Scots language workshop to encourage people to speak in their 'mither tongue'

Scots language workshop to encourage people to speak in their 'mither tongue'

Workshops in north-east Scots language are being held at the University of Aberdeen in a bid to encourage those who wish to become fluent in their 'mither tongue'.

More commonly referred to as Doric, the north-east Scots dialect has undergone a recent revival through the launch of the North-East Scots Language Board, an initiative spearheaded by the University’s Elphinstone Institute. 

The first block of workshops will run for 10 weeks from September 19th, with participants encouraged to produce written and spoken north-east Scots from the first class.

The class contents have been devised by the Elphinstone Institute and the University’s Department of Education, using audio, video and literary materials to engage learners.  A friendly, supportive learning environment will encourage participants to try out new words and phrases. 

Alistair Heather, Public Engagement Officer with the Elphinstone Institute, said: “Recent Scottish Government census figures show that the Scots language - which includes Doric - is spoken by around half of the entire population of the north-east and used by 1.5 million people across Scotland. 

“As the largest minority language in Europe, Scots is experiencing a real boost with so many new works and new translations into the tongue.

“Whilst north-east Scots can be heard throughout the region, and can often been seen in signage or adverts, people seldom get the chance to learn it as a written language.”

Alistair said that the workshops will invite current speakers to improve their ability to read, write and express themselves in their native dialect, while learning about its history.  He added that there will be an emphasis on using Doric in day-to-day scenarios.

“The workshops will focus on how people can use the language in their daily lives, and by the end of the first block of workshops they will have sent a tweet, made a Facebook post, some verse and even a letter to the press in north-east Scots!

“It will also invite newer arrivals to Scotland and the north-east to take a chance to learn and understand the speech and literary traditions of their new hame. Language can be the key to unlock the culture of the north-east and to help new arrivals settle in to the area.”

*You can sign up for the Scots language workshops here