Why no Minister for the Languages of Scotland?

Derrick McClure We require a fully qualified Minister for the Languages of Scotland, with the responsibility of ensuring that Scots and Gaelic receive their due recognition and support as national languages. How many more times must the case be made before the Government takes decisive action?

Letters: We need someone to protect both of our languages

CALUM MacLeòid is entirely right to protest at the inadequacy of the Scottish Government ‘s provision for Gaelic (Dè a-nis airson Foghlam tro Mheadhan na Gàidhlig, The National, October 3), and to call for the establishment of a government official with real power, whose task is specifically to ensure that our indigenous languages have the recognised and inviolable place in education, the media and all official proceedings that they would have as a matter of course in most other European countries.

From the Forum:

But did it make any difference when Alasdair Allan was minister? It seemed to me that the debate was still dominated by the school of thought which considers Scots to be adequately served by an approach similar to that of James Robertson, of which a principle tenet is that the normal means of developing a language would be inimical to the Cinderella role which is conceived of as its value in linguistics, literature and education. Since the most influential voices in Scots adhere, by process of attrition and elimination, to this philosophy, it is almost axiomatic that any Government consultation on the matter would conclude that while Gaelic – however inadequately – is to be promoted as a language, Scots is to be promoted as a vague postmodernist social experiment in laissez-faire linguistic expressionism.

The point needs to be made that the “social experiment in laissez-faire linguistic expressionism”, being conducted by dilettantes who don’t actually use the language in normal life, is a clear case of language misappropriation.

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