It is not all doom and gloom however. Enthusiasts like the Northumbrian Language Society exist to preserve our unique regional dialect, and to encourage all Northumbrians to become bilingual, using the language amongst family and friends, and using standard English in more public situations. It is also the case that as society becomes more like a “global village”, more people are turning to the distinct cultural and historical features of their local communities in order to establish an identity that gives them a sense of belonging and value that is often absent in their public lives.
The Northumbrian language is uniquely placed to contribute to this trend. It has an unbroken history stretching back more than fourteen hundred years. Although its use has declined in recent years, it nevertheless has a long and vigorous literary tradition, both oral and written, which preserves its essential features. It forms the basis of our regional culture and heritage, and when linked to our own unique musical instrument, the Northumbrian smallpipes, provides a powerful and effective means of transmitting the culture to successive generations.
When these facts are added to the many other forms of regional life which mark us out as different, it is no surprise to learn that the calls for regional government in England are strongest in the north east. The history of our region has marked us out as unique, and we are determined, through our language, to retain this uniqueness far into the future.
What do you think? Use the comments below to send us your view on how our language, dialect, and accent are doing.
To help us maintain our unique language, why not join the society? The Society offers Individual Subscriptions, Joint Subscriptions, and provides a concessionary rate subscription. Full details in the shop.
Click here to go to the shop and purchase a subscription.
Not wanting to subscribe?
If you would nevertheless like us to keep in touch, we also have a mailing list. A couple of times a year we mail with some dialect, and news of recent events. You can sign up here.