Whit is yer thochts on the neist steps thit maun be taen for tae support the Scots leid?
Scots language has over 1.5 million speakers within Scotland, and millions more outwith Scotland, and this should be considered our most valuable resource. The Scots Language Centre believes that to rehabilitate Scots it is vital that any legislation focuses on supporting the speakers of the language. All Scots dialects must be held in equal regard.
To encourage and promote Scots speech, consideration should be given to several programmes of development:
Status planning – those efforts directed towards the allocation of functions of languages/literacies in a given speech community;
Acquisition planning – efforts to influence the allocation of users or the distribution of languages/literacies by means of creating or improving opportunity or incentive to learn them; and
Corpus planning – efforts related to the adequacy of the form or structure of languages/literacies.
It is a sociolinguistic reality of Scotland that we all carry a knowledge of our society's linguistic hierarchies of prestige, which is acquired at a young age. At best, social prejudice would have it that it is impolite to speak Scots, and at worst it is met with the hostility reserved for the greatest social stigma. No one should be penalised or stigmatised for speaking or expressing themselves in Scots.
Whilst there is evidence of these social attitudes changing, they still constitute a real threat to the intergenerational transmission that is vital to the survival of any language. Whether it is viewed through a theoretical lens of decolonisation, destigmatisation, democratisation and social inclusion, accessibility, ergonomics, representation, or simply righting a wrong, improving the status of Scots to equality with the other languages of Scotland is of key importance to the rehabilitation of our language.
The Scots Language Centre believes that the explicit recognition of Scots and the dignity of its speakers in Scots law will be a significant step in and of itself towards redressing the balance of the linguistic inequalities Scots faces. It will be a strong signal to encourage speaker-led initiatives and improve the confidence of Scots speakers to understand that their language is both valued and permitted, and a skillset worth developing.
Below we list some particular steps we recommend be taken as legislation is progressed.
The linguistic rights of Scots speakers must be affirmed. The following extracts from ratified treaties apply. The complete articles from which these are quoted along with links to the complete treaties can be found in the appendix.
Universal declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Airticle 2 "Awbody is entitelt til aw the richts and freedoms furthset in this Declaration wi nae distinction o ony kind, sic as [...] language, [...] national or social origin [.]"
Airticle 19 "Awbody hes the richt tae freedom o opinioun and expression; this richt includes freedom tae haud opiniouns wi nae intermeddling and tae seek, come by and gie oot wittings and conceits throu ony media and tentless o frontiers.
Airticle 26 2. "Learning shal be airtit at the ful development o the human personality and at the steivening o respect for human richts and fundamental freedoms."
European Convention on Human Rights (1953)
Article 14 – Prohibition of discrimination "The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as [...] language, [...] national or social origin, association with a national minority, [...] birth or other status."
Convention against Discrimination in Education (1962)
Article 5 1. "The States Parties to this Convention agree that: Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; [...] It is essential to recognize the right of members of national minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the maintenance of schools and, depending on the educational policy of each State, the use or the teaching of their own language[.]"
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976)
Article 1 1. "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."
Article 2 1. "Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as [...] language, [...] , national or social origin[.]"
Article 4 1 . "In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of [...] language, [...] or social origin."
Article 24 1. "Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to [...] language, [...], national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State."
Article 26 "All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as [...] language, [...] national or social origin[.]"
Article 27 "In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language."
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
Article 2 1. "States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's [...] language,[...], national, ethnic or social origin[.]"
Article 29 1. "States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values[.]"
Article 30 "In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language."
All of these treaties have extensive statements on linguistic rights within the criminal justice system which are included in the fuller quotations below.
Although the term ‘national minority’ is not legally defined within the United Kingdom, authorities refer to the broad ‘conventional’ definition of ‘racial group’ as set out in the Equality Act 2010, section 9. In the case of certain national minorities, such recognition has been accepted by the courts on the basis of national origin for Scots, Irish, Welsh, and Cornish. As such the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1988) applies to Scots and its speakers.
Equality Act (2010)
(c)ethnic or national origins.
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1988)
1 The Parties undertake to promote the conditions necessary for persons belonging to national minorities to maintain and develop their culture, and to preserve the essential elements of their identity, namely their religion, language, traditions and cultural heritage.
2 Without prejudice to measures taken in pursuance of their general integration policy, the Parties shall refrain from policies or practices aimed at assimilation of persons belonging to national minorities against their will and shall protect these persons from any action aimed at such assimilation.
1 The Parties undertake to recognise that the right to freedom of expression of every person belonging to a national minority includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas in the minority language, without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers. The Parties shall ensure, within the framework of their legal systems, that persons belonging to a national minority are not discriminated against in their access to the media.
