In defence of Ulster-Scots

Mark Thompson, o’er at Bloggin fae tha Burn, is putting together a very interesting series of posts in defence of Ulster-Scots, which of course finds itself under regular attack in the media, interesting normally from unionists.

Anyway, Mark is well qualified for the task and is currently at number four in his series, hae a wee gawk.

  • ngg

    quite honestly im bored enough watching the zombie language that is irish lumbering around adding “tuk” to evert modern english word that they can find.

    i dont need anyone in my community trying to do the same with some half arsed dialect my great grandfather might have remembered his great grandfather speaking.

    “tuk braaaaaaaaains!!!!” – Irish zombie

  • padraic

    Another constructive and very informed contribution from egg. Well done, sir.

  • ngg

    thank you. i aim to please.

    but seriously, isnt the resurection of dead languages a job for a dusty librarian?

    if a language lacks the vibrancy to survive then the public have spoken. take irish, despite every attempt to revive it.

    it stubbornly refuses to come alive. it is a Frankensteins monster, and regardless how many times you attach the electrodes it remains stuck in a half life.

    i freely admit that id rather eat my own foot than teach a single word of it to my children but ask yourself this,

    why is it that even the most ardent supporter cant get do much better with thier kids?

    irish is used as a political and cultural crutch to bolster nationalists. i dont need a crutch, so i dont need a halfbaked new language for prods.

    does anyone need precious money wasted on ulster scots as well as irish?

  • padraic

    ngg, tá sin contráilte agat go dearfa

    Now do you see how useful it would be to know “cúpla focal” because now you don’t know what I’ve written about you. You’ll have to lower yourself to a google search or something but you’re probably disinterested in the musings of a dirty Gael with his crutch firmly in his grasp.

  • fin

    ngg, I was at the Darwin, expo in the Natural History muesum yesterday, all the interactive bits were spoken by a female with an american accent and all written material was american english ie honor and labor, I personally found it sad bordering on offensive that an exhibition about a very famous English person, in a famous muesum in London should use american english, but as was pointed out to me people with english as a second language tend to speak it with an american accent and american english speaking is now used for english around the world.
    Should we adopted american english spelling and style?

  • Gael gan Náire

    padraic,

    Now, now. No call for that, keep it rational.

  • ngg

    hi fin

    in afair world we would simply adopt the launguage that is most usefull.

    i want my kids to learn sommething to help them. learning irish means they are part of a select group that can speak,,,er, irish. manderian chinese on the other hand will allow my kids far more opportunity to advance.

    irish is dead, much like latin. but unlike latin the only people you impress with irish is narrow minded micks with a chip on thier shoulder.

    and patrick

    your right i dont care to translate your words. though ive no idea if your dirty and im glad all youve got in your hand is your crutch!

  • padraic

    [i]narrow minded micks[/i] – this has to be moderated. The guy’s now been exposed for exactly what he is – a pathetic, spineless caricature.

    It’s somewhat ironic that our champion of English is fantastically adept at butchering his mother tongue e.g. [i]your right[/i].

    [i]“tuk braaaaaaaaains!!!!” – Irish zombie[/i] – Aren’t his children lucky to have such an intelligent, measured father? God help them. I’ve wasted enough time on you. Slán leat.

  • ngg

    patrick

    i forgot to say.

    you dont get it. when you post a message you need to get people to understand YOU. we are under no obligation to bother trying to understand you.

    that is the whole problem with irish. learning it is not about communication. it is not about advancing your understanding of others. it is about closing yourself off to the world and saying “LOOK AT ME. IM IRISH” i dont give a fuck if you learned klingon. all im saying is that a dead language is a useless one.

    why ddo you learn it? to continue the fight against the brit. to row back the advance of a more vibrant culture. it is a retreat to the past and because of that is a waste of time.

    im sure whatever you said was great but it was wasted because your audience doesnt understand you. ,aybe we can all agree on a language to speak in that we both understand,,,, like english.

