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Eachdraidh Ealasaid ann an Tìr nan Iongantas
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Scottish Gaelic

Eachdraidh Ealasaid ann an Tìr nan Iongantas

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Scottish Gaelic by Moray Watson

First edition, 2012. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-015-9 (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.”   “An rathad sin,” ars an Cat, a’ smèideadh a spòige deise mun cuairt, “tha Adair a’ fuireach: agus an rathad ud,” a’ smèideadh a spòige eile, “tha Geàrr a’ Mhàirt a’ fuireach. Tadhail air fear seach fear dhiubh mar a thogras tu: tha an dithis aca às an ciall.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.   “Ach chan eil mi airson a bhith am measg dhaoine a tha às an ciall,” thuirt Ealasaid.
“Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”   “O, chan eil atharrach ann,” ars an Cat: “tha sinn uile às ar ciall an seo. Tha mise às mo chiall. Tha thusa às do chiall.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.   “Ciamar a tha fhios agad gu bheil mise às mo chiall?” arsa Ealasaid.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”   “Feumaidh gu bheil,” ars an Cat, “air neo cha bhiodh tu air tighinn an seo.”
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.   ’S e ainm-pinn a th’ ann an Lewis Carroll: b’ e Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ainm ceart an ùghdair agus bha e na òraidiche le Matamataig ann an Colaiste Chrìosd, an Oilthigh Ath nan Damh. Thòisich Dodgson an sgeulachd air a’ 4mh latha den Iuchar 1862, nuair a chaidh e sgrìob ann am bàta-ràimh air an abhainn Thames ann an Ath nan Damh còmhla ris an Urramach Robinson Duckworth, còmhla ri Alice Liddell (a bha deich bliadhna a dh’aois) an nighean aig Deathain Cholaiste Chrìosd, agus còmhla ris an dithis pheathraichean aice, Lorina (a bha trì bliadhna deug), agus Edith (a bha ochd bliadhna a dh’aois). Mar a tha soilleir san dàn aig toiseach an leabhair, dh’iarr na triùir nigheanan air Dodgson sgeulachd innse dhaibh agus thòisich e, gu h-aindeonach an toiseach, a’ chiad dreach den sgeulachd innse dhaibh. Tha tòrr iomraidhean den chòignear aca an leth-fhalach ann am faclan an leabhair fhèin, a chaidh fhoillseachadh mu dheireadh thall ann an 1865.
This book is the first complete translation to Gaelic, although Isabel Graham undertook a version for the 125th anniversary, which was published in Australia. Ms Graham’s translation was very helpful to us initially, as the first few chapters follow the text closely, but the remaining chapters drift away from “translation” and tend more to be free versions.   ’S e an leabhar seo a’ chiad eadar-theangachadh làn gu Gàidhlig, ged a rinn Iseabail Ghreumach dreach dheth airson an 125mh ceann-bliadhna, a chaidh fhoillseachadh ann an Astràilia. Bha an t-eadar-theangachadh aig a’ Bh-Uas Ghreumaich gu math cuideachail dhuinn aig an toiseach, leis gu bheil na ciad chaibideilean a’ leantainn gu dlùth ris an teacs, ach tha na caibideilean eile a’ falbh gu mòr bho ‘eadar-theangachadh’ agus a’ dèanamh air ath-sgrìobhadh.
This book uses spellings according to the current guidelines in Gaelic, the Gaelic Orthographic Conventions (2005). For this reason, there are only grave accents, and the acute accents have been dispensed with entirely. This may be disappointing for some readers, but almost every Gaelic book being published nowadays follows GOC as closely as possible. Despite these principles of newness and modernity, the grammar here is somewhat old-fashioned, in that the dative and genitive cases are used in the ways the textbooks might advise, rather than according to the way Gaelic is spoken today. This was done so that the reading of Ealasaid would have a similar feel to the reading of Alice, in terms of writing style and language usage. On the other hand, there was no need to be excessively old-fashioned with grammar: so, we have the more natural “ÒL MI” and “ITH MI” here, rather than “ÒLTAR MI” and “ITHTEAR MI”.   Tha an leabhar seo a’ cleachdadh litreachadh a rèir nan gnathasan as ùire ann an Gàidhlig, na Gaelic Orthographic Conventions (2005). Air an adhbhar seo, chan eil ach sràcan troma ann, agus tha na sràcan geura a dhìth uile-gu-lèir. Is dòcha gur e briseadh-dùil a bhios ann an seo do chuid de leughadairean, ach cha mhòr nach eil gach leabhar Gàidhlig a thèid fhoillseachadh an latha an-diugh a’ leantainn GOC mar as fheàrr agus as urrainnear. A dh’aindeoin nam prionnsabalan seo de ùrachadh agus ùr-nòsachas, tha an gràmar rudeigin sean-fhasanta, leis gu bheilear a’ cleachd­adh tuisealan tabhartach agus ginideach anns na dòighean a mholadh na leabhraichean-teacs, seach a rèir mar a thathar a’ bruidhinn Gàidhlig san latha an-diugh. Chaidh seo a dhèanamh gus am biodh Ealasaid ri leughadh caran coltach ri Alice ri leughadh, a thaobh stoidhle-sgrìobhaidh agus cleachdadh-cànain. Air an làimh eile, cha robhar ag iarraidh gràmar air leth sean-fhasanta a chleachdadh: mar sin, tha “ÒL MI” agus “ITH MI” againn an seo, an dà chuid nas nàdarraiche na “ÒLTAR MI” agus “ITHTEAR MI”.
