THE Burns season is almost upon us and tickets to suppers throughout the country – and, indeed, the world – are going fast.
But many people shy away from the work of Robert Burns because they don’t understand the language.
They miss out on his perceptive comments on human life and his humour, put off by words they just don’t know.
Now, hot on the heels of last week’s article on the translation of Asterix into Scots, we feature an English “translation” of some of our Bard’s best-loved work.
It came about because Richard Stenlake, managing director of publishers Stenlake but born to Scottish and English parents, also struggled with Burns.
He approached Biggar author Ann Matheson and she has now produced The Essential Robert Burns, aimed at non-Scots speakers who’ve never quite ‘got’ Burns.
It has Ann’s translations running line for line alongside the original Scots.
In notes, she demolishes the other stumbling block, explaining the 18th century cultural or religious ideas Burns was attacking.
“The purpose of the book is to make Burns more accessible to people of all ages and all backgrounds,” explained Ann, a retired teacher who has a degree in Scottish literature.
For more on this story pick up a copy of the Carluke and Lanark Gazette, which is in the shops now.