Monday, 3 May 2010

I'm the only Englishman in the office!

Work has been fun with some light hearted banter about my ability, or rather lack of it, to pronounce some of the Shetland words and places after I constantly called the Ilseburgh centre the Isel-borough Centre for some daft reason I can't explain.

So last week I was reading out a Shetlan story book with both my own accent and my best 'Shetlan' accent, which had us all in stitches and now I'm been given random phrases or place names to try to say. It's not helped by the fact that Shetlanders themselves have different words and emphasis' on words depending on where they're from, so I stand no chance really! For example 'peerie' means little and some say it as 'pirri' and some as 'peri'. Add 'mootie' to it and it means tiny, a friend up here says 'mootie pirri' but the office gang say no it's 'peri mootie'. It's a laugh anyway and the language and accent is very lyrical.

I was shown the video below. A song about a man selling his wool, it's funny, very funny. But even funnier was to hear on the radio tonight about there being 2 lambs in the lamb bank, LAMB BANK???

Lambing season is in full swing now and a lamb that won't suckle often can't be hand fed, as the crofters are too busy helping with all the deliveries. I think they call them caddy(?) lambs. So rather than kill them, as they'd die anyway with out being hand reared, they are offered out to anyone who wants to raise them from the 'Lamb Bank'.

Anyway here is 'Lowrie sells is oo' Beren loves it and so do I.

Turn your sound up, sit back and hold your belly...

And if that doesn't get you try the slightly more surreal Scooty Allan- The Movie

Can anyone translate this one pleeease? I can get the gist of it and it's very funny but much is just lost on me...


  1. I'll have a try, but there are some parts of it which are very difficult to hear, even for a Shetlander.
    I'll see what I can do when I get home from work tomorrow night, unless somebody beats me to it.

  2. Cheers Auld Een, atleast I know Scooty Allan is the artic skua now, knew some of the others but some I just can't catch, never mind the rest.

    Saw a nice pair of dunters out on the yak on saturday, not seen them close up before.

    Love the story telling.

  3. Here's about the first half of it, I got inspired.
    There are a few bits which I'll have to clean up with software before I can hear it properly, so anything in [square brackets] is either a comment, or something I can't figure out yet.

    The best story on Earth, about a bad gull called Arctic Skua …

    Here’s another story for all the children.
    It’s called Morris the Fulmar and the birthday bully.
    [Bit of story missing here perhaps]
    “Dear me, it surely isn’t as bad as all that“, said Morris’s mother as she got the last of the food laid out for Morris’s birthday party.

    Morris was already tearing through the pile of sand eels with his beak when Thomas Christie appeared over the back of the rock with a large parcel under his armpit.
    “Thanks to you”, said Morris
    He tore the parcel apart to reveal a tangle of beautiful colored rope for decorating Morris’s little nest.
    “I’ll have this set up in my room tonight” [said Morris]
    “Thomas, chew on that little coalfish until the rest of the boys get here”

    And sure enough they came, every one with a splendid parcel.
    Sam the Oyster Catcher,
    Tirvil the Tern,
    Davie Eider Duck
    Steven the Cormorant
    Raymond the Red Throated Diver,
    And even Willie the Curlew.

    It wasn’t long before the boys were engaged in a few games and funs in the break at the waters edge and having a splendid time. But the jolliement wasn’t to last long, because just as the boys were having a swimming race, which Willie the Curlew stayed out of, along came Arctic Skua and set himself upon the rock.

    “You are a band of fools, playing in the shallow water and scaring all the [unintelligible part], I’m really tough” Then he began to laugh at the [??] on Simon the Cormorant’s head, and made him cry.

    “Arctic Skua always ruins the parties” thought Morris. But not this time, as he gathered his friends under the cliff edge to think of a plan.

    After a moment, out came Morris from under the brow of the cliff, and he made his way up towards Arctic Skua. But he never [???], instead he told the great fellow that he was to come and take a little food with the boys, and that they would have him for the leader of their gang.


    I'll work on it again tomorrow night.

    Da Auld Een

  4. Grrrrreeeaaat! Thanks for all your effort I'll test the monkeys at work today hehehe
    Lokfoarward to teh rest when yuo have time.

  5. OK Kev, here's the best I can do with it, although I may yet be able to fill in some blanks when I find time to tweak the audio a little.
    If you check out the Shetlandforwirds website, you should be able to find the English to Shetland translations for most of the English words I've used, and hopefully be able to hear some Shetland Dialect words which are near those used in the story. But, as I'm sure you've realised, it's a damned funny language, with more variations and permutations than the Lotto.
    Anyway, here's the second half:

    Arctic Skua thought that this was splendid and showed off to all the boys. Showing his muscles and hitting Davie Eider Duck on the beak with the back of his wing.
    But when he set himself down, the plan went into action.
    Raymond Rain Goose had squeezed a little moisture out of some seaweed and gave it to Willie the Curlew, who passed it on to Sam the Oyster Catcher who mixed it in with a little Cows Treacle [assume that’s something like liquid paraffin] which Tirvil the Tern had found in the byre.
    Simon the Cormorant slipped the mixture into Arctic Skua’s seashell of cordial. Arctic Skua never noticed because he was bragging and shouting
    , he quickly swallowed all the cordial, until it was completely finished.
    Then he thought it was about time that was fighting with the boys to show them who was boss.
    So he was going head on with Willie the curlew, and just as he lifted his wing out came a ‘plop’ plop’ sound from his belly. Then a ‘brump’ ‘brump’ ‘brump’, which stopped. Artic Skua’s [???] and his face went red, then he let loose a great big fart, and Arctic Skua had got a dose of the sh*ts.
    “Artic Skua’s got sh*ts, Arctic Skua’s got the shi*s” the boys all sang, and laughed. As the great boy flew away from the rock¨and made for the toilets on the skerry, and never bothered the boys again, and let them get on with their sand eels and cordial.

    “That really was a ‘Scooty’ Allan” said Morris, and they all laughed.

    Now children be peaceful, don’t bother or bully other children, or you might get the shi*s like Scooty Allan as well.

    If I can be any more help with the dialect, feel free to ask. It's always been a passion of mine, as are most things about Shetland.

    Kind regards,
    Da Auld Een

  6. Thanks so much that's fantastic, Shetlan morality tale!