  • fin

    in which case its American English, I find myself using its terminology more an more in business because everyone else does.
    I’d be wary of teaching the kids Mandarin, my dad wanted us all to learn German, the next generation thought Japanese, Mandarin today could be Hindu in a few years.

    Normandy French is a lot deader than Irish but it still comes in handy for the opening of parliament.

  • Gael gan Náire

    Pádraic,

    NGG is illustrating something uselful. He is using an old tactic.

    But don’t take the bait.

  • joeCanuck

    All I can say is that I’m fair scunnered so I’m awa to get me heid shired.

  • ngg

    patrick

    im not trying to offend you. and i regret that you have no sense of humor, i thought “tuk braaaaaaaaains” was very funny.

    and is it the narrow minded part of “narrow minded micks” you are annoyed at, or the mick part? either way you should be a bit less grumpy, speaking as a mick i think im allowed to use the term.

    however it is interesting to note that your learning a new language hasnt helped you one bit to be open minded. you clam up in rightous indignation if someone slags off irish. you would think you would be more caplable of reason than that.

  • padraic

    Fair point mo chara gan náire. He is extraordinary though – the manner in which he instantly produced an (ill-informed) attack on the Irish language on a thread about Ulster Scots is truly remarkable. It’s amazing how loud and aggressive some people come when they find themselves behind the wee box o’tricks! Doubtful whether that behaviour is replicated by their good selves in real life.

  • Gael gan Náire

    “He is extraordinary though”

    Nope, it is an old tactic, I have seen it many times.

    But you are write, from the beginning of the thread we have been talking about Irish, Ulster-Scots ignored.

    This is in itself informative?

  • padraic

    [i]This is in itself informative?[/i]

    Possibly demonstrates why proponents of Ulster Scots find it hard to receive a fair hearing when certain individuals with very loud voices try and lump it in along with their attack on Irish? Have no interest in the language myself – it does rather seem like a thick dialect but I’d happily concede that I’m wrong on this point if an expert in linguistics were to inform me otherwise. Nevertheless, there’s a distinct and very interesting cultural history and identity behind it. Long may it flourish!

  • Now I get it, Irish is a dead language so therefore the people who speak it have to be zombies.

    That’s logic for you – the thing about it is that there are hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland today speaking Irish – from a ‘cúpla focal’ to constant conversation. Some dead language….

    And of course that has nothing to do with the topic….

  • picador

    I read what yer man had to say and he makes some very good points.

    Namely that Ulster Scots has always been around quietly in the background but only came centre stage as a result of the GFA and has been relentlessly pilloried ever since by people who never knew it existed (myself included).

    He mentions at one point culture wars and I think its true that Ulster Scots has been caught up in such a culture war – being used as a kind unionist counter-weight to the demands of the Irish language lobby.

    Another very good point that he makes is that the language/cultural movements need to work first and foremost from the bottom up rather than being imposed from above as this can lead to resentment (will he thus resign from his sinecure at the Ulster Scots Agency?). 🙂

  • Gael gan Náire

    Thanks Pic for actually having a look!

  • ngg

    1

    i made my point about ulser scots, using the dead language of irish as an example.

    2

    i was saying irish is a zombie language, neither living or dead.

    3

    i am neither loud or aggresive. and i am indeed using an old tactic. its called the truth. i understand many here dont know about it, having been steeped in the sewer of irish republicanism for so long, but i dont mind i will suffer you.

    4

    many people do indeed speak irish, but very few if any speak just irish. they have it as the culteral equivilant of a skin tag, neither usefull or harmfull, just,,, there.

    5

    where is the great irish sense of humor???? its allmost as if you are a cold, nasty bunch of indoctrinated followers.

    again, for the slow learners, ill tell you this.

    ulster scots is simply an attempt to get more grant money from the state. they saw the irish lobby bleating for recognition and thought “i’d like a bit of that” and they still want it.

    i understand why some get annoyed. you cling to your “culteral roots” like a liferaft. because you know you are in a sea of superior culture, superior language and superior brains.

    ngg

    ps before some pricks goes on about my spelling again please inspect some of the other posts here and cringe at the mistakes.

