Maintaining endangered languages is of vital cultural importance. Every time one disappears the world gets a little less interesting. Throughout the world there are campaigns to save endangered languages and Global Lingo supports them all.

The team at Global Lingo thought they should start a little closer to home when it came to helping to preserve a language. And so the company became a group member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society.

The society, which was established in 1897 by Professor Joseph Wright, aims to encourage the study and recording of dialect, with equal interests in speech and literature.

Richard Michie, Director of Marketing for Global Lingo said “The Yorkshire Dialect Society is not a comedy group, akin to a Monty Python sketch. They do a very important job, ensuring that the heritage of Yorkshire and its people is preserved through its dialect. It’s a cause which is very close to my heart as a born and bred Yorkshireman.

I’m from Sheffield originally and you only have to travel a few miles to Rotherham to notice a distinct change in the words and phrases used. Recognising and capturing these differences is just as important as saving what are thought of as more exotic languages. But because the Yorkshire Dialect is right under our noses, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. By joining the Yorkshire Dialect Society we hope to help correct that.”

The society’s website is a great resource for information on the history and usage of the Yorkshire dialect. It contains a large amount of written and audio samples of the dialect, some of which should only be attempted by the more confident Yorkshire speaker.

Here’s an example which seems very apt for the times:

  • Yorkshire dialect: It strikes me as bein queer at fowk at’s allus buyin bargains dooan’t get rich hawf as fast as them at sell em.
  • Translation: It strikes me as odd that people that are always buying bargains don’t get rich half as fast as those that sell them.

The Society is managed by an elected Council and its President is The Right Revd. Dr David Hope KCVO, a former Archbishop of York. Membership is open to any individual over the age of 16 who has a love for Yorkshire and its speech, and to organisations which share a common interest in language. Members receive the Society’s annual winter journal, Transactions, and the mid-year Summer Bulletin (both usually containing written dialect) free of charge.

You can join the society by visiting their website

Photo credit: Lee Watson