The return of the Scots language

May 5st, 2011

Jèrriais Logo

The return of the Scots language

Office du JerriaisEisteddfod, Fête Nouormande, Guernsey, Minority Languages

With increased visibility for Jèrriais nowadays (in, for example, recycling and bins in Saint Helier, Jersey banknotes and stamps, the States of Jersey website, et tout chenna) it is interesting to compare the situation in Scotland, expecially since Jersey is hosting a regional language meeting of the British-Irish Council (including Scotland) to coincide with the Fête Nouormande.

This article in yesterday’s Guardian provides an introduction to attempts to normalise Scots in Scotland:

The government aims to rectify this, with an increased use of Scots in education (“we want to see teaching about the nature of the language and its literature,” says McClure, “and to see teachers using Scots as well as teaching it”) and more celebration of Scots in communities. McClure cites Muirkirk in Ayrshire, which has declared itself a “Scots toun”, dedicated to the celebration of the local tongue.

There’s a link between Jèrriais and the Scots language in the form of Jèrriais literature inspired by Scots literature – as it happens, one of this year’s set pieces for the Jersey Eisteddfod is a version on Burns (Dgèrnésiais writers such as George Métivier and Denys Corbet also took inspiration from Robert Burns).