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Life as a Scot in California

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Scots Language Society

Posted by berkeleyscot on October 15, 2007

I have always enjoyed writing in my native dialect, The Doric. I heard it before I learned to speak English and I could call it my ‘comfort language.’
An article I wrote a few years ago explains this in more detail; “Speak Bonnie Noo.”
I’ve written a number of articles and stories in The Doric which have been published in the Banffshire Advertiser (The Buckie Paper, AKA, ‘The Squeak,’ and in the newsletter of the Buckie and District Fishing Heritage Museum.
A few years ago I joined the Scots Language Society. I think the Society has very few members outside of Scotland.
I’m chuffed tae bits that last year the Society published a story I wrote.
I’d been telling the story for 40 years and wrote it as a piece for Susan Ito’s writing class at UC extension. But it just didn’t work in English.
The story was about a visit from Canadian relatives and despite our sincere efforts to make them feel welcome and comfortable, it was a laughable disaster!
I heard the Doric voices in contrast to the Canadian voices and realised that was what the story was about. There were two extremely different cultures and expectations.
Scottish Hospitality” was published in The Doric, in the winter edition, 2006, of ‘Lallans,’ the journal of the Scots Language Society.

Here’s a short excerpt of me reading this story.

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8 Responses to “Scots Language Society”

  1. Susan said

    That is so exciting! Congratulations. Would you post a teeny excerpt here, just so we can see what it looks like?

  2. Thank you for your kind comment, Susan!
    Here is a wee excerpt. This is a good example of the culture clash. Sybil wanted to take a bath, but we didn’t have a bathhroom. Dad was horrified at the idea that people bathed and washed their hair more than once a week! I still cringe about this!

    “Aifter we hid oor fish n chips, Sybil said she wid affy like a bath. Weel, fit she actually said, wis, “Gee you guys, after all I’ve been through today, I’d really love to soak in a tub!” Bit we hidna a bath, an the best we cwid offer, as Dad said, “Ye kin sweel yer face at the kitchen sink. Fit’s a the wap aboot? We’ll pit tee the kettle an ye kin hae a bowlie o het watter. We, oorsels, tak a bath in front o the fire on Fridays, an chinges oor shift. An ye want tae wash yer hair an a? Losh be here, gin ye dee that, ma quine, ye’ll be smoarin wi the caul the morn!” “

  3. Susan said

    Wow, that’s wonderful. I’d love to hear you read that out loud one day. COOL!

  4. Hi, Susan.

    I’m going to experiment with the process of making a recording of that excerpt that I can post here.
    It might be disappointing because I can’t do a Canadian accent!
    But the other bits are easy!
    Margaret

  5. Here it is:

    Scottish Hospitality Reading (excerpt)

    Margaret

  6. Mark said

    Thanks Margaret. I will post the link on my site, if you don’t mind.

  7. […] can read more at her site here.  Click on the link to “Scottish Hospitality” for a pdf file of the story, or click on […]

  8. Fleta said

    Hello, its good post regarding media print,
    we alll bbe aware of media is a wondferful source of facts.

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