy, but it has to be from the bottom up, not the top down…

            …just think, for Scottish communities to decide on their own language, grammar and spelling….what could be more exciting and empowering than that?

          2. K.A.Mylchreest says:

            Rather than Catalan, a better example, if only as a cautionary tale, might be how the two standards of Norwegian were arrived at a little over a century ago. Before than Norwegian was a mess of country dialects, while educated townsfolk wrote Danish and spoke a sort of Norwegian-flavoured Danish, perhaps a good analogy for the present state of Scots.

            As I understand it, Scots is only taught passively, as literary appreciation. To teach it actively there needs to be an accepted standard. A beginner to gain confidence needs to be assured that ‘this is correct’ even where there are other alternatives. He or she needs to be show a safe path through the new territory, even where an old hand or a skilled poet may wish to break new ground. If the guidance you get is ‘please yourself’ that is no guidance at all.

            This applies as much to existing speakers as to someone learning anew when it comes to writing Scots down. I’ve been familiar with several varieties of spoken Scots, many words and phrases come readily to mind, but I have no idea how to write them ‘correctly’, and feel embarrassed if I try. We’re all so use to seeing written English that any attempt to write Scots looks ‘wrong’ or ‘silly’ hence the predictable cringe-factor.

            To use Norwegian again. Look in a dictionary or grammar for their word for ‘to weep or cry’ and you’ll find (a not unfamiliar) ‘gråte’, present ‘gråter’ (cries), past ‘gråt’ (cried), past participle ‘grått’ (has/had cried). And that’s that. However people actually pronounce there forms throughout the land, these are the acceptable written versions, I can be confident in that. Noo a ken weel the Scots word that sounds like the English word ‘greet’, but is that to be written ‘greet’ or ‘griet’ or ‘greit’ or ‘grete’… Is the past ‘grat’ or ‘gratt’ or ‘gretit’ or something else again? With no authoritative guidance the beginner is lost in the dark wood of words, afeart wi the memory o the maister’s red pen. It’s just so much easier to stay out of the forest altogether and just write ‘good’ English.

  8. Ariel Killick says:

    Tha seo dìreach sgoinneil agus na thoileachas mòr dhà-rìreabh dhomh – fantastic news! Tha fàilte mhòr air ur luchd-leughaidh tighinn gu tachartas mòr Gàidhlig feasgar amàireach airson Oidhche Shamhna – Readers are welcome to come to a groundbreaking, large-scale bilingual Gaelic Halloween Parade tomorrow night in Paisley – full details here: http://www.independentstateofhappiness.com/index.php/en/news

  9. Graeme Purves says:

    I agree, Douglas. My faither devoted a large part o his retirement ti the pursuit o a standard Scots orthography but there was ey stout resistance ti the idea. In ither cuntries folk see the benefit o a standard written language but here they prefer ti gang their ain gait. ‘Ower thrawn or ower lazy? Are we finally ready for a Scots Language Academy?

    1. Douglas says:

      It´s impossible to be optimistic, Graeme, I see little or no interest in an Academy….

      …all Scots should be made to stand for a whole day with their arms outstretched holding in one hand Dwelley´s Falcair Gaelic and in the other the Concise Scots Dictionary….

      …when it begins to hurt, then that is something like the pain you feel when you see just how many hundreds of thousands of words, our words, to describe our country and culture, the words which were coined over centuries by the common people of Scotland, we have lost or allowed fall out of usage, and which those who purport to represent us do next to nothing to protect, for all that they say they want independence….

      1. Monty says:

        best and funniest comment I’ve read on here

  10. Robert Harman says:

    It was so wonderfully refreshing to see and read a semblance of my mother tongue in Bella. I couldna unnerstand every word but that was ok. Just seeing it in print was a wonderful thing. At 69 I remember being shushed in the classroom. In the playground we spoke the Doric which of course was looked down upon once we got into the classroom. At Aberdeen University the same thing. Most of the professors were English for most subjects. I remember in a tutorial for a Scottish history class and out of the 12 students there was one American who did about 30% of the speaking, 3 English who did about another 50% plus the almost silent 8 Scots. I was very self conscious about not being able to speak English properly and so kept quiet. I suppose the other 7 Scots were in a similar situation. I can totally relate to the Cringe. Let the shame and stigma of our various Scots dialects be banished and let us instead revel in the diversity and richness of all our Scottish tongues wi’ neen better than anither.

