Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

VERNACULAR EXPERIMENT

  • Author(s): Buffoni, Franco
  • et al.
Abstract

This study on the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Fergusson (1750-1774) focuses on how one might translate one of his compositions in Lowland Scots, 'The Daft Days,' published in 1772. This was a ground-breaking poem, the first one to be published in Lowland Scots in The Weekly Magazine, a successful periodical with wide distribution. Fergusson’s vernacular poem focuses on the 'crazy' days of revelry and mirth (in this sense daft) around Christmas time and is thematically centered on descriptions of Edinburgh's Old Town and its inhabitants.  Buffoni proposes three “Italian” versions: the first is a literal rendition (which immediately follows the original text); the second is translated in the dialect of Milan and the third – which appears as a footnote of sorts to the second – is a translation of the Milanese in standard Italian. Since Fergusson had opted for the dialect spoken in his city, Buffoni imitated him in this respect, conscious of the fact that his version in the Milanese dialect 'is nothing if not an imitation.'

Main Content
Current View