Laird: 'iarracht iriseoir

Alt simiuil i L

  • Davros

    Disappointing they don’t have a bi-lingual facility Mick- apart from facilitating people like me who wonder what they are saying about Lord Lurid, it would surely also be helpful to those learning the language ?

  • Mick Fealty

    Can’t promise it every time, but the issues worth spreading more widely than most of the stories in the Gaeilge category.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    The editor of the daily Irish language newspaper L

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Now I’m not one to advocate political violence, but am I alone in thinking that John Laird is in need of a good slap?

    When his cultural crusade amounts to more than a bunch of grown men getting dressed up as 17th century sailors and running around a mock-up ship armed with swords then he’ll be entitled to claim Ulster Scots as the equal of the Irish language.

    Until then he’ll have a hard time persuading anyone that the Ulster Scots brand is anything more than a veiled battering ram designed to manifest unionist contempt for the Irish language.

    (I mean for feck sake, Ulster Scots is nothing more than cringeworthy slang in a bogger accent – are we to assume that in the minds of Ulster Scots activists, that is all the Irish language is?)

  • Mick Fealty

    Ball please Billy!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Sorry Mick.

    Aside from the reference to the slap though, I stand by my comments on the Ulster Scots pantomime. And when his Lordship dressed up as the sailor he was bringing ridicule on himself and his crusade – richly deserved ridicule at that.

    Not sure how close to the borderline this is Mick but I’ll happily retract anything that crosses the line. I just find John Laird such a laughable figure.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Now I’m not one to advocate political violence, but am I alone in thinking that John Laird is in need of a good slap?”

    definitely.

  • Rebecca Black

    I resent having Ulster Scots forced upon me just because I am a unionist, it is as alien to me as Irish is.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I know a great many unionists are frankly embarrassed by the Ulster Scots movement. I mean, things like the Ulster Scot newspaper – which is in English. Or the BBC radio programme, which frankly is impervious to parody.

    Culturally Ulster’s protestants have plenty they can call on – great poets, writers, musicians, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs and so on.

    Yet the only time you ever hear about “protestant culture” is when some troglodyte is insisting on marching somewhere he’s not wanted, or when a thick Co Antrim accent is being used as a weapon against the Irish language. Or in short, you only hear about “protestant culture” when the person in question is trying to stick it to the fenians one way or another.

    Now if I was a unionist that would piss me off no end, to see the richness of my heritage being obscured by the illiterate ramblings of bigots.

    Rebecca.

    Why do you consider the Irish language “alien”? Your ancestors probably spoke Irish until a few generations ago. You are from Ireland. How can Irish be alien?

    (Not trying to put you under pressure here, just trying to make the point that the Irish language is not sectarian, that it’s as much yours as mine. It’s your choice if you aren’t interested of course, but can I recommend it? Fascinating stuff.)

    Oh, and I hope you didn’t take offence the other day when I called you a Tory…

  • Davros

    Many thanks Mick πŸ™‚

    I’m keeping a file on this in case I have to write an essay on it , God Help us all.

    I wonder if and when we ever get this Belfast agreement lark sorted out will we advance to proper bi-linguality ?

    Billy, There’s quite a lot of reasoned assessment of Ulster-Scots by Anthropologists and Cultural geographers. There IS a serious process of reassessment going on as to culture and heritage of Ulster Prods that is taking them away from a focus on the rest of the UK. Place and language are closely tied to this. Culture and Heritage are always contested. Bear in mind that what is now called “Ullans” has a body of literature going back considerably longer than Standardised Irish.

    Rebecca, it does exist, and it’s also a part of our heritage. It’s going through a

  • Davros

    Funny Old World …
    Lord Laird’s argument about Press freedom reminds me of this that I read earlier today . You can find discrimination anywhere if you look hard enough !

    Mass protest at having to pay for parking

    Thursday October 14th 2004

    A ROW has erupted over parishioners having to pay to go to Mass.
    There was uproar at a meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council when a group of churchgoers turned up in protest at the imposition of new charges at the car park beside the Black Abbey in the city centre.
    Members of the public also arrived at City Hall to voice their anger at new charges at the car park attached to St Canice’s Church at the Fair Green behind the Cineplex.
    Mass goers are being asked to pay

  • yer_man

    “We have been named newspaper of the year in the Irish language media awards”
    Pardon me for being a little sarcastic, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure there was fierce competition for that award!!

    “singled out for praise by the West Belfast Task Force”
    High praise indeed.

    On the issue of Ulster Scots – I do have some problems with it. I dont know enough about the language vs dialect argument to make informed comment, but there are (proper) linguists out there who do tell us that it is a language. IJP who used to post on SoT is well informed on this subject.

    I’m not that particularly interested in the subject other than a general interest although I am a little worried that they seem to try to box every ‘ulster prod’ for want of a better description into being an Ulster-Scot. I prefer to look on myself as Ulster-British but that’s just a personal preference.

    I also worry that some people, and I only pick out John Laird as he has been most public in this area, seem to think that the answer to the use of Irish somewhere is to introduce the use of Ulster-Scots. Personally I think there is absolutely no reason for the inclusion of either Irish or Ulster-Scots on a cash machine. Just keep it in English – it doesnt seem to disadvantage many people elsewhere. If there is a case for bi-lingual signs etc to be used in NI then they should be in mandarin Chinese – after all, this language is spoken by more than either Irish or U-S, and probably by more people than both of these combined. There is also a true issue where some speakers of this language dont use English as their main language and would actually make use of the service for more than just some form of cultural warfare.

    I notce the issue of the ship from the 12th July parade being mentioned here. This is another area which troubles me. There seems to be some ‘claiming’ by those in the U-S movement of all ‘Ulster Prod’/Orange history as being Ulster-Scots history.

    That said, there is a rich Ulster-Scots history in Northern Ireland/parts of East Donegal etc and the work of the Ulster Scots Heritage agency etc is to be highly commended. They are still finding their feet and maybe time will iron out some of the problems and help them develop true Ulster-Scots which is there and just needs to be worked on. Just stick to the sensible stuff and hopefully they can take away some of the joke image which in all honesty they havent exactly helped by their own actions.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Rebecca, it does exist, and it’s also a part of our heritage. It’s going through a

  • Davros

    “no offence taken, I am a tory!!”

    A Tory was a 17th Century “fenian” Rebecca πŸ˜‰

    “Our” heritage was meant to signify all the people of Ireland.

  • Davros

    p.s. Using fenian in a non-derogatory sense.

