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Tintin in scots

The Derk Isle

September 2013 marks a significant milestone in the history of translation and publishing in the Scots language. On 7 September Susan Rennies translation of The Adventurs o Tintin: The Derk Isle has its official launch during the Blas Festival held on Skye, and an entertaining translation it is too, full of idiomatic expressions with which speakers of Scots will immediately identify -  where else would we find the exclamation ooyah! 

This is the first time that Tintin has been translated into Scots and its appearance is important because it means that Scots has now joined a community of languages which are linked with a world famous, indeed, iconic brand. 

Tintin was created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907-1983) who wrote under the pen name of Herg. The stories, which appeared in French as Les Adventures de Tintin, were published throughout the years 1929-1976 and relate the adventures of the youthful Belgian reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Milou. 

The Derk Isle first appeared as a series during 1937-38 and tells the story of counterfeiters who are hiding on an island off the north of Scotland, in a castle which Rennie calls Corbiecraig Castle, and where there is a legend about a creature Rennie translates as the Hairy Etin (hairy giant). Like many other writers before her, Rennie has ably adapted the original French names to equivalents which work well in Scots. 

People in the UK will no doubt be familiar with the English versions which first appeared from 1958 (though Tintin, with French names, was first published in the Eagle comic in 1951), such as Snowy the dog and the bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson translated from the French Milou and Dupont et Dupond. In the Scots version Milou has become Tarrie the dug (from the Scots for Terrier) while Dupont et Dupond are now Nisbet an Nesbit.

The Adventurs o Tintin: The Derk Isle is published by Taigh na Teud in conjunction with Dalen Books and is available to order online through or via selected bookshops. The published price is 7.99 with additional costs for postage and packaging if ordered online. If you would like to find out more at the Tintin page, please follow this link: