Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Waant o Fushion: Part Two

Continuing the criticism of the "Ulster-Scots" version of material concerning the Help Scheme for the digital switchover (available on request from


Can this really mean 'e-mail'? As the initial vowel of electronic (unlike that of electric) is stressed, it is implausible to suggest that it would be dropped in the same manner.

Norlin Airlan Männystrie o Resydentèr Oncum

As "Kintrie-pairt poust an resydentèr tent trust" above. For many years now Northern Ireland has had Departments rather than Ministries. The correct English title is "Department for Social Development" rather than "of".


This is here being used in the sense of German auswählen, but it is more properly used in the sense of German aussortieren, the exact opposite.


In traditional Scots the digraph ui is used for a vowel known as "vowel 7" in the scheme developed by the late Prof. Jack Aitken, which is realised in various ways depending on dialect. In many but by no means all cases, vowel 7 corresponds to oo in Standard English. However, that vowel does not occur in this word, and one must conclude that the translator understands the ui digraph to be a spelling variant of English oo.

Satellite roon

This is not a plausible translation of "satellite dish". If one absolutely needed a native word, one could use ashet, though in my view even that would be ridiculous.


I acknowledge that some writers use this as a generalised equivalent of English write, but many others understand it to mean 'scratch' or 'scribble'.

Seekness o tha harns

Literally this means 'sickness of the brains'. Its use here is potentially offensive.


I know that television presenters sometimes talk about what is "on the other side" (in fact usually BBC presenters referring to ITV, which was for a long time the only independent TV broadcaster). I do not believe that the word could be used as a generalised equivalent of channel. One would have expected chainel.


This word would suggest to me someone talking snappily (i.e. either quickly or harshly) rather than clearly, which is presumably the intended meaning.


I can find no definition in the dictionary that makes sense in this context. The word can refer to a span or stride, and it is possible that the translator has understood it as a generalised term for "step" or for whatever reason decided to relexify it as such. It is unlikely to be immediately comprehensible to a native speaker.


Usually this means 'ask' in the sense of 'enquire'. I acknowledge that there are a few instances in the Dictionary of the Scots Language recording its use to mean 'request', but that usage is nevertheless rejected by most writers.

Tentin or indwallin hame

This is not a plausible translation of "care or residential home". An indwaller can be a resident, but tae indwall is to inhabit or occupy.


Outside Insular Scots, the respelling of the definite article in this manner was virtually unknown before the 1990s.

This wittins

It is not clear whether this has been used in error for "thir wittins" or reflects the influence of the Irish language, which does not have separate words for "this" and "these".

Tyne yer wittins

One assumes that the translator's intention here is to extend the meaning of the verb tyne on the basis of really rather rare usages. Almost all native speakers would take the phrase to mean "lose your information" rather than "destroy" it.

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