  • Gael gan Náire

    “sea of superior culture, superior language and superior brains”

    Surely some of our liberal unionist commentators would have something to say about this good old fashioned supremacism.

    Haven’t we moved on a bit.

  • padraic

    Fear feargach beag. Enjoyable though – it’s like a an icy blast from the past from Paisley’s (c.1968) angry, but much less articulate, younger cousin.

  • ngg

    Gael gan Nire

    my apologies

    i never meant that prodestans or unionists are superior. if we were to take a sample of dup members i think we might lose out in a battle of tik tack toe.

    i mean the whole world. and all the vibrant cultures in it. they are far superior to our stunted little island and will likely stay that way.

    dont want to sound like a bigot or anything

  • padraic

    [i]prodestans[/i]

    Love it. This just gets better and better.

  • fin

    Getting back to the thread (almost) I use to consider Ulster-Scots as a element of the GFA, and maybe it is, however having discovered the existance of Yola I have developed an interest in these dialects/languages

  • joeCanuck

    Just in case some people think that only protestants* speak that dialect (I cannot bring myself to say language), I grew up in a catholic* town and a lot of the words used were, and probably still are, used there in everyday talk. When I visit I often fall back into it (I might say “it’s wile coul the day” instead of “it’s awfully cold today”).

    * protestant and catholic are used above for want of better words.

  • Reader

    Gael gan Nire: Surely some of our liberal unionist commentators would have something to say about this good old fashioned supremacism.
    Quite. But when patronised, you should just do what some of us do; let it wash over us, week after week, don’t rise to the bait, and try to set a better example. There’s a measure of satisfaction in that.
    Or if you’re a snidey git like me, there’s a lot of fun to be had baiting arrogant rednecks too.

  • barnshee

    “That’s logic for you – the thing about it is that there are hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland today speaking Irish – from a ‘cúpla focal’ to constant conversation. Some dead language”

    where the fuck are they –I travel the length and breadth of Ireland and never hear it– mind you in limerick they might as wall speak it -it might make them marginally more comprehensible

  • Aye

    you’re fucking hilarious barnshee! oh how we laughed!! by ”length and breadth of ireland’ you mean up the m5 as far as carrick and and over to portadown on the m1? ever ventured to the glens, the falls, donegal, west galway and mayo, west kerry, cork or waterford? how about parts of meath and tipp? you fucking halfwit

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Thompson is articulating what I (on Slugger) and a few others have been saying for years, such as Gavin Falconer and Ian Parsley. The main problem with Ulster Scots isn’t the ‘Ulster Scots’ people, but their politicians, who merely provide cannon fodder for their equally myopic opponents.

    A most enlightening article.

    As for ngg and his “dont want to sound like a bigot or anything”. Well, you do!

  • eranu

    theres no need for english speakers to learn another language. the world learns english so that they can communicate with people from other countries. english is the language that people communicate with in the work place when different nationalities are working together. if you speak english as your first language then make the most of your head start and spend the extra time you have learning some other subject.

    the ” hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland today speaking Irish ” must be yeti like in their skills at avoiding detection. i have also travelled the length and breadth of ireland and have yet to find them. i even tried ear wigging a few conversations while in a gaeltacht area but heard only english spoken.

    as for ulster scots, i think most of us would be familiar with phrases like “wile coul the day” and all those old words and phrases we remember. i would never have thought that they could all be part of some old dialect or language. if that is what ulster scots is then it should be documented and studied so that the knowledge can be stored as part of our history, available for people to learn about if they are interested. It would be a shame to lose a part of our history by it being forgotten before it was properly documented. but like irish and latin, the time when these languages where useful in the real world has long passed.

    to further ulster scots in the real world they would be better promoting the music as part of festivals and cultural events etc. i remember seeing a documentary on tv about an ulster scots band on tour in some country. even i could detect the blend of scottish sounds and irish sounds. the music was actually quite toe tappingly pleasant. people arent going to delete snow patrol off their mp3 player and copy on Now Thats What I Call Ulster-Scotts Volume1, but there is a place in the modern world for all this old historical culture stuff at events and things like that. Old languages are just not needed to fill in a government form or read a road sign to find out how far away you are from the next exit on the motorway and so on.

  • arthur

    “i mean the whole world. and all the vibrant cultures in it. they are far superior to our stunted little island and will likely stay that way. ”

    Inferiority complex methinks….a bad case as well.

  • Gael gan Náire

    BG,

    “The main problem with Ulster Scots isn’t the ‘Ulster Scots’ people, but their politicians, who merely provide cannon fodder for their equally myopic opponents.”

    Do you propose a solution, I remind you of course that Mr Parsley is a politican.

    I would say that the NIO shotgun marriage between ‘Irish and Ulster-Scots’ is the biggest problem (note that officals are not allowed to say Irish language without adding and Ulster-Scots).

    It has short-term benefits but it means that it is impossible to discuss Ulster-Scots without people dragging Irish into it.

    For me, this is link comparing Rangers with Tyrone, different numbers on the park, different rules, different game.

  • Gael gan Náire

    BG,

    I would also point out that the bulk of criticsm and I have to say mockery of Ulster-Scots seems to be coming from unionist commentators, not nationalists.

  • Jimmy

    Ulster Scots is as much a language as Klingon.
    Yet Hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent each year on translation services and researchers, bad grammatical English, excruciating dragged out words just like in an Our Wullie comic book episode. It sounds like someone scraping their nails down a blackboard when I hear it. To provide what ngg points out as a political crutch albeit a Social and emotional Identity crutch for some Unionists, They can flaunt their identity crisis all they want but a Pseudo language created on dubious historical origins only shows up how pathetic it really is.
    Ulster Scots was created because of the changing relationship with Britain and Unionism, after the AIA and GFA to be traditionally British in Northern Ireland and the end of old certainties must have needed a re-examination of identity and some new cultural alignments what better than a pseudo language.
    Nonetheless if one wants to speak whatever language they want socially I am all for it, but as far as Government is concerned the medium of English is perfectly acceptable. The money spent on both Irish and Ulster Scots translations could be spent on something we actually need.

    I have provided a link on the Klingon Vocabulary if you would like to send any comments to the Ulster Scots agency or Nelson McCausland, See how they Feckin like it.

    http://www.kli.org/

  • Greagoir O’ Franclin

    “you’re fucking hilarious barnshee! oh how we laughed!! by ‘‘length and breadth of ireland’ you mean up the m5 as far as carrick and and over to portadown on the m1? ever ventured to the glens, the falls, donegal, west galway and mayo, west kerry, cork or waterford? how about parts of meath and tipp? you fucking halfwit”

    ….and plenty of Gaeilgeoiri exist in Dublin too! I was in the Clondalkin GAA club recently and you could imagine you were in Connemara if you closed your eyes.

    Ok, that great old Germanic language with frills of French, aka English, is the international language of communication and widely spoken throughout the world (like Spanish), but Gaelic is the dear old language unique to this island.

    BTW, Shakespeare’s language ain’t the language of today for the ‘English’ lingo as we know it is a changin’ even as we speak. Globalization a major factor today.

    Ulster-Scots could be classed as an early form of corrupted English too.

  • Bring back Yola.

  • dunreavynomore

    “prodestans”
    Saw this word a few posts back and am completely flummoxed by it! It has a vaguely Himalayan sound to it, and makes me think of places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and so on but ‘prodestans’? Maybe it’s like the ‘Cusack Stan’ ‘, hi?

  • picador

    theres no need for english speakers to learn another language.

    There’s no need for English speakers to learn another language.

    Ah yes, speak English or die!

    (Hangs head in despair)

  • ngg

    hi

    i will try to write this correctly as the local inhabitants seem to be unable to deal with a bit of misspelling.

    to see the sorry proponents of irish ignore someone becauce they didn’t type the “t” hard enough in the word “prodestants” says nothing about thier arguement.

    it DOES say the following.

