September 2016 | Nate Pedersen

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Translated into Scots

chairlie and the chocolate works.jpgCharlie and the Chocolate Factory has been translated into Scots, redubbed Chairlie and the Chocolate Works, and published by Black and White Publishing in celebration of the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth. The novel joins Scots translations from earlier this year of The BFG, The Twits, and George's Marvellous Medicine, retitled respectively The Guid Freendly Giant, The Eejits, and Geordie's Mingin Medicine.

The Dahl books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, were translated into Scots by Scottish poet and novelist Matthew Fitt.

At a Scottish Book Trust event last month, Fitt said it was particularly difficult to translate Dahl's many invented words into Scots. In Chairlie and the Chocloate Works, the Oompa-Loompas became the Heedrum-Hodrums:

"I took ages trying to get one for that," he said. "You think a oompa, well it's kinda got a oompa, it's a kinda trombone sound, oompa, oompa, stick it your joompa feel to it, there's a musical element. And I was thinking, well how dae ye, ye dae wi this? And I had lots of ideas. I remembered there's a great word for old-fashioned Scottish music ... which is Heedrum-Hodrum and so once I'd settled on that, that was it."

For language-lovers, Scots translations of the Dahl novels will be a real treat. Indeed, the Scots translations have no less a fan than Quentin Blake himself, famed illustrator of Dahl's novels, who, Fitt said, keeps a copy of The Eejits on his mantelpiece, calling it his favorite edition of any of the Dahl books he worked on.


Image Courtesy of Black and White Publishing.