Sunday, 31 March 2019

Wings Over Scotland has a problem with Cymraeg as well as Gàidhlig

This Blog has always admired and envied Wings Over Scotland , it is the foremost Blog supporting Scottish Independence (though I prefer MUNGUIN'S NEW REPUBLIC) and has played a considerable role in the cause for Scottish Independence.

Though I have always been disturbed with Wing's somewhat negative attitude to Gaelic (Gàidhlig)

Back in 2015 he wrote

"Let’s start off by losing some more friends. This site has no time for the Gaelic lobby. The obsolete language spoken by just 0.9% of Scotland’s population might be part of the nation’s “cultural heritage”, but so were burning witches and replacing Highlanders with sheep and we don’t do those any more either.Being multilingual is an excellent thing, but the significant amount of time and effort taken to learn a literally-pointless second language (because everyone you can talk to in Gaelic already understood English) would be vastly better directed to picking up one that was actually of some use, and every extra fraction of a second spent scanning a road sign trying to find the bit you can read is a fraction of a second spent with your eyes off the road.Non-primary native languages are a tool whose main utility in practice is at best the exclusion of outsiders, and at worst an expression of dodgy blood-and-soil ethnic nationalism. They’re a barrier to communication and an irritation to the vast majority of the population, who are made to feel like uncultured aliens in their own land.But we’d still rather put up with Gaelic than complete idiots making our laws".

It seems that he has a similar problem with Cymraeg as well. His last post a astute ctitique  of tourist tat in Edinburgh

The dark foreboding fear of the ugly Britain of the imminent future is especially striking somewhere like Edinburgh, if less so in places like Bathgate (where I normally stay when I come home, unlike this week). But Brexit will wreak damage everywhere, in profound ways that people don’t yet have an inkling of.Edinburgh itself has changed very noticeably in the last few years, something that’s perhaps much more easily apparent if you only see it once every year or two. Since the indyref campaign it’s become a lot more reminiscent of the Welsh capital Cardiff which I visited this month, itself just an amplification of the rest of Wales.Every other shop in central Edinburgh is now a tartan-tourist-tat emporium hawking an ancient Harry Lauder stereotype of kilts and shortbread and Nessie and Jimmy hats and (more incongrously) red London buses and phone boxes.

But he then makes this comparison with out own capitol  

"It smacks a lot of what you see in Wales, less in tacky souvenir shops (though those are still very much present) but in the defensively chippy prominence of the Welsh language – an overcompensatory assertion of difference and faux nationality to cover up the fact that neither country has the courage to actually be a nation".
The position of Cymraeg is huge part of Indenity in Wales , and many monoglot English speakers like myself support the aim making Wales a fully bilingual nation,

There may be a debate in Scotland of the position of Gàidhlig in parts of Scotland where it may or may not have held sway. But Cymraeg is a truly national language and in many ways  in the absence of a separate legal systems the glue that has held us together.

Oh and why not make Gàidhlig  (and Scots) equal to English anyway?

The Reverend Stu may live in Bath, but that is no excuse, for displaying the same sort of ignorance and prejudices  of some of that cities prejudices.


Anonymous said...

Good One.

Gav said...

According to a friend of mine, a highly respected academic, after the Romans left all the British used to speak English amongst themselves. It was only after the English immigrants started arriving from continental Europe that they switched to talking Welsh [or Gàidhlig, whatever].