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International reads & resources > Best books & stories derived from Ancient British languages

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message 1: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Aye-aye min an welcome tae braw reads geets s buik club.

fàilte air club leabhraichean chloinne a leughadh gu math.

fáilte roimh chlub leabhar leanaí a léamh go maith.

Mae croeso i chi ddarllen clwb llyfrau plant yn dda.

In case you haven't twigged this is a group to share children's books and traditional stories in native British languages other than English. English translations and stories from those non-Anglo Saxon areas who's language is dead or dying but whose culture is still alive and kicking (Norn and Manx for example.) are also welcome.

I have a smattering of Doric, Welsh and Scots Gaelic but would appreciate any assistance from speakers/readers of these languages and other Ancient British languages in the moderating of this group.


message 2: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Ps. Channel Islands and Faeroe Islands are also included in this group. :-)


message 3: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Now this author is Canadian, but Caroline Stellings has a picture book that is dual language English and Gaelic

Skippers Save The Stone = Na Sgiobairean Agus An Lia Fail


message 4: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 30, 2017 12:04PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Another dual language English/Gaelic picture book by a Canadian author is Heartsong/Ceol Criohe by Maxine Trottier (about a fiddle and how it has sustained generations of a family, set in Cape Breton, of course).


message 5: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Thanks Manybooks. Canada is a great source for Gaelic books, there is a Scottish saying .... the best Scots Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and the best English in Inverness


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Elspeth wrote: "Thanks Manybooks. Canada is a great source for Gaelic books, there is a Scottish saying .... the best Scots Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and the best English in Inverness"

And there is a song by Spirit of the West (a Canadian folk rock band) that is called The Old Sod (and part of the lyrics say that there are none more Scots than the Scots abroad).


message 7: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Too true!


message 8: by Elspeth (last edited Dec 30, 2017 12:46PM) (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments I would like to recomend for the Norn selection
Da Peesterleeties and da Curse o da Njuggle by
Vallerie Watt

You wont find a njuggle outside the Norn area and it is a true delight to read a modern story that so effortlessly weaves the remnants of Norn, English and that unique dialect that comes from the mixing of the two.

As I will have to manually add most Norn and Doric books to Goodreads it may take a while for the list to build. Da Peesterleeties and da Curse o da Njuggle is by far the best Norn book I have come across to date.


message 9: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2472 comments Mod
Elspeth wrote: "Thanks Manybooks. Canada is a great source for Gaelic books, there is a Scottish saying .... the best Scots Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and the best English in Inverness"

LOL!


message 10: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Whilst books written in Norn are few and far between our folklore is abundant. The most famous of these is Assipattle and the Mester Stoorworm: The Scottish Legend a tremendous adventure that gives hope to all small boys that one day they might just be the hero of the hour.


message 11: by Manybooks (last edited Jan 01, 2018 06:12AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
The Tintin books have been translated into many many languages, including Welsh and Cornish. I have found a number of them in the GR database, and while I do not think they represent ALL of the available Welsh and Cornish translations of Tintin, it is I think a pretty good start.

CORNISH

The Crab with the Golden Claws
An Kanker Ha'y Dhiwbaw Owrek

The Black Island
An Ynys Dhu

WELSH

The Black Island
Cyfres Anturiaethau Tintin: Yr Ynys Ddu

Cigars of the Pharaoh
Cyfres Anturiaethau Tintin: Mwg Drwg y Pharo

The Crab with the Golden Claws
Y Cranc A'r Crafangau Aur

The Calculus Affair
Cyfres Anturiaethau Tintin: Cawl Erfyn Efflwfia

Land of Black Gold
Cyfres Anturiaethau Tintin: Anialwch yr Aur Du

The Blue Lotus
Tintin: Alaw'r Dwr

Well I do not know either Welsh or Cornish, but looking at some of the titles, you can sure tell that the two languages are related.


message 12: by Manybooks (last edited Jan 01, 2018 06:16AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
This is an English language book of collected Cornish folk and fairly tales by Shirley Climo (but many Cornish words are indeed used in the stories, and there is actually a glossary of Cornish words at the back). Hope to read this soon, as it looks perfect.

