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Alis Advencha ina Wandalan
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Jamaican Creole

Alis Advencha ina Wandalan

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Jamaican Creole by Tamirand Nnena De Lisser

First edition, 2016. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Portlaoise: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-154-5 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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“Ina da direkshan de,” di Pus se, a wiev roun im rait paa, “wahn Hat-Man liv: an ina da direkshan de,” a wiev di ada paa, “wahn Maach-Hier liv. Luk fi eni wan a dem yu waahn luk fa: di tuu a dem mad.”   “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.”
“Bot mi no waahn go mongks mad piipl,” Alis ansa.   “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oo, yu kyaahn elp dat,” di Pus se: “aal a wi mad ya so. Mi mad. Yu mad.”   “Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“Ou yu nuo mi mad?” Alis aks.   “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“Yu mos mad,” di Pus se, “ar yu wudn kom ya.”   “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”
Cat Clárach
Luwis Karal a wahn nik-niem: Chaalz Lutwij Dadsn a did di riil niem a di man wa rait di buk, an im did a wahn lekchara ina Mats a di Krais Chorch a Aksfod. Dadsn staat di tuori pan Julai 4, 1862, wen im did go pan wahn jorni ina wahn kanu pan di riva Tiemz ina Aksfod wid Revren Rabinsn Dokwort, an Alis Lidel (ten ier uol) di Diin fi Krais Chorch daata, an wid ar tuu sista dem, Lorina (tortiin ier uol), an Iidit (iet ier uol). Laik ou di payem a di staat a di buk shuo klier klier, di chrii gyal dem aks Dadsn fi tel dem wahn tuori an duo at fos im neehn riili waahn fi dwiit, im staat fi tel dem di fos vorjhan a di tuori. Duo no so klier, di faiv a dem get menshan woliip a taim ina di uol buk, wa aftaraal did get poblish ina 1865.   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.
Wan onjred an fifti ier lieta, mi did glad wen Jan Linset, di mien edita a Alice in a World of Wonderlands (wahn buk wa av in som chransilieshan a Luwis Karal tap-a-tap wok ina 174 langwij) lingk mi fi du wahn chransilieshan ina Jamiekan Patwa. Im lingk mi op siem tiem wid Maikal Evasn, di poblisha uu put out woliip a di edishan dem fi di chransilieshan dem. Tangks tu dem tuu man ya Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland nou de ina Jamiekan Patwa.   A hundred and fifty years later, I was delighted to be contacted by Jon Lindseth, the general editor of Alice in a World of Wonder­lands (a book of translations of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece in 174 languages), for a translation in Jamaican Creole. He immediately put me in contact with Michael Everson, the publisher who has published many editions of the translations. Thanks to these two gentlemen Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is now in Jamaican Creole.
It gud se Karal tap-a-tap buk de ina wahn neda langwij, bot ina dis ya kies ya, it beta fi di langwij. Jamiekan Kriyuol, wa piipl uu lov it kaal Jamiekan Patwa, a di langwij ina Jamieka alangsaid Ingglish, di langwij wa muos a di Patwa wod dem kom fram, bot fi ierz ya nou piipl maak it out fi bi wahn bad wie fi chat Ingglish. A onggl roun 40 ier abak piipl wa stodi langwij rekagnaiz se Jamiekan Patwa a wahn ful langwij ina itself. Jamiekan Patwa, wa spred woliip chuu wi myuuzik, de aal uova di worl an a wahn langwij wa wi lov woliip, wa shou uu wi bi an dat wi proud a we wi kom fram. Duo it de bout fi ova 300 ier ya nou, an bout 2.8 miliyan piipl a yaad chat it, an uova 1.8 miliyan muor abraad, stil muos a di taim a jos chat piipl yuuz it fa. Rait ya nou dem a du woliip a sitn fi tiich piipl uu chat Jamiekan Patwa fi riid an rait it tu. Frejrik Kyasidi did kom op wid wahn wie fi rait it fraa ina di 1960z an no tuu lang ago di Jamiekan Langwij Yuunit did chienj it op likl bit, an a it wi yuuz fi du dis ya buk ya nou. Wi put iin wahn likl sitn fi elp piipl uu waahn fi riid di buk bot uu no nuo ou fi riid di prapa wie ou it rait.   