r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: Shetlanrie


Some dösna laek wir dialect an dis is what dey say:                        
‘We ocht ta dö awa wi it – hit's truly  hed its day.                         
An hit's no wirt a boddie's while ta spaek it onywye:                     
Hit's brokken English, brokken Scots, an idder bruk firbye.’              
Dis view I dönna favour, and der wan thing very clear,
We’re hed dis Shetlan dialect fir twartree hunder year;
An if you geng ta study it, A’m shöre at you’ll agree
Der Norn wirds atil it, jöst as plain as dey can be. 

Noo, if a boat you mention, dan der mony a Norn name                   
Fae da tilfers ida boddim, ta da stamreen at da stem.                 
An hit's Norn wirds you're spaekin whin you wirk ita da hill               
Wi da tushkar at you cast wi an da kishie at you fill.   

An you couldna döwithoot dem whin you’re scrapin möldie-bletts,
Or aandooin fir pilticks roond da baas an at da kletts;
Ya, da Norn stillis wi wis, an hit’s waddered mony a baff –
We öse it still apo da laand an fram apo da haaf.

Der litle doot da dialect haes loks o English wirds,
An if you look fir Scots eens, dan you fin dem dere in mirds.
An I winder wha could tell me if der onything at’s wrang
Wi wirds at Scott wret mony a time an Robbie Burns sang.

An as fir brokken English, dey wid laekly less be said
Aboot it if dey tocht what wye da English speech wis med.
What is dis English, onywye? Dey took da wirds dey fan
In Latin, Greek, an idder tungs, an altered every wan.

Der naethin wrang wi dat, you kyin, what sood dey idder dö?
Bit if dey altered Latin we can alter English tö.
Da English is a aacht ta hae whin you’re awa fae haem;
You hae ta meet wi uncan folk an you maan spaek wi dem.

Bit here ita da Isles hit’s laek a pair o Sunday shön,
Ower weel ta pit apo you whin your daily wark is döne;
Dey’re no what you’d be wearin ta geng buksin trowe a mire,
Or rowin oot apo da voe, or kyerryin fae da byre.

Sae ony een at wants can knap as muckle as dey laek,
Bit lat wis keep da Shetlan wirds at we’re bön wint ta spaek.
Dey’re maybe no perskeet, you kyin, dey’re maybe haem-aboot,
Bit what we’re aalwis hed we widna laek ta dö withoot.

T. A. Robertson, from The Collected Poems of Vagaland

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