South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has called for a dedicated Scots Language Board to promote the language and push for it to be protected in policy.
Ms. McAlpine highlighted the ‘Oor Vyce’ campaign for a Scots Language board in a speech at Holyrood which she delivered in Scots. The speech was part of a debate celebrating 2019 as the UN’s year of indigenous languages.
Scots is widely spoken in Dumfries and Galloway, with 33.7% of respondents from the region in the 2011 census saying that they can speak the language. By comparison, this is higher than the proportion of people across Scotland who identify as Scots speakers as nationally the result was 30.1%
Commenting, Ms. McAlpine said:
“Dumfries and Galloway is a Scots speaking area, with census results from 2011 showing that 33.7% of locals consider themselves able to speak the language.
“There is a lot of evidence to show that teaching kids Scots in school can boost their confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping to boost their attainment in other curriculum areas.
“Scots doesn’t get the official recognition or support as Scotland’s other indigenous language, Gaelic. There is no impetus on local or national Government to produce info, leaflets or documents in Scots, as there is for Gaelic in the areas where Gaelic is spoken.
“I very much support the recently formed ‘oor vyce’ group, which was set up to call for the establishment of a Scots language board, on a par with Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The group has already met twice, and is made up of educators, activists and artists. “