A SCOTS translation of a famous children's book has been hailed as "marvellous" by its original author.

Neil Gaiman took to Twitter to share his admiration for the translation of his dark fantasy novella, Coraline, after being alerted to it by Scots language campaigner Len Pennie.

Writer Thomas Clark posted a section of the translation on Twitter after seeing the success of Netflix's The Sandman, adapted from the English author's comic book of the same name.

Sharing a part of the first chapter, Clark said: “Seein as awbody's giein it big licks aboot "Sandman" the noo - ah stairtit translatin @neilhimself intae Scots a wee while syne.

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“Dinnae ken if it'll ever see licht o day, but here's a wee keek at "Coraline" in Scotland's ither national language.”

The translation reads: "Coraline fund the door a wee while efter they'd flittit intae the hoose.

"It wis an awfie auld hoose - it had an attic unner the roof and a cellar unner the grund and a growthie gairden wi auld, muckle trees in it.

"Coraline's family didnae own the hale hoose, it is ower muckle for thon. Insteid, they owned a bit of it.
"There wis ither folk that bided in the auld hoose."

Gaiman saw the post, telling his 3 million followers: “This is marvellous to read. I'm loving reading Coraline in translation.”

Clark, who previously translated Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a Serious of Unfortunate Events, said he had been working on a Scots Coraline since before lockdown after being a long-time fan.

He told The National: “I started working on the Scots translation of Coraline in 2021 - I'd read and loved the book long before, but it occurred to me for the first time that a Scots version of the book might really work.

“So I had a wee blether with my publisher, Itchy Coo, about the viability of a Scots language Coraline, and started work on the initial chapters, just to see how it would look.

The National: Thomas Clark has been working on a full Scots translation of Coraline since 2021Thomas Clark has been working on a full Scots translation of Coraline since 2021 (Image: Thomas Clark)

“To me, what came out of it was hugely exciting - the Scots seemed to match up incredibly well with the dark fantasy of the original, and I was really enjoying doing it."

When lockdown came into effect, the translation was "put on the back burner", Clark said, as he worked on other projects.

But with the release of The Sandman on Netflix, the Scot felt inspired to get back to translating.

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“The massive positive reception to "Sandman", which is a TV adaptation of Neil's fantastic graphic novels, reminded me that I had this Scots translation of Gaiman sitting around on my hard drive that almost nobody had seen," he said.

"So I tweeted out the first page of it, just in case anybody was interested. I didn't expect Neil himself to see it - but Len Pennie, incredibly kindly, put him onto it.

“Obviously I'm incredibly flattered and delighted that a man whose writing has given me so much pleasure over the years should have such a positive reaction to my work.

“And it's lovely to see other fans of Neil Gaiman who are as enthused about the idea of a Scots Coraline as I am!”