A huv bin spennin’ some time hinkin’ ae whit it means to bei a Scot an’ tawk oor ain leid in oor ain plot ae urth. We kin blame ithers fur the pair state ae Scotland, an’ much ae that micht bei true. Bit we hae a pairt tae play in aw this annaw.

It ay wis saed, cairtinly whin a wis grawin up, thit oor mither tongue o’ Lallans wis somehow an inferior wae tae tawk. Ilka moarnin et the sckul yon Inglish maisturs an’ herd-beckt mistresses wad chide us wains fir huvin the neck tae yimmer ’mang oorsels in a wae they thursels wur loathe tae unnerston, ur e’en appreciate. Et haim thur pudgin wis felt oan the mooths ae mithers and granmithers who’d pit oan an eejit telephone vyce ae the Queen’s Inglish tae hemmer haim that trawth thit theim whit spoke the wae we did wur saft – styipit bawheids and daftlike loons fit fur nout but laibrin ur the dole queue. Oor ain mithers thocht this ae oor ain leid, whit bluidy chance hud we in seein’ oany feck in oanyhin it meant tae be a fowk?

Hinkin e’er aw that noo, it mair than le’es  me dowie. It hus me ragin’ doon inside. Ragin’ a’caus it kinna hus me trowin’ thit it’s aw true. Nae mair dae a hear ma ainsel in ma heid tawkin’ the wae a did as a wain. Noo ma inner vyce is pyoor Inglish. Whin we wur wee we wur telt auld yairns bei oor gran; yairns ae auld Scotland, the leigins the shenachies yist tae tell, in Inglish – an’ a ne’er saw the kinch in oany ae this a’caus a kent ma ain leid wasnae proper. Efter mony a year noo ae lairnin theologie an’ ither yoosfa hings av come tae unnerston thit ye kinnae rade and ken holy writ withoot huvin a solvendie gresp oan the leid in whit it wis first scrieven. Sae whitwey kin we rade ur hear oor ain stories in anither leid?


A riever hus din this tae us. Am ay telt  thit wur no a colonie, an’ mony a Scot wad hod that tae be true, bit a dinnae agree wae that naymair. Ithers see us as a servile fowk, an’ we widnae want tae see oorsels as sich, an’ yit whin we hink ae oor predicament an’ oor place in the wurald it’s plane tae see oor ain servilitie. The ang’ur we ken whin we hink ae Inglan’ an’ the Inglish. We hear thum mockin’ us, cawin’ us “British” in orr successes and “Scottish” in oor defaits. Wur no alood tae jist bei oorsels, an’ we ken it. Weil we ken it. Sae am gled thit wur stertin’ tae see the wey we huv din this oorsels, and pittin’ oor ain hoose back in order. This leid isnae bad Inglish. It’s aulder than that Inglish they tawk doon sooth. Oor leid is Lallans an’ we huv the richt tae sain it, an’ we shood.


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