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Alice’s Adventirs in Wunnerlaun
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Glaswegian Scots

Alice’s Adventirs in Wunnerlaun

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Glaswegian Scots by Thomas Clark

First edition, 2014. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-070-8 (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.”   That wey,” the Cat said, wavin its right paw, “is the Hatter’s hoose: an that wey,” wavin the ither paw, “is the Merch Hare’s hoose. Go whitever wey ye like: they’re baith aff their heid.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.   “Bit ah don’t want tae meet fowk that’s aff their heid,” Alice said.
“Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”   “Cannae be helped,” said the Cat: “we’re aw aff oor heid here. Ah’m aff ma heid. You’re aff yer heid.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.   “How d’ye know ah’m aff ma heid?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”   “Ye must be,” said the Cat, “or ye widnae be here.”
Cat Clárach
Lewis Carroll wis the pen-name ae Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a professor o mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford. His weel-kent story came aboot while he wis oan a rowin trip up the watter ae the Thames in Oxford oan 4 July 1862. Dodgson wis accompanit oan this outin bi the Rev. Robinson Duckworth an three young lassies: Alice Liddell, the ten-year-auld daughter ae the Dean ae Christ Church, an Alice’s two sisters, Lorina and Edith, who wir thirteen an eight. As ye kin tell fae the poem at the stairt, the three lassies begged Dodgson fir a story, an so he went oan tae tell them, wioot a hale loat ae enthusiasm tae begin wi, an early version ae the story that wis tae become Alice’s Adventirs in Wunnerlaun. Acause ae this, there’s a fair few refrences tae the five traivellers in the boat hauf-hidden away throo-oot the text ae the book, which wis published eventually in 1865.   Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics don in Christ Church, Oxford. His famous tale originated during a rowing trip on the Thames in Oxford on 4 July 1862. Dodgson was accompanied on this outing by the Rev. Robinson Duckworth and three young girls: Alice Liddell, the ten-year-old daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and Alice’s two sisters, Lorina and Edith, who were thirteen and eight. As is clear from the introductory poem, the three girls begged Dodgson for a story, and so he began to tell them, reluctantly at first, an early version of the story that was to become Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As a result there are a number of half-hidden references made to the five travellers in the boat throughout the text of the book itself, which was finally published in 1865.
Glaswegian, the dialect ae Scots spoke mainly in Glesca an the surroondin coonty ae Lanarkshire, differs mainly fae ither Scots dialect in the range an variety ae its influences. Glesca’s pairt in the 18th Century transatlantic trade o Great Britain, an its later expansion intae an industrial pooer in its ain right, saw the toon turn intae a meltin pot ae cultural differences. Linguistically, the maist important immigrants bi faur wir the Irish an the Scottish Hielanmen, who settlt in Glesca in their droves. The vowel soonds ae Glaswegian, mebbe its maist significant distinguishing merks, owe much tae the pronunciation ae the city’s Irish an Hielan incomers.   Glaswegian, the dialect of Scots spoken principally in Glasgow and the surrounding county of Lanarkshire, differs primarily from other Scots dialect in the range and variety of its influences. Glasgow’s role in the 18th Century trans­atlantic trade of Great Britain, and its later expansion into a bona fide industrial power, saw the city become a thorough­fare of cultural differences. Linguistically, the most impor­tant immigrants by far were the Irish and the Scottish Highlanders, who settled in Glasgow in great numbers. The vowel sounds of Glaswegian, which are perhaps its most significant distinguishing marks, owe much to the pronunciation of the city’s Irish and Highlander incomers.
