AddThis SmartLayers

Pro-independence daily publishes front page entirely in Scots tongue

A pro-independence Scottish daily printed its front page entirely in the Scots tongue to mark the start of a new weekly column.

Matthew Fitt, an author and poet regarded as an expert in the Scots variety, had his first column published yesterday in The National.

Linguists argue over whether Scots, estimated to be spoken natively by up to 125,000 people and up to 1.5 million in total, should be considered as a dialect of English or a separate language in its own right.

Yesterday’s front page, pictured below, contained headlines including ‘Stairheid Rammy: Labour faw apairt efter Blairites get their jotters’, regarding the shadow cabinet resignations following Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle.

National Scots

Matthew’s work with Scots includes translating children’s books including Roald Dahl’s classic George’s Marvellous Medicine, as well as an Asterix the Gaul comic, into the tongue.

His initial column offered readers a “Guid New Year tae ane and aa, and yin and een and wan as weel”.

Callum Baird, the executive editor of The National, said: “What better way to introduce our new Scots column by doing a special front page in the ‘mither tongue’?

“We had a guest column in Scots at some point last year which our readers loved, so we’ve decided to ask children’s writer and poet Matthew Fitt to write us one every Thursday.

“It feels like there’s been an upsurge of interest in Scots over the past few years, and perhaps the big conversation we had in 2014 about national identity and Scottishness has given it another nudge back into the limelight.

“However, judging by some of the negativity on Twitter last night to what we thought was a fun idea, some of us haven’t quite yet shaken off the Scottish cringe.

“Anyway, we’re happy to be promoting ‘yer ither national language’, and for those readers who’ve also been demanding some Gaelic – well, keep an eye out early next week.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • January 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Perhaps, northern English papers will now give over their front pages to ‘Ecky Thump’ dialect specials. Or not, if they want to survive a bit longer.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • January 11, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Bet the subs love this, if there are any. I once had the pleasure of subbing an entire version of the Christmas story in an even stronger dialect. Hilarious work.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • January 11, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Brilliant. But any attempt to promote this tongue as a ‘dialect of English’ will result in a riot and give independence a little shove closer to reality.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)