NEW technology will help save an old language activists believe after Mozilla Firefox became the first internet giant to make its browser available in Scottish.
The new option went live last week thanks to an in-depth translation by Edinburgh-based company Rubric.
And Ashley Douglas, co-researcher and writer for the project, explains the importance of the availability of the Scottish language for browsing the World Wide Web.
She said: ‘It shows that Scottish is being used as the full-fledged, fully functional and fully legitimate modern language that it is.
“It’s about the validation and legitimization of the Scots. It’s just not a language we’re used to seeing in written form.
Ashley insists that inclusion by tech giants has given the old mother tongue a modern update.
She explains: “Historically, it was the written language of Scotland – the language of kings, queens, parliament and courts.
“Then James VI left for London with the Union of Crowns in 1603 and English began to replace Scottish as a formal written language. But Scottish has always continued as a spoken language.
“The 2011 Scottish Census found that 1.9 million people could speak, read, write or understand Scottish.
“We are not used to seeing it written, especially in the IT field. So that’s one way to standardize.
Ashley and her co-author Thomas Clark were tasked with translating current technical terms into the native language.
One phrase that amused new users is “fankle-fixin” – or troubleshooting.
But Ashley insists it’s important to use the language online.
She said, ‘Fankle-fixin’ really seems to have captured people’s imaginations.
“These words sound like fun and it will be great to see words you are used to saying online because we are not used to seeing them on a web page.
“But we’re not trying to be funny. But if it’s fun to do and it helps get people interested, then that’s fine with us.
“Twenty years ago you could only browse the web in English. Now there are 200 languages.
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Recognition of the Scottish language has recently grown in Scottish schools, parliament and social media.
Until now, Scots have tended to be eclipsed by our other Gaelic mother tongue.
But Ashley maintains that Scottish is more commonly used than one might think.
The 29-year-old from Edinburgh said: “There are tons of people using Scottish words all the time, they just don’t know they are Scottish terms.
“Words like fuiter and fankle. In fact, if something was ‘Fuitert aboot wi’, it’s actually better than the English translation ‘falsified’.
GIE IT LALDIE
“And everyone uses the expression ‘Gie it laldie’, but how do you translate that into English? Put your best foot forward? That doesn’t begin to do the expression justice.
She added: “Many computer words are similar to English words, ‘download’ is ‘doonload’, but that’s because they are closely related languages.
“There’s no point in changing things for the sake of change. Scottish speakers were used to surfing the web in English, so we had to find these new technical words.
TECH TERMS IN SCOTLAND
Access Denied – Ingang No Allooed
Download – Doonload
Windows – Windaes
Turbo Mode – Laldie Mode
Trafficked with – Fuitert aboot wi
Customize – Mak Yer Ain
Pop-ups – Lowp-ups
Innovation – New fangs
WWW – Warld Wide Web
Password – Password
“Languages are developing all the time. A year and a half ago no one used the term ‘containment’, but now it has become a common word. “
The idea for the browser option came after singer Iona Fyfe – who performs in Scottish – won a fierce campaign with streaming giants Spotify to have Scottish added to their list of languages.
Ashley says: “Like Iona, we only ask that Scottish be included in all other languages. Scottish isn’t particularly special, but it’s certainly no less than any other language, either.
Now, Ashley is hoping that the web option reaches a new generation who want to use the old language.
She says: “If kids start using words like ‘flee’ on the back of them in a search engine, they’ll also see that Scotsman isn’t just for the playground.
“Instead, they will see that it is a fully functional modern language that you should feel comfortable navigating and can be proud of.”
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