Dialect game removed by The New York Times 

A Shetland dialect group has called out the creators of Wordle after being forced to remove the isles version of the game – which had over 20,000 users.

I Hear Dee started “Wirdle” almost two years ago, which used Shetland dialect words as opposed to English.

Wordle is a web-based word game purchased by The New York Times after being  created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle.

The Shetland version of the game had more than 20,000 users from 113 different countries.

Linguistics professor Viveka Velupillai  is among those working on the Shetland Language Plan to have Shaetlan recognised as a language.

She criticised The New York Times’ decision to crack down on minority language versions of the game.

“This has happened to the Scottish Gaelic version and the Hawaiian version, all of the ones I’ve had responses from are minority language developers,” she told The Shetland Times.

“It looks bad to do this towards minority languages who are struggling so much.

“Leaving it be would enhance the original English one because every one of us states this is inspired by the original English language Wordle.

“Every time a minority language is used, it kind of gives bonus points to the original version and it used to show a really inclusive attitude, now this has been completely reversed.”

Prof Velupillai rubbished claims the Shetland version of Wordle is an “infringement” on the original as there are two different languages being used.

“We find it very questionable, we don’t see how word games in different languages can be an infringement on each other,” she said.

“Our Wordle and all the minority language Wordles in the world are free,there’s no overlap with the English version because its different languages.

“It’s a bit like saying you can’t have a word game in Dutch because you have a similar word game in German, it doesn’t really make sense.”

The New York Times has been approached for comment. 

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Shetland Times


Add Your Comment
  • wayne conroy

    • March 7th, 2024 18:35

    Seeing as Wordle is just basically a copy of Lingo I fail to see how the New York Times can claim to own the copyright to the game never mind one in a different language! I remember playing this with my granny back in the late eighties with pen and paper yet Wordle was only released in 2021. I’m guessing they don’t like the fact it is basically the same name? Either way this whole shenanigans seems ridiculous!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.