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Community / Move to social media a ‘real step forward’ for dialect group

LOCAL dialect promotion group Shetland ForWirds has used lockdown to enter the world of social media.

The group now has a presence on Facebook and Instagram in a bid to raise the profile of Shetland dialect.

Shetland ForWirds’ annual concert was shelved as a result of coronavirus restrictions, along with other activities.

Karlin Anderson, a jeweller who recently returned home to live in Shetland, has been behind the move to social media.

“Coming home for visits over the years, I noticed a decline in the use of the dialect and have found it sad given that it has always been such a positive thing for me personally,” she said.

“But I also think it is a positive thing for the islands as a whole. Our dialect is part of who we are. It will change over the years as it has in years past. But if we lose it, I feel we also lose a wonderful part of our identity and what has made us who we are today.

“We in the social media team are excited about the opportunities that both Facebook and Instagram offer us in continuing the good work Shetland ForWirds has already done in promoting and encouraging the use of our unique dialect.

“We firmly believe that the dialect is not just for the Shetland born, but for all who call Shetland home. The ability to incorporate audio and video alongside written dialect, on a platform so many people use every day, will help us to allow non-native speakers to engage in dialect too.”

Fellow conveners of Shetland ForWirds Laureen Johnson and Mary Blance said: “We’re delighted to have new folk on board with a passion for the dialect and the skills to create and maintain a social media presence. It’s a real step forward for ForWirds.”

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