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Doric rules for Matthew during BCHS visit

Top Scottish author, translator and Scots language champion Matthew Fitt made a marvellous return visit to Moray secondary schools as part of their World Book Day celebrations.

Matthew Fitt chats to students during his visit to BCHS.
Matthew Fitt chats to students during his visit to BCHS.

During his two day tour of Moray, March 4-5 Matthew visited five secondary schools (Buckie, Keith, Milne's, Elgin Academy and Forres) and led seven sessions of book talks and Scots language writing workshops with pupils.

His book talks involved him telling pupils about his work as an author and translator of books into Scots. At Elgin Academy and Milnes High School the sessions included Matthew reading extracts from his latest translation – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stane, with one pupil even being dressed up as Harry Potter, and a game of Quiddich taking place too in the hall. “He was so engaging, enthusiastic and hugely entertaining. Having Quiddich balls flying round the hall will be something I will remember for a long time!” said Elgin Academy librarian Mrs Toonen, sentiments echoed by Forres Academy and Milnes High School librarian Mrs Munn where Matthew led similar book talks.

At Buckie High, Matthew led two writing in Scots workshops for a S2 and S3 class, running different activities to get pupils thinking and writing in Scots and Doric, with the theme of horror writing proving very popular with the students. As well as getting the students writing in Scots, Matthew told them a little about his work including his publishing company Itchy Coo who publish scots language books, and he read an extract for their latest publication ‘Diary o a Wimpy Wean’ which proved a hit with pupils. The us a translation of the first book in the multimillion selling series ‘Diary of A Wimpy Kid’ by Jeff Kinney.On the theme of translation Matthew also led a sing-a-long of Just The Way You Are’, a song by Olly Murrs with lyrics translated into Scots by pupils at Milne’s High School. With this he left the S3 pupils at Buckie with a challenge to take their favourite song and translate the lyrics into Scots or Doric.

Matthew was delighted with his time in Moray schools and Buckie High saying “I always love coming here to Buckie as the Doric is so strong and I really enjoy listening to it.”

Movies were on the menu at Keith Grammar School as Matthew led a script writing work shop with a group of S2 pupils who are looking to create a video for the Doric Film festival.

The school librarians involved with hosting visits my Matthew Fitt hailed them as a great success. Buckie High School Librarian Mr Leitch said “Matthew has done a brilliant job as encouraging and inspiring pupils at our schools to take a greater interest in Scots and Doric. With a grow in interest in Scots languages and development if Scots language qualifications it’s really important that pupils hear and read their own language and Matthew has done a great job in promoting Scots language to pupils in Moray.”

As well as Diary o a Wimpy Wean and Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stane, Matthew and Itchy Coo publishing have also translated numerous other books into Scots including Mr Mingin (Mr Stink by David Walliams), The Eejits (The Twits by Roald Dahl) and Astrix, Matthew also advises the Scottish Government on Scots language issues

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