Jun 25

Evertype would like to announce the publication of Sandy Fleming’s new translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into the Scots language, Ailice’s Àventurs in Wunnerland. The book uses John Tenniel’s classic illustrations.

From the introduction:

Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wis the makar’s richt name an he wis lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson started the story on 4 July 1862, whan he teuk a turn in a rowin boat aboot the river Thames in Oxford thegither wi the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, wi Ailice Liddell (ten year auld), the dauchter o the Dean o Christ Church, an wi her twa sisters, Lorina (thirteen year auld), and Edith (aicht year auld). The poem at the start o the beuk narrates that the three lassies wis wantin a story aff o Dodgson an, tho no juist eident at first, he startit tae tell the first mak o the story tae them. Many a reference, hauf-scoukit, is made tae the five o them ootthrou the text o the beuk itsel, that wis syne an on published in 1865.

As faur as I ken, this beuk sets oot the first translation o Ailice’s Àventurs in Wunnerland intae Scots (that we aince caa’d “Inglis”). This leid haes cam doun fae Auld Northumbrian, the Auld English that wis spoken fae the Humber tae the Lothians. It’s a near relation o Staunart English, but there’s many a differ in baith grammar an vocabulary.

I’ve uised tradeetional spellins the likes o wis set doun bi Burns, Scott, Slater an many ither, tho wantin the “apologetic apostrophes” ye aft see in thae beuks. This is gaes alang wi maist writins in Scots fae the aichteenth century on, an reads fine tae modren Scots spaekers bred up tae sic tradeetions. Tho this approach is faur fae purist, I’ve ettled at bein as conseestent as possible.

Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author’s real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Thames in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age), the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the beginning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the story to them. Many half-hidden references are made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.

To the best of my knowledge, this edition presents the first translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Scots (which historically has also been known as “Inglis”). This language is a descendant of Old Northumbrian, the Old English once spoken from the Humber to the Lothians. It is closely related to Standard English, but differs from it in many particulars of both grammar and vocabulary.

I have used traditional spellings such as might be seen in the works of Burns, Scott, Slater, and many others, though without the “apologetic apostrophes” often seen in these works. This is in harmony with most writings in Scots from the eighteenth century onwards, and makes for comfortable reading for modern Scots speakers brought up with those traditions. Although this approach is far from purist, I have tried to be as consistent as possible.

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