It is good that Carroll’s work of art is in yet another language, but in this case, it is better for the language. Jamaican Creole, affectionately called Jamaican Patwa, operates in Jamaica alongside English, its lexifier language, but has over the years been stigmatized as “bad English”. It is only around 40 years ago that linguists have recognized Jamaican Creole as a language in itself. Jamaican Creole, as primarily transmitted globally by our music, is known world-wide and is a well-loved symbol of our identity and national pride. Despite over 300 years of its existence, with approximately 2.8 million speakers at home and over 1.8 million in the diaspora, it however remains primarily an oral language. Initiatives are now being made to teach speakers how to read and write in Jamaican Creole. An orthography developed by Frederic Cassidy in the 1960s was recently modified by the Jamaican Language Unit, and has been used for the present work. A guide has been included to help readers who are not knowledgeable of the standard writing system.
Di chransilieshan a Alice Adventures in Wonderland did chienj op likl bit so dat it mek sens ina di Jamiekan sityuie­shan and kolcha, an dat it kyan bi nais fi di piipl dem wa a go riid it. Farinstans wen Alis did a sen prezent go gi ar fut nier di “Fenda” wudn mek no sens ina di wie ou wi liv a Jamieka, kaa Jamieka a wahn hat konchri wa no niid no hiit frahn no faiya-plies. Wahn neks egzampl a wen shi chat bout shi a go chravl pan di “rielwie”, wa wi no du nou a diez ina Jamieka. Wahn sitn wa meks sens fi wi ischri a fi muuv out “Wiliyam di Kangkara” uu did atak Ingglan an put “Admiral Jan-Baptis du Kas”, uu did atak Jamieka. Di maisi tuori get chienj op tu fi shuo sitn wa gud bout di ailan Jamieka frahn lang taim til nou, rada dan sitn bout Ingglish ischri. Fordamuor, ina dis ya buk ya, wi mek shuor se wi tingk bout di woliip a difrant wie wa piipl chat Jamiekan Patwa. Wan sitn wa klier klier a ou som piipl jrap aaf di h frahn di staat a som wod, an chrai fi karek dat, an en op a put di h soun we no h soun no fi de. Wi shuo dis ina di wie ou Pat chat ina Chapta IV, we farinstans im kaal han laka an and apl laka hapl.   This translation of Alice Adventures in Wonderland was marginally modified so as to apply to the Jamaican context and culture, and to appeal to its readers. For example Alice addressing presents to her feet near the “Fender” would not be applicable to the Jamaican situation, being a tropical country without the need for heat from a fireplace. Another example is her reference to travelling by railway which is not a modern day practice in Jamaica. Of historical interest is the change of “William the Conqueror” who invaded England to “Admiral Jean-Baptiste du Casse”, who invaded Jamaica. The mouse’s tale was also modified to reflect something of historical and current interest about the island of Jamaica, rather than English history. Additionally, the different varieties of Jamaican Creole were given consideration in this book. Notably, is the tendency for some speakers to drop the initial h from some words, and to hypercorrect, by putting the h sounds in places where there is no historical h. This was captured in the speech of Pat in Chapter IV, for example where han ‘hand’ was pronounced as an and apl ‘apple’ was pronounced as hapl.
Da chansilieshan ya mek wi av muor sitn wa rait ina Jamiekan Patwa, wa evribadi kyan get iizi iizi, wa pruuv se Jamiekan Patwa a no onggl wahn langwij wa piipl chat, nar it no onggl kyan yuuz fi rait payem, an sang, an likl chit-chat ina di nyuuz-piepa a yaad. Mi uop se da chransilieshan ya (plos Di Likl Prins, mi chransilieshan a Antuan de Sient-Eksuperi Le Petit Prince) wi bi wahn wie fi elp piipl lorn fi riid an rait ina Jamiekan Patwa, an it wi gi Jamiekan pikni, an di big sumadi dem wa fiil laka dem a pikni diip dong ina dem aat, klasikal tuori ina dem uona langwij.   This translation increases the number of accessible written material in Jamaican Creole, proving that Jamaican Creole is not confined to being an oral language, nor is the written form only restricted to poems, songs, and small excerpts in the local newspaper. It is my hope that this translation (in addition to Di Likl Prins, my previous translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince) will be used as a medium for increasing literacy in Jamaican Creole, and to provide Jamaican children, and adults who are young at heart, with classical stories in their own language.
—Tamirand Nnena De Lisser
Geneva, Maach 2016
  —Tamirand Nnena De Lisser
Geneva, March 2016

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2016-03-21

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