My name is Antonia Uri, I am 23 years old and I was brought up in the countryside in-between Mintlaw and Longside. Preserving the Doric dialect is extremely important to me because it is a huge part of who I am, and is something that ties me to my home no matter where in the world I am. Speaking Doric is something which makes me feel comfortable, and which connects me with my family. For that reason, I wish to be able to speak Doric for the rest of my life. But, I worry that in years to come it won’t be so prevalent, and dread the thought of Doric dying out.

Growing up, I was made to speak ‘proper’ English at school, but as soon as I got home my Mam would tell me “yer at hame noo, an at hame ye spik Doric”. I will be eternally grateful to my Mam for instilling the significance of Doric in me. In the North East most people are extremely lucky to be brought up to be bilingual or bidialectal (depending on your opinions on Scots), and that needs to be appreciated more.

Anyone who knows me knows that speaking Doric is something which I am extremely proud of, and I will teach others Doric words at any opportunity. I believe that it played a role in my interest in languages, resulting in me obtaining a degree in French and Spanish, and working as an English teacher in Spain and France, whilst also teaching students about North East culture and dialect. In fact, whilst living abroad, what I missed most about home was having people to speak Doric to. I used to savour every FaceTime call with my Mam and Grandma during which I could ‘spik normal’.

I also adore writing in Doric. I write a column in Doric for The National each month, often discussing topics related to issues ongoing in the North East. Previously I have also written articles in Doric for Bella Caledonia and Mak Forrit, as well as writing Doric poems which featured in The Darg and Lallans. I hope to one day write a book in Doric.

Antonia Uri

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