Harry Potter novel finally gets Scots translation

J.K. Rowling famously wrote the very first novel in the Harry Potter series sitting in an Edinburgh café, while she was a single mother struggling to live on state benefits.

This October, two decades after its initial release, the global phenomenon that is ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ is set to be published in a native-tongue Scots version. The event will mark the 80th translation of the book which to date has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.

Publishers Itchy Coo, who are part of the Black & White Publishing group, have expressed their eagerness to get the book out onto the shelves. The company was originally set up to help revive the traditional Scots language, mainly to stir the interest of new generations in the language of the famous Scot, Robert Burns.

Burns is considered to have done a great service to the Scots community by continuing to write novels and poetry in his native language, while many of his kinsfolk chose to abandon it as a literary medium.

According to figures released in 2015, over 87,000 Scottish nationals claim to have at least some understanding of the Scots language.

In Harry Potter’s first adventure he leaves his cruel adopted family to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts has long been understood to have been based somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, where Scots speakers exist in their highest numbers. So a Scots translation of Harry Potter is long overdue, and very appropriate.

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