Transcript of Scots language video

Transcript of Andrew Martin's filmed talk about Scots language.


Hello, I'm Andrew Martin. I'm the curator of Modern Scottish Collections at the National Library of Scotland. As part of that role I look after the Scots language material that we're getting in now - so the 20th- and 21st-century material.

I'm also part of the Scots Language Council. I get involved with the people who are involved with the Scots Language Centre and the people who are very much the campaigners for the Scots language today.

I've brought today a selection of Scots language material. Most of it is quite modern material, but some of it I've chosen to represent the tradition of the Scots language.

So there's some material that's bang up-to-date and there's some older material and it's in different forms and from different places.

This is the 'Smoky Smirr O' Rain' which is an anthology edited by Matthew Fitt and James Robertson, who are two of the main Scots language activists today. It's a really fantastic collection. I think it shows the breadth of Scots language material from all areas. So it covers all time periods right back to the medieval times - when poets like Dunbar and Henderson were using Scots to great effect - and it comes right up to today.

One of the best bits of it I think is it lists Scots phrases that have been used in the Scots Parliament, which is quite fun.

For example, here was somebody saying 'I am sookin' in wi the boss'. There's Donald Dewar, the well-known, late politician describing somebody as being 'fair drookit'. Christine Graham, the MSP, saying 'our sheriffs are not all bampots'.

So I think it's really showing that Scots language - which people often think of as the language of the streets or the language of the playground and the school - is being used by all sections of Scotland's community.

Parliament is a very dramatic sort of place in any case, and I think it shows how Scots politicians are using Scots today in a very dramatic and rhetorical way.

I think if anyone's interested in learning more about the Scots language, the National Library of Scotland is one of the best places to do that. We have, of course, a very fine and extensive collection which would help anyone understand the history of Scots.

If people want to take it further, we have the dictionaries and the studies which would benefit anyone who was really wanting to take it a wee bit further. We've got the journals and all those sorts of things.

We are the National Library of Scotland - we're the best place to come to if you're interested in the Scots language.


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