Thursday, September 20, 2018

Worth an award, I think

This is an interesting product. It's a translation of Lewis Carroll's “Alice in Wonderland” into Walloon, the language of Wallonia in southern Belgium.

Today, all Walloons speak French, and the old language is considered by many to be “underclass” and mostly fit to tell stupid jokes. The translator of this volume explicitly says in an English foreword that he consciously decided to translate Carroll into Walloon to show that it can actually be done. He chose the western or Charleroi variant of Walloon, more specifically the common lingo of the workers in the area.

I have no idea how good the translation is, but to even try translating “Alice in Wonderland” into a Belgian working-class patois is worth an award, I think! The English foreword briefly discusses some problems of translation (such as words for turtle and other creatures of the sea not even existing in the “landlocked” Walloon language).

Those interested in Belgian regional languages can also obtain translation of Carroll into Central Walloon (Namurois) and Picard Borain.

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