James Robertson honoured

Stirling University honours English-born champion of Scots language

AN English-born novelist who has done much to preserve and promote the Scots language will be presented with an honorary degree by Stirling University on Friday. Dr James Robertson and the first director of the Macrobert Arts Centre, Anthony Phillips, will join more than 800 graduands receiving awards at two ceremonies.

One of his poems.

The News Where You Are

James Robertson’s take, in 365 words, on that phrase at the end of the BBC’s News At Ten. For more 365-word stories by James Robertson go to www.fivedials.com/365

Scots Radio recently interviewed James Robertson on his new biography of Michael Marra.

Episode 1 | Scots Radio Special Edition

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Interestin style sheet

Kinna like this wey; taks the richt revolutionary stap o yaisin dictionars, but laves a bittie flexibeelitie an aw.

MAK FORRIT Style Sheet

Maist scrievers haes thair ain thochts an preferences whan it comes til orthography. As eiditor I’m ettlin tae git the nummer o spellins doun til a couple o variants sae tae mak the blog mair consístent an easy tae read.

Nae awbodie wis wi me:Consider “flexibeelity” or, for the sak o airgument, ‘conseeder’: thae words doesna hae an /i:/ inno thaim. It’s a mair cuttie soond. Forby, it sinders the etymology in room o a dialect writin convention. That’s whit wey A canna gang fit for fit wi dictionar spellins. They seem awfae menseless, and devaul fae tradition forby”.

A respondit: “Aw dictionaries come frae langage-in-yiss. Spellins will be ‘menseless’ at times, dis it maitter? Menseless spellin is a pairt o Scots an aw. English is ane o the biggest warld langages and its spellin is, as we weel ken, a linguistic midden. Spellin/etymological ‘purity’ is a ideological poseetion, mibbies a desirable ane but isna gaun tae happen onietime suin, eh? Whit we *dae* hae is braw dictionars tae wark wi, yet – an Scots is the *ainlie* tung whaur A ken this gangs on – lairners is aften acteeve-like pit aff by fowk frae yaisin thaim. Whit guid thon daes is ayont ma ken. As fowk sey, “stairt frae whaur ye are an wark wi whit ye hae”. ; )”

But: “Ma concern is nocht adae wi purity or some ither vice Clive, it’s wi adoption. A canna win masel tae writin oot ‘ee’ for ‘i’ or ‘ck’ for ‘ct’ as it’s ower radical, and A canna see ither fowk daein the same”.

Wunnerland, Wunnerlan, Wonderlaand, Ferlielann, Wunnerlaun or Wunderlant?

Hoo monie owersettins o Alice is needit? Sax o thaim here!

Evertype Publications – Books in Scots

Cockney Rhyming Slang, as anyone who has stood at the till in a London souvenir shop could tell you, is a set of slang expressions based on taking the original word (say, “stairs”) and rhyming it with the final word of a short phrase (“apples and pears”), and then, in some cases, shortening the new expression (“apples”).


Twa pehs – Korean explanation of Dundonian

Dundee dialect hilariously explained by Korean Billy leaving Scots in stitches

Some of you may have come across Korean Billy before. The vlogger has become something of a YouTube sensation with his various interpretations and impressions of UK accents being played out on screen. Previously he has attempted Scouse and Glaswegian among others, but now it’s time for a bit of Doric to take the test.

There’s one on Glasgow, too.


Scots gettin yaised in forensics. Wrang-like.

“He queried whether any real Scot would have used the word “wot” in tweets instead of “wae” or “wi”, He added: “In almost a year of daily interaction with Scottish Twitter users, I can hand on heart say I’d never seen one of them use “Wot”.”

‘I’m not a Russian troll – I’m a security guard from Glasgow’

An alleged Russian online troll named on a prominent news website is actually a security guard from Glasgow, The Scotsman can reveal. The Scot, who posts under the name Smoo on Twitter, was branded a suspected propagandist in an article on ByLine, which claims to be the most visited crowdfunded journalism website in the UK.


Dialect or langage – disna maitter tae yer harns.

Interestin stuff comin oot o research…


A distinctive Scots brogue is at the centre of new international research that shows the brain treats a dialect and a language in the same way. Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland partnered with RWTH Aachen University, Germany, to study how quickly the brain can react when asked to switch between standard speech and regional dialects.

An reportit on STV…

International dialect study puts Dundonian to the test

A Scots brogue is at the centre of new international research that shows the brain treats a dialect and a language in the same way. Abertay University partnered with RWTH Aachen University in Germany to study how quickly the brain can react when asked to switch between standard speech and regional dialects.

And the BBC’ spin

Scots dialects ‘as good as a second language’

Do you speak Dundonian? Have you sometimes felt the rest of Scotland doesn’t understand you? Researchers at Abertay University in Dundee have good news for you. Being fluent in both your dialect and standard English is as good as speaking two different languages. That is when it comes to how your brain handles them.



Harry Potter noo in Scots

Luiks braw, owerset by Matthew Fitt.

Harry Potter translated into Scots

The first book in the Harry Potter series has had a Scottish treatment and has been translated into Scots. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane marks the 20th anniversary of the first publication of the boy wizard’s adventures. Harry Potter has a strong Scottish connection.