Rebel Tongue

I spoke to Alistair Heather about his new documentary ‘Rebel Tongue’ which screens on Tuesday 28th April at 10 pm on the new BBC Scotland channel. I saw a preview of it and talked to him about the issues the programme raises about minority languages and where we go from here.

We are in the lockdown so it’s a bit lo-fi, so sorry about that, hopefully you can still hear us ok …


Comments (7)

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  1. Andrew Smith says:

    Thank you, wasn’t even aware of this programme being shown, not helped by BBC putting it on such a late slot.

    1. It’ll be on the iPlayer for a month or so, so you can watch at the time you want

  2. Gordon McShean says:

    I was born in Glasgow in 1936. My family came from Edinburgh – with strong connections with Leith, Aberdeen and Stromness – and we loved to exchange words between each others! I was active as a bairn, active with Glasgow theatrical groups and Burns folks; then I was all around Scotland – as both a hosteler and Scottish Youth Hostel employee. In 1951 I joined up with other teenage Scottish nationalists involved with others – breaking up Army Cadets rifles people who might have used the guns against our demonstrates! Subsequently my friend Scottish National Party officer Robert Curran, was cautioned that he could be arrested;, had to escape to the USA; another youth was jailed – and I began starting traveling and writing all over the world – you might want to read about that (RETIRED TERRORIST, in USA,, Trafford, 2010). I’m still in love with Scottish language. I eventually have been able to obtain language qualifications (and employment in the US and NZ) and get a few books published). But I now still feel bad about losing much of my marvelous tongue!

  3. Gill B says:

    What is your background Alistair?
    I bl**dy love the work you’re doing for Scots language and dialect but I’m left a little bit bemused by your own tongue.
    Your mix of ‘high pronunciation’ -although always undeniably Scottish, and your often irregular sounding use of Scots words is unusual to my ear.
    Perhaps it’s peculiar to hear these Scots words so fully and clearly pronounced or perhaps I suffer inverted snobbery on Scots pronunciation! I would be interested to hear your view…

  4. Graeme Purves says:

    A guid interview! ‘Blythe ti discover A agree wi Ally on dialect an stannert Scots.

  5. James Aexander Gibson says:

    Just grand to hear the Scots Language again!

  6. Vincent Paul McGhee says:

    Great programme. Annoys me that even today our way of speaking is being driven out by the class/education system to make us speak that pseudo University accent which is hair tearing out anger inducing. I never change the way I speak so someone can understand me and I’ll continue to do so.
    That part where the English king had set out to make us speak posh English from primary upwards. Another reason ontop of the many already to break away from England.

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