YouTube

Got a YouTube account?

New: enable viewer-created translations and captions on your YouTube channel!

English subtitles

← WIKITONGUES: Christine speaking Shetlandic

Get Embed Code
1 Language

Showing Revision 5 created 03/20/2019 by connormb.

  1. Not Synced
    My name is Christine De Luca,
  2. Not Synced
    but that's my married name,
    and my real name
  3. Not Synced
    is Christine Pearson. I was born in
    Bressay in Shetland,
  4. Not Synced
    and then most of my life, my childhood,
  5. Not Synced
    was spent in Waas
    on the west side of Shetland,
  6. Not Synced
    a group of islands at the
    very north end of Scotland.
  7. Not Synced
    Quite isolated from the mainland, really.
  8. Not Synced
    Waas is called Walls.
  9. Not Synced
    But it really means
    'inlets of the sea' and it's one of these
  10. Not Synced
    things that the army making the maps
    got confused with,
  11. Not Synced
    and they put down the word 'Walls'.
  12. Not Synced
    So when you say "I come
    from Walls," you feel as if it's
  13. Not Synced
    sticking in your mouth,
    because you come from Waas.
  14. Not Synced
    Anyway, that had a fundamental
    effect on me, being brought up in a
  15. Not Synced
    peerie (tiny) crofting fishing community
    all my childhood.
  16. Not Synced
    When I came away to Edinburgh,
  17. Not Synced
    where I live now and I've lived
    for 50 years,
  18. Not Synced
    I found Edinburgh really
    quite awe-inspiring and quite scary.
  19. Not Synced
    And of course I had to be careful how I
    spoke, because I had to speak English.
  20. Not Synced
    We learned to speak English at school,
    of course. We had to be bilingual.
  21. Not Synced
    And not be rude. But I did miss not being
    able to speak in my own way.
  22. Not Synced
    I think when I realised later on that the
    chances of me going home was likely
  23. Not Synced
    very slim, I thought... I found release
    in writing, in Shetland dialect.
  24. Not Synced
    It was a peerie (tiny) bit difficult
    to write in the dialect,
  25. Not Synced
    because we never learned
    to read or write it.
  26. Not Synced
    It was kind of mainly spoken.
    There was a dictionary,
  27. Not Synced
    there was ways of writing it, but we
    never learned it formally, so we had to
  28. Not Synced
    kind of... just manage ourselves.
  29. Not Synced
    But anyway, I started writing subversively
    in Shetland, in Shetland dialect. And then
  30. Not Synced
    as I wrote more and was moving
    among folk interested in poetry
  31. Not Synced
    then they became aware of that
    and I found they quite liked it
  32. Not Synced
    and that was really quite strange.
  33. Not Synced
    I thought they would
    find it awful queer.
  34. Not Synced
    So I wrote more and enjoyed doing that.
    And as time is going on
  35. Not Synced
    and I'm writing more and more,
    I would say now about half and half
  36. Not Synced
    maybe more than half in Shetland dialect,
    or Shetlandic,
  37. Not Synced
    and the rest in English.
  38. Not Synced
    And it's been translated
    into all kinds of languages.
  39. Not Synced
    Which to me seems
    bizarre and strange.
  40. Not Synced
    I thought I might read this poem.
    It's mostly in English,
  41. Not Synced
    because it's about the relationship
    between language and dialect.
  42. Not Synced
    I had been working away with
    a Nordic poet, an Icelandic poet,
  43. Not Synced
    and his poem was
    all about a bird, the snipe,
  44. Not Synced
    and the Icelandic word for the Snipe
    is "hrossagaukur"
  45. Not Synced
    and the Shetland word for it
    is "hrossgauk".
  46. Not Synced
    And I had been working away
    with a Norwegian poet,
  47. Not Synced
    and his poem was called
    "Hegrehøyden"
  48. Not Synced
    which is about the bird
    called the "heron".
  49. Not Synced
    And the Shetland word for,
    for the heron is a "hegrie",
  50. Not Synced
    and I thought that was
    quite interesting.
  51. Not Synced
    Anyways, it starts off in English.
    It's a kind of a manifesto.
  52. Not Synced
    Spelling it out
  53. Not Synced
    It’s the way a cat fawns, a bird flaunts,
    a dog recoils and whimpers;
  54. Not Synced
    it’s the way a cricket
    chooses from his bag of chirpings
  55. Not Synced
    or a whale sends a long distance message.
  56. Not Synced
    It’s the way our fore-fathers moved
    to the forest floor, and in the tonality
  57. Not Synced
    of their vocal chords said ‘I’ and ‘you’
    in a thousand different ways;
  58. Not Synced
    picked up the grammar of polemic
    and persuasion,
  59. Not Synced
    the lexicon of lewd and lovely,
  60. Not Synced
    the tenses that made sense
    of time past and time to come.
  61. Not Synced
    It’s the borders, armies and classes
    that cornered the limits of Language:
  62. Not Synced
    Patois or Pidgin; Colloquial or Kailyard;
    Vernacular or Slang.
  63. Not Synced
    It’s the famous thesaurus that suggests
    three meanings for dialect –
  64. Not Synced
    other than
    dialect and language –
  65. Not Synced
    speciality, unintelligibility,
    and speech defect.
  66. Not Synced
    It’s the funding that flows
    from decisions;
  67. Not Synced
    it’s the boundaries and commissions
  68. Not Synced
    that decide that pub
    is kosher in Norwegian,
  69. Not Synced
    but only if pronounced püb;
  70. Not Synced
    dat Heron Heights an Hegrehøyden
    is baith languages
  71. Not Synced
    but Hegri-heichts is dialect,
  72. Not Synced
    that "Hrossagaukur" an "Snipe"
    is language
  73. Not Synced
    but "Hrossgauk" is dialect.
  74. Not Synced
    Hit’s da passion we hadd
    whin we nön ta wirsels,
  75. Not Synced
    whin we bal soond fae
    wir bosie inta da heevens
  76. Not Synced
    whin we lay a wird o love apön een anidder
  77. Not Synced
    whin we dunna budder
  78. Not Synced
    wi nairrow definition.
  79. Not Synced
    [ooof]
  80. Not Synced
    A little bit of anger comes out there
    an the end of that poem, I suppose.
  81. Not Synced
    But that's true, I mean,
    the politics of language and dialect
  82. Not Synced
    is something I'm interested in,
    and the status.
  83. Not Synced
    And I think it's important that
    we don't let bearers think
  84. Not Synced
    that their mother tongue
    is somehow debased language,
  85. Not Synced
    that we lift them up
  86. Not Synced
    and encourage them into bilingualism
    where they're comfortable
  87. Not Synced
    and they can when to expect when,
  88. Not Synced
    why, and then a tither why
  89. Not Synced
    and that's something
    I'm very interested in.
  90. Not Synced
    It's funny that I've just been made
    Edinburgh's "Makar", or Poet Laureate,
  91. Not Synced
    which I think is really,
    quite astounding, really,
  92. Not Synced
    given that I'm "kent owre" (known over)
    as a Shetland writer.
  93. Not Synced
    And that I am quite passionate about it.
  94. Not Synced
    I suppose "I am bidden" (have dwelled)
    here for fifty year,
  95. Not Synced
    and I do write in English. But
    I feel it gives me a bit of space
  96. Not Synced
    to write and to help other folk
    that's come into this city with
  97. Not Synced
    minority cultures, and thought that,
    maybe feel their language is
  98. Not Synced
    subservient and not, say, good as.
  99. Not Synced
    I hope I can maybe help them
    feel good about their mother tongue.
  100. Not Synced
    Maybe I should just read
    another pretty poem,
  101. Not Synced
    this one totally in dialect.
  102. Not Synced
    It's called "Discontinuity"
  103. Not Synced
    And it's just I suppose,
    a kind of seize the day poem
  104. Not Synced
    it's just about relationships.