    1. Thanks Robert, its an exciting prospect to bring a whole new dimension and richness to our writing and content.

  11. James Coleman says:

    I fully support the idea of writing in the three languages but here is my view on some details.

    “Bella is delichtit tae annoonce a new strand o wark celebratin Gaelic and Scots language and culture wi regular content tae be published in baith languages and in ither forms (featuring poetry, music and visual airt).”

    My translation of how dear old granny used to speak in the W of Scotland 50 years ago.
    “Bella is delightet tae announce a new strand o work celebratin Gaelic and Scots language an culture wi regular content tae be publisht in baith languages an in ither forms (featurin poetry, music, an visual art)”

    Where did words like wark, annoonce and delichtet come from. I’ve never heard them in any dialect in the West of Scotland or Glasgow area in my 60 year lifetime. And they use “fae Glasgow” not “frae Glasgow”. Even Scots has to move on as a language.

    The other point is the vowel sounds in Scots and the Scottish trilled r which are very unlike the English versions. In the written version these differences are not apparent but they are the essence of Scots.

  12. Tony Rozga says:

    This is great stuff to read, I quite like the idea of spreading scots and Gaelic all over. The mix of dialects would be great, even if we just used a little Gaelic, a real confidence builder.

  13. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    Douglas in a comment above laments: “how many hundreds of thousands of words…we have lost or allowed to fall out of usage, and which those who purport to represent us do next to nothing to protect, for all that they say they want independence”.
    —-
    Let us never forget that our Scottish school system, birthed in the 1872 Education Act, consciously set out to extirpate all forms of Scottish language from the mouths of our weans. The equation was simple: “Education = Anglicisation = Monoglot Nation”. That grand imperial project has been markedly successful and has become deeply internalised. In our linguistically traumatised national psyche, we now “know” that Scottish words are not something we get educated INTO, but OUT OF. Our words are what our education system is rescuing us FROM. The notion that our Scottish education system should BY RIGHT teach our children our Scottish languages (as well as literature, history etc) is simply not “out there” in broad Scottish society. In fact that notion would fall into the category of “identity politics” wouldn’t it? And that rather smells of crypto-nazism, doesn’t it? Better (for some reason!) to bow the knee to the monoglot-anglophone master-race “identity politics” of the 1872 Education Act perpetrated by our Great British Victorian forebears. No fascism THERE, surely! Such is the enigmatic Scottish mindset, both unionist and (apparently) independentist.

    If I mention Mhairi Black here it is in no way personal but simply because she happened to provide a random example which readily comes to mind. In the midst of Mhairi’s justly much-lauded maiden speech at Westminster she made a remarkable statement. I am not sure I have seen it commented on (which to me is even more extraordinary). Bravely and eloquently giving account of herself before 600 Westminster English MPs, Mhairi righteously asserted: “The SNP did not triumph on a wave of nationalism. In fact nationalism has nothing to do with what’s happened in Scotland.”

    This proud proclamation was made by one standing among 55 other Scottish NATIONAL Party MPs. It is worth re-reading the assertion a few times. And also pondering that it seemed to be given the nod (or at least not found off-key) by the independence community at large. Maybe of course it chimed with them and it is I who am the discordant note.

    So what can one deduce from this other than that for the current independence establishment (and movement?) all that essentially matters is (left-wing) economics. In fact any talk of “cultural identity” is seen as a potential vote-loser. Perhaps even as a dark preoccupation? Thus from the heart of our Westminster cohort there intuitively arises the necessary disclaimer: “Nationalism has nothing to do with what’s happened in Scotland.”

    Statement at 5.33 mins into this youtube:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lZAmhB55_-k

    Not sure if I have given the following Vimeo link before on Bella, but if so it is in context worth reposting. It is a subtitled interview with Irish author Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh, dealing in part with leftwing attitudes to language issues:

    1. Douglas says:

      Tha sin ceart Ferghas, mo charaid….I agree with you 100%. The whole way the independence debate was framed and is still being framed is intellectually dishonest, duplicitous and CRINGE-worthy….