2 Paragraph 1 shall not prevent Parties from requiring the licensing, without discrimination and based on objective criteria, of sound radio and television broadcasting, or cinema enterprises.
3 The Parties shall not hinder the creation and the use of printed media by persons belonging to national minorities. In the legal framework of sound radio and television broadcasting, they shall ensure, as far as possible, and taking into account the provisions of paragraph 1, that persons belonging to national minorities are granted the possibility of creating and using their own media.
4 In the framework of their legal systems, the Parties shall adopt adequate measures in order to facilitate access to the media for persons belonging to national minorities and in order to promote tolerance and permit cultural pluralism.
1 The Parties undertake to recognise that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to use freely and without interference his or her minority language, in private and in public, orally and in writing.
2 In areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities traditionally or in substantial numbers, if those persons so request and where such a request corresponds to a real need, the Parties shall endeavour to ensure, as far as possible, the conditions which would make it possible to use the minority language in relations between those persons and the administrative authorities.
3 The Parties undertake to guarantee the right of every person belonging to a national minority to be informed promptly, in a language which he or she understands, of the reasons for his or her arrest, and of the nature and cause of any accusation against him or her, and to defend himself or herself in this language, if necessary with the free assistance of an interpreter.
1 The Parties undertake to recognise that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to use his or her surname (patronym) and first names in the minority language and the right to official recognition of them, according to modalities provided for in their legal system.
2 The Parties undertake to recognise that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to display in his or her minority language signs, inscriptions and other information of a private nature visible to the public.
3 In areas traditionally inhabited by substantial numbers of persons belonging to a national minority, the Parties shall endeavour, in the framework of their legal system, including, where appropriate, agreements with other States, and taking into account their specific conditions, to display traditional local names, street names and other topographical indications intended for the public also in the minority language when there is a sufficient demand for such indications.
1 The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the culture, history, language and religion of their national minorities and of the majority.
2 In this context the Parties shall inter alia provide adequate opportunities for teacher training and access to textbooks, and facilitate contacts among students and teachers of different communities.
3 The Parties undertake to promote equal opportunities for access to education at all levels for persons belonging to national minorities.
1 The Parties undertake to recognise that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to learn his or her minority language.
2 In areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities traditionally or in substantial numbers, if there is sufficient demand, the Parties shall endeavour to ensure, as far as possible and within the framework of their education systems, that persons belonging to those minorities have adequate opportunities for being taught the minority language or for receiving instruction in this language.
3 Paragraph 2 of this article shall be implemented without prejudice to the learning of the official language or the teaching in this language.
Scots is recognised as meeting the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages' definition for the purposes of Part II of the Charter. Since its ratification there has been frequent mention from the community that it ought to qualify for Part III of the Charter. This is included in the appendix. The Scots Language Centre approves of any or all of the provisions of Part III being included in Scots legislation.
Declaration contained in a Note Verbale from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, handed at the time of deposit of the instrument of ratification on 27 March 2001
b) The United Kingdom declares, in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Charter that it recognises that Scots and Ulster Scots meet the Charter’s definition of a regional or minority language for the purposes of Part II of the Charter.
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (2001)
Part I – General provisions
Article 1 – Definitions
For the purposes of this Charter:
a "regional or minority languages" means languages that are:
i traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals of that State who
form a group numerically smaller than the rest of the State's population; and
ii different from the official language(s) of that State; it does not include either dialects of the official language(s) of the State or the languages of migrants;
b "territory in which the regional or minority language is used" means the geographical area in which the said language is the mode of expression of a number of people justifying the adoption of the various protective and promotional measures provided for in this Charter;
c "non-territorial languages" means languages used by nationals of the State which differ from the language or languages used by the rest of the State's population but which, although traditionally used within the territory of the State, cannot be identified with a particular area thereof.
Article 2 – Undertakings
1 Each Party undertakes to apply the provisions of Part II to all the regional or minority languages spoken within its territory and which comply with the definition in Article 1.
2 In respect of each language specified at the time of ratification, acceptance or approval, in accordance with Article 3, each Party undertakes to apply a minimum of thirty-five paragraphs or sub-paragraphs chosen from among the provisions of Part III of the Charter, including at least three chosen from each of the Articles 8 and 12 and one from each of the Articles 9, 10, 11 and 13.
Article 3 – Practical arrangements
1 Each Contracting State shall specify in its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, each regional or minority language, or official language which is less widely used on the whole or part of its territory, to which the paragraphs chosen in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 2, shall apply.
