Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ghosties, numpties and dominies everywhere-

Scotland may be the home of Hogwarts and the place where author JK Rowling wrote her epic serial of wizardry and magic. But only this year will its wee bairns get the chance to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Scots, 20 years after it was first published.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane is being translated by Matthew Fitt for publication in October by tiny Scottish imprint Itchy Coo, part of Black & White publishing. It will be the 80th translation of the first book in a series that has sold more than 450m copies worldwide.

“It’s a book I’ve always wanted to translate,” said Fitt, an expert in the Scots language who has brought various children’s classics and bestsellers into Scots for the first time. They include Roald Dahl’s The Eejits and Chairlie and the Chocolate Works, as well as David Walliams’s Mr Mingin and Billionaire Bairn.

Though still working on the translation, Fitt and his publisher released the opening paragraph, which reads: “Mr and Mrs Dursley, o nummer fower, Privet Loan, were prood tae say that they were gey normal, thank ye awfie muckle. They were the lest fowk ye wid jalouse wid be taigled up wi onythin unco or ferlie, because they jist widnae hae onythin tae dae wi joukery packery like yon.”

In his first adventure, Harry leaves the cruel Dursley family to attend Hogwarts wizarding school, which has long been understood to be based somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, where Scots speakers exist in their highest numbers.

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