LEST week ah duin pairt wan o twa airticles oan the Scots Language Centre. This week ah thocht we wid tak a luik at a hauntle o the undeemous acteevities that the SLC inhauds oan its website (http://www.scotslanguage.com/).

Aiblins the place tae stairt wid be the site’s “Whit is Scots?”, or “What is Scots?” – as ye can view the site in either Scots or Englis! This wull be o great interest an uise tae thae unenlichtent an uneducated craiturs that ayewis threip oan Twitter that thair is nae sic thing as Scots language. “Whit is Scots?” hus sections oan; Scots Speikers, Scots History, Scots Poetry, Scots Sang and an aefauld interactive map o Scotland that lats ye click oan sindrie airts o Scotland an hear different dialects bein spaken bi natives o thae airts. Clickin oan ilk section o the wabsite taks ye tae mair an mair options an sairches that braiden intil myriad niche interests o Scots leid an culture.

In the Education section jist ane o the links (Written Resources) haes mair as 28 different airticles in Scots that are byordnar resources fir teachers ettlin tae promote Scots in the clessroom. At some schuils that ah hae duin Scots language warkshoaps in, their teachers tell me they struggle tae fin resources tae uise wi the weans; the SLC website is a wailth o lear that can be accessed via Smart-Boards or doun-loadit tae gie tae the weans tae stimulate an heize their interest in ane o oor three indigenous languages o Scotland.

The SLC’s main hame page at the meenit hus a breengin an braid selection o subjects an topics oan it; ane o the main ettles tae promote Scots language o late hus bin the wark duin in owersettin mony braw classic weans’ buiks an stories intil Scots. Jist nou we hae The Tale o Peter Kinnen (Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit) in Scots, and the latest instalment o Roald Dahl classics, Chairlie an the Chocolate Works, giein a gleg an virr rendeetion o this favourite weans buik in Scots!

Amang ither delichts oan the hame page is an article oan The Aitken Papers. This is a link tae a serious academic study bi the kenspeckle an weel respeckit academic Dr Caroline Macafee (A J Aitken, ed Caroline Macafee, Collected Writings on the Scots Language (2015)). AJ Aitken (1921-1998) wis a leadin authority oan the Scots language an ane o the chief editors o A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue.

This collection o papers includes maist o his important airticles, aften wi his ain reveesions, an whiles wi additional material originally sneddit for raisons o linth. There’s material oan the SLC website tae suit the dwaibliest o beginners in Scots, til heavyweicht academic essays an wittins that wid be o muckle interest an uise tae ony PhD student!

O coorse, the Scots Language Centre website no anely gies us access tae written material in Scots, but likesay, the internet gies us the abeelity tae see an hear mony braw pynts o interest relatin tae Scots. Thair’s links tae film clips, YouTube pieces, archive recordings, fowk sangs an story tellers. The speerit o Hamish Henderson’s eident collectin o tradeetional sang bides yet wi the SLC! Mind you, the SLC isnae jist some virtual museum o auld knick-knackets anent Scots, it provides up-tae-the-meenit news o current mainstream events an heppenins that relate tae the Scots leid. Wi aa the current General Election ongauns there’s advice oan fillin in ballot papers, an quotes an stories frae politicians wha aiblins speik an champion the uise o Scots bi actually uisin it in their daily warkin lives at Westmeenster.

This story oan the website is warth quotin in full; MP Leas Memmers Raivelt (April 3, 2017): “The causay clash throu the press this week is that a Scots MP’s hamelt leid is leain Soothron memmers o pairlament raivelt. Alan Brown MP, that wis electit as the SNP memmer for Kilmaurnock an Loudoun in 2015, belangs tae Kilmaurnock in Ayrshire an haes aye been prood o his langage. In a interview gien tae the Press Associe, Brown tellt us that whanever he rises for tae speak at Westmaister, it’s appearant that meenisters sinks back intae thair binks an pits a lug tae the soond speaker acause thay hae sic a fash tae uptak Brown’s Ayrshire Scots. Brown said forby, that a wheen o meenisters wad affen reply "I didn’t catch what the member said" an that thay wad write Brown insteid, tho syne he laucht "but my inbox hasn’t been inundated with letters".

Brown tellt the interviewer that a puckle Tory MPs haed confesst that thay jist cuidna unnerstaun Brown. Brown said that his leid haed aye been important til him acause it keepit him in mind o whaur he sprang fae.

A braw exaumpil o the challenges, still extant nou in the 21st century, an the aamaist racist attitude tae thaim wha hae the smeddum tae staun up an speik oot fir the fowk they represent in the “Mither o Pairliaments” in the tung o the fowk they represent. Guid oan Alan Brown MP!

SLC council memmers are aye-an-oan busy daein their bit fir Scots in the wider community as weel as their non-paid voluntary wark wi the centre. Ane o wir new council memmers, the young an byordnar talentit playwright Ishbel McFarlane, haes a weekend warkshop oan Scots an Burns wi the Royal Conservatoire o Scotland fir young fowk comin up. It’s fir native an non-native speakers, Scottish, English, international fowk – awbudy! Check it oot here: https://www.rcs.ac.uk/lifelong-learning/aye-can-ages-12-17/

Likesay, the SLC website can be read in Scots or Englis, but whitane’er leid ye chuise tae read it in ye’ll be delychtit an dumfounert at the huge an diverse amount o material it kythes. It’s designed fir aa ages, tastes, an levels o unnerstaunin o Scots, so fill yer buits! An keep a guid Scots tung in yer heid!

Rab Wilson is a Scots poet and a health campaigner