Aberdeen city council this week published its cultural strategy , Culture Aiberdeen, in North East Scots. According to the Times report, the translation was carried out “in recognition of Aberdeen and the northeast of Scotland’s unique local heritage and language”, adding that Barney Crockett, the lord provost, said: “Doric is a crucial part of the daily life of the city and the wider area and we need to do everything we can to ensure it continues to flourish.”
Aberdeenshire Council published Scots Language Guidelines in 2017. The Council “regards Doric, in its written and spoken forms as a valid means of communication” and specifically supports “engagement with Doric in all 3-18 educational establishments”. In this context it is committed, “to see that learners who have Doric as their first language at home and with friends are not disadvantaged at school in terms of self-esteem, access to the curriculum, achieving and attaining to their potential”. According to The Times, Gwyneth Petrie, an SNP councillor, said: “I was constantly told not to talk like that and it was taught out of us but now I’ve got a child who is learning it and bringing it back into the home.” The article mentions the 2011 census in which 120,000 people — half the population of Aberdeenshire — identified themselves as Scots speakers compared with the 57,000 people in the whole of Scotland who were Gaelic speakers. The article continues (see the Sun’s mangling of the story below), “The dialect was brought to a global audience by the actor Kevin McKidd in the 2012 Pixar film Brave. His character used phrases that were taught to him by his grandfather. A diluted version of Doric was also used in the 2015 film adaptation of Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song”.
The Scottish Sun, got confused. The Guidelines above make it clear that the initiative is about the Scots language, not another ‘Scots language’, “The Scots language is an essential element of the culture and heritage of Scotland. In North East Scotland (Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardineshire, Moray), Scots language is known as “Doric” and will henceforth be referred to in this document as Doric”.