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Alice’s Adventirs in Wonderlaand
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Shetland Scots

Alice’s Adventirs in Wonderlaand

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Shetland Scots by Laureen Johnson

First edition, 2012. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-008-1 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”   “Doon yon wye,” said da Cat, wavin his richt paa aboot, “der a Hat-makker at bides: an ower yon wye”—wavin da idder paa—“der a Mairch Hare bidin dere. Geng du alang ony o dem at du wants: dey’re baith mad.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.   “But A’m no wantin ta geng among mad fok,” Alice said.
“Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”   “Oh, du canna help dat,” said da Cat. “We’re aa mad here. A’m mad. Du’s mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.   “Foo dö you ken A’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”   “Weel, du most be,” said da Cat, “or du widna a come here.”
Cat Clárach
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. There are many half-hidden references made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.   Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: da writer’s richt name wis Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, an he wis a lecturer in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began da story apo da fort o July 1862, whin he guid aff in a rowin boat apo da river Thames in Oxford, alang wi da Reverend Robinson Duckworth, wi ten year aald Alice Liddell, da dochter o da Dean o Christ Church, an her twa sisters, thirteen year aald Lorina, an Edith, at wis eight. As we see fae da poem at da begennin o da book, da tree lasses axed Dodgson for a story an, tho at first he wis kinda laith ta dö it, he began to tell dem da first version o da story. He aften smoots in some peerie half-hoidit mention o da five o dem, aa trow da text o da book itsel, at wis published at da lang an da lent in 1865.
This book is the first translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Shetland Scots, a variety of Scots spoken in Shetland which has been influenced by the North Germanic language Norn which had died out in the eighteenth century. As a dialect of Scots, it is closely related to standard English, but there are many differences in both grammar and vocabulary between the two languages. In standard English, it goes by a number of names: Shetlandic and Shetlandic Scots, Shetland Scots, and Shetland dialect. In Shetland itself, it is called Shaetlan, and sometimes just dialect. In my own view Shetland Scots is probably the best term: it is similar to Ulster Scots, and is similar to other formations like Newfoundland English and New Zealand English.   Dis book is da first owersettin o Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland inta Shetland Scots, a kind o Scots spokken in Shetland at’s been influenced bi da Nort Germanic language Norn, at dee’d oot ida eighteent century. Bein a dialect o Scots, hit’s a closs freend ta standard English, but der a lock o differ atween da twa tongues baith ida grammar an ida wirds. Athin standard English you’ll hear an read o it bein caa’d bi twartree names: Shetlandic an Shetlandic Scots, Shetland Scots, an Shetland dialect. Athin Shetland itsel, dey caa it Shaetlan, an sometimes juist dialect. Spaekin for mesel, I tink Shetland Scots micht be da best thing ta caa it: hit’s a name laek Ulster Scots, and laek idder names at’s been twined tagidder laek Newfoundland English an New Zealand English.
Orthography is always a question in dialect writing of any language; the spelling which Laureen Johnson uses here is very regular and represents the language well, being based on her many years’ experience writing in her native tongue. As a linguist I find it a pleasure to read, and I hope the folk of Shetland do as well.   In ony language, der aye different opeenions aboot dialect spellin; da spellin at Laureen Johnson uses here is aafil reglar, an staands weel for da language—shö’s written in her midder tongue for mony a year noo. As a linguist, I fin it a plaisir ta read, an sae, I hoop, will da Shetland fok.
—Michael Everson   —Michael Everson

 
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, Cnoc Sceichín, Leac an Anfa, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo, Éire, 2012-11-01

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