On oor first o three ‘A Blether wi Heather’ interviews, we hostit Dawn Leslie, wha telt us aboot the new Scots Language module at the University o Aiberdeen.
It’s whit aabdy fae ootwith Scotland aye says, aifter ony length o blether aboot Scots. “Oh wow, it’s a beautiful language. Where can I study Scots?”
Ummmm. Nae place. Weel, there’s a puckle books oot there noo. Or mibbie ye could lug in tae a guid trad CD wi the classic Scots ballads? But in terms o a brick an mortar biggin wi a teacher an resources tae learn a leid in the usual wey? Naethin. No, that wis, until noo.
The Elphinstone Institute at the University o Aiberdeen hae pit thegither a course in Scots that’ll gie fowk a chance tae learn tae read, scrieve, write an hear the leid.
Dawn Leslie will lead the course, an she jyned us for a blether. She telt us that the new course “sees the language takkin its place in the academic life o the university, nae just as something studied through literature…but as a livin language.”
The course isnae exclusive. It is for fowk baith fae the North-East wha want tae get tae ken the grammar, spellin an literature o their ain tongue a bitty better, but also fir them that are whiles cried ‘incomeabooters’. As Dawn pits it, “folk fa’ve moved tae the region, fae elsewhere. Ken, mibbie they’ve moved tae Aiberdeen an they dinnae ken fit onybody’s sayin, or are just wantin tae improve their communicatin skills a wee bitty…”
Its braw tae see that fowk new tae the airt, an that want tae get tae ken a bit o the language o their new freens an neebors, can dae it.
I used tae bide in Aiberdeen, an ye’d meet a guid skelp o fowk that’d stuck in an learned Doric. Ae English taxi driver wifie fae Yorkshire I mind speakin braider than maist Peterheid fishers fir exaimple! But there’s hunners mair in the city that wad love tae speak Scots but lack the space tae practise.
Lairnin fowk Scots is interestin, Dawn telt us, cause its “sic a close cognate o English” an aabdy in her class wi aaready be a fluent English spikker. This isnae sic an unco situation ootthrough Europe, but. Tae get a steer, Dawn wis pit on tae a professor “fa works in a Polish university, far he teaches Catalan tae folk that aaready spiks Spanish” an he wis dead helpfu wi advice “in terms o teachin fit might be caa’d a ‘minority language’ that’s quite close tae a much bigger language.” Scots informed fae Catalan practise via a Spanish-spkkin cohort at a Polish Uni. It truly is oor European leid.
There’s hope tae see this course available online, sae folk can learn the Scots language online fae the comfort o their hames.
On Thursday 10th, I’ll be jyned bi Scots author Ross Sayers. See yous then!
This post is also available in: Scots