Magic And Mischief: Tales from Cornwall


message 13: by Elspeth (last edited Sep 07, 2018 04:37PM) (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments The following books are the same story "Am I Small" in different British languages.


Irish Gaelic
Tá mé beag?: Children's Picture Book

Welsh
Ydw I'n Fach?

Scots Gealic
A Bheil Mi Beag?: Children's Picture Book

Cornish
Ov byghan (I can't find it on Goodreads so here is the amazon link.)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ov-byghan-Ch...


message 14: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Norn now has some new books and it is hoped that this injection of fresh literature will help the language grow stronger.

Please note I am the translator for these books however I do not receive any kind of royalty or financial gain from the sale of these books.

Again apologies but I can't find some of them on Goodreads add book system..... I know they are in there somewhere.......


In Here, Out There! I Hanna, Ur Dar!

Egbert venjder røð

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Egbert-Turns...

Am I small? Er Eg Hjokk?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/small-hjokk-...


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Thank you for all you do to preserve languages!


message 16: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments FREE DOWNLOAD 22nd Nov 08:00 -23:00 GMT

As part of Scottish Book Week the following British native language books will be available to download for free on 22nd November.


Nynorn/Norn:

"Am I small? Er eg hjokk?":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KB4F36B

"In Here, Out There! I hanna, ur dar!":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KBCC4FD

"Five Yards of Time/Fimm Ålen Far":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KC2JKW4

"The Safest Place in the World/Ståbiasti skuggi i jarden":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K7THDHC

"Egbert venjder røð" (always free):
http://www.philippwinterberg.com/proj...

Cornish:

"Am I small? Ov byghan?":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KB63JBJ

Scottish Gaelic:

"In Here, Out There! A-steach an seo, a-mach an sin!":
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ZMKJPNQ

"Fàsaidh Egbert dearg" (always free):
http://www.philippwinterberg.com/proj...


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Excellent!
Maybe you'd like to post a reminder in the chat thread closer to the date....
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Excellent!
Maybe you'd like to post a reminder in the chat thread closer to the date....
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."


And will they also be available in the USA and Canada?


message 19: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Good Question...... I'll ask the publisher.

I think they are only available on amazon.co.uk but you can still set up an account and download it to an American/Canadian computer. I often buy stuff through amazon.de that I can't get on .co.uk


message 20: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 26, 2018 06:38AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Norn Min Buk 1

When I checked your list of books, Elspeth, I could not resist getting the first of your Norn language books (and even though there are a few aspects that I as a foreign language teacher have found a trifle confusing, I really did enjoy myself, and learned a lot, and will more than likely get the second book as well).

Now I do have one question about Norn as a language in and of itself. On Wikipedia, it is claimed that Norn is extinct and has been extinct for quite a while. And indeed, if that is not true, then perhaps this needs to be changed (I do not know enough about Norn to sufficiently edit the Wikipedia article, but really, if Norn is not extinct, then the article is wrong and that would need to be rectified).


While I have definitely enjoyed trying to self learn a bit of Norn and have also found much of the vocabulary easy to figure out even without checking the English language equivalents (simply due to my bilingualism in English and German) from a language teaching and learning point of view and consideration, there are unfortunately a number of grammar-based questions that are not sufficiently answered for me personally by Elspeth Grace Hall in her Norn Min Buk 1. And first and foremost I really do need some additional information on what constitutes a strong noun and what the signals for a weak noun are (as while in the vocabulary lists provided, the strong nouns seem to mostly end in a consonant and the weak nouns in a vowel or in a silent letter following a vowel, I for one would really like and even need to know if my assumptions are actually correct here and if there are specific linguistic and grammatical rules that would need to be learned and internalised).