    I love Irish and lack the critical thinking to defend it a rational way, so i’ll cling to anything acan to ignore the reality of my pitifull culture/nation.

    and this is to arthur

    i am fortunate enough to have traveled and enjoy duel nationality. but you are right, if i was just a local i would feel very inferior.

    if i spell anything wrong, fuck you

  • picador

    ngg,

    i am fortunate enough to have traveled and enjoy duel nationality.

    I hope you made sure to tell those beastly foreigners to speak English so that you could continue with a complacent attitude.

  • arthur

    ngg,

    My goodness, you must be a man of the world to have travelled, gosh, have you been on an aeroplane even?!?

    This is the 21st century my friend, we have all travelled, you’d best find something else to boast about :))

    So you felt very inferior before you obtained your dual nationality? Thats pathetic by anyones standards.

    “Oh now I’m a citizen of [insert country], I’m not inferior anymore.”

    Like I said….inferiority complex and a bad case at that.

  • Aye

    [i]if i spell anything wrong, fuck you[/i]

    Looks like someone hasn’t had a shag in a long, long time

    [i]pitifull, thier arguement[/i]

    someone loves their native tongue very much. funny, funny stuff.

  • no ngg no

    [i]becauce they didn’t type the “t” hard enough in the word “prodestants” says nothing about thier arguement[/i]

    ‘t’ is nowhere near ‘d’ in the keyboard. the little guy is killing the language he loves so much through ignorance and a horrible lack of articulacy

  • ngg

    and yet again, nobody bothers to argue. just spout shite about the person who annoys you.

    why do i expect any more here? that is rule number 1 for you lot.

    dont listen to an arguement, just attack.

    its so dullwitted, i feel like im sitting in the felons club as we speak.

    back to the subject. irish is dead. ulster scots is a pitifull grab at funding by those jealous of the (pitifull) respect our governments show to irish. therefore if we have any sense we will not spend a penny on either.

    but you cant cope with the reality that you waste a life to learn a language thousands can speak when you coul have learned one that millions do speak.

    how sad

  • Seán

    A minute ago it was a dead language now ”thousands” can speak it. Hmmm where’s the consistency in that argument?! [man – ball]

  • ngg

    good comeback sen

    dont worry though. despite your obvious stupidity, and your cretinous skills at debate, i will stay here with you and help out.

    seriously though. you are a genius dude.

    ngg

  • picador

    náire gan gaeilge,

    you cant cope with the reality that you waste a life to learn a language thousands can speak when you could have learned one that millions do speak.

    Once you have learned one other language it is much easier to learn a second – e.g. if you can learn Ulster-Scots then Scots and perhaps Arabic are no-brainers (paying lip-service to the thread) 🙂

    But if you take the attitude that everyone else should speak English it stands to reason that you will only ever be able to speak English. You impoverish yourself really.

  • ngg

    hi picador

    my sister used that argument when she sent all her sprogs off to irish school.

    now, after sending all 4 kids to a min of 5 years of irish teaching, and (god help me) a few holidays in the bit of donegal where all the fishermen still speak it. her kids cant tell you there names.

    if that was a valid arguement, why not get oyur kids to learn spanish, then learn chinese? that way they have 2 usefull languages?

    i am from a completely mixed family, and though i am prouldy a loyalist, many in my family differ.

    so when i slag off this headlong rush to learn irish or ulsterscots i do it, not because im a bigot, but because im a realist.

    ngg

  • Sean

    [i]now, after sending all 4 kids to a min of 5 years of irish teaching, and (god help me) a few holidays in the bit of donegal where all the fishermen still speak it. her kids cant tell you there names.[/i]

    As if someone could actually be that stupid.. they can’t even remember their names in English, nevermind Irish?! Jesus. Or maybe they take after their uncle in more than just the brain and looks department, if you know what I mean 😉

    I salute your realism. Your “prodestan” views are admirable

  • real realist

    eggie’s seething anger is a bad advertisement for mixed marriages. seriously, go have a shag. relax a little!