  • Davros

  • maca

    ‘Man not ball’ advance warning: Seems like bit of a git this Laird.
    The politicisation of Irish is one of the things which sickens me, and the protestant community above all should understand what politicisation does to a language as the politicisation of Irish has turned many many protestants/unionists away from the language. So why U-S unionists/protestants don’t throw the Laird into the swanny is beyond me.

    Irish isn’t the only ‘local language’ which interests me, i’m also very interested in U-Scots but this langer turns me off.

    Scr

  • Davros

    No need for violence Maca πŸ™‚ A week for Lord Lurid and Cllr Butler locked together in a small room and forced to listen to each other and “Wm McCrae, the greatest hits” 24/7.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Rebecca,

    “as alien to me as Irish”

    You might find that actually you do understand quite a lot of US and that it isn’t as alien as you first thought – just don’t realise it. There’s loads of words that we use on a daily basis that originate in US. For example, and BTW I’m making no promise of spelling here, Shuck, Boke and Crack are all US words.

    I know the inclusion of crack might raise a few eyebrows. But I’ve heard it said that crack exists in older documents in US than in the gaelicised form craic (probably the most famous Irish word) – I’m willing to be corrected! As really I know fek all about US. BTW, fek as in Father Ted rather than US…

  • maca

    CG: or “feck” even…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros

    “Bear in mind that what is now called “Ullans” has a body of literature going back considerably longer than Standardised Irish.”

    This is a bit of a cheeky one Davros – as you well know standardised Irish only came into being in the 1950s. There is however a substantial canon of Irish-language literature dating back at least to the Golden Age of the 8th and 9th centuries, when little old Ireland was producing virtually all the important literature coming out of Europe at the time – think the Ulster cycle, the Ossianic cycle and the other two major cycles, the names of which elude me at the moment.

    I am not really aware of any Ulster Scots literature of any significance (let alone of comparable significance) though this may indicate only my own ignorance. Could you suggest any texts worth looking at?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Rebecca.

    Surely you would concede the fundamental distinction though between your ancestors – and my own – speaking Irish and the fact that some may also have spoken Latin or French. They were native speakers of Irish, spoke it as a first language. That makes it a very substantial part of our shared heritage, as opposed to an acquired accomplishment that some long-dead ancestor happened to pick up.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Maca,

    Has Father Ted been standardised? Fek me!
    Or Feck me even!

  • Davros

    Billy: The Rhyming Weaver poets:)

    James Orr has been rated up there with and even Beyond Burns. You’ll be glad to hear he was a United Irishman, hence his bitter poem, Donegore Hill.

    Interestingly enough, Presbyterians amused themselves with a fore-runner of Rap! A rythmic rythme game called “Crambo”.

    from Donegore Hill

    While close-leagud crappies rais

  • George

    Very disingenuous Davros using a phrase such as standardised Irish in order to hide over a millenium of linguistic heritage.

    Ulster Scots is a diallect not a language just as Berlinerisch is a dialect of German and not a specific language stem of its own.

    The Gaelic language is a specific language stem, which includes Welsh etc. That’s a simple linguistic fact.

    By the way, a thousand years ago 10% of Ireland spoke French so that would also be as much part of our heritage as Ullans.

    For those interested, I would recommend Translation Ireland, a fascinating book by Michael Cronin which traces the history of language on the island.
    It also goes into what was translated into and out of the Irish language.

  • maca

    “and the other two major cycles, the names of which elude me at the moment”

    Mythological, Ulster, Fenian & Historical (Cycles of the Kings). AFAIK.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Where am I getting the Ossianic cycle from?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi George,

    “Ulster Scots is a diallect not a language”

    I thought linguists were split on this fairly evenly.
    Should we take your statement as fact or should we prefix “In my opinion” to the statement?

  • Davros

    It’s a lot more complicated than you make out George.

    No, it’s not disingenuous George, it’s FACTUAL.
    Standardised Irish is a modern artificial construct.

    I’m not claiming that Ulster Scots is as Old as Medieval Gaelic. That would be silly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “No, it’s not disingenuous George, it’s FACTUAL.
    Standardised Irish is a modern artificial construct…. I’m not claiming that Ulster Scots is as Old as Medieval Gaelic. That would be silly.”

    Standardised Irish was the Irish government’s way of figuring out how to teach a language within which there are three major dialects (Munster, Connemara and Ulster Irish) so while it certainly owes something to 1950s civil servants it is misleading to refer to it as a `construct’. It is a very real and living language, just tweaked a little for practical reasons. To describe it as a `construct’ is to belittle the language.

    `Medieval gaelic’ – again this looks suspiciously like an attempt to diminish the langauge. I assume you use the phrase the distinguish it from standardised Irish, which is taught in schools. However the language you call `medieval gaelic’ is still the natural spoken language in the gaeltachts of Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Waterford and Meath. It is the same Irish language that people learn in the north. There’s nothing medieval about it.

  • Rebecca Black

    “A Tory was a 17th Century “fenian” Rebecca ;)”

    well, I was saying I am a tory in the recent sense, ie. a Conservative supporter.

    “There’s loads of words that we use on a daily basis that originate in US. For example, and BTW I’m making no promise of spelling here, Shuck, Boke and Crack are all US words.”

    Yes I know, believe me I have had to sit through various Ulster Scots enthusiasts lecturing me on that. It doesn’t particularly impress me, especially a claim by someone that I probably shouldn’t name who claimed that there are 25,000 Ulster Scots living in the republic….get a grip! The basis of that is probably counting Irish people with Scottish surnames, just because they have Ulster Scots surnames does not mean they are Ulster Scots or even remotely give a stuff about it.

    For example, a friend of mine with the surname Ferguson is from Gweedore which is the Donegal Gaeltach, yet its being claimed he is an Ulster Scots…..I informed him that he was an Ulster Scot, he was highly amused.

  • Rebecca Black

    “It is the same Irish language that people learn in the north. There’s nothing medieval about it.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that, I hear that Ulster-Irish is totally different to other dialects of Irish. So much so that Irish speakers from Connacht, Munster and Leinster sometimes wouldn’t be able to understand Ulster Irish.

  • Davros

    Sorry Billy, You should read about The battles that raged – the formation of Comhaltas Uladh in 1920’s, The claimed suppression of the Ulster version because it was contaminated with Scottish Gaelic etc etc .

    Medieval Gaelic is ACCURATE Billy. It’s a fact that It would be as alien to a 20th century Irish speaker as Chaucerian English would be to me.

    Let’s have a bit of apolitical discussion here.

  • Rebecca Black

    In fairness Billy, Davros is right.

    I study early christian Ireland this year in college and some of our primary sources like the annals are in medieval Irish and even to my untrained eye its totally different to the written Irish around Dublin today. Some friends who are linguists confirm this.

