Who really wants to see Ulster-Scots translations?
In the controversy over the proposed Irish language legislation, the Secretary of State has stressed that this is part of a “package”.
By this he means that the Ulster-Scots tradition will get something at the same time.
The question arises as to where these proposals for the Ulster-Scots language are coming from. They do not seem to be coming from those knowledgeable about the Ulster-Scots language.
For instance, I can find no support among such people for spending money on a simultaneous translation service for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
This is more likely to be viewed as completely unnecessary, and liable to bring the Ulster-Scots language into disrepute.
It is unacceptable that Ulster-Scots should be used as makeweight to justify concessions to the Irish language. An unnecessary simultaneous translation service for Irish does not suddenly become acceptable because of the inclusion of a similar service for Ulster-Scots, which lovers of that language do not want.
My reading of the situation is that supporters of the Ulster-Scots language want smaller, practical initiatives to encourage those who are interested, rather than expensive headline grabbing translation services which are viewed in a negative way by the general public.
It is well worth us taking a very close look at where the Ulster-Scots proposals of New Decade, New Approach are coming from. They seem to stem from politicians doing deals in back rooms, rather than Ulster-Scots activists.
Dr Paul Kingsley, Belfast, BT4
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