‘Nae distress’: Glasgow migrants learn about Scottish dialect


Glasgow, Scotland  In a corner of Glasgow, on a gray day, students are studying the work of dialog. However these are no abnormal students, and the direction will not be any abnormal English lesson.

“Fitba”, “Glasgae”, “braw”, “nae distress” and “aff yer brand” are factual about a of the words and phrases swirling all the diagram throughout the tiny lecture room as refugees and migrants strive to master Scots and Glaswegian in Scotland’s biggest metropolis.

Within the event you had been wondering, that is “football”, “gigantic”, “Glasgow”, “no longer an field”, and “you would be crazy” in English.

Outmoded journalist Maggie Lennon position up The Bridges Programmes charity in 2005, in an strive to answer Glasgow’s burgeoning expend as a metropolis to re-settle asylum seekers.

Her vision began as a humanitarian initiative to present refugees and asylum seekers relief their dignity and self assurance.

However the project has this day developed accurate into a tutorial and training-basically basically basically based conducting that has viewed a selection of Bridges’ students uncover work.

“Abilities are no longer being feeble and other folks are remaining unemployed and underemployed – and that is the reason defective for the metropolis,” she instructed Al Jazeera.

“It be furthermore defective for the economic system and defective for of us’s mental effectively being and dignity, and that is the reason particularly notable in case you are a compelled migrant and beget already had a series of extraordinarily unsuitable things happen to you.”

In my space of job, I truly fancy the sort they focus on the Scots and Glaswegian language, but while I heed what they are asserting, I will no longer focus on it myself.

Bidemi, a mother and student of language from Nigeria

A abnormal employability lesson at the college encompasses Scottish customs and language, and is taught by lecturer Helen Jackson from the Metropolis of Glasgow College.

College students consist of Ted from Malawi, Rahma from Somalia, Nigerian Bidemi, and Nancy from China, who settled in Glasgow after marrying a man from Scotland.

“I soundless can no longer heed my mother-in-regulations,” Nancy instructed Al Jazeera with a smile. “And if I focus on to my mother-in-regulations I repeatedly expend my husband to translate.”

Married mother-of-three Bidemi acknowledged her English and Glaswegian beget improved since she first arrived in the metropolis 14 years in the past. On the alternative hand, she soundless struggles with some parts of the native dialect.

“In my space of job, I truly fancy the sort they focus on the [Scots and Glaswegian] language, but while I heed what they are asserting, I will no longer focus on it myself,” she acknowledged.

Pedestrians stroll past outlets in Glasgow East, in Glasgow [File: Russell Cheyne/Reuters]

One a part of Bridges, which receives Scottish Govt and EU funding, offers refugee docs who work for NHS Scotland with the talents to become UK registered medics.

Iraqi Laeth al-Sadi first came to Glasgow to review prosthetics in 2010, with a inspect to returning to his home country.

However the old physician for the Iraqi navy changed into as soon as granted plug away to halt after his life changed into as soon as threatened following the upward thrust of the Islamic Voice of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, furthermore known as ISIS).

“I confronted some difficulties in attempting to heed the Glaswegian accent,” acknowledged the married father-of-two. “Words fancy ‘I didnae ken’ and ‘swally’ – but with listening and talking to other folks you uncover feeble to them and other folks are very precious.”

And that is “didn’t know” and “an alcoholic drink”.

“There is something coming up which I am truly inquisitive about,” Sadi acknowledged. “And that is to work with [Glasgow’s] Partick Thistle football membership’s amputee crew, with the background I beget in amputation and other folks that beget lost a limb. I changed into as soon as instructed by Bridges about it and changed into as soon as requested whether or no longer I wish to effect it, and I acknowledged ‘I would prefer to’.”

Countering ‘aggressive anti-refugee emotions’

Scotland, a country of 5.three million, has less ride with immigration when put next to its elevated English neighbour, with 10 cases the population.

Unruffled, Glasgow, a metropolis of contrasts with extraordinary swathes of work and culture present beside pockets of deprivation, has been the port of call for past waves of Irish, Italians, Pakistanis and latterly Syrians fleeing their battle-torn fatherland. 

Lennon acknowledged that she has at cases attain up against “rather aggressive anti-refugee emotions” from parts of the abnormal public touching on about a of Bridges’ initiatives, with critics declaring that funds “can beget to all be spent on getting British other folks jobs”.

However since 2013, Glasgow has been formally branded with the welcoming slogan: “Other folks Fabricate Glasgow”, and has largely embraced its migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Certainly, for the likes of Ted, Rahma, Bidemi and Nancy, they may perchance well even sing that their life in Glasgow has, previously as a minimum, been “nae defective”.

Be aware Alasdair Soussi on Twitter: @AlasdairSoussi

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