Very little has been changed, other than where this was completely necessary. For instance, in Chapter IX, when the Mock Turtle is speaking to Alice, “Sligeanach” (‘Tortoise’) was the name of its teacher in school. In English, there is a pun here, which depends on an English accent in which the words tortoise and taught us sound very alike. In Gaelic, the English idiom “bringing us out of our shells” is calqued here, and it is hoped that the bilingual reader will understand both the meaning (a play on the idea of teaching) and the bilingual pun (with toirt às mimicking tortoise/taught us). The Mock Turtle and the Mouse are female in this book, even though they are male in Carroll’s book. This was done in order to avoid the strange practice of making frequent use of the masculine pronoun e while using a feminine noun that is not a person.   Cha deach mòran atharrachadh, ach far an robh sin gu tur riatanach. Mar eisimpleir, ann an Caibideil IX, nuair a tha an Turtair-mheallta a’ bruidhinn ri Ealasaid, ’s e “Sligean­ach” an t-ainm a bha air an tidsear a bha aice san sgoil. Sa Bheurla, ’s e cainnt-chluich a tha seo, a tha an crochadh air blas Sasannach a tha a’ cluinntinn nam facal tortoise agus taught us gu math faisg air a chèile. Sa Ghàidhlig, thathar a’ cleachdadh gnathas-cainnt Beurla “toirt às ar sligean”, far a bheilear an dòchas gun tuig an leughadair dà-chànanach an dà chuid an ciallachadh (seòrsa de theagasg) agus cainnt-chluich dà-chànanach (le toirt às na ath-aithris air tortoise/taught us). Tha an Turtair-mheallta agus an Luch boireann san leabhar seo, ged a tha iad fireann san leabhar aig Carroll. Rinneadh seo air sgàth ’s gun robh e neònach a bhith a’ cleachdadh ‘e’ cho tric le ainmear boireannta nuair nach b’ e neach a bha sa cheist.
Pat is Irish, and therefore Pàdraig in this book is also Irish. He has a strong accent and speech pattern in the original book, but these are not easy to represent in Gaelic. Therefore, Pàdraig’s speech is bilingual here: he speaks a little Irish (“tá mé anseo”), which would be easy enough for any Gaelic reader to understand, and he also seems to pronounce his Gaelic words with an Irish accent (when he says “ruighe”, he pronounces it as “”). At the same time, Ealasaid and the other characters believe they are speaking Gaelic, rather than Alice’s English: this mirrors the change that has been made in other recent translations that have appeared.   ’S e Èireannach a tha ann am Pat, agus mar sin ’s e Èireannach a tha ann am Pàdraig san leabhar seo cuideachd. Tha blas agus dòigh-labhairt làidir aige san leabhar thùsail, ach chan eil sin furasta a chomharrachadh ann an Gàidhlig. Mar sin, tha còmhradh Phàdraig dà-chànanach an seo: tha beagan Gàidhlig na h-Èireann aige (“tá mé anseo”) a thuigeadh leughadair sam bith le Gàidhlig Albannach, agus tha e coltach gu bheil e ag ràdh faclan Gàidhlig le blas Èireannach (nuair a tha e ag ràdh “ruighe”, tha e ga ràdh mar “”). Aig an aon àm, tha Ealasaid agus na caractaran uile san leabhar seo a’ creidsinn gu bheil iad a’ bruidhinn Gàidhlig, seach a’ Bheurla a tha aig Alice: chaidh an aon seòrsa atharrachadh a dhèanamh anns na h-eadar-theangachaidhean gu cànanan eile a chaidh fhoillseachadh o chionn ghoirid.
I am grateful to Michael Everson for his unstinting assistance. I would also like to thank Professor Colm Ó Baoill and Professor Alan Titley, who read a draft of the book and gave me useful feedback and suggestions. I am especially grateful to my friend Mairead MacIver, a true Gaelic expert, who corrected many errors and made many suggestions for improvements. The book is the better for the efforts of them all, although I myself am responsible for any errors that may remain.   Tha mi fo chomain aig Michael Everson airson gach cuideachadh a thoirt dhomh. Bu toil leam taing a thoirt don Àrd-Oll. Colm Ó Baoill agus don Àrd-Oll. Alan Titley, a leugh dreach den leabhar agus a thug beachdan is cuideachadh feumail dhomh. Tha mi gu h-àraidh taingeil aig mo charaid Mairead NicIomhair, sàr-eòlaiche na Gàidhlig, a chuir iomadh rud ceart agus a mhol iomadh leasachadh. Tha an leabhar nas fheàrr mar thoradh air na h-oidhirpean aca uile, ach ’s e mi fhèin as coireach ma tha mearachdan fhathast ann.
—Moray Watson   —Moray Watson

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

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