What's that you say..?

THE BBC has launched ‘the biggest ever survey into how we speak today’ on its ‘Voices’ website. The Northern Ireland part has sections on Irish (under construction), Ulster Scots and speech recordings from around a few local towns, plus recordings in Gammen, the little-known language of Travellers.

  • cg

    “JIM: If a woman married no too weel, er, they would hae said, ‘She’ll hae tae graze where she’s tethered’.

    Nooadays she wouldnae, she would hae hanged him bi the rope an run away, but, er…A wee shed less polite than that, ‘If she burns her erse, she can sit oan the blister’.”

    Are people actually going to tell me this is a language?

    I am sorry but bullshit.

    I don’t speak “Ulster Scots” and I understand it perfectly

  • maca

    Cool!

    CG, be fair, it’s about respect.
    And because you can understand it doesn’t mean it’s not a language (although personally I believe it to be a dialect not a language)

    “a complete map of the British Isles”
    Good to see the BBC up with the times, not like some of the posters here *wink wink*

  • cg

    Maca

    Come on lets not kid ourselves that this is in anyway a language, it’s a dialect with the same standing as my dialect back in gods country.

    If Protestants want to apply for grant funding then that’s fine give it to them but not for this.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Are we seriously going to go over the “It’s a language” “No it isn’t” debate AGAIN?

    *yawn*

  • cg

    Belfast Gonzo

    I don’t mean to be insulting but this notion that Ulster Scots is a language insults everyone’s intelligence

  • cg

    Belfast Gonzo

    I don’t mean to be insulting but this notion that Ulster Scots is a language insults everyone’s intelligence

  • cg

    Sorry to post twice but type key is messing me about 😉

  • Beowulf

    I didn’t realise ‘insulting intelligence’ was a barrier to content on Slugger.

  • maca

    CG, as I said it’s a dialect, any linguist will say the same. But if they want to call it a language I think we should respect that (as long as they are not doing it for political reasons as some unfortunatly are).

  • Belfast Gonzo

    cg

    You’re not insulting me. I think it’s a dialect. Some people argue that because it is recognised by the Council of Europe as a minor language, it is a language.

    Right. That’s that settled – agree to differ. Can we move on? This is really old and irrelevant ground we’re covering.

  • smcgiff

    Hey, I’m bilingual and didn’t know it. Now, where’s my CV!

    BTW, so I get the spelling right, what’s Ulster-Scots translated into English. 😉

    Seriously, it just seems like ye (no so olde) English with a couple of colourful phrases thrown in. But if some suits over in Brussels think it’s a language, then it’s not for this Leaving Cert Irish failure to argue.

  • Gay

    They will declare ‘drunk’ a language next.

  • maca

    “But if some suits over in Brussels think it’s a language”

    I think it’s the UK gov who decide if it’s a lang or not. Brussels doesn’t, afaik.

  • Biffo

    cg

    “Come on lets not kid ourselves that this is in anyway a language, it’s a dialect with the same standing as my dialect back in gods country.”

    Heres a truism, my apologies for giving it. Dialect is language and language is dialect. We all speak some kind of dialect.

    smcgiff

    “BTW, so I get the spelling right, what’s Ulster-Scots translated into English”

    Ulster-Scots in English is Ulster-Scots. Ulster-Scots in Ulster-Scots is Ulstèr-Scots, and that’s where it all get’s a bit silly.

    Maca

    “CG, be fair, it’s about respect.”

    I agree, there should be respect. But when dodgy people are being paid large wads of public funds to make up a fantasy language for unionists, with s**t words like “Ulstèr” (which really insults the intelligence), then I think were all being robbed. Ridicule needed, not respect.

  • maca

    Biffo
    “Ulster-Scots in Ulster-Scots is Ulstèr-Scots”

    I think its “Ullans”.

    “But when dodgy people are being paid large wads of public funds to make up a fantasy language for unionists,”

    There is an element of that in it no doubt. Laird & Co are doing their damnest to create this false version of U-S which some have claimed is a “strand of unionism”.
    However, Scots is a language, spoken for hundreds of years, and Ulster-Scots is a dialect of that and not fabricated. IMHO.

  • Fraggle

    I remember seeing some old guy on tv a few years back going on about the differences between US and english. He said, “In english, they say, “eyebrows”, in ulster-scots, we say, “eyebroos.”” We all fell about laughing.

  • smcgiff

    Apologies to B Gonzo for continuing this (and, indeed, my wife), but there’d be equally a case for making ‘Kerry’ a language, just because they’ve a thick (steady now!) accent.

  • smcgiff

    Or how about ‘Redneck’ for South USA?

  • IJP

    Maca is entirely correct.

    I think it’s the UK gov who decide if it’s a lang or not. Brussels doesn’t, afaik.

    Legally this is true.

    In practice, the speakers themselves decide. On that basis, mind, Ulster Scots is in fact a collection of rural dialects separate from each other.

