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You are born and raised in a household speaking a language. Then you start going to school, and that language is banned. If you speak it, you'll be punished physically or psychologically. Across your country, there are people like you who associate their first language with shame, or not even being a language at all.
This is the predicament of the Scots language.
Scots language campaigners Ishbel McFarlane and Michael Dempster recount how Scots was sent into the shadows, and how it is at long last returning to public.
- Both Ishbel and Michael work with the Scots Language Centre to promote Scots. Find out more about it at scotslanguage.com.
- Read Wikipedia in Scots!
- Read The Gruffalo in Scots! (Available in SIX translations.)
- Read Harry Potter in Scots!
- Online dictionary of the Scots language, old and newer.
- A guide to the different dialects of Scots, and some essential vocab.
- Watch Michael Dempster's TEDx talk about the impact on our brains of being able to speak freely in our first language - or not.
- Loki is a rapper who raps in the Scots language.
- Listen to part 1 of the Survival miniseries, about Welsh Patagonia, and brush up on the background to language loss and survival in the Key episodes.
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/scots.
- BOMBAS offers you a 20% discount on their expertly engineered socks by visiting bombas.com/allusionist and entering the offer ALLUSIONIST in the checkout code space. Not only that, for every pair of Bombas socks you buy, they will donate a pair to a homeless shelter - to date, they have donated 7m pairs of socks.
- BABBEL helps you learn a language at your own pace, with quick fun interactive lessons via tablet, smartphone or desktop. Choose from one of fourteen languages - or more than one, maybe all fourteen if you really want to make my brain feel tiny! Whatever you choose, to get 50% off your first 3 months of Babbel, use the code ALLUSION when you go to babbel.com/allusion.
Thanks to Stitcher for their support of the Radiotopia East Coast Tour this month. Stitcher is a free podcast-listening app for Android and Apple devices.
The live onstage Allusionist extravaganza is coming to Australia next month! Check theallusionist.org/events for tickets in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. New Zealand: brace yourself for my arrival in July.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Dr Michael Dempster is a neurolinguist and writer. He's @DrMDempster on Twitter, and you can find out more about his work - including the upcoming performance of his Scots translation of the opera Dido and Aeneas - at mindyerlanguage.scot.
- Ishbel McFarlane is a performer and Scots language campaigner. You can hire her for training about minority languages, and to perform her show O is for Hoolet, about Scots. She's @IshbelMcF on Twitter, and her website is ishbelmcfarlane.wordpress.com.
- The music is all by Martin Austwick, who writes and sings songs as Pale Bird.
- Find me on the socials: facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.