Dr Doric throws weight behind council scheme to start teaching north-east dialect in schools

Don Carney

A man, who has been dubbed the doctor of Doric, has thrown his weight behind an ambitious scheme to begin teaching the dialect in north-east schools.

Don Carney, who holds a PhD for his work in capturing the language, has encouraged educators to back the local authority’s proposal to promote Doric to children.

Traditionally spoken by residents of Aberdeenshire, the dialect – one of many across Scotland – is identified as the native tongue in many rural and fishing communities.

Last night, Mr Carney hailed the scheme as being a “step in the right direction”.

He has now offered his library of more than 700 hours of videos detailing Doric and its culture for use in schools.

He said: “There seems to have been barriers built, whether self-built or created by others, that speaking Doric is not speaking proper.

“That fallacy is ridiculous. Go anywhere here in the north-east and just speak the Doric and the folk you are speaking to will also respond in Doric.

“Some may not be Doric speakers, but they and you can have a meaningful discussion featuring both the Doric from us and English from them.

“I want to encourage bairns across Scotland to feature the Scots language and their own dialects within their educational journey.

“I would hope that educationalists in Aberdeenshire and the city, plus our tourism chiefs, now with huge budgets, would consider the impact which our culture and the Doric is presently making.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s plans mean children will be entitled to learn about Doric as part of the curriculum, in addition to offering them the chance to study for a Scots Language Award qualification.

Liberal Democrat councillor, Isobel Davidson, has welcomed the move and said: “It is important that Doric is taken seriously.

“Quite often, it’s a language of fun – that’s important, but it’s a serious dialect as well and we need to respect it.”