    As you know I am not a nationalist or even know much about Irish, but I know this. Davros is right, this should be kept apolitical.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Sorry folks, it wasn’t my intention to turn this into a political issue – on the contrary I think it’s a tragedy that politics has ever entered into a debate about the Irish language.

    Ulster Irish is actually the same as the other dialects in its written form – it is only in pronunciation that it differs. So in the written form one might say, for example:

    “rachaigh me go Corcaigh amarach” – I am going to Cork tomorrow.

    In Donegal they would pronounce this phonetically:

    “ra-hee may go Cor-kee a-mar-ack”

    In Kerry they would say:

    “rok-ig may go Chhhorchhhig a-mor-ock” (Lots of hhhh sounds)

    Of course the Irish in which say An Tain Bo Chulaigne is written is very different from the language today – it is more than a thousand years old after all. I criticised Davros’ use of the term `medieval Irish’ as I took it to infer that there are two forms of Irish: the standardised Irish pieced together in the ’50s; and `medieval Irish’, meaning the rest. This is not the case – I learned Ulster Irish in school, not standardised Irish. It certainly wasn’t `medieval Irish’.

    Standardised Irish is a bit like the queen

  • Davros

    “I criticised Davros’ use of the term `medieval Irish’ as I took it to infer that there are two forms of Irish: the standardised Irish pieced together in the ’50s; and `medieval Irish’, meaning the rest. This is not the case – I learned Ulster Irish in school, not standardised Irish. It certainly wasn’t `medieval Irish’.”

    I Have been wronged again πŸ˜‰ I wasn’t trying to slander more recent Irish language Billy, Honest.
    Did I send you that series of letters to the Irish News debating the Standard Irish Vs Ulster Irish Issue ?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Sorry Davros, I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. I haven’t seen the letters to the Irish News – they sound interesting.

  • Davros

    No probs Billy πŸ™‚ I’ll e mail you the letters.
    Another poster here told me that in his opinion the Ulster-Irish advocates have their own agendum.
    But they confused the hell out of me.

    As an outsider I can look at Standarised Irish in 2 ways –

    1) an attempt to help Irish survive by harmonising it.

    2) a political mechanism strengthening the case for a single Irish identity – based on the need for a common language to bolster the case for a 32 county Ireland rather than 4 Irelands of the provinces.

  • maca

    “I hear that Ulster-Irish is totally different to other dialects of Irish.”

    No. There are some differences but it is not totally different.

    “So much so that Irish speakers from Connacht, Munster and Leinster sometimes wouldn’t be able to understand Ulster Irish.”

    There can be some difficulties, but people manage.

    What’s this “Medieval Gaelic”?
    It’s Old Irish, Middle Irish & Modern Irish, unless you are actually talking about Scottish Gaelic here?
    The Irish spoken today is modern Irish & standardised. The only people who use Old irish are ‘linguist-types’.

  • maca

    Billy
    “Ulster Irish is actually the same as the other dialects in its written form -“

    All the dialects have their own peculiarities, Ulster Irish might be a bit more unique in that there is a slight Scottish Gaelic influence there.

    Mar shampla:
    Connaught: c

  • idunnomeself

    I thought Irish had been standardies 4 times?

    The latest one changed the alphabet to the same as English? Am sure Maca will confirm/ deny?

    Ulster-Scots has a ‘slender but fascinating’ literary history, to quote a real academic..

    back to the thread..

    There are two Irish newspapers that I know of, Foinse must have had a bad year..

    I don’t know why Laird decided to pick on L

  • idunnomeself

    yeah Maca, when I came up fom Dublin I tired ‘Conas a tatu’, and got weird looks, the Irish ones in Belfast like the Ulster ways, and don’t even seem to know thte standard Irish way to say hello.

    (you’ll forgive my spelling I hope)

  • Davros

    Davros NitPicker :

    Page 33 today’s Irish News has an article by Brian Lennon. The UVF Mural( 1st Batallion West Belfast) artwork looks amateurish compared to the IRA mural (A company 2nd Batallion) – but no fada on the E ?

    On a more serious note – will people object ? Two Pictures of Murdered Men. Pat Finucane and Billy Wright ?

  • Davros

    Ulster-Scots has a ‘slender but fascinating’ literary history, to quote a real academic..

    Any chance of a source for that Idunnomeself ?
    Ta.

  • Davros

    “There are two Irish newspapers that I know of, Foinse must have had a bad year..

    I don’t know why Laird decided to pick on L

  • maca

    IDM

    We’ll have to define standardisation.

    I don’t think we changed the alphabeth as such. The extra letters have come in load words.
    There was a spelling reform in 1945, they also dropped the Gaelic script then as far as I know, this “standardisation” was and became the “Caighde

  • maca

    “…this “standardisation” was approved and…”

    IDM: Any Irish speaker should understand “conas at

  • Davros

    IDM – is Dublin not a hostile environment for speaking Gaelic ?

    Why I’m a foreigner in my own capital
    Issue Date Mon, Oct 13 03

    We asked native Irish speaker MICHELLE NIC PH

  • idunnomeself

    Maca:
    it might well have been my pronunciation..

    Davros:
    It was Aiodan Mac Poilin (sp?) of the Ultach trust

    And Foins

  • Davros

    Thanks for the reference IDM, I wasn’t doubting you, I want to add it to my files.:)

    And have Foins

  • maca

    Foras na Gaeilge funds both but doesn’t L

  • idunnomeself

    L

  • dave

    It is good to see that many are er…talking about the resurgence of the Ulster-Scots culture in a FAIR manner

    Parity of esteem when it comes down to promotion of yins culture, enough said.

    Fare thee well

  • Chris Guthrie

    “Ulster Scots is a diallect not a language”

    “I thought linguists were split on this fairly evenly.”

    No, there is no academic linguist in the world who thinks that Ulster Scots is structurally anything other than a form of Scots, which makes it a dialect or group of dialects. On the question of whether Scots as a whole is a series of dialects of English there is more diversity of opinion, but that is a different question. The American linguist Michael Montgomery has argued that Ulster Scots can be called a language on “apperceptional” grounds, but this ignores the fact that organisations such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society are not representative and that a majority of users see it as a dialect of Scots or English.

    It is therefore always wrong to refer to Ulster Scots as a language.

  • dave

    Ulster Scots is a language. so says the EU.

    maybe they got it wrong, then , maybe others are basis.

    Fare thee well.

  • dave

    Ulster Scots is a language. so says the EU.

    maybe they got it wrong, then , maybe others are basis.

    Fare thee well.

