Congratulations to Ashley Douglas who have been nominated in Scots Speaker o the Year in the Scots Language Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Ashley Douglas the following questions.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
A’m an Embra-bidin, multi-leidit (Scots, English, German, Danish, Gaelic) researcher, owersetter and scriever. The ither hauf o the time, A’m a pairliamentary reporter (specialisin in Scots and Gaelic) at the Scots Pairlament.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
It was whan studyin German and Danish at university that A first becam awaur o the monie connections atween whit A speik, Scots, and ither European languages. A realised that, faur fae a “dialect”, “bad English” or “slang”, Scots is a language in its ain richt and pairt o the braider faimily o Germanic languages. Forby, as A soon gaed on tae learn, it is ane wi a rich and prood place in Scotland’s history and a byordinar, centuries-lang scrievit tradition.
Although things are chyngin fur the better, due tae monie trauchlesome historical and political reasons, Scots the day is aye a bit like a treisur-kist o riches gaitherin stoor in the attic o Scotland’s national consciousness – whan it should be a skyrie jewel oot front and centre on the mantelpiece.
Through takkin tent o baith the monie links atween Scots and ither leids forby the monie byordinar scrievit sources o Scots that hae come doon tae us – fae Pairlamentary records tae Renaissance poetry – the aim o ma wark is tae mak clear that Scots is a national leid – and ane that’s o muckle importance no jist tae Scotland’s history, but tae Scotland the day. Maist importantly, thon, in turn, is aboot makkin Scots-speikers awaur o the wirth o whit they speik, gien fowk a mair muckle sense o pride and self-wirth, and helpin us tae better unnerstaun oorsels and oor kintra, past and present.
This point is aiblins maist important in schools, fur we ken that warkin wi Scots in the classroom heizes confidence and academic attainment, develops multi-leidit unnerstaunin and literacy, and opens up ingang intae oor history – maist transformationally amang the maist dingit-doon o Scotland’s bairns.
Ony particlar career heighlichts?
A’ve had the guid fortune tae hae been involvit in monie braw Scots projects ower the lest few years, sae it’s a trauchle tae wale oot highlights – but A’ll gie it ma best shot!
Warkin wi the support o the National Library o Scotland tae produce, wi ma freen and colleague, Tam Clark, an authoritative modern Scots owersettin o the kenspeckle 1320 Declaration o Arbroath fur its 700th anniversary year
Bein pairt o the team tae bring oot the weel-luved fairy-tales o Hans Christian Andersen in Scots fur the first time
Researchin and scrievin the chaipter on “Scots Language and Politics” fur the Open University’s smashin new course on “Scots Language and Culture”
Addressin a conference o national heritage professionals anent the central role o the Scots language in Scotland’s past, and whit wey it has a gey special role tae play in communicatin thon past the day
Unnertakkin the role o Scots owersetter on an Edinburgh International Book Festival project that saw kenspeckle Scottish scriever, James Roberston, exchange a series o letters wi a Basque coonterpairt
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
Tae aye haud forrit wi forderin the importance o Scots leid, past and present, at ivery opportunity that comes ma wey. Mair specifically, A’m warkin on twa gey excitin Scots projects as A scrieve this, and hae monie mair planned fur the future!
Read more about Ashley Douglas
The Scots Language Awards 2020 will be online at www.scotslanguageawards.com. We will have a mixture of events on the 23rd / 24th October. Performing at the Award on Saturday 24th September will be Gerda Stevenson, Gary Robertson, Shona Donaldson and Jim Malcolm.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad
This post is also available in: English