    The problem is, therefore, that the legislation is out of line with the view on the ground.

    Few speakers would know, however, the quite distinct heritage of their dialects. That is why information, based on truth rather than what politicians want to be true, is key.

    But such information will rarely be forthcoming in a society whose entire social and political system is based upon competing historical semi-myths.

  • Biffo

    Maca

    “Ulster-Scots in Ulster-Scots is Ulstèr-Scots”

    I think its “Ullans”.

    It definately isn’t “Ullans”. That word was invented a few years ago by Ian Adams. He combined the words Ulster and Lallans (Lallans is Scots for Lowlands and also another name for Scots or for the dialect of Scots spoken in West Central Scotland).

    “Ullans” isn’t real. He equally could have made up a name like “Sculsters” on same basis. It’s a sham.

  • Biffo

    Sorry, that should have been Ian Adamson.

  • Chucky R. Law

    “Sculsters” sounds like a genital disease. 😉

    “Yon one gave me an awful case of the sculsters!”

  • Alan2

    “BTW, so I get the spelling right, what’s Ulster-Scots translated into English. ;-)”

    Ullans would be the correct Ulster-Scots term.
    Ulster-Scots IS the english term.
    Its like saying what is the English for Irish?

  • Biffo

    Alan2

    “Ullans would be the correct Ulster-Scots term.”

    Alan, if you believe that you’ve been duped. See several comments back for the reason.

  • ganching

    I’m no linguist but isn’t the dialect spoken in Northern Ireland so rich becuase it is an amalgamation of English, old English, Northern English, Scots and Irish? There’s alot more in there than ulster-scots which I have to agree seems like a made-up language. Can Catholics speak Ulster-Scots?

  • cg

    “Can Catholics speak Ulster-Scots?”

    Any one can, I also speak Feein

  • Davros

    And do you speak in tongues after a few jars ? 😉

  • cg

    “And do you speak in tongues after a few jars ? ;)”

    I find Brandy helps my “ulster” tongue.

  • maca

    “There’s alot more in there than ulster-scots which I have to agree seems like a made-up language”

    That’s no reason to believe it is “made up”. Every language is influenced by others. Irish has Norse, English and even French influences (& possibly more). Is english a language? 😉

  • abucs

    You’re right Maca, English is really pidgeon German with a splattering of French thrown in.
    Let’s do away with it 🙂

    Actually the history of English is pretty interesting with the different strains including Ulster-Scots. Can’t argue with anyone wanting to celebrate that.

  • IJP

    “Ullans” isn’t real. He equally could have made up a name like “Sculsters” on same basis. It’s a sham.

    Basically that’s true.

    People must distinguish between the genuine Ulster Scots tongue spoken even today and which has a literary history stretching back centuries from the deliberate-differentiated made-up farce promoted by the Ulster-Scots Agency et al in its early days.

    Much of what passes for Ulster Scots (in job ads and so on) is pure invention. But that is not to say there is no such thing as an entirely genuine Ulster-Scots tongue – there is.

  • ulster scot

    I don’t see what the problem is for you guys. Why get so uptight about it? What does it matter if it’s a dialect or not?? Why do you feel the need to snigger and make snide remarks about all aspects of protestant culture? The irish language is spoken by 1% of the population of ireland. It would have dissapeared altogether if not for the presbyterian protestants you so gleefully mock here.
    Fact is it was Daniel OConnell and the Roman Catholic church who were chiefly responsible for destroying your beloved Gaelic toungue ( not the British government) while it was Protestants who were the only people keeping it alive . Irish nationalists were busy destroying the Irish language while protestants were even printing bibles in it .It would have died out completely only for the protestants . You wouldnt even have a dictionary today in the language only for protestants who spent vast personal fortunes compiling it.

    A little respect please, thank you.

  • ulster scot

    I don’t see what the problem is for you guys. Why get so uptight about it? What does it matter if it’s a dialect or not?? Why do you feel the need to snigger and make snide remarks about all aspects of protestant culture? The irish language is spoken by 1% of the population of ireland. It would have dissapeared altogether if not for the presbyterian protestants you so gleefully mock here.
    Fact is it was Daniel OConnell and the Roman Catholic church who were chiefly responsible for destroying your beloved Gaelic toungue ( not the British government) while it was Protestants who were the only people keeping it alive . Irish nationalists were busy destroying the Irish language while protestants were even printing bibles in it .It would have died out completely only for the protestants . You wouldnt even have a dictionary today in the language only for protestants who spent vast personal fortunes compiling it.

    A little respect please, thank you.

  • Denny Boy

    cg

    “If Protestants want to apply for grant funding then that’s fine give it to them but not for this.”

    I’m confused. Mrs Boy’s people come from County Derry. They’re Catholics but they all speak what some of you refer to as Ulster Scots. Words like “thran”, “gulpen”, “wheen” and suchlike.

    So how can Protestants/Unionists claim it as their own?