  • maca

    The EU says this? U sure?
    Or do you mean the Council of Europe? (I made that mistake before)
    Perhaps if you read the charter in question it might shed some light on the situation for you.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Fare thee well?”

    are you sure thats correct, on the sign they have welcoming people to newtownards they have “fare ye well” !!!!

    ridiculous sign anyway, needs taken down, I don’t recall the council or Lord Laird asking any of the residents of Newtownards before imposing that ridiculous sign on us.

  • maca

    ‘Tis only a sign Rebecca.

  • Davros

    Do councils need to ask Rebecca ? If the people of N’Ards elect a council that opts to use such a sign, doesn’t that in itself reflect public opinion ?

  • Chris Guthrie

    “Ulster Scots is a language. so says the EU.

    maybe they got it wrong, then , maybe others are basis.”

    As has already been pointed out, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is run by the Council of Europe rather than the EU. The Council of Europe itself does not decide what languages are recognised – national governments do. The declaration made by the UK Government states that Scots and Ulster Scots are “a regional or minority language” in the singular.

    There is, of course, a good deal of disinformation out there. For example, the Ulster-Scots Agency has a doctored version of the charter at http://www.ulsterscotsagency.com/europeancharter.asp. The charter does not exist in that form from any official source. The agency has put an altered version of a legal document into the public domain, improperly using the logo of the Council of Europe to do so.

    Ulster Scots is a language neither structurally nor legally. It is always wrong to refer to Ulster Scots as a language.

  • Chris Guthrie

    Rebecca Black said:

    “Fare thee well?”

    are you sure thats correct, on the sign they have welcoming people to newtownards they have “fare ye well” !!!!

    ridiculous sign anyway, needs taken down, I don’t recall the council or Lord Laird asking any of the residents of Newtownards before imposing that ridiculous sign on us.”

    I doubt whether “fare ye well” could be used in greeting, although “fair faw ye” can be. Might it be the sign one sees when leaving the N’Ards?

    Interestingly, “needs taken down” is Scots grammar and an indicator of speaking Scots-influenced English.

  • slackjaw

    Why people feel so strongly about Ulster-Scots being referred to as a language is beyond me.

    The way I see it, Ulster-Scots as spoken among people who speak Ulster-Scots is as much of a language as English as spoken among people who speak English. The difference is one of scale, and not of validity.

    Neither official recognition nor taxonomies created by linguisticians can determine what makes a language. It all comes down to the people who speak it.

    That Ulster-Scots sounds, to my ears, like oul’ granda talk, is besides the point.

  • maca

    “Interestingly, “needs taken down” is Scots grammar and an indicator of speaking Scots-influenced English”

    Very very intersting as we often use this phrase in the Irish midlands. Could we possibly be speaking “Northern” Hiberno English?

  • Chris Guthrie

    “Why people feel so strongly about Ulster-Scots being referred to as a language is beyond me.

    The way I see it, Ulster-Scots as spoken among people who speak Ulster-Scots is as much of a language as English as spoken among people who speak English. The difference is one of scale, and not of validity.”

    If those who claim that Ulster Scots is a separate language try to “prove” it by changing the traditional idiom, which had the misfortune to have a literary form shared with Scots in Scotland, so that native users can no longer understand it, there is, I suggest, a problem. This is particularly true if public funds are being spent on translations incomprehensible to their target audience.

    By pointing out the reality that Ulster Scots is not a language in its own right, I’m not saying that it isn’t a system of communication. People can and do communicate using the authentic variety, though the revived form might charitably be described as having symbolic value. In fact, native users of Ulster Scots can communicate with Scots-speakers from Scotland with equal facility, something we hear every week on Radio Ulster. This is good evidence that it is not a language in its own right but a form of Scots.

  • Chris Guthrie

    Maca said:

    “Very very intersting as we often use this phrase in the Irish midlands. Could we possibly be speaking “Northern” Hiberno English?”

    This would depend on the source dialect. The preference for “needs taken” over “needs taking” would also have been there is northern England. However, it has been shown that Scots vocabulary is present throughout the nine-county Ulster and beyond.

    Anyone Irish person with a northern accent is speaking Scots-influenced English with a modified version of Scots vowel length. Try saying “good food”. If the vowels in “good” and “food” are the same length, you have a “Scots” system of non-phonemic vowel length. If “food” is longer, you have the “English” system of phonemic vowel length.

  • maca

    “Anyone Irish person with a northern accent is speaking Scots-influenced English with a modified version of Scots vowel length”

    Are ya really sure about that? Could the Scots influence have been that strong?
    I would have presumed much of that accent came from the Irish dialect.

  • Chris Guthrie

    “Are ya really sure about that? Could the Scots influence have been that strong?
    I would have presumed much of that accent came from the Irish dialect.”

    Scots is the most likely source given the population structure of the north and the fact that we know Scots vowel length was already established when the Planters arrived. Some 61.6% of all non-standard vocabulary in the nine-county Ulster is either Scots or shared by Scots and northern English, meaning that a Scots source would fit in with other aspects of Ulster dialect.

    However, Brendan Adams found that people in areas in Donegal that were recently Gaeltacht came closer to the version of Scots vowel length common in Scotland than people did in east Ulster, where it is slightly modified. There are different explanations for this, one being, as you say, that there is more than one source. Second, Donegal has traditionally had strong links with Scotland, where many Irish speakers learned their B

  • Rebecca Black

    “I doubt whether “fare ye well” could be used in greeting, although “fair faw ye” can be. Might it be the sign one sees when leaving the N’Ards?”

    nope its the sign you see when you come into newtownards on the belfast-n’ards dual carriageway, on the old belfast road and on the crawfordsburn road. I think its actually “fair fae ye well” or something like that. Its interesting that the ulster scots speakers can’t even agree on what is “welcome” in their little languages. Speaks volumes!!

    Incidentally, the way I speak and phrase things is due to my accent not due to ulster scots. Besides if you were going to go down the road of discussing the root of english, you’d find alot more latin, french, german and dare I say it Irish than ulster scots.

  • maca

    Very interesting, thanks Chris!!
    If i’ve time later I might post 1 or 2 more questions, if ya don’t mind.

  • Chris Guthrie

    Rebecca said:

    I think its actually “fair fae ye well”

    As I thought, “fair faw ye”, probably spelt “fair faa ye”. Interestingly, it doesn’t mean “welcome”, but is used to mean it by revivalists because the real Scots word, “walcome”, is too like the English. “Fair faw ye” is a blessing which may, under certain circumstances, be used in greeting.

    Pointing out that one has no particular emotional feelings towards Irish or Scots is a perfectly respectable position, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the English of Ulster has been demonstrably influenced by both.