2 Any Party may, at any subsequent time, notify the Secretary General that it accepts the obligations arising out of the provisions of any other paragraph of the Charter not already specified in its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, or that it will apply paragraph 1 of the present article to other regional or minority languages, or to other official languages which are less widely used on the whole or part of its territory.
3 The undertakings referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be deemed to form an integral part of the ratification, acceptance or approval and will have the same effect as from their date of notification.
Article 4 – Existing regimes of protection
1 Nothing in this Charter shall be construed as limiting or derogating from any of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
2 The provisions of this Charter shall not affect any more favourable provisions concerning the status of regional or minority languages, or the legal regime of persons belonging to minorities which may exist in a Party or are provided for by relevant bilateral or multilateral international agreements.
Article 5 – Existing obligations
Nothing in this Charter may be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or perform any action in contravention of the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations or other obligations under international law, including the principle of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
Article 6 – Information
The Parties undertake to see to it that the authorities, organisations and persons concerned are informed of the rights and duties established by this Charter.
Part II – Objectives and principles pursued in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1
Article 7 – Objectives and principles
1 In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to the situation of each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:
a the recognition of the regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth;
b the respect of the geographical area of each regional or minority language in order to ensure that existing or new administrative divisions do not constitute an obstacle to the promotion of the regional or minority language in question;
c the need for resolute action to promote regional or minority languages in order to
d the facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life;
e the maintenance and development of links, in the fields covered by this Charter, between groups using a regional or minority language and other groups in the State employing a language used in identical or similar form, as well as the establishment of cultural relations with other groups in the State using different languages;
f the provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of regional or minority languages at all appropriate stages;
g the provision of facilities enabling non-speakers of a regional or minority language living in the area where it is used to learn it if they so desire;
h the promotion of study and research on regional or minority languages at universities or equivalent institutions;
i the promotion of appropriate types of transnational exchanges, in the fields covered by this Charter, for regional or minority languages used in identical or similar form in two or more States.
2 The Parties undertake to eliminate, if they have not yet done so, any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of a regional or minority language and intended to discourage or endanger the maintenance or development of it. The adoption of special measures in favour of regional or minority languages aimed at promoting equality between the users of these languages and the rest of the population or which take due account of their specific conditions is not considered to be an act of discrimination against the users of more widely-used languages.
3 The Parties undertake to promote, by appropriate measures, mutual understanding between all the linguistic groups of the country and in particular the inclusion of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to regional or minority languages among the objectives of education and training provided within their countries and encouragement of the mass media to pursue the same objective.
4 In determining their policy with regard to regional or minority languages, the Parties shall take into consideration the needs and wishes expressed by the groups which use such languages. They are encouraged to establish bodies, if necessary, for the purpose of advising the authorities on all matters pertaining to regional or minority languages.
5 The Parties undertake to apply, mutatis mutandis, the principles listed in paragraphs 1 to 4 above to non-territorial languages. However, as far as these languages are concerned, the nature and scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Charter shall be determined in a flexible manner, bearing in mind the needs and wishes, and respecting the traditions and characteristics, of the groups which use the languages concerned.
The Scots Language Centre notes that the Scottish Human Rights Commission included consideration of linguistic rights in their report on their 2012 public consultation yet have not taken linguistic rights beyond this in their work. We strongly encourage their reintroduction.
Scottish Human Rights Commission SNAP public consultation report (2013)
Addressing stigma and social attitudes
A large number of responses agreed with the reality described in ‘Getting it Right?’ of the existence of many negative and discriminatory social attitudes in Scotland society towards a large number of marginalised groups, which could directly and indirectly impact on their human rights, including: children of prisoners, ethnic minorities, migrants, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, kinship children, LGBTI people, looked after children and young people, disabled people including those with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems and psychiatric patients, Scottish and Roma Gypsy/Travellers, speakers of Gaelic and Scots language, recipients of welfare benefits, as well as negative attitudes, harassment and bullying derived from discrimination on the basis of age, gender, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The issue of intersectionality was also raised – whereby many of those suffering from discrimination and harassment did so from a number of perspectives, i.e. because they were female, from a minority ethnic group and disabled. This raised a question as to whether exploring these social attitudes through a lens of human rights could be a better way of addressing negative social attitudes, rather than exploring them in silos.
Respondents noted that access to Gaelic-medium education is limited and also that there are no Scots language-medium schools. Where some local authorities (such as Glasgow City Council) were acknowledged for a progressive approach to Gaelic-medium education, the practice across local authorities is inconsistent. It is at the discretion of each local authority to develop this form of education or not and some individual responses reported facing resistance when trying to pursue Gaelic-medium education.