It’s wirth notin that the establishment ae a standart written Scots is still an oangawin process, specially when it comes tae regional dialects. In the Glaswegian Alice ah’ve used standart Scots spellins where sich spellins exist (“deid”, “doon”, “didnae”) bit as well as that, ah’ve used phonetic spellins an coinages fir wirds where there’s nae current con­sensus fir standart spellin, ir where Glaswegian pronun­ciation is different in important weys frae that ae Standart Scots (“coarner”, “yeez”, “jaur”). Seein as Glaswegian pro­nunciations are awfy context-sensitive, this means ye’ll oaften find two different spellins ae the same wird, likesay baith “everythin” an “everyhin” fir “every­thing”. Ah’ve bent aer backwarts tae avoid apologetic apostrophes, bit fir some Glaswegian contraction ae standart English ir Scots wirds, specially wans in the past tense or usin glottal stoaps (like “unsettl’t”), an apostrophe wis the neatest wey ae reflectin Glaswegian pronunciation.   It is worth noting that the establishment of a standard written Scots is still very much an ongoing process, particularly when it comes to regional dialects. In the Glas­wegian Alice I have used standard Scots spellings where such spellings exist (“deid”, “doon”, “didnae”) but also some phonetic spellings and coinages for words where there is currently no consensus for standard spelling, or where Glaswegian pronunciation differs significantly from that of Standard Scots (“coarner”, “yeez”, “jaur”). As Glaswegian pronunciations are often context-sensitive, this has resulted in occasional alternative spellings of the same word, such as both “everythin” and “everyhin” for “everything”. I’ve tried desperately to avoid apologetic apostrophes, but for some Glaswegian contractions of standard English or Scots words, particularly those in the past tense or involving glottal stops (such as “unsettl’t”), an apostrophe represented the neatest way of reflecting Glaswegian pronunciation.
A language mair spoke than written, Glaswegian’s goat an awfy wee functional vocabulary when it comes tae some hings. The synonyms ae “weeping” that git used aw through Alice, fir instance—“crying”, “sobbing”, “shedding tears” an aw that—hiv aw goat totally different connotations fae each ither, an could aw be translatit, mair ir less, intae direct Glaswegian equivalents. Bit in actual spoken practice the Glaswegian wird “greetin” wid jist be used fir them aw, an so it’s whit ah’ve stuck tae here. Bi the same token, aw Alice’s various degrees ae “smallness” are cover’t in Glaswegian simply bi “wee” an “totey”. Oan the ither haun, there’s certain areas where Glaswegian enjoys a full an rich vocabulary—insults, expressions ae scepticism, etc.—an in thae aspects ah’ve gave it the full whack as faur as the local colour ae the dialect goes.   A language more often spoken than written, Glaswegian has a fairly limited functional vocabulary. The various synonyms of “weeping” which appear throughout Alice, for example—“crying”, “sobbing”, “shedding tears” etc.—bear different tonal connotations from one another, and are all translatable, in theory, into direct Glaswegian equivalents. Nevertheless, in actual spoken practice the Glaswegian word “greetin” would be employed for all, and so is preferred here. Similarly, Alice’s numerous degrees of smallness are adequately covered in Glaswegian simply by “wee” and “totey”. Conversely, there are certain areas in which Glaswegian enjoys a full and rich vocabulary—insults, expressions of scepticism, etc.—and in these aspects I have allowed full rein to the local colour of the dialect.
Ah’m hopin that this Glaswegian Alice has the meanin ae the original, but casts its subtle emphases in ither directions. The Glaswegian wey ae hings in storytellin tends tae pit the brunt oan character an dialogue, an this is suhin ah’ve tried keenly tae reflect. Glaswegian, fir wan reason ir anither, is a dialect ae Scots no mony translaters tend tae use. Where Glaswegian translations ae major wirks dae exist, but, thir a staun-oot fir thir gallusness, thir banter, an a kindae storm-damaged coammun-sense that straddles the boarder atween whimsy an practicality. It’s in reflectin this aspect ae Carroll’s original, above aw, that ah hope this Glaswegian Alice is able tae succeed.   It is my hope that this Glaswegian Alice retains the meaning of the original whilst casting its subtle emphases elsewhere. The Glaswegian accent in storytelling tends principally to be upon character and dialogue, and this tendency I have endeavoured keenly to reflect. Glaswegian, for one reason or another, is a dialect of Scots which few translators choose to work in. Where Glaswegian transla­tions of major works do exist, however, they are charac­terized immediately by their liveliness, their wit, and a certain kind of eccentric common-sense which straddles the border between whimsy and practicality. It is in retaining this aspect of Carroll’s original, above all, that I hope this Glaswegian Alice manages to succeed.

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2014-12-01

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