Weel duin tae Lauren Hay wha hae bin nominatit in Scots Media Person o the Year in the Scots Language Awards. Vote now!
The Scots Language Awards are in the Johstone Toon Ha, Johnstone on 16th September at 7pm. Tickets fir the ceremony are available tae buy here: https://handsup.link/SLA-BuyTickets.
We askit Lauren Hay thae speirins.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Growin up in the wee village o’ Cullen, I’ve been spikkin North East Scots (Doric) aa my life but I was desperate tae explore so spent the last decade travelling all over the world and living oot o a backpack.
I write aboot my adventures through my travel blog “Far am a gan” and love tellin fowk aboot oor wee corner o the globe. Covid seen pit a stop tae ma travels, so I settled doon in Aiberdeen far I had a wee quiney, Ruby.
Nae lang efter this I was asked tae dee a TedX talk in Aiberdeen and I knew just the subject – Scots! My talk his since had ower echt thoosand views, we fowk fae a ower the world sharing their ain experiences o being tellt tae properly, so I’m fair trickit!
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
Like mony fowk in the North East I’ve ay battled we fan its ok to speak oor mither tongue and fan tae switch it aff. If I “spikk properly” am I conforming tae the idea that my ain backgroond and culture is inferior? Or if I continue tae spikk it, will I face ridicule or prejudice?
Despite choosing this topic for ma dissertation in university (earning me a first class degree) it wisna til I travelt further afield, that I really understood the importance o ma mither tongue. I found that nae matter fa I met, whether on a night bus in New Zealand or markets in Malaysia, naebdy tellt me tae “spikk properly.” Tae these strangers, Doric is fit made me, me.
So fan I returned tae the North East and hid my ain bairn, I kaint I wanted her tae spikk like me and her dad, so that’s fit inspired the TedX talk. I dinna want mine (or ony) bairn feeling ashamed o the y they spikk.
Why dae ye feel it is important tae use Scots in everyday life?
I’ve niver understood fit y we’re tellt in school that we “winna ging far if we cana speak properly.” We should be prood of fit makks us unique.
Fir me, using it everyday is vital, because according tae National Geographic, a language dies ivery twa weeks! Fan humanity loses a language we’re nae just losing traditions. We’re losing the potential for greater diversity in music, literature and art and giving in tae globalisation.
We should continue tae celebrate Scots, nae suppress it. Otherwise the future o oor leid is destined for tote bags and cringey coasters nae as a spoken word.
Dae ye hae a favourite Scots phrase or saying?
Haud yer weesht – Fae the minute I learnt to spikk, I didna stop so I’ve probably heard this saying the maste.
Whit’s fur ye’ll nae go by ye! – A phrase I ay heard as a bairn, and hope my bairns will live by it ana.
Is there a Scots speaker who inspires you?
There are so mony but tae name a few I love fowk like Paul Hourston (Doric Dad) and Duncan Dallas (Aiberdeen mannie) fa hiv used social media tae keep young fowk interested in their mither tongue.
The mare young fowk hear and see oor leid online, the mare it encourages them tae spikk it affline. I hope my ain TedX Talk is part o this. It’s like a digital archive for the next generation.
Do you hear Scots spoken regularly in your local area? Have you noticed any changes over time?
In the words o my mam “yi cana hay a toonser bairn” so efter my quiney was born in 2021, I moved hame fae Aiberdeen back tae Moray. I now bide in the toun o Keith, which is actually Scotland’s First Scots Toun. This nae only means ye hear it aa the time, but it means my bairns will spik it too.
Fowk will argue the young ains urna interested and winna spikk it, but I think it can be intimidating. Atween fowk correcting the spelling o Scots, arguing ower it, or yer peers ca’in yi a teuchter it’s nae easy. Oni attempt to spikk it or write it should be celebrated.
Hoowiver, as the world becomes mare diverse and accepting, I do genuinely think attitudes are changing. Young fowk realise spikkin yer mither tongue makks us unique and that is fit gets yi further in life noo adays – nae fitting in like abdy else.
Ony particlar career heighlichts
My TedX Talk would be a definite highlight ( feel free tae takk a keek here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGiy65SrRmE ) fowk hiv commented on it fae a ower the world from Australia to Aiberdeen. I’m so chuffed it resonates we so mony.
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
Noo that am hame fir guid, I cana wait to explore mare o fits on ma doorstep and share it we the world through my blog and social media. The mare I can use my voice (offline and online) tae shout aboot the wee corner o the globe I call hame, the better.
The Scots Language Awards are in the Johnstone Toon Ha, Johnstone on 16th September at 7pm. Tickets are available to buy here: https://handsup.link/SLA-BuyTickets There wull be some grand entertainmint oan the nicht tae, includin a recital fae Renfrewshire’s poet laureate Shaun Moore,wha wis appointit as the region’s Tannahill Makar last year. talks fae weel regairdit Scots scrievers Cat Cochrane an Shane Strachan, alang wi musical performances fae celebratit multi-instumentalist brithers Euan and Lewis McLaughlin, an sangster Iona Fyfe.
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