ONE of the tallest tales in children’s fiction has undergone a big change as it is told in Scots for the first time.

Language expert Dr Susan Rennie, of Glasgow University, has translated Roald Dahl’s much-loved novel The BFG as part of a year-long celebration of the author’s work.

Titled The GFG – Guid Freendly Giant – the book remains faithful to the original plot, with much of the action taking place in London as orphan Sophie teams up with the titular hero to save the public from human-eating giants.

But fans of the original may notice one major difference, with lexicographer Rennie creating new versions of the 300 words Dahl dreamed up for Gobblefunk, the much-loved language of the giants.

The change sees the GFG eat knobbly “feechcumbers” instead of “snozzcumbers”, while the villainous giants like Fleshlumpeater and the Bloodbottler also get new Scots-inspired names like Girslegorbler and Bluidsqueesher.

Meanwhile, Irn Bru also makes it into Dahl’s world when the GFG and Sophie discuss the giant’s favourite drink, “fuzzleglog”, a green potion whose bubbles float down, not up, creating reactions in the drinkers.

Rennie told The National: “In order to make that language, Dahl has based it on English words, pulled them apart and re-combined them. These are words invented for children to enjoy reading. They can relate them to English words or onomatopoeic sounds.

“If I hadn’t translated them, they would still have looked like English words.

“This is Dahl’s most translated book and most translators have done this with their languages. To make it work, we have to emulate his approach and be as playful with language as he was.”

Hitting shelves today, the Black & White Publishing title is released ahead of the upcoming BFG blockbuster, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, who penned ET.

The big-budget Dreamworks production features Mark Rylance in the title role and the film-makers based Giant’s Land on Scotland’s dramatic landscape, shooting in the Shiant Islands, the Orkneys and Skye.

The resulting images were then transformed by digital effects firm WETA, which also worked on both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

Rennie said: “The film is coming out because it is Dahl’s centenary year. This book would still have come out to celebrate that even without the film. There is no reason why The GFG can’t stand on its own to somebody coming to it for the first time. I have loved this project, I am delighted with how it has come out.”