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Doric on the rise in Scotland, according to experts in the Scots language

Sheena Blackhall
Sheena Blackhall

The use of Doric in communities across Scotland is on the rise, experts say.

A well-used language, especially in fishing towns and villages, Scots is becoming slowly more popular in the country.

Recently, it became officially recognised by Spotify thanks to a campaign by singer Iona Fyfe.

Iona Fyfe.

Today, Aberdeen-born Scots poet Sheena Blackhall appeared on Good Morning Scotland to discuss how the language has moved more into the public eye over the last year.

She said: “Oh it’s definitely on the rise, there’s a lot of commissioning being done of Scots work now, so I’ve seen a big difference in publications right across the board.

“It is good to see it, it’s long overdue.”

Generations of people in the north-east have grown up speaking Scots, although this has not been recognised in the mainstream until recently.

Doric Film Festival 2019 at Belmont Picture House.

Now, the language is growing once again with a Doric Film Festival created, a Scots Radio network, a Scottish Leid Board and a series of other initiatives which have helped attract a younger audience.

Frieda Morrison, chairwoman of the Doric Board, explained how the dialect is reaching a larger audience nowadays.

She said: “I would put it this way, a rise in tide floats mony boats and we are seeing mony boats floating aboot jist noo.

Doric Board chairwoman Frieda Morrison

“Doric is a branch of the Scots language, the Doric Board is a tae dae wi the rise in boats on the tide and a’thing.

“It’s an independent board, we’ve got a committee, a chair, masel and a treasurer, a secretary, 12 members, a constitution, a mission statement and nae that long ago we announced our second new year award which gies financial support to 17 different projects in Doric.

“Fit we have tried to dee is raise the profile, with confidence now, for fowk to speak in Doric, that’s important to raise the confidence.

“We will carry that on, we canna keep looking back at fits happened, we need to look to the future and see fit we can do aboot it and that can only come fae fowk hearing mare fowk speaking it, that’s a big part of the plan.

“The other part is increasing the opportunity for folk to hear Scots and Doric in the media on the radio and TV, we’ve had a lot of one-off programmes about the language and noo we need a regular weekly strand in the language.”

Spikkin Scots: Listen to the different dialects of Scotland with our interactive map

DC Thomson’s Spikkin Scots series proved one of the most popular reads on the website last year, with people from as far afield as Honolulu to Hawaii taking an interest.

The Doric Board has funded a number of projects to help promote the language, including the Buchanhaven Heritage Society & Centre who will celebrate the heritage and conservation of the area.

A video featuring a play by Mike Gibb called Doorways in Drumorty – based on the life of controversial Hollywood writer Lorna Moon – which will include actors from the National Theatre – will also be created.

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