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Written by on 17/10/2017


One of the most popular Scottish characters of all time has now had his adventures translated into Gaelic Oor Wullie – or Uilleam Againne as he will be know in Gaelic has a  book launched today at the Royal National Mod in Fort William.

The young rascal, who has immortalised catchphrases such as Jings, Crivvens and Help ma Boab, and is always getting into mischief, set his translators quite a challenge – especially with the speech bubbles that come out of his mouth.

The book, described as a “huge piece of work” was a labour of love for Dr Domnhnall Uilleam Stiubhart of the University of the Highlands and Islands who is based at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, on Skye and colleague, Mairi Kidd.

Dr Stiubhart is quoted as saying in the Highlands Press and Journal : “Every speech bubble had to be changed and made as simple as possible so that a child could read them. We felt that all the young Gaelic speakers were missing out by not having stories such as these in their language.

“My two sons, Alasdair who is 10 and Seumas, seven, just love Oor Wullie, so we thought it would be great to do a book on him that youngsters can start reading by themselves. Lots of adults love the Oor Wullie adventures too, so it can really be for everyone.”

Press and Journal publishers DC Thomson first printed the Oor Wullie comic strip in the Sunday Post more than 80 years ago. He was created by Dudley D. Watkins and the character is as popular today as he was when he first appeared back in March 1936.

Dr Stiubhart added: “DC Thomson was very helpful when we approached them about translating Oor Wullie into Gaelic.

“It was a huge work and some of the translations were quite difficult as we wanted them to be easy for children to understand.

“Words like ‘whoosh’, which are used quite a lot, were tricky.”

Dr Stiubhart and Ms Kidd translated half the book each then swapped round so they could proof-read the other’s work.

The designer was Julie-Ann Murray who also worked hard changing the text in the speech bubbles.

Uilleam Againne is published by the not-for profit organisation, Cuilean Craicte, and will be officially launched at the library in Lochaber High School at 1pm.