2010, Year O Orkney Dialect

The Orkney Heritage Society are making 2010 the Year O Orkney Dialect. They aim to raise awareness of the rich heritage reflected in the dialect and encourage its use in everyday life.

History of Orkney Dialect
The Orkneyjar website has some excellent information on old Orkney dialect and explains that;

“For almost 950 years – from approximately 800AD until the middle of the 1700s – the spoken language in Orkney was a variant of Old Norse known as Norrœna or Norn.
Remnants of this now extinct language can still be clearly heard in today’s Orcadian dialect – a dialect shot through with Norse words and turns of speech”.

Orkney Dialect Competition
Whit like? 2010 is noo officially the Year o Orkney Dialect!  As part o this, wur runnan a poetry competition, details o which you kin fiind on this website.

If you are interested in aalso runnan sometheen as part o the Year o Orkney Dialect, then please get in touch, as a calander of events is being compiled.

Quite a bit of local interest has already been shown in this project, with Stromness Primary School creating a word waal where the children can see and learn to use dialect words in everyday speech.

If you have an interest in the old dialect words of Orkney (and Shetland), then the free downloadable ebook above will be of interest to you.

If you’re a bit more academically minded, then why not give the “Orkney Dialect for Beginners” evening class a go!

More information

Orkney Heritage Society
Year O Orkney Dialect on Facebook
Orkneyjar –
Find out lots more information about the Orkney Dialect
Scots Language Centre
– The network for Scots language