A final issue raised in relation to empowerment was that of linguistic rights. As was raised by ‘Getting it Right?’, a number of responses agreed that the lack of access to English language courses for migrants was impacting on their ability to fulfil their rights such as the rights to education and work. Some responses called for more resources, services and support to build capacity in the skill to teach English as a foreign language.
A small number of submissions also highlighted a gap in ‘Getting it Right?’ which related to discussing the lack of adequate protection for linguistic minorities in Scotland, including the rights of Gaelic and Scots speakers.
Whilst acknowledging efforts that have been made (for example by BBC Alba and Glasgow City Council’s progressive policies in relation to Gaelic-Medium education), concerns were raised about the future of minority languages in Scotland. For example, responses cited a reduction in active Gaelic speakers from 250,000 in 1871 (5 per cent of population) to fewer than 60,000 at the 2001 census (1.15 per cent of the population). Language was considered to be inextricably linked to cultural self-esteem and economic development and it was noted that Scots and Gaelic:
“are languages that are native to Scotland [and] we have an additional moral obligation to protect and preserve the languages and the rights of those who speak them.”
National Apology for the historic treatment of Scots speakers
It is a daily occurrence that the staff of the Scots Language Centre hear service users' stories of corporal punishment, non-physical punishment, and stigmatization for speaking Scots administered by schools, in workplaces, and in other contexts when interacting with those who have a duty of care towards the speaker. With the ubiquity of social media this approbation and abuse that may have been confined to interpersonal interactions is frequently demonstrated in the public sphere. This was historically wrong, and it is wrong today.
Often service users express gratitude for the validation of their language accompanied by an expression that someone should apologise to them. There is a desire for this amongst the wider community. The Scots Language Centre would welcome and support a national condemnation of the stigmatization of our language accompanied by an apology for past ill treatment of speakers.
The development of Scottish Government Scots Language Policy
The Scots Language Centre welcomed and supported the development of the Scottish Government’s Scots Language Policy in 2015 and recognise it as a significant step in improving the status of Scots and facilitating its provision. We would welcome its continual evidence led development with it being updated at appropriate regular intervals. The Scots Language Centre would be pleased to facilitate this process in association with stakeholders.
A statement of recognition of Scots from all public bodies
The Scots Language Centre recommends that a statement of recognition of Scots be required of all public bodies and encourages the internal development of speaker-led Scots language working groups to explore the value that development of Scots within each organisation may have for their professional practice. The Scots Language Centre, with appropriate support, can provide bespoke Scots awareness sessions to facilitate the endogenous development of Scots language practice. This is a service that we currently provide upon request.
Scots in healthcare and research
The Scot Language Centre recommends that there is an explicit statement of the value of a knowledge of Scots in healthcare and social care, and the importance of Scots as a legitimate field of study in all areas of academic enquiry and therapeutic research involving spoken language in Scotland.
The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities, NHS Scotland (2019)
Communication and information
I should be given information about my treatment and care in a way I can understand and in a format or language that meets my needs (for example in audio format, British Sign Language, or in a language other than English). NHS staff must check whether I have understood the information they have given me and whether I would like more information.
Supporting Scots in public visibility and in media
Speaker-led implementation of Scots signage should be encouraged in all public space reflecting the Scots dialect of the locale.
The Scots Language Centre recognises the significant impact that the Scottish Government’s Scots Language Publication grant has had upon improving the status of Scots in our print media culture, seeing a wide range of publishers encouraged and supported in producing works of Scots literature where they may not have done so before. Scots literature has been represented in the most prestigious literary awards during the period of its existence. We would support the further development of these grants with an inclusion of all genres of writing.
The Scots Language Centre advocates that everything should be done to achieve representation of Scots speakers in all levels of social standing in the creative arts, as is the case in life, and not rely on socioeconomic or other stereotyping.
Scots should be used in scripted and non-scripted spoken media, reflecting the reality of Scots as an acceptable and legitimate medium of communication.
Wherever localisation of spoken media occurs, such as in animation or advertising, or the creation of speaking children's toys and games, Scots should be strongly encouraged.
Supporting Scots in new language technologies and preventing a linguistic digital divide
Verbal interfaces and interaction with technology is already a feature of our daily lives. There are significant problems with technology recognising Scots accents speaking Scottish Standard English and no recognition of Scots language in such systems. As society increasingly relies upon such technology for vital services a digital divide is beginning to open where if one does not, or cannot, speak English in an accent modified that is suitable for voice recognition Scots speakers will not be able to access services provided via voice interaction. The Scots Language Centre believes Scots must be supported in such systems.
The knowledge of the Scots language code 'sco' available to computer systems ISO639-2 (1998) Individual Living Language, ISO639-3 (2007) Individual Living Language, must be promoted amongst the builders of such systems.
