George Orwell’s classic ‘Animal Farm’ is being published into Scots for the first time.
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George Orwell’s classic ‘Animal Farm’ is being published into Scots for the first time.

George Orwells’ classic novella Animal Farm, translated into over 70 languages to date, is about to become the pride of the Scots.

Orwell’s classic, which famously tells the story about a group of farm animals who rebel against their human owner, is set to be translated into Scots – a collective name for Scottish dialects, Doric, Lallans, and Scotch, and is one of three native languages spoken in Scotland today, the other two being English and Scottish Gaelic.

Orwell famously wrote some of his work on the island of Jura and was very familiar with the people and their language. Animal Farm has been given the green light with thanks to generous funding from the Scots language publication grant. 

animal farm novella
Credit: MetroUK

First published in 1945, the classic novella has already been translated into Gaelic by Luath Press, which said: ‘We are very confident Thomas Clark will create a superb rendering of the book in Scots, and Orwell himself would have approved, given his comments on Scottish linguistic culture.’

Scottish poet and writer Thomas Clark is set to take on the translation and is best known for his writing in Scots, and football.

As well as Animal Farm, eight other titles to receive translation include Birds and Beasties: Scots Poems For Bairns, written by J.K. Annand, and Liberties, by Peter Bennett. 

Check out the full list of titles below.

Birds and Beasties: Scots Poems For Bairns, published by Itchy Coo. Written by J.K. Annand, edited by Matthew Fitt and James Robertson.

Cedric The Flapper Skate, published by Doric Books CIC, written by Jackie Ross and edited by Gordon Hay.

Da Hametrowe Almanac volume 1, published by Gaada, written by Roseanne Watt and Marjolein Robertson.

Liberties, published by Rymour Books, written by Peter Bennett.

Mum And William Wordsworth, self-published and written by Julie Kennedy.

Sangs That Sing Sae Sweit (50 Years o Lallans Poetry), published by Scots Language Society, edited by William Hershaw, Elaine Morton and Derrick McClure.

The Ballads And Songs Of Carrick, published by the Girvan Traditional Folk Festival, original author Rev Roderick Lawson, edited by Neil McDermott.

The King O’ The Cats, self-published, written and illustrated by Paul Tonner, translated by Dr Michael Dempster.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: ‘The Scottish government is pleased to continue its support of the Scots publication grant for a fourth year. There is a huge appetite for books in Scots and we have seen how this funding supports a range of exceptional talent, in a variety of genres, and clearly demonstrates Scots is thriving.

‘To write these books in our mother tongue allows for the descriptions, names, and stories to come across in their truth and hopefully encourage the continued use of dialect in our home.’