on 1 March 2014
A Scots language translation of The Twits - this is jist braw. The weans in ma cless ur luvin it - they haud their wheesht and use their lugs weel to hear the tale. If ye need a story fur yer weans in Scots, this is yin tae git.
(trans - this is just great. The children in my class are loving it - they quietly sit and listen to the story. If you need a story in Scots for your kids, this is the one to get.)
on 25 February 2011
The Ejits is even better in Scots - we loved the Shooglie-Wooglie Bird and somehow, Mr and Mrs Shrunkleheid seem EVEN worse! If you've a Scots tongue, you'll love it. If you havenae, its a crackin place to start. So go track doon a copy an get readin, an jist watch what jinks they wee puggies get up tae! P.s. Tis only a wee book - you could almost read it at one sittin.
on 29 November 2012
This is a translation from English into Scots of Roald Dahl's story The Twits.
Firstly, being a children's story, the level of language is such that it is not necessary to be fluent in Scots to understand it, a good familiarity being sufficient.
The quality of the translation, however, raises questions in my mind. There are many instances where the language simply does not sound authentic. For example, the words "glower" and "slaister" are used differently from the way I used them as a child. In addition, the vocabulary used comes across as a mish-mash of words from places as far apart as the Shetlands, Dundee, Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire. The effect of all this is to make me wonder if the translator, Mr Fitt, learned his Scots at university i.e. from books, rather than from being a native speaker i.e. from having spoken Scots (or a modified form of Scots) at home as a child.
(The lack of authenticity that I detected may, of course, be more than a blip. What may be happening is that since Scots has largely been forgotten, its re-introduction into schools is resulting in its being taught like a foreign language i.e. being taught in a standardised form by non-native speakers. Thus we may, in fact, be seeing the emergence of a sort of "BBC" Scots.)
Having said the above, the emergence of books translated into Scots is welcome. Many a school child has suffered abuse under the tyranny of the middle-classes by being required to "speak properly" i.e. in "BBC English" at the expense of their natural tongue, dialect or accent etc.. This abuse is then continued into adulthood and employment, especially into the professions, where deviation from an externally imposed linguistic standard is generally discouraged. This descent into a linguistic monoculture impoverishes both one's own mind as well as the wider cultural environment. The re-emergence of languages such as Scots is, therefore, crucial. Monoculture impoverishes and kills. Diversity enriches and enlivens.