At Skene House, Aberdeen we know our Doric. We ken our loons fae our quines, we’ll happily enter into debates over rowies and butteries, and we know fit fit fits fit fit. If we ask for your address and you tell us far ye bide, we’ll understand, and if you request a ‘fine piece’ we know what you’re after. As an Aberdeen-based family-run business we speak your language, as we’ve delivered excellent customer service and accommodation in the Granite City for forty years.
As a multicultural Aberdeen business we employ people from all over the world, but having staff who speak Doric is as valuable to us as employees who speak French, Spanish or Chinese. We were certainly interested to read in The Times that the dialect is being recognised in local schools – Aberdeenshire council introduced a Doric language strategy, and Doric is now taught in over 150 primary schools and 15 secondary schools. In Aberdeen itself, Aberdeen city council published its cultural strategy in the region’s Mither Tongue. But for local folk, who simply lived life spikkin Doric, it’s just part of everyday life.
Our founder, Charles Skene, grew up in a world where asking your neighbour ‘Fit like?’ And replying, ‘Nae bad. Chavin awa…’ gave life a little colour. Doric is the dialect of the streets, fields, harbours and homes of the area, and Charles was no different to all the other loons growing up in the North East of Scotland. But he remembers when Doric was frowned upon by official bodies.
“When I was growing up Doric wasn’t encouraged. In fact, at school you got into trouble if you failed to speak ‘proper’. It was quite difficult as the language of your loved ones, your parents, friends and community, was being rejected’, says Charles. ‘It’s changed days now, and local heritage and culture is being actively encouraged and nurtured. Doric is the local tongue, it’s in the blood, and it’s one of Scotland’s very few, and in my opinion most colourful, historical indigenous languages.”
Charles went on to establish Skene House in his home city of Aberdeen, and just as folk fae the North East of Scotland are happy spikkin their ane way, Charles’ did things his own way too. He was content to forge his own path and do things differently from the get go. Skene House was one of the first companies in the UK offering serviced apartments – luxury one, two or three bedroom suites, complete with a fully furnished kitchen and living room, offering hotel benefits. When he broke away from the standard hotel model, folk must have thought ‘Fit on earth are ya dee’in’?
“When you try something different there can be an element of ‘Dinna get above yersel’ and ‘Ah kent yer faither’, says Charles, ‘but on the whole people are very supportive and welcome new ideas.”
And the truth was that many people did actually know Charles Skene’s faither and mither, as they ran a successful local photography business and inadvertently became ‘weel kent faces’ in Aiberdeen. Charles took over the photography business when he was 20, before setting up his own property company, Albyn Properties, that segued into Skene Investments, which owns and operates Skene House today.
Charles is honoured that there was no necessity to leave his hometown to create a business he’s proud of. Success stories can occur on your own doorstep. Ultimately, the moral of the story is remember your roots, and be yersel, cos abody has their ane braw ideas.
Let us know your favourite phrases or words in Doric in the comments below. Our favourite Scots saying is ‘Haud Yer Wheesht’, which we’ve used as our equivalent of a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign for almost a decade! Skene House, proudly Aberdonian.
Dinna fash yersel aboot accommodation. Discover more about the unique Skene House at skene-house.co.uk. At Skene House you’re the one in control. Your own place. Your own kitchen. Your own bathroom. Your own bedrooms. Your own front door. Your own apartment. Skene House offers the Suite Life in Aberdeen. For more information, the best rates and detailed room descriptions get in touch at +44 1224 659 392 or email email@example.com.