Great Scottish Books to get a Scottish translation


Works such as Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Peter Pan are set to get the Scottish treatment in a new project designed to promote the language.

Braw Beginnings is being held as part of the Scottish Year of Stories, with Scottish Language Ambassador Alistair Heather leading the work for VisitScotland.

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Mr Heather said: “This project is fun. It gives us a new way of looking at literature that we know well. And it gives us a chance to enjoy the Scottish language in a new environment. It is a re-exploration.

“We have much to be proud of here. Two things I love to introduce visitors and newcomers to Scotland are our literature and the joy of the Scottish language. This project emphasizes both. I hope people enjoy it and enjoy discovering how much the writing has to do with Scotland.

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“A love of literature and a complex multilingualism have marked all of Scotland for centuries. Since we have been around for 100 years, the state language has been Gaelic, Scottish and then English. All three contribute to their history, their present and their literature.”

With 1.5 million speakers, Scots is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Scotland, according to the 2011 Scottish Census. A further 267,000 people said they could understand Scots, but not read, write or speak language.

Scottish Language Ambassador Alistair Heather will lead the translation work for Visit Scotland. Photo: BBC Alba.

VisitScotland said inspiration for the project came from Scottish Twitter, with some saying the site had helped revive the use of Scots in the 21st century.

Marie Christie, Head of Events Development for VisitScotland, said: “This project sees some of the world’s best-known books with Scottish links translated into Scots to introduce the language to an even wider audience. We hope this will encourage visitors to try speaking some Scots and learn more about the language while on holiday here, especially during the Scottish Year of Stories.

“Scottish and the country’s other languages ​​are all part of our unique culture, which can only truly be experienced in Scotland, enhancing the experience that we know means so much to visitors.”


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