Congratulations to Ashley Douglas who has been nominated in Scots Media Person o the Year in the Scots Language Awards 2019. Vote now!
We asked Ashley Douglas the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Hullo! Ma name’s Ashley Douglas an A bide an wark in bonnie Embra. Whan A’m no busy reportin the proceedins o the Scots Pairlament (whaur A wark fur the Official Report/Hansard), A’m thrang wi aw sorts o owersettin an research wark in the sindry leids A hae the pleisur o kennin, sic as Danish (a braw Nordic neebour o Scots) German (a lang-staunin Germanic relative) an, o coorse, ma mither tongue, Scots. Ma recent Scots wark includes bein the owersetter on a letter-scrievin projeck atween the Basque scriever, Iban Zaldua, an oor ain James Robertson; contributin tae the National Library o Scotland’s ‘Wee Windaes’ projeck, which forders the braw scrievit history o the leid; an, aforesyne, scrievin a monthly political column fur The National newspaper.
Why are you involved in Scots language?
Like monie fowk, Scots is ma mither tongue, an it’s a gey important pairt o whae A am. Forby it’s a gey important pairt o whit maks Scotland the kintra that it is – baith the day, an in centuries past. Hooivver, fur monie reasons, its place in oor history forby in oor lives the day isnae aye weel kent. E’en warse, monie fowk ding Scots doun as slang or as no bein a ‘real’ language.
Fur tae unnerstaun an respect oorsels, forby the literature, history an culture o Scotland, we maun unnerstaun whit Scots is. Scots has aye bidit alive an weel as a language that fowk speik. Hooivver, fur better or waur, mair respeck tends tae be affordit tae the scrievit wird – maist o aw in mair official contexts. Sae, fur me, a muckle pairt o forderin Scots the day maun be aboot forderin fowk’s kennin o its rich scrievit history – fae pairlamentary records tae poetry fae the pens o Kings – an aboot scrievin in it oorsels the day, in aw sorts o contexts.
Whan fowk see the leid that they speik scrievit doon, it gies thaim a haill new sense o its warth – an o their ain warth forby.
Any particular career highlights?
As a student at the University o St Andraes, a wheen year syne, A luved tae study in the bonnie King James Library, the siller fur which, as the name lats on, was gien tae the university by the lest Scots-speikin monarch o Scotland, King James VI & I. Earlier this year, it was gey braw tae return tae ma auld university, an tae the library, wi the National Library o Scotland. We did some filmin in an aboot the library, an interviewed a wheen weel-kent historians anent King James an the role o Scots in medieval Scotland, whit makkit a braw addition tae the ‘Wee Windae’ that A researched an scrievit fur the projeck.
What are your plans for the future?
Tae keep on scrievin new material in Scots, tae keep on supportin ither modern Scots scrievers an uphauders o the leid, an tae keep on researchin an forderin aulder material that’s awready been scrievit in Scots (often monie hunners o years syne!). Forby, in general, tae lowp at onie future opportunities tae wark wi an forder the leid that micht come ma wey.
Read more about Ashley Douglas
If you wish to attend the Scots Language Awards, tickets are available to buy via: https://www.ticketsglasgow.com/Pages/EventDetail.aspx?EventId=8fd8b867-811e-4bfc-a2c0-aab900efc42b For box office call 0141 353 8000. Performing on Friday 27th September include Iona Fyfe Trio, Susi Briggs, Steve Byrne and more to be announced.
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This post is also available in: Scots