Furthermore, and perhaps even more importantly, while the general grammatical formulae with regard to how to change nouns as they are listed in the dictionary (with an indefinite ending) to definite endings is clearly and succinctly shown, Min Norn Buk 1 should at least in my opinion (and from the point of view of a language instructor) also present considerably more relevant examples (and from all of the possible forms) before readers (and potential students) are then required to engage in practicing (and indeed, I also am somewhat confused with regard to singular versus plural, in so far that Elspeth Grace Hall does not seem to point out if Norn nouns have specific plural endings as nouns tend to have in most Germanic languages, such as English, German, Dutch etc., and with the adjectives, I have noticed that for the example given, for rakki, for dog, the extra k is obviously removed when the adjectived noun becomes definite and is no longer indefinite, and indeed, it also needs to be presented if that is a regular grammatical rule, a regular occurrence, or just an exception to the general rule).

Now all of the above having been said, and even though there have been (as shown above) certain parts of Min Norn Buk 1 that I have found somewhat linguistically and grammatically frustrating, I have still very much enjoyed and learned a lot from this short introduction to Norn, and even with my criticisms, I do very much appreciate that Elspeth Grace Hall has striven to introduce Norn not with a primarily communicative and learning simply by osmosis approach, but by using and showing some of the actual grammar rules of Norn (and indeed, with a few mild tweaks, but especially with more examples and expanded grammar explanations, Min Norn Buk 1 would be truly amazing, as even now, it is a wonderful, engaging and enlightening introduction to a rare and ancient Northern Germanic tongue). And I yes, do very much love how clear and concise that included and personally appreciated pronunciation guide is, as this is definitely not always the case with language learning/teaching books.


message 21: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Hi Manybooks

Glad you enjoyed it. I'm not a language teacher and this is my first foray into writing language books so I was a little unsure as to how much to put in where. Especially as grammar is not taught in UK schools. (I didn't want to overwhelm the children by using to many terms such as indefinate, plural... ) The sum of my grammar education was how to use punctuation marks! If I hadn't learnt a foreign language at secondary school I'd still think that an article was something in a magazine.

Based on your feedback I have started writing a Norn Min buk 1+ as the points you raised do need clarifying before moving on.

As to the classification of Norn it is tricky. A dead language is not always extinct. An extinct language has no speakers (or the last speaker has no children). Norn is dead in that any language is dead that ceases to be passed on naturally in the home, regardless of how many people still speak it. I was fortunate enough to learn mine from some lovely old boys and girls who I work with as a volunteer but even so because they aren't my relatives I still class as having artificially learnt the language.

Norn was classed as extinct in the late 1800's because it wasn't heard being spoken on the street. However in 1920 a dictionary of Orcadian Norn was printed. (which goes to show how many people were still using Norn at home) It never got wide recognition because (aside from a few proofs) the dictionary never made it out of the publishers. Sheaves of the unbound pages were found recently in the attic of said (ex)publishers when the building was being renovated. I have been fortunate enough to see a proof copy of this dictionary kept at Cambridge library.

Anyone who argues that a language that goes unheard in public due to period spent underground to avoid persecution should remember that Scotish Gaelic and Welsh both vanished from public hearing for a while but neither of them are considered to have gone extinct.

I have testements from many people living in Caithness that their parents/grandparent spoke Norn. Danish POW's with no English language skills were sent to work on Caithness farms during WW2 because they could understand "Caithness words". I have also heard testaments of the horrid treatment that was inflicted upon any child caught speaking "dirty Caithness words" during the 1950's and 60's. This treatment was not just anti Norn mind, Welsh Gaelic and Doric were also persecuted. By my rough calculation the last generation to naturally learn Norn (as a language) in Caithness were children during WW2. There are plenty of people here that can say words or phrases mixed in with their English in a sort of pidgin but not many under the age of 80 that can speak Norn as a proper language. I cannot speak for the state of Norn on Orkney or Shetland as I don't live there. On one hand you would think that Orkney and Shetland having the stronger Norse influence would have held onto Norn better than we have but then again they have smaller isolated pockets of population which is much easier to enforce a language eradication program onto.

