"I'm very proud to be the first Scots writer to translate an Asterix adventure into our Mither Tongue. When I was wee, I read Asterix in the bairns' section of the local library. It was really my first introduction to Gauls or Romans or Goths or anything like that from that time in history. I realised later that the historical facts were not exactly right but the Asterix books made me think about the Roman empire. They gave me a picture of what life was like for folk living in that time. Plus - and this is the main thing - the Asterix series is a lot of fun.
So when I was asked to translate Asterix into Scots, I lowped at the chance. I got tons of grief for speaking Scots as a youngster. But it's part of who I am and I refused to listen when adults told me to 'speak properly.' When I speak Scots, I feel I am speaking properly. And because I was proud of the language I spoke, I started to write in it too. I wrote in Scots every chance I got, improved my writing, listened to other folk who spoke Scots, read as much as I could.
I've published a great many books in Scots over the years. I love them all and am chuffed to bits when other folk read them. But I have to say it's been one of my ambitions as a Scots writer to translate Asterix. And now my name is on a book called Asterix and the Pechts. It's a magic feeling. Just pure magic"
Asterix and the Pechts is the first ever translation of an Asterix adventure in Scots. It is also the first time Asterix and Obelix have visited Scotland. Written by new Asterix writer, Jean Yves-Ferri and illustrated by Didier Conrad and Albert Uderzo, this new adventure – the 35th in the long-running series – sees Asterix and Obelix find a Pecht (in English, Pict) washed up on the shores of Gaul. They return to Pechtland (or Scotland) with the Pechtish warrior, MacHoolet, to help him win back his kingdom and a bonnie nae-nonsense lassie called Camomilla. Asterix and Obelix meet Nechtan, an ancestor of the Loch Ness Monster, lots of other Pechts with strange names like MacSixtiwatt and MacMeboak and of course run into Roman sodgers who inevitably get doofed on the heid plenty times before the end of the book. Asterix and the Pechts is Matthew Fitt’s debut as an Asterix translator.