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L’s Aventuthes d’Alice en Êmèrvil’lie
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Jèrriais

L’s Aventuthes d’Alice en Êmèrvil’lie

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Jèrriais by Geraint Jennings

First edition, 2011. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-904808-82-4 (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.”   “Par chu bord-, “qu’lé Cat fit, sîngnalant d’sa patte dêtre, “d’meuthe lé Sieur Bill Tappeur, un marchand d’chapieaux: et par chu bord-,” sîngnalant d’l’aut’ patte, “d’meuthe un Lièvre Mémothabl’ye. Vîsite l’iun ou l’aut’, s’tu veurs: i’ sont fos touos les deux.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.   “Mais j’n’veurs pon aller siez des fos,” qu’Alice èrmèrtchit.
“Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”   “Ch’est vrai et ch’est fo,” qu’lé Cat fit: “J’sommes touos fos ichîn. Mé, j’sis fo. Té, tu’es folle.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.   “Coumme tchi qu’tu sai qué j’sis folle?” qu’Alice démandit.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”   “Té v’là folle,” qu’lé Cat fit, “car autrément tu n’séthais pon v’nue ichîn.”
Cat Clárach
Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), an English nonsense writer and a mathematician at Christ Church, University of Oxford. He spent time with the Liddell family: Henry Liddell, the Dean of the College, had a large number of children, and Carroll used to tell stories to little Alice (born in 1852) and to her two sisters, Lorina and Edith. One day—it was the 4th July 1862—Carroll, his friend, the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, and the three girls went on a rowing trip to have a picnic. During this trip along the river, Carroll told a story about a girl called Alice and her adventures down a rabbit-hole. Alice asked him to write this story down for her, and eventually Carroll completed a manuscript version. After rewriting, the story was published in book form in 1865, and since then versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have been made in many languages. And now, here is a Jèrriais version.   Lewis Carroll ’tait l’nom d’plieunme à Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), un auteu Angliais d’niolîn et un cartchuleux au Collège Christ Church dé l’Unnivèrsité d’Oxford. I’ pâssait du temps auve la fanmil’ye Liddell: Henry Liddell, lé Douoyen du Collège, avait eune racachie d’mousses, et Carroll soulait raconter d’s histouaithes à la p’tite Alice (née en 1852) et à ses deux soeurs, Lorina et Edith. Un jour—ch’fut l’4 dé Juilet 1862—Carroll, sén anmîn, l’Révérend Robinson Duckworth, et les trais fil’yes fîtent eune pronm’nade en baté à nagi à seule fîn d’aller piquenitchi. Duthant chutte touônnée avaû la riviéthe, Carroll niolinnit entouor eune fil’ye tch’avait nom Alice et ses aventuthes ava un creux d’lapîn. Alice lî d’mandit d’êcrithe ch’t’ histouaithe-chîn pouor lyi, et à la fîn Carroll en ag’vit eune vèrsion en mannuscrit. Auprès d’la rêcrithie, l’histouaithe fut publiée en livre en 1865, épis l’s Aventuthes d’Alice en Êmèrvil’lie ont ’té translatées en un fliotchet d’langues. Et achteu, né v’chîn eune vèrsion Jèrriaise.
Jèrriais is the Norman language of Jersey, the language of Wace, the 12th century Jersey-born Norman poet and historian, and now of Alice as well. When Alice listens to the Mouse talking about the history of William the Conqueror, we recall that our Duke William spoke Norman, and that the history of the Dukes of Normandy was recounted in the Norman language by Wace. And Jersey people who still speak our language will be able to read Alice’s adventures and recognize some of our good old nonsense tradition in them.   Lé Jèrriais est la langue Nouormande dé Jèrri, la langue dé Wace et achteu d’Alice étout. Quand Alice êcoute la Souothis tchi pâle dé l’histouaithe dé Dgilliaume lé Contchérant, ch’est qu’Dgilliaume, not’ Duc, pâlait l’Nouormand, et qu’l’histouaithe des Ducs dé Nouormandie fut racontée en Nouormand par Wace. Et les Jèrriais tchi d’visent acouo dans not’ langue pouôrront liéthe les aventuthes d’Alice et y r’connaître lé bouôn vièr niolîn.
For, you see, this Alice is no longer Lewis Carroll’s young Oxford friend. No indeed, my Alice is a Jersey girl, whose topsy-turvy adventures are not taking place in England, but in Jersey, and everyone is talking nonsense in Jèrriais. For example: this Alice thinks that the Mouse might have been among those French forces who invaded Jersey on 6th January 1781 under the Baron de Rullecourt and who were defeated at the Battle of Jersey; when the King of Hearts is presiding over the court, he wears the traditional headgear of Jersey judges, rather than the wig of an English judge; and there is steamed pudding and black butter and toads and traditional sayings.   Car viy’-ous, ch’t’ Alice-chîn n’est d’aut’ pus à co la janne anmie Oxfordgienne à Lewis Carroll. Nan-dgia, m’n Alice à mé, oulle est Jèrriaise: nou n’est pon à niolinner en Angliétèrre, mais en Jèrri, et nou-s’y baille d’sa becque en Jèrriais. Par exempl’ye, Alice y crait qu’la Souothis éthait peu êt’ du nombre des Français tchi vîntent en Jèrri l’6 d’Janvyi 1781 acanté l’Baron d’Rullecourt et tchi r’chûtent eune slîndgeûthe à la Batâle dé Jèrri; lé Rouai d’Tchoeu, en présidant la cour, n’est pon coêffi d’eune pèrruque mais d’un toque coumme un bouôn vièr Juge d’la Cour Rouoyale dé Jèrri; épis acouo y’a du podîn d’flieu et du nièr beurre et des crapauds et des ditons.
—Geraint Jennings   —Geraint Jennings

 
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, Cnoc Sceichín, Leac an Anfa, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo, Éire, 2012-02-01

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