Aye Can - Speak Scots Language

Spaek Orkney

Scottish Census 2011 - 27th March


All over Orkney j and g usually become ch in speech so that German jam is pronounced Cherman Cham. Whereas in Shetland du (you) is used, in Orkney this changes to thoo. Thee is also used in the islands. In some parts, such as North Ronaldsay (North Ronalshee), a hard k often softens to a soft ch so "How are you keeping?" becomes Hoo are thoo cheepin?

Like Shetland, earlier Orcadians spoke Norn. The Scots tongue was introduced in the Middle Ages and gradually Norn declined and died out. The Scots of Orkney - known by its speakers as Orkney and Orcadian - has retained some influence from Norn, which can be heard and seen in the accent, expressions, words and place names.

The capital of the islands is Kirkwall (Kirkwal), while other places include islands of Rousay (Rousee), Stronsay (Stronsee) and Westray (Westree).

You can hear Orcadian being spoken on BBC Radio Orkney.

Click on the links to hear people speaking Orkney.