      …I am unashamedly in favour of the defence of Scottish culture and Scotland´s indigenous languages which can only survive and flourish in an independent Scotland. That is really the only reason for it for me. If it was achievable under a federal arrangement, then I wouldn´t object.

      Unfortunately that is not an option, given the make-up of these islands, and the fact that the neighbours are one of the founding partners of a 400 year old imperial project – these days called globalization – which seeks to abolish every single cultural difference it comes across anywhere in the world.

      As soon as you realize that we are living in an imperial context, then everything becomes much clearer.

      Sometimes, when I look at what the SNP are doing – or better said, not doing – in terms of Scottish culture I think it´s not worth it. That nothing much would change with or without indie in terms of Scottish culture. The SNP´s culture policy is completely indistinguishable from the that of the Unionist parties. I can´t work out why nobody gave them hell at the last party conference.

      What´s the point? Maybe there´s no point…maybe better using your energy on other things.

      Plus, Scotland is not that much more to the left than England. A wee bit. But no that much.

      1. Ramstam says:

        I wad hae tae agree the SNP shy awa frae comin oot wi ony really supportive policy on Scots cultur apairt frae Gaelic.
        Uphaudin Scots argaeably wadna cost a lot. We shuid mind Scots speikers (30%) pey £100m in BBC licences but get naethin back
        In wey o celebration o oor cultur
        an language on an ilkaday basis.
        I agree tae that Scots shuid hae a
        standart but like wi Inglish ye wad need tae tak ae wurd at a time.
        This is the standart i’ve been yaisin masel for the Scots Tung Wittins. Mind, ye canna please awbody.

    2. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

      Remorse. I woke up bothered by my frustrated accusation that “for the current independence establishment (and movement?) all that essentially matters is (left-wing) economics”. I now realize this statement is guilty of the very reductionism imputed, ie of focusing on economics in the abstract rather than on the compassionate motivation behind the economics, ie to meet dire human needs regarding health, employment, housing etc. With that necessary apology given, here perhaps is a better-phrased question: “having eaten, who then are we, and of what shall we speak?”

  14. Morag Williams says:

    Great news. I’m Scottish but don’t speak Gaelic and have been living in Australia for 30+ years but still follow Scottish politics including Bella, Wings over Scotland and more. Great news that you are celebrating Gaelic.

  15. Mabel says:

    Fantastic news. As someone from the central belt who tried unsuccessfully to learn Gaelic over 10 years ago – outside class there was no one I knew who spoke the language – I find this very welcome news. Not only is it a hopeful sign for those wishing to learn the language like me but it would be great if we revived and encouraged the use of so many of the Scots words that have been disappearing even within my lifetime.

    The roll on effect should be a natural resurgence of Scottish interest in, and true appreciation for, the value of our own literature and art. As others above have pointed out the education system we have had and which most of us grew up in made us at the least uncomfortable with, and at worst made us despire, our own language, culture and traditions. Even if these days all things Scots are less looked down on, now globalisation is set to finish us off and finesse us into all being American clones. Well done Bella and all who work on this effort and may we succeed in eliminating all vestiges of the cringe and antisyzygy once and forever.

  16. Jamie Fairbairn says:

    Weel tricket wi this news. Maistly, fan there’s nae muckle siller, intangible culture disnae get a docken. That’s feel, fan abdy kens that it’s yon times at culture is maist needed.

  17. Smeddum07 says:

    Good for people to buy things in whatever language they want to. But this desire by the SNP to turn scots and Gaelic into our history and future is laughable Gaelic train station signs for place that didn’t ever speak Gaelic or exist when highland scots spoke Gaelic. Money should not be spent on trying to teach people Gaelic which will do nothing to help them in a modern world if you want to be proud of Scotland’s history (which you should be of some) try to be proud of stuff that actually happened

    1. This website has nothing to do with the SNP.

  18. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    “Pour nous, canadiens, la francophonie n’est pas seulement une façon de vivre – c’est une façon de SURvivre.” This remark by Lucien Bouchard, one-time Canadian Ambassador to France, imprinted on me when I read it years ago.

    Some people believe the future is there to be heroically assailed and made our own. Others seem content for it to be owned by others.

    As to our Scottish languages, one thing is for sure – they will outlive those of us who now breathe.

    On their long turbulent journey from Scotland’s independent past to (hopefully) independent future, these noble battle-scarred steeds whinny and snort defiantly on uphill through our provincialised present. Within our earshot. Within touching distance. As they pass, some of us spontaneously rise to shout encouragement and clear their rockstrewn path. Others, from the bewildering depths of their own souls, feel compelled to yell disparagement and heave rancid garbage in their way.

    Here is an irked on-the-hoof poem about Scottish language:

    A FULL SCOTTISH BREAKFAST
    “Had you seen but this toast before it was made,
    You would have held up your hands and bless’d Marmalade.”
    (Adapted from Sir Walter Scott)

    The apple of identity crumbles on the tongue
    as shortcake from a tartan tin
    or oatcake too thin to bear the buttered blade.
    Our false-teeth fix their nerveless grin.

    Some worm by ear insinuated
    hath drilled our brain into a riddle.
    Each kernel of thought drops through a slot.
    A glut of glume bestrews the griddle.

    From ransacked mouth the husks still spill.
    From cankered core pour hollowed pips.
    All fail to germinate on half-baked floor.
    A tongue of Highland Toffee licks our lips.

    Native recipes moulder in their drawer.
    No more for us the Scotchman’s babel.
    We’ll slave above our North British stove,
    saved by its “English only!” label.

    Our birthright for potage? Not mess enough!
    We pighusk prodigals crave our fatted calf.
    Welcomed at our door the Kind Butcher stands
    wiping his apron with generous hands.

  19. Norval Smith says:

    It sounds like a great idea. One thing that’s certain is that Scots DO have a linguistic inferiority complex – “the cringe”. I first realised that this was the case at the inaugural meeting of the Boston Cape Verdean Society! The chairman moaned on an on about the situation of Cape Verdean Creole vis-à-vis Portuguese. It was when he said that his mother always said “Cape Verdeans speak better Portugese than the Portuguese” that something clicked, for my own mother always said that “the Scots speak better English than the English.”

    Myself, I have ancestors called Purves and MacGilliwie, and am a native speaker of Scottish English. I don’t feel any preference for any Scottish language, as long as it’s Scottish.

    The question I want to ask is whether contributions, either about Gaelic or Scots, may also be written in English.

  20. Norval Smith says:

    What form will this take? Online, paper?

    1. Hi Norval, there will be regular online articles, audio, music and visuals.

  21. Cobra! says:

    This is brawsome news! A’m really leukin forrit tae seein Scots airticles on here! (Mibbie A’ll gie the Gaelic yins a read an aw, syne A’m learin it) =D

  22. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    If I may I’ll add another couple of links here. They relate to someone for whom I have immense respect as a person, Máire Ní Annracháin, Professor of Modern Irish Language and Literature, UCD Dublin.

    Firstly, a short English language video clip (3:48 mins) of Prof Ní Annracháin talking about a course of Irish-medium seminars on literature (‘Seimineáir Litriochta Ghaeilge’). The points she makes can of course in principle be transposed to our own Scottish Gaelic: “This is our contribution to being human…”.
    https://youtu.be/chKydtctSn8

    And for those who already seek out joyous opportunities to read literary criticism via Irish, I would remind them of Máire Ní Annracháin’s major 1992 study of the poetry of Sorley MacLean – ‘Aisling agus Tóir: An Slánú i bhFilíocht Shomhairle MhicGill-Eain’. It is still available (just):
    http://www.ansagart.ie/leirmheas/aisling.html

  23. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    A more streamlined book source:

    ‘Aisling agus Tóir: An Slánú i bhFilíocht Shomhairle MhicGill-Eain’ (Máire Ní Annracháin)

    http://www.litriocht.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=1522#.VkpVYFesWUw

  24. Pepsi and Shirley says:

    Why ‘Beurla-Gallta’ (akin to saying Lowland English) rather than ‘Albais’ for Scots. Is this another one of those occasions where a word from a poem written 300 years ago is picked up by a Gaelic learner (graduate of Sabhal Mor Ostaig) and then we’ve all to start using it? I always referred to Scots as ‘Albais’ and saw it as such in various poetry collections and writings. But *sigh it’s been changed by some ‘Gaelic learner with their own agenda who now thinks everyone else is *wrong. I just think Beurla-Gallta is a bit clumsy and insulting to Scots. I could be wrong.

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