'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' prequel published in Scots, then English

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The Independent Culture

The next installment in Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith's internationally best-selling series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will be a prequel specially written for young readers, according to the author's website. In another twist, the new title -- due out February 25 -- will be available only in the Scots language during 2010.

(Relaxnews) -

The next installment in Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith's internationally best-selling series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will be a prequel specially written for young readers, according to the author's website. In another twist, the new title - due out February 25 - will be available only in the Scots language during 2010.

McCall Smith's titles have previously been translated into Scots, a language spoken in Lowland Scotland that is comprehensible - if a bit challenging - for English-only readers. However, this marks the first time that James Robertson's Scots translation will be published before the English original. The title will not be available in any other language, including English, during 2010.

Smith writes in his introduction:

"Language is one of our great treasures. It is a great pity in my view that some languages are dying out, because that means that the richness and the variety of human life are diminished. ... I have always enjoyed reading the Scots language and I admire people who are determined that we should not forget how to speak and read the Scots language."

Precious and the Puggies ( Precious and the Monkeys) will tell the story of eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe, future heroine of the Notwana-based series, who solves a mystery at her school. Illustrated by Iain McIntosh, it will be published February 25 by Edinburgh-based publisher Itchy Coo and will include a small glossary of Scots words.

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