I REFER to Professor Joe Farrell's letter (July 12) and, while I agree with his view that the Catalans should be supported in their quest for greater self-determination, I cannot share his views that "Catalonia has endured persecution, most recently under Franco, on a scale unknown in Scotland and, again unlike Scotland, has a language of its own".

The former view might be supportable in terms of very recent history, but over the long sweep of history it would certainly be contestable, if only there were some definition and accurate measure of comparative persecution. However, his assertion that Scotland does not have a language of its own is certainly contestable.

Perhaps I'm just being ower fykie, but has Professor Farrell never heard of Gaelic or Scots? Both languages are in rude health as he would swiftly discover in a few days in the Outer Hebrides or pretty well all of mainland rural Scotland. That is not to say that both languages do not need all the help they can get to survive the overwhelming tidal wave of English in all of the media.

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Native languages are the indispensible key to native culture and denial of their existence is to deny the existence of indigenous culture which in turn may lead to its extirpation. I certainly don't want to see that and ask what is wrong with being bi- or tri-lingual in English, Scots and/or Gaelic?

Ken Mathieson,

Kylepark Crescent, Uddingston.