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MSP hails ground-breaking Doric course

By Alan Beresford

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THE launch of the very first university Doric course has been welcomed by a local MSP.

Stewart Stevenson MSP.
Stewart Stevenson MSP.

In a motion to the Scottish Parliament, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson celebrated the move by the University of Aberdeen.

Doric is spoken by around half the people in Moray and Aberdeenshire.

It will now be taught to undergraduates at Aberdeen University with the course counting towards a student’s degree.

Mr Stevenson said: “I am delighted Doric will be taught to undergraduates at the University of Aberdeen.

“It has a long history and there are many words and phrases linking Doric with Scandinavian languages, too.

“This language is a critical part of north-east culture and I wish the university all the best in delivering this course which I hope will bring more interest and many new speakers.”

Mr Stevenson's motion reads: "That the Parliament welcomes the news that Doric will now be taught at university for the first time; understands that the language will be taught at the University of Aberdeen and that this will include the history and vocabulary of the north-eastern dialect; understands that it is spoken by 49 per cent of people in Aberdeenshire, is widely spoken by young people and has an extensive body of literature; notes that Dr Thomas McKean, the director of the university’s Elphinstone Institute, which researches and protects the north-east’s distinct cultural heritage, hopes the course will elevate the dialect and place it on an equal footing with other European languages; recognises that it has its own unique rules, vocabulary and perspective and is a critical part of the north east’s and Scotland’s culture; commends Thomas and the University for undertaking this work, and wishes them the best of luck in its delivery."

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