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Council encourages locals with Cromarty dialect

Issued: 9 Jul 2007

Researchers with The Highland Council's award-winning history and culture website, Am Baile, are urging people to come forward who may have a smattering of the extremely rare Cromarty dialect.

The Am Baile team are helping to preserve the distinct Scots dialect connected with the fisherfolk of Cromarty.

Earlier, this year, local brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg got the project off to a good start when a recording was made of their conversations. They can currently be heard on the Am Baile website discussing their unique dialect at: www.ambaile.org.uk.

The aim now is to compile a list of words and phrases which will be available as a download from Am Baile and as a booklet in the local Cromarty library.

Members of the public are invited to come along to an informal get-together at Cromarty Library on the afternoon and evening of Tuesday 17th July, during library opening times from 2pm to 5pm, and 6pm to 8pm.

Janine Donald, Highland Council's Am Baile Researcher said: "Since the widespread media coverage of Bobby and Gordon's recordings in February, a significant number of people have come forward saying that they also know a word, or phrase or two in the Cromarty dialect. The feedback that we received was felt sufficient to organise this event at Cromarty Library as we don't want to miss anyone out who may be able to contribute to the preservation of what has been described as 'the most threatened dialect in Scotland'.

"All contributions will be welcomed: a single word; a phrase; a local anecdote; perhaps even a song! For those who cannot attend on Tuesday 17th , forms will be available at Cromarty library for filling in at any time."

Cromarty-based historian and Highland Councillor for the Black Isle Ward, David Alston said: "The dialect was part of a way of life which has now gone. We cannot bring it back but it is important that we record it as fully as possible, not least in recognition of the hardy men and women who, for centuries, have baited lines, fished these waters and sold the catch."

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme