I'm not sure where John got his information from, but Alan Danskin from
the BL says he hasn't found evidence for a code in UKMARC for this
language. That's why I brought up the harmonization-- because anything in
UKMARC that was still needed had to be in MARC 21 in some way. Here's what
he says. Is it recognized by the UK and Irish governments?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 10:02:49 +0100
From: "Danskin, Alan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: Rebecca S. Guenther <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: RE: Ulster Scots in ISO 639 (fwd)


I haven't found any evidence for a code in UKMARC.  I subscribe to the
view that this quest for recognition is politically motivated.  I'd agree
that it is a variant of Scots (it originated from Scots settlers in
Ulster) - I have heard it spoken on the radio.  However if the UK and
Irish governments have recognised it as a language and if it satisfies the
criteria in terms of documents, I don't see on what grounds the
maintenance agency could refuse a code.  It strikes me as quite similar to
the Serbian/Croatian situation.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rebecca S. Guenther [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: 28 June 2005 15:56
To: Danskin, Alan
Subject: Ulster Scots in ISO 639 (fwd)

Hi Alan:

See this discussion on the ISO 639 list. I just pulled out your request for language codes when we harmonized UKMARC with MARC 21 and Ulster Scots was definitely not on there. I can also send you further comments about John Clews request. It is questionable whether this is needed. I would assume that if it was in UKMARC you decided that we didn't need it any more?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 23:20:11 +0100
From: John Clews <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Ulster Scots in ISO 639

When will any part of ISO 639 list Ulster Scots? I couldn't find it today in any part. There was certainly a UKMARC code for Ulster Scots, I recall, but I can't find my UKMARC files at the moment.

Also I mislaid my files of British Library statistics (due to changing computers a couple of years ago) which listed British Library holdings by language code, so I don't have the possibility at the moment to identify the previously used UKMARC code, or the statistics.

Though a new alpha-3 code would be needed now, not the old one.

However, In Ulster Scots, there are now many documents - especially official ones, as indicated below - as well as many web documents in (and not just about) Ulster Scots (also known as Ullans) so it definitely fits the criteria for being used in ISO 639-2.

Given its official status, I propose that it is also suitable for inclusion in ISO 639-1 as well.

I'm tied up full time in other projects next week, and don't have time to take the following forward, other than providing this initial information below, but might one one of the JAC members be in a position to take up progressing an entry for Ulster Scots in all three parts of ISO 639?

There is a convincing history of use.

There is a longstanding email list (ULLANS-L) and website for Ulster Scots, and now several more.

Ulster Scots is defined in legislation (The North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) Northern Ireland Order 1999) as

the variety of the Scots language which has traditionally been used in parts of Northern Ireland and in Donegal in Ireland [1] (
Furthermore The United Kingdom declares, in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Charter that it recognises that Scots and Ulster Scots meet the Charter's definition of a regional or minority language for the purposes of Part II of the Charter [2] (

Relevant links include:

The Ulster-Scots Agency (Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch)
(Language, Identity and Politics in Northern Ireland)
Ulster-Scots voices (BBC site)
Pronunciation of Ulster Scots
Scots Online (

The above information was retrieved from <>

John Clews


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