J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have been translated into dozens of different languages, allowing for fans of witchcraft and wizardry from across the globe to get in on the magical adventure. But there is perhaps no translation quite as fascinating as the latest addition: Scots.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
Thanks to Matthew Fitt, Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone has been translated into the Scots language (commonly spoken in Lowland Scotland) for the first time and it’s… something to behold. Technically speaking, Scots is a dialect related to English, and to read it in text form you can get a sense of the linguistic relationship between Scots and variations of English you might be more accustomed to seeing.
At the same time, however, you can’t help but immediately read Harry Potter in the thickest Scottish accent you can imagine the moment you start reading the Scots version. It’s a lot. Actually transcribing text from the book is an excellent way to pick a fight with your keyboard’s autocorrect feature – it’s easier to just check out a screenshot and drink it all in.
As Nerdist points out, most of the book’s proper nouns are largely unchanged in the Scots adaptation, but a number of things such as Dumbiedykes (Dumbledore) and Bizzumbaw (Quidditch) are entirely different.
You’re probably going to want to pick up a Scots-to-English dictionary if you’re going to attempt to read this book, but if you want the best possible experience, you’ve gotta hear Fitt himself read some of it on NPR first.