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Translations from the English


Much of our modern Gaelic prose literature consists of translations from the English. In this the Gaelic differs from the Welsh, in which is to be found a large amount of original prose writing on various subjects. This has arisen from the demand for such a literature being less among the Highlanders, among whom the English language has made greater progress, so much so, that when a desire for extensive reading exists, it is generally attended with a sufficient knowledge of English. Translations of religious works, however, have been relished, and pretty ample provision has been made to meet the demand. The first book printed in modern Scottish Gaelic was a translation of Baxter's Call to the Unconverted, executed by the Rev. Alex M'Farlane, of Kilninver, and published in 1750. There is much of the Irish orthography and idiom retained in this work, but it is a near approach to the modern spoken language of the Highlands. Since then many of the works of well-known religious authors have been translated and published, among which may be mentioned works by Boston, Bunyan, Brookes, Colquhoun, and Doddridge. These are much prized and read throughout the Highlands. The translations are of various excellence; some of tem accurate and elegant, while others are deficient in both these qualities. Dr Smith's version of Alleine's Alarm is an admirable specimen of translation, and is altogether worthy of the fame of Dr Smith. The same may be said of Mr M'Farlane's translation of The History of Joseph, which is an excellent specimen of Gaelic writing. The Monthly Visitor tract has been translated by the writer for the last twelve years, and it has a large circulation
 

 


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