Because Norn was suppressed for so long it has another problem in that it stopped evolving at some point in the 1800's . So while we have many words for types of lawyer Norn does not have a word for police. The Nynorn project that has been the driving force behind the revival of Norn have rectified this by doing some artificial word evolution based on 1. compounding/diversifying known Norn words. 2. where there there are no related Norn words a triangulation between Old Norse, Norwegian and Faroese is taken. These new words are collectively known as Nynorn. Anyone in the future speaking Norn will actually be speaking a mix of Norn/Nynorn.

Linguists argue that because of this the language is already extinct. I argue that while there are old boys and girls who learnt Norn from their parents still alive and still speaking Norn as their parents taught them then Norn isn't extinct. - For clarification the old Caithness boys and girls speaking Norn use English loan words where there is no Norn equivalent.

It should also be pointed out that Norwegian has Nynorsk which was artificially evolved to replace foreign loan words with Norwegian. No linguist is trying to debate the validity of Norwegian because of these new artificially created words.

Soooo if the revival gets children learning to speak Norn/Nynorn as a language in it's own right and they go on to teach their children then Norn wont have gone extinct merely been dead a while.

I hope this year to persuade at least one of my old boys or girls to let me record them on my Dictaphone.


message 22: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Welsh Tales for Children meet the giant who decided to collect King Arthur's beard, the welsh low king who hides a dreadful secret under his ankle length hair and a monk who isn't afraid to tell the king of the fairies and lord of demons exactly what he thinks of them!

A fantastic introduction to Welsh fairy tales.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Oh those do sound good.


message 24: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Manx books.
- apologies most of these books are not yet on Goodreads and I don't have the time at the moment to manually add them so you will have to content yourselves with external links for now.

A Manx alphabet
https://www.culturevannin.im/publicat...


The Gruffalo's child now available in Manx

Neen y Ghruffalo

https://www.culturevannin.im/publicat...

"The Magic Tunnel" is a book written in both Manx and English with a Thomas the tank engine feel to it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Tunnel...


Written in English Manx Folk Tales looks like a good read. I have it on order at the library. I have read other books from the History Press Folk tales series and they have been very good so I have high hopes for this.


message 25: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Ok so the next few links aren't books... they are entries to the Scottish Book Trust's poetry competition but I thought I'd include them because they are in Norn! And no I am not the author.....

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writ...

http://scottishbooktrust.com/writing/...



This last one was written by my daughter and I am very proud she was chosen by the Scottish Book Trust.

http://scottishbooktrust.com/writing/...


message 26: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Elspeth wrote: "Manx books.
- apologies most of these books are not yet on Goodreads and I don't have the time at the moment to manually add them so you will have to content yourselves with external links for now..."


I guess most of these would not be dual language?


message 27: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Elspeth wrote: "Ok so the next few links aren't books... they are entries to the Scottish Book Trust's poetry competition but I thought I'd include them because they are in Norn! And no I am not the author.....

..."


Congratulation to your daughter, Elspeth!!


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Your daughter's poem is wonderful.
Important message, explored effectively and with grace.


message 29: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Manybooks wrote: "I guess most of these would not be dual language?"

The only one I know for certain is in dual language is "The Magic Tunnel"

Cheryl wrote: "Your daughter's poem is wonderful.
Important message, explored effectively and with grace."


Thanks!
When we got the email from the Scottish Book Trust to say she had been accepted and that they were impressed that a 6 year old had been brave enough to write about LGBT issues I didn't have the heart to tell them that my daughter has no idea what LGBT is.

She was merely commenting on the fact that she does not like to be gender stereotyped.

Having said that poetry is as much about what the reader brings to it as it is about what the writer wrote. If her poem helps some confused child feel brave about being true to themselves then all the better.

The world would be a nicer place if we didn't try to squeeze everybody into the same small box.


message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Elspeth wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I guess most of these would not be dual language?"

The only one I know for certain is in dual language is "The Magic Tunnel"

Cheryl wrote: "Your daughter's poem is wonderful.
..."


Pretty ironic that not wanting to be gender stereotyped automatically should make your daughter LGBT. But yes, if her poems helps, wonderful.


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