Stoker Accent to English translation
Had some positive responses when I mentioned this, so for the benefit of Dracula Daily newcomers and anyone else who's curious, I figured I'd transcribe some of the annotations from my dead tree copy explaining Mina’s elderly friend Mr. Swales' dialogue. The dialect he's using is from Yorkshire, though I've always worked from the assumption that Stoker probably did about as well at representing how people from Yorkshire talk as he did Texans and Dutch people. This is all in Chapter 6 in the actual book, and these annotations are by Brooke Allen in the B&N Classics edition.
From the July 24th entry:
"I wouldn't fash masel' about them, miss. Them things be all wore out. Mind, I don't say that they never was, but I do say that they wasn't in my time. They be all very well for comers and trippers, an' the like, but not for a nice young lady like you. Them feet-folks from York and Leeds that be always eatin' cured herrin's an' drinkin' tea an' lookin' out to buy cheap jet would creed aught. I wonder masel' who'd be bothered tellin' lies to them—even the newspapers, which is full of fool-talk."
fash masel means "trouble myself"; feet-folks are people who travel on foot, in this case tourists; and creed aught means "believe anything."
"I must gang ageeanwards home now, miss. My granddaughter doesn't like to be kept waitin' when the tea is ready, for it takes me time to crammle aboon the grees, for there be a many of 'em; an', miss, I lack belly-timber sairly by the clock."
gang ageeanwards means "go toward"; crammle aboon the grees means "go upstairs"; belly-timber is "food"; and sairly means "sorely" or "badly."
From the August 1st entry:
"It be all fool-talk, lock, stock, and barrel; that's what it be, an' nowt else. These bans an' wafts an' boh-ghosts an' barguests an' bogles an' all anent them is only fit to set bairns an' dizzy women a-belderin'."
The sentence "translates" as: "These curses and spirits and ghosts and bogie-men and the the like are only fit to make children and dizzy women cry."
"They be nowt but airblebs. They, an' all grims an' signs an' warnin's, be all invented by parsons an' illsome beuk-bodies an' railway touters to skeer an' scunner hafflin's, an' to get folks to do somethin' that they don't other incline to."
The old man goes on to talk about beuk-bodies, which are book-people or pedants. [Hi!] His phrase to skeer an' scunner hafflin's means "to scare and shame halfwits."
My gog, but it'll be a quare scowderment at the Day of Judgment when they come tumblin' up in their death-sarks, all jouped together an' try'm to drag their tombsteans with them to prove how good they was;
The part of the sentence "translates" as: “it’ll be a queer mess at the Day of Judgment when they come tumbling up here in their shrouds, all jumbled together and trying to drag their tombstones with them.”
some of them trimmlin' and ditherin', with their hands that dozzened* an' slