Friday, 11 June 2010

Thon MP didnae cowp

THON MP from round about thon Ards bit didnaa cowp wi’afear in yon Big House when he did spake for the faesrt time...

Okay, that’s probably not Ulster-Scots grammatically correct...but the best we could come up with following a thorough search on Google (30 seconds of thorough searching) but grammar and syntax aside the Boord o Ulstér Scotch members must have had their wee eyes watering with pride when the new MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon, made his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

Having asked permission to use Ulster-Scots in the House, Jim took to the performance like the proverbial duck to water...or at least not one of the ducks Jim enjoys seeing at the end of his shotgun.

But we think that Jim is on to something...the average US or European visitor struggles to understand what passes for English here, let alone the vagaries of Ulster-Scots and Gaelic. If every tour group who lands on these shores had to be accompanied by an Ulster-Scots speaker and a Gaelic speaker there are two extra jobs per trip created.

However, the flaw is of course, the lack of need for either Ulster-Scots or Gaelic interpreters given that said tourists are not likely to encounter native speakers of either tongue. A much better plan is to employ someone fluent in Belfast-ese.

Tourist: Hi, where do you suggest we visit?

Native Belfast speaker: Ach Bout Ye love! Ya gotta wee bit of time on yer hands love? Well ya cud take a wee dander round to the City Hall. Big place, all sorta white like. Or ya cud catch a bus an see where the made yon Titanic boat; I’m sure ya’ve heard about it yer man Lawrence D’Capris sank it. Hope that helps ya. Aye nay bother, hanx!

Tourist: What did you just say?

Native Belfast speaker: Gizza tenner and I’ll show ya where to go...

Job creation and a bewildered American...just like bringing any given American President over to Norn Iron...

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