  • idunnomeself

    ‘The United Kingdom declares, in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Charter that it recognises that Scots and Ulster Scots meet the Charter’s definition of a regional or minority language for the purposes of Part II of the Charter’.

    Not sure how you read that to mean that the UK Government has recognised the Scots langauge singularly?

    I would have thought that this says that the UK Government (acting on behalf of the UK people) has accepted that Ulster-Scots is a language?

    I’d be interested how wide that you consider the differences between Scots Gaelic and Irish are. And if you would see them (and Manx) as different languages (structurally, as you seem to exclude jurisdictional and legal contexts from your argument- even if these are probably the crucial ones to a goverment)

    (Unless you tell me otherwise I’ll assume you’re not new to the site Chris but have changed your login name?)

  • maca

    Does the COE Charter actually define what a language IS? I don’t think it does. If not, does signing the Charter in respect of any “language” mean the government is making any statement on the status of the language/dialect?

  • idunnomeself

    Yes, in that it specifically discounts dialects of the main language of the state- although it leaves it up to the state to define that and make its own decision.

  • maca

    IDM “Yes, in that it specifically discounts dialects of the main language of the state-“

    … “However, it does not pronounce on the often disputed question of the point at which different forms of expression constitute separate languages. This question depends not only on strictly linguistic considerations, but also on psycho-sociological and political phenomena which may produce a different answer in each case. Accordingly, it will be left to the authorities concerned within each state, in accordance with its own democratic processes, to determine at what point a form of expression constitutes a separate language.”

    So does that not mean it is up to the British Government?
    Linguistically anyway, it is just a dialect.

  • idunnomeself

    maca, I thought ‘although it leaves it up to the state to define that and make its own decision.’ was pithier..

    It means exactly the same as that spiel (from the Charter explanatory report?)

    Yes it is up to the Government, and they say it’s a language, so it’s a language. Someone like Gavin Falconer understands it best as a dialect of Scots, other are very wary of using the ‘dialect’ word at all, as people assume that it means ‘a dialect of English’, which Gavin wouldn’t agree with.

    In either case the ‘official’ status of a language depends very much on the jurisdiction and it is Ulster-Scots (and not Scots generally) which is protected in NI.

  • maca

    ” I thought ‘although it leaves it up to the state to define that and make its own decision.’ was pithier..”

    Yeah, I only half read your post. Apologies πŸ˜‰

  • Chris Guthrie

    Idunnomeself said, at various times:

    “Yes it is up to the Government, and they say it’s a language, so it’s a language. Someone like Gavin Falconer understands it best as a dialect of Scots, other are very wary of using the ‘dialect’ word at all, as people assume that it means ‘a dialect of English’, which Gavin wouldn’t agree with.”

    In functional terms, all varieties of Scots are dialects of English, but have the obvious potential to be developed as a language, something that is also in the interests of linguistic diversity. There is no realistic prospect of developing the Ulster variety separately from the rest of Scots, however.

    “I’d be interested how wide that you consider the differences between Scots Gaelic and Irish are. And if you would see them (and Manx) as different languages (structurally, as you seem to exclude jurisdictional and legal contexts from your argument- even if these are probably the crucial ones to a goverment)”

    The differences between Scottish Gaelic (NOT Scots Gaelic) and Irish are of the same measure as the differences between German and Dutch – I can read Scottish Gaelic but not speak it. The differences between Ulster Scots and Ayrshire Scots are smaller than between Conamara and Ulster Irish and in practical terms consist of an Irish accent. This is only logical, since the Gaels went to Scotland 1,500 years ago, while the largest group of Lowland Scots arrived in Ulster in the 1690s.

    “(Unless you tell me otherwise I’ll assume you’re not new to the site Chris but have changed your login name?)”

    I have been forced to acquire a Typekey (am I the only person having problems with it?). I promise not to reveal your name, but I find your change of tune about the status of the Ulster variety on the basis of the charter interesting, not least because I mentioned your opinion when I wrote to the agency as you suggested. Has DCAL finally decided to get off the fence about status?
    Please elucidate.

  • idunnomeself

    I am also struggling with typekey. half my comments seem to vanish, never to be seen again.

    But I wouldn’t bother about what I think.

    Functionally DCAL is not on a fence, it is bound by legislation and unless you can prove it is ignoring a piece of that it would seem to be a question of emphasis?

    Or to put it another way Government sees the issue of jurisdiction as crucial. You don’t. Would that be fair?

    Thanks for your replies about Irish/ Scottish Gaelic.

    maca: I’ll forgive ya!

  • Chris Guthrie

    Idunnomeself said:

    “But I wouldn’t bother about what I think.

    Functionally DCAL is not on a fence, it is bound by legislation and unless you can prove it is ignoring a piece of that it would seem to be a question of emphasis?”

    Well, first off, IDM, fair play for replying at all.

    One might be forgiven for reading into your last comment that this has something to do some current difficulty between DCAL and me. I find it strange that a DCAL employee, whom one might expect to know about the correct interpretation of legislation and treaties governing his field of expertise, can a) maintain on this discussion board that Ulster Scots is defined as a language only vis-a-vis English and as a dialect vis-a-vis Scots and b) agree with my suggestion that the European charter does not define Ulster Scots as a language, advising me to write to the chief executive of the Ulster-Scots Agency complaining about the doctored version on its website only to c) change his mind and say that the European charter always defined Ulster Scots as a language.

    “Or to put it another way Government sees the issue of jurisdiction as crucial. You don’t. Would that be fair?”

    What is crucial is legislation, and the European charter is no more than an aspirational policy document, largely drawn up on the basis of input from the devolved administrations and reflective of their attitudes, with a mechanism for peer review. Given the less than clear way in which it addresses the status of Ulster Scots and the fact that the only *legislation* on the issue quite clearly states that there is only one Scots language, a logical interpretation is that the British Government has not broken its bilateral treaty commitment in the implementation bodies order to develop Ulster Scots as part of Scots.

    However, I have a suspicion that you are about to demonstrate otherwise.

  • maca

    It’s getting more interesting lads, keep it up. IDM, you’re turn…

  • eoin

    It seems to me there is a lot of ignorance of the Irish language on the part of various contributors here.

    First of all, it is silly to claim that the Irish language and its literature cannot claim antiquity because Modern Irish “looks different” from Old or Middle Irish. It is as different from Old Irish as modern English is from that of Beowulf. And if you want to say that Middle Irish is very different, try to explain the difference to those of us who struggled with the language of Shakespeare!