The Scots Language Centre recognises the importance – culturally, socially, educationally and personally - of supporting new speakers of Scots as well as existing speakers who wish to improve and extend their Scots literacy.
Literacy is defined within the Curriculum for Excellence: Literacy and English Principles and practice document as:
the set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning, through the different forms of language, and the range of texts, which society values and finds useful
To ensure that new and existing Scots speakers can become literate in Scots, to the effect of being able to engage fully with other Scots speakers, Scots texts, and indeed the language in all its forms, we must ensure that learners have access to education about Scots. Therefore, we must have legislation which protects the right of a learner, defined as anyone at any stage of their education, to access education about Scots.
Further resources could be used to support professional learning for teachers. A core programme of study could be provided for ITE students who will work in primary or secondary schools. Furthermore, a programme of professional learning could be created to be delivered within local authorities. This would complement the Open University Scots course which is currently being piloted and will be GTCS accredited. All professional learning could contribute to the GTCS Professional recognition programme, encouraging more teachers to be recognised for the work that they do within their schools and authorities to teach Scots.
Access to education about Scots does and should start with provision for children who are pre-school – that is, babies, toddlers and those accessing early years provision. Currently, children have access to literacy through CfE, associated with education from 3-18. Access to Scots texts (written or otherwise) should be standard.
Within early years provision itself, learners currently access any Scots provision through the Literacy and English curriculum. This could be supported and encouraged through a formal acknowledgement of the learners right to access Scots at this stage of their learning.
Within the BGE, learners can access Scots through Literacy and English as well as through Modern Languages - namely, Education Scotland’s 1+2 languages initiative, where learners are encouraged to study a third language (L3) from Primary 5 (at the latest) to S3. Allowing Scots to be studied as an L2 would mean that learners would be encouraged to learn about the language earlier in their school career, as learners study their L2 from Primary 1. However, allowing this within the current guidelines would incorporate an offering of Scots as a National Qualification – see below.
In terms of curricular provision, the development of National Qualifications (National 4/5/Higher/Advanced Higher) in Scots would raise the status of the language within schools. The National Qualifications need not exclude the existing and very successful Scots Language Award qualifications – in fact, these could exist alongside the National Qualifications. Units studied within the awards could contribute towards achieving the NQ. Higher Scots, or Advanced Higher Scots could also be included in the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages. As already mentioned, the availability of these qualifications would also mean that learners at BGE stages would be able to study Scots as their L2, as part of 1+2 languages, encouraging learners to study Scots in-depth.
Within the FE sector, many HNC’s and HND’s incorporate the compulsory study of at least one module in literacy and/or communication. Allowing, acknowledging and encouraging learners to access these modules via the medium of Scots would ensure that learning about Scots continues beyond the confines of compulsory education.
Moreover, Scottish universities have a responsibility to ensure that learners can pursue the study of Scots in-depth and to degree level. While it is acknowledged that some universities offer modules in Scots, often as part of study of language development or Scottish literature, incentives should be offered for universities to provide this as well as stand-alone degrees in Scots.
Finally, it is acknowledged that not every learner of Scots has the means, incentive or desire to pursue the study of Scots for the receipt of formal qualifications, and that some wish to learn Scots for other reasons. The success of the OU Scots Language and Culture course demonstrates the appeal of such ‘casual’ learning, and initiatives such as this should continue to be supported.
In recent decades corpus planning has irrevocably changed, with instant digital publishing in text, and now audio and video, within the capability of anyone with access to the internet. This presents exciting new prospects for Scots language revitalisation, but also may serve as a medium for promotion of poor examples of spoken or written Scots, misinformation, and linguistic prejudice.
It is vital that the Scottish Government continue to support the Scots Language Centre in our work as a central and authoritative publicly accessible presence dedicated to Scots providing extensive and up to date curated examples of the best uses of Scots made freely available; and in our production of learning materials for the needs of all service users.
From our inception, the Scots Language Centre has provided linguistic and editorial support for those creating written or spoken materials in Scots. This support is always tailored to the communicative and expressive needs of the creator, be that in a given dialect, a particular historical usage of Scots, a literary form of Scots, or a Scots suitable for communicating pandialectically. Whilst we fully support writers’ choices as to how they represent the spoken language in written form, we acknowledge that the "write it how you say it" relies upon the writers' knowledge of standard English orthography applied to the Scots language, which has its limitations in representing Scots, and we encourage writers to explore writing drawn from our 700 year literature. As more creators are choosing to work in Scots the Scots language Centre must be supported in continuing to provide the best new resources developed for the needs of creators.