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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

SLC's Dundonian Visit

4th November 2010

On Tuesday 2 November Dr Dauvit Horsbroch and Katrina MacLeod, from the Scots Language Centre, met with some Dundonian citizens at the Mark Henderson Centre, in Dundee’s Hilltown. The meeting took place as part of the Centre’s ongoing work to meet and speak with people around Scotland, about the Scots language, its regional forms, and to hear people’s opinions about their own and other dialects. In addition, the Centre has been recording up to date, representative samples of Scots speakers from around Scotland in preparation for its Census 2011 helpsite, which will help speakers to answer the question about Scots. Those who took part in the Dundee meeting spoke about Dundonian, how it is spoken, what Dundonian meant to them, and how Dundonian may have changed over time. There was also a lively discussion about the Scots spoken in other quarters – Aberdeen, Glasgow, Shetland and other places – and what Dundonians thought of them. They also spoke at length about their own experiences of Scots in the school and in society in general. Asked about the upcoming question in the census relating to Scots, everyone thought it was a good idea, partly because Scots speaking was felt to be an important part of Scottish identity, though there were differences about the ways in which Dundonian, and Scots in general, might be officially promoted. Among those present there were members of the Hulltoon Writers Group, established some four years ago, and two of the members read out some verse in Dundonian. There was some further discussion about writing in Scots and, when asked about making programmes in Scots, there was a general feeling that would be a welcome development. Those who attended the meeting were as follows: Roma Fairweather and Rose Turpie (Woodside Community Group), Duncan MacPherson, Alice Donaldson and Grant Johnson (Hulltoon Writers Group), Joyce Guthrie (Mitchell Street Centre) and Elaine Pratt and Stuart Fairweather (Community Officers for Coldside and Maryfield). The SLC would like to thank Elaine Pratt and Kim Robertson for helping to make our visit a success.