  • ngg

    picador

    i forgot to say.

    i am perfetly happy to learn other languages. i would be a luddite otherwise.

    but if i was to get my kids to learn a language, it would be one that would help them in life. irish does not do this.

    if the rest of the world spoke it i would embrace it. they dont. i dont need to speak to half a dozen farmers and fishermen who only speak irish, therefore ill spend my time in a more productive way.

    ngg

  • ngg

    and yet again sean shows up the communtiy here for what it is.

    angry, slow witted, dim.

    when sean has grown up things to say i will listen.

    ngg

  • Sean

    Just like, by your own admission, your sister’s four kids: if the poor things “cant tell you there [sic] names” couldn’t after five years of education then God help them! Yet I doubt if it is much of a coincidence that they are closely related to an individual who comes out with such gems as [i]Prodestans[/i] and [i]if i spell anything wrong, fuck you[/i]. That’s enough lemons for you, little man.

  • ngg

    sean

    talk about the subject. talk like a grownup.

    your embarressing yourself son.

    feel free to correct my spelling.

    ngg

  • Sean

    [i]talk about the subject[/i]

    err, a bit rich from the man who launches into a tirade against the irish language within minutes of a threat having been created on the subject of ulster scots.

    [i]your embarressing yourself son.[/i]

    irony. your newphews and nieces (yes, the ones who don’t know their names) ought to buy you a dictionary for christmas.

  • ngg

    sean

    go back to the fist post. it was mine

    then read the article. you will see that the cover much of the same ground, only mine is funny.

    then when you have done these simple tasks people here can see that you are not the idiot you pretend to be.

    but ill bet you dont. ill bet you think up another dull insult.

    yawwwwwwwwwwwn i think we are done.

  • Sean

    [i]you will see that the cover much of the same ground, only mine is funny.[/i]

    1. The thread is on ulster scots – yours is on the irish language. therefore, they do not “cover much of the same ground”

    2. GGN provides us with an interesting link that raises interesting issues and is articulated very well – your post is disparaging, angry and poorly articulated

    yes, [i]I[/i] am now done. i doubt we’ve heard the last of your foaming rage though. Oíche mhaith!

  • Sir Elton John

    go back to fist the post.

    There fixec it for you.

  • ngg

    sean

    and you did it. you exceded even my estimations as to your stupidity.

    you didnt read my post, or if you did you didnt understand that i used irish as an example of why ulsterscots was a waste of time.

    then you carry on with the insults.

    you are the best of examples of the posters on this site and i invite others to read your stupidity.

    god what a cretin.

  • ngg.

    Lay off the drink will you. You’re just a stereotype of the uncle andy bigoted loyalist type or the self hating jew, you hate everything Irish but when you go to England, you’re just another paddy like some bogtrotter from Kerry. Protestant or catholic, north or south, you’re just Irish to the British people.

  • ngg

    for fuck sake here we go again. typical mick nonsense.

    you don’t like my views because you know there right and therefore burst your cosy little bubble

    my views are correct and your wrong. if you don’t like it you can go and fuck youselves

  • arthur

    ngg,

    how can you be a “proud loyalist” and also see all Irish culture as inferior?

  • Joe

    [i]my views are correct and your wrong. if you don’t like it you can go and fuck youselves [/i]

    you’re quoting Abraham Lincoln again, aren’t you?

    Tiocfaidh ár teanga.

  • Ngg – a discussion about language is wasted on you given that you appear to be illiterate in your own chosen language…..

  • iain

    how do you find out about the nearest irish medium school to you where you live? We’re scottish and moved over to ireland last summer. we were very interested in sending our boy to a gaelic-medium school is Scotland, but as irish is is a closely related language we’d like to send him to to an irish medium school. especially since there seems to be an educational advantage to doing so:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7885493.stm

  • HeadTheBall

    “Tiocfaidh ár teanga”

    Shouldn’t that be “Tiocfaidh ár dteanga”?

    (Sorry, only asking.)