    There are also differences in script and spellings, but this also happened in English – the present script used in both languages is Roman Script not English (as opposed to Gothic – the type still used in English-language Christmas cards).

    There are differences in pronunciation between the different dialects but I’m sure you’ll recognise that English speakers from Southern England would have similar difficulties with Yorkshire, Scots, or for that matter Hiberno-English.

    A common misunderstanding about the different dialects is to presume that the vocabulary is much different – most words are intelligible in all dialects, it’s just that some dialects use some words and turns of phrase more frequently than others. An example is the much-quoted difference in greetings – the Northern “Caide mar ata tu” is just “what is the way you are?” in all dialects, and similarly the Western “Ce an chaoi a bhfuil tu” means simply “What condition are you in?”, again in all dialects. There are lots more examples but not enough space or time here.

    A funny story to reply to the guy who claimed that a Dubliner told him to go back to his own country when he was heard speaking Irish into his mobile: As you may know, all local authorities are obliged to erect road signs in Irish and/or Ulster Scots if more than 2/3 of the inhabitants on that road sign up for it. This happened a few years ago in a Loyalist area of Belfast but when the City Council erected the bilingual English/Ulster Scots sign, it caused a riot becuse the locals thought it was Irish. True.

    And if you want to judge the sincerity of the “Ulster Scots” crowd you might ask yourslef these questions:
    (1) Why no attempt to publish an Ulster Scots newspaper? Even a monthly?
    (2) The Board of Ulster Scots were offered funding for Ulster-Scots medium primary schools, (as is available to Irish-medium schools) – they refused.
    (3) It is claimed that Ulster Scots is spoken on both sides of the border. Why, then has there been no attempt to promote it in the 26 County area?

  • fair_deal

    Maca

    “So why U-S unionists/protestants don’t throw the Laird into the swanny is beyond me.”

    Start with the positive Lord Laird did take up the task as chair of the Ulster-scots agency with great enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. He was always looking for opportunities to broaden the audience for Ulster-Scots.

    BUT

    Some things that may help you look beyond Laird and enable your full appreciation of Ulster-Scots:
    1. If memory serves me right Lord Laird was not one of the people Ulster-Scots groups suggested to the government and the Irish government for membership of the Ulster-Scots Agency.
    2. Laird was put forward by the UUP and Trimble. He was a political appointee. Trimble tasked him with a particular political role that Ulster-Scots groups were never consulted about or particularly supported.
    3. As the media largely ignored Ulster-Scots (apart from bringing it on to ridicule now and again (this included making up story about a fictitous advert)) before the Agency was started it made a fundamental mistake in its presentation. The Agency is NOT the voice of Ulster-Scots groups or the community. It is a GOVERNMENT funding body with a policy advice role (an advice role it virtually ignores) not a COMMUNITY body.
    4. Through his PR links he was able to attract substantial publicity particularly in the Belfast Telegraph. Much of this publicity was basically ‘I’ve had an idea issue a press statement’ approach that was usually conducted with minimal or no consultation with Ulster-Scots groups or was about the political project Trimble had given him.

    Eoin

    “it caused a riot becuse the locals thought it was Irish. True.”

    FALSE actually. The street sign was stolen and returned. There are Ulster-Scots signs in a number of areas of Northern Ireland (the Ards peninsula in particular) and they have yet to cause a riot anywhere.

  • Biffo

    fair_deal

    “there are Ulster-Scots signs in a number of areas of Northern Ireland (the Ards peninsula in particular)..”

    I assume these are bilingual signs? Can you give me an example of any, plus the translation?

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    Yeah they are bi-lingual. Most of the ones in the Ards peninsula are not literal translation of the present name. They are heritage signs that include the present name and the old or vernacular name , as an Ulster-Scots speaking area a lot of the old names are Ulster-Scots. A few examples (if memory serves) are Greba – Greyabbey, Main Street – Haird breid raa and there is a Schuil Loanen.

    I have a booklet in the house with most of them. So I will provide more detail when I get home.

  • Oilbh

    Fair Deal,

    I think you’re being less than honest about your claim that the Ulster Scots signs were not taken because loyalist vandals thought they were in Irish.
    See this BBC News Online story and come back to me with what you think happened:
    hyperlink

    It goes to show, as far as I’m concerned, that the only reason that some Unionists support Ulster Scots is that it is the anti-thesis of Irish (in t heir warped way of looking at these things) and money spent on Ulster Scots can’t be spent on Irish. The zero sum gain game.

  • Davros

    On the other hand OC – when did a DUP councillor ever get anything right ? πŸ˜‰

  • maca

    Fair_deal

    “great enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. He was always looking for opportunities to broaden the audience for Ulster-Scots.”

    It all means nothing if he’s just using it as a political tool, which is what he appears to be doing.

    “Some things that may help you look beyond Laird and enable your full appreciation of Ulster-Scots:”

    I have no problem appreciating Ulster-Scots. I’m a big supporter of our minority languages … just not the “version” pushed by people like Laird & co, the “branch of unionism” version for example.

  • lamh_dearg

    Weird how this thread was bumped back into play.

    As no-one with a very strong axe to grind, 2 points

    Whether or not Ulster-Scots is a dialect or a language depends on how you define a language. While the majority of linguists consider it a dialect there are a few, despite what was said earlier, who argue that it is a language. Mind you one professional linguist of my acquaintance pointed out that Ulster Scots is an employment opportunity for linguists which is a rare enough event for them to be careful about killing it off, as he said a little bit of controversy on the subject is good for business, especially if the debate isn’t settled one way or the other.

    As a reasonable Irish speaker I object to the politicisation of that language, it has been hijacked by Republicans, some of whom use it genuinely out of love and respect but as a movement it is used to annoy the other side, to emphasise the them and us attitude, and as regards official support, grants etc. to get one over on the other side.

    Nothing new there then, but as in other similar fields, sad

  • fair_deal

    OC

    “I think you’re being less than honest about your claim that the Ulster Scots signs were not taken because loyalist vandals thought they were in Irish.”

    Please read the post I did not make any claim as to why the signs were stolen or not. Eoin claimed it had caused a riot that was false.

  • eoin

    Vandalised signposts.

    OK I admit that it wasn’t much of a riot – but the point is (and surely you can see the humour) in loyalists thinking that the Ulster-scots versions which they had voted for, were Irish? This point was in response to the point made by someone that a dubliner told him to “go back where he came from” when he was heard talking irish into a mobile. It just shows that there’s ignorance on all sides.

