Doric belangs te you an me: it’s in the quait o the countryside an the steer o the toons; it’s in the land, the sky an the sea; it’s in the wealth o culture an heritage; it’s in the lives o oor ain folk, past an present, their sangs, stories, an their rich, expressive tongue.

Ah’m thankfu fir ma upbringin in a North-east fairmin community. It wis a simple bit happy life, aabody kent een anither an the wird ‘Doric’ hidna bin inventit – it wis jist the wye wi spoke. So, fin folk say, “Is it nae affa difficult te write in Doric?” I say, “No. Ah spik an think in Doric, so it feels, te me, as natural as breathin; it’s fa Ah am, far Ah come fae, an far Ah bide – it’s the language o ma hairt.”

Meevin forrit, things hiv changed – folk in the North-east dinna bide in the same place aa their days, an the population is multi-cultural, multi-lingual an diverse. In order te survive in these changin times, the profile o oor Scots tongue needs te be raised – te be recognised, respectit, validatit an, maist importantly, spoken. A language aat’s in use disna stan still, frozen in time – it’s a blend o past an present. So, of course, it’s vital wi engage wi the youngir generation an encourage them te use their ain tongue wi confidence an wi’oot apology – sharin oor passion an pride in the Doric, bit in a wye aat’s relevant te the lives they live the day.

Wi aa the new initiatives aat are currently in motion, Ah feel optimistic aboot the future o oor dialect – a future far Ah hope wi’ll see the Doric thrivin as a livin, breathin wird an nae as some stewy aul museum piece aat youngir folk canna identify wi. Language is constantly evolvin an sae must we.

And now in English…

Doric belongs to you and me; it’s in the quiet of the countryside and the bustle of the towns; it’s in the land, the sky and the sea; it’s in the wealth of culture and heritage; it’s in the lives of our own people, past and present, their songs, stories, and their rich, expressive tongue.

I’m thankful for my upbringing in a North-east farming community. It was a simple but happy life, everyone knew each other and the word ‘Doric’ hadn’t been invented – it was just the way we spoke. So, when people say, “Is it not really difficult to write in Doric?” I say, “No. I speak and think in Doric, so it feels, to me, as natural as breathing; it’s who I am, where I come from, and where I live – it’s the language of my heart.”

Moving forward, things have changed – people in the North-east no longer live in the same place all their lives, and the population is multi-cultural, multi-lingual and diverse. In order to survive in these changing times, the profile of our Scots tongue needs to be raised – to be recognised, respected, validated and, most importantly, spoken. A language that’s in use doesn’t stand still, frozen in time – it’s a blend of past and present. So, of course, it’s vital we engage with the younger generation and encourage them to use their own tongue with confidence and without apology – sharing our passion and pride in the Doric, but in a way that’s relevant to the lives they live today.

With all the new initiatives that are currently in motion, I feel optimistic about the future of our dialect – a future where I hope we’ll see the Doric thriving as a dynamic tongue and not as some dusty old museum piece that younger people are unable to identify with. Language is constantly evolving and so must we.

Debbie Leslie fae Inverurie 

Facebook page: Dottyabootdoric

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