    Republican hijackers

    They must have set up a special unit, because in my experience most republicans have as much ignorance of Irish as the above-mentioned loyalists who removed the road sign. On the other hand, there are several highly visible republicans involved in promoting Irish in Derry. But to say that this is equivalent to hijacking is over the top – are you seriously claiming that this is why, say, SDLP members, are not promoting it with equal vigour?

    Ulster Scots – a language?

    I don’t know if Ulster-scots is a separate language and even if it’s not there’s a strong argument for it as an expression of local identity. But unlike Irish, the people who are promoting it only emerged after the GFA when they saw some rights going towards Irish speakers, and they have yet to attempt any publishing in Ulster-scots, not even a monthly magazine for chrissakes. As it is, the Board of Ulster-Scots spend more time promoting sectarian Orange culture, which contradicts their argument that Ulster-Scots is a “cross-community” language (which Irish is, by the way, most strongly in the Donegal Gaeltachts).

    Like the GFA provisions for Irish, Ulster-Scots speakers have had great employment opportunities particularly in translations of Government notices. In the case of Irish, a degree is expected, but there seems to be an absence of the equivalent Ulster-Scots degree holders, which is strange considering the claim of how widely spoken it is. In fact, one of the leading Ulster-Scots translaters lives in Catholic West Belfast.

    One more problem about Ulster-Scots is the legitimisation of common English-language abusive terms under the guise of being the “people’s language”, as shown in the following examples:
    (1) In the last British Census, forms were available on request in both Irish and Ulster-Scots. In the Ulster-Scots version, “traveller” was rendered as “gippo”.
    (2) In the Scots-Irish version of an education document, “mentally handicapped child” was written as “wee poor dafty wain”.

  • fair_deal

    Eoin

    Thank you for admitting previous claim was erroneous, However, you have just dug a deeper hole for yourself by repeating a number of well-known false claims about Ulster-Scots.

    “the people who are promoting it only emerged after the GFA when they saw some rights going towards Irish speakers, and they have yet to attempt any publishing in Ulster-scots, not even a monthly magazine for chrissakes.”

    Wrong again. The language society was founded six years prior to the GFA. The umbrella organisation for Ulster-scots group, the Heritage Council, was established three years before and its membership included organisations that had existed for deacades before the GFA. One group was established over a century ago.

    “gippo”

    LIES. The translation used was “Airish schuler” (source NI 2001 Census website)

    “wee poor dafty wain” translation

    LIES. NO such translation was ever used. The BBC and the Talkback presenter, david Dunseith had to issue an on-air apology for running this false story.

    “Ulster-Scots speakers have had great employment opportunities particularly in translations of Government notices.”

    WRONG. Only one public job was created involving translationwork in the Hansard office of Stormont, the person worked in both English and Ulster-Scots. Furthermore, the did not create an extra job in the hansard office they simply made it a requirement of one post adding no extra cost to the taxpayer.

    State whatever opinions you like Ulster-Scots but do not repeat lies to justify them.

  • eoin

    ‘The language society was founded six years prior to the GFA. The umbrella organisation for Ulster-scots group, the Heritage Council, was established three years before and its membership included organisations that had existed for deacades before the GFA. One group was established over a century ago.’
    ……
    Really? A century ago? You might quote links to show any of these organisations, or even name them, who were any way proactive in promoting Ulster Scots – other than being a small group meeting at some location and issuing a press release sometimes. If these groups existed for so long, how come there has been no regular or recent publication in Ulster Scots? Why no demand for Ulster Scots medium schools? Or radio? or drama? Why no demand for Ulster Scots as a distinct and practical subject at degree level? It must be the only widely-spoken language in the western world which hasn’t at least some of these.
    ……
    ‘ “wee poor dafty wain” translation

    LIES. NO such translation was ever used. ‘
    …..

    Ah but it was. I read it myself (I don’t watch Dunseith btw) in a leaflet published by DEL which was in the school I work in. It created a bit of a stir at the time naturally and was subsequently changed. I can well imagine that’s what happened the “gippo” terminology.
    ……
    ‘Only one public job was created involving translationwork in the Hansard office of Stormont’
    ……

    This must mean that there’s been no equivalent to the employment bonanza donated on Irish professional translaters (we’re not talking about hundreds here – but in Derry alone there’s at least four full-time translaters that I know of).
    .
    If there hasn’t been similar employment opportunity for Ulster Scots speakers, surely this means there is no demand? There are, after all plenty of local councils you would think would be sympathetic, and isn’t there supposed to about 600,000 speakers who would welcome such provisions?
    .
    To sum up – no magazine, no recent books, no drama, no schools, no demand for translation: for a language population of 600,000? Is there something I’ve missed?

  • fair_deal

    Eoin

    Some of the groups and the number of years they had existed.

    Belfast Burns club – over a hundred years old
    Presbyterian Historical Society – over a hundred years old
    Royal Scottish Country dance society – A number of branches in northern ireland the oldest founded 75 years ago.
    Royal Scottish pipe band association – NI branch founded over 50 years ago.

    “If these groups existed for so long, how come there has been no regular or recent publication in Ulster Scots? Why no demand for Ulster Scots medium schools? Or radio? or drama? Why no demand for Ulster Scots as a distinct and practical subject at degree level?”

    Publications, there have been a number of US publications over the last decade. Teaching materials for schools are presently being preprared and a number of rural primary schools have increased its use in the curriculum. The number of language classes is growing. The BBC for a number of years refused to produce a radio show and there is now an occassional series. The BBC refused a number of drama proposals. UTV shows no interest. US is a matter for academic study at the University of Ulster, this will lead to distinct courses. All these things will come but US is not at the same place as Irish so it does not need the same things. Right now, it needs the language documented, standardised and resolve the issue of language planning. This is why they have campaigned for a Language Academy. It is a higher priority than translations.

    Also despite the number of translators employed there has never been a high demand for documents in Irish, the translations are provided to fulfil the European Charter commitments the government made.

    “dafty wains”

    Name the document please. The BBC claimed it was a Central Services Agency document, you claim it is a DEL document. They had researchers try to find it without success. So please name the document. You can’t watch Dunseith he’s on the radio and a person from NI would know that, a strange use of terminology.

    No such thing happened with ‘gippo’ you simply raised nonsense and don’t have the decency to admit. I provided a source to prove you wrong. Can you provide such a source?

    WRONG AGAIN. 600,000? No one has ever claimed anywhere near that number of speakers. Yet another thing you manage to get wrong.

  • eoin

    “Belfast Burns club – over a hundred years old
    Presbyterian Historical Society – over a hundred years old
    Royal Scottish Country dance society – A number of branches in northern ireland the oldest founded 75 years ago.
    Royal Scottish pipe band association – NI branch founded over 50 years ago.”

    Try to concentrate. Let me repeat the question (I’ll write slowly if you like): What organisations existed to promote _ulster scots_ as a language? The presbyterian link – it a religious thing? Is it a requirement to play in a pipe band? Is fluency in Ulster Scots necessary to throw a few Scottish dance steps?

    Publications: You still haven’t mentioned any. You seriously argue that it needs to be “documented”? Surely a language as widely spoken as its proponents claim would be producing stuff all the time, and certainly wouldn’t be waiting for some american group to write it for him.

    David Dunseith. He used to read the news on UTV in the seventies (anybody who grew up in Northern Ireland would know that). Yes indeed he does a talk show on radio. To clarify things for you, I don’t watch or listen to either. Am I bad?

  • fair_deal

    Eoin

    I already gave the date for the foundation of the language group in my posting April 7, 2005 09:38 PM. Please try and keep up. (You had claimed there was no US activity before the Good Friday Agreement and I provided the dates to show how you were wrong. Your memory doesn’t seem to be the best.)

    I will explain this very slowly, Ulster-Scots is a heritage, culture and language. Therefore, it has a cross-section of groups which promote individual aspects of it. Hence the range of groups listed.

    Publications. There is a weekly column in the News Letter, by a US speaker from Donegal. The agency prodices a quarterly magazine with US writings. There is an annual magazine Ullans (now up to its 10th edition). There is the Hamely Tongue, a word list by Jim Fenton. There is the Ulster-scots grammar by Philip Robinson. There are two children’s books. There is the three books of the Weaver poet, Orr, Thomson and Porter. Six collections of new poetry are being published have started to be released. A non-fiction work in Ulster-Scots – across the fields of yesterday . Reprints of US novels of the 19th century. I can back what I say with evidence, something you might like to try.

    On the need for documentation – Ulster-Scots has survived as in the oral tradition so it needs to be documented and standardised. Also the existing documentation needs to be researched for forms that have died in the oral tradition. It’s all a central part of language development, nearly every modern language in the world has gone through such a process.

    I specifically mentioned the BBC and Dunseith together so harking by to a TV career in the 1970’s is very strange even stranger when you now claim you knew he now presents a radio programme. Pity you don’t listen then you might have heard the apology and wouldn’t repeat falsehoods.

    I notice you have ignored the challenge on the leaflet. So you can’t provide the evidence, quelle surprise! Or maybe your memory has failed you again.

    I notice you make no mention of the number of speakers or were you hoping i wouldn’t notice that.

  • eoin

    “I already gave the date for the foundation of the language group”

    Umm no. You mentioned the Heritage Group, composed of religious and musical groups which you listed, and a group which did nothing to actively promote the language/dialect except publish the magazine “Ullans”

    “Ulster-Scots is a heritage, culture and language”

    So for that matter is Irish, English, French, Chinese etc. We’re talking about language here. Do please pay attention.

    Publications. None of the examples you quote (except possibly some of the poetry) are directed at a community actively speaking a language. There are grammars and word lists for Ancient Greek. A weekly Ulster Scots column in a newspaper is merely a pious political gesture to Unionist sentiment, much as the “cupla focal” columns in Nationalist papers. The children’s stories were specifically published for use in primary schools, and are to teach some Ulster-Scots to children who haven’t experienced it – much as Irish is taught in many Catholic primary schools. I’ve read a copy of the “Ullans” magazine, and it’s written mostly in English, explicitly so that its readers can understand what’s in it.
    You say you can back up what you say with evidence, but you’ll have to do better than that!
    All the above are indeed worthy ventures but they do not show evidence of a widely spoken language. You will admit that the Irish language is not spoken by a large population, yet it can create a demand for scores of totally Irish-medium schools, a daily newspaper, radio and television stations, various literary and political magazines, a thriving drama production, and a vigorous industry of original fiction and poetry, often in the face of Government opposition.

    Dunseith. I don’t watch him. I don’t listen to him. This is the God’s honest truth, he’s not important to me, and now I find I’m writing about him, which a promise to cease forthwith.

    The leaflet. No I can’t remember the name. Perhaps I should regularly catalogue the heaps of paper that land on the staffroom table before either being stored in box files by our conscientious secretary or consigned to landfill but I’m only human for which mea culpa. I was wondering whether to check out the school and get the name, issue number, etc. and thought, naa, I’ll bring the dogs for a run instead. Guess you’ll have to trust me on that one, but yes, we did have wee sneer about it in the staffroom – I found it hard to believe the obtuseness of it myself when I read it.

    Numbers. I didn’t make any claim for any number for speakers of Ulster Scots. As far as I know there is no figures more concrete than the haziest guesses, and of course many people are confused as to what Ulster Scots is. Many Unionist politicians can be given to hyperbole with figures such as the 600,000 which I remember Gregory Campbell quoting. If you read what I’ve been writing about such a figure, you may notice I’ve been casting some doubt on it. Perhaps, though, you can quote definite evidence for a more accurate figure?

  • fair_deal

    Wrong YET AGAIN. I did state it here is the excerpt from my earlier post

    “The language society was founded six years prior to the GFA”

    The next line mentions the Heritage Council. Is it any wonder literacy standards are dropping when a teacher cannot read a simple blog?

    “The children’s stories were specifically published for use in primary schools, and are to teach some Ulster-Scots to children who haven’t experienced it”

    There intended use was broader than that.

    “a daily newspaper, radio and television stations, various literary and political magazines, a thriving drama production”

    I would point out that all of these receives public subsidy, denting your huge demand claim. However, as a minority language and its Part 3 status under the European Charter it is fully entitled to such support.

    You say you made no claim about numbers yet in you post of April 8, 2005 10:38 PM you said “isn’t there supposed to about 600,000 speakers”.

    On numbers the last thorough academic research was conducted in the 1960’s by Professor Aiken and Dr Brendan Adams. Adams estimated that 170,000 people were in the US linguistic continum (allthough this figure covers the full range of speakers from limited use of words to monoglot speakers). The Northern ireland Life and Times survey asked people did they speak Ulster-Scots and 4% said yes (approximately 32,000 people). When the Language Academy gets up and running it will conduct an update of Aiken and Adams’ language mapping and provide an up-to-date figure.

    And you can’t remember the name of the leaflet how convenient (can you remember the topic even) – so you can produce no evidence to back up your claim and no I choose not to believe you. Your claim about ‘gippo’ is false so I shall not give you the benefit of the doubt.

    On this topic you simply are behaving like a troll. You have a set of prejudices and falsehoods that you base your ‘opinions’ about US on and you show no desire to look at the issue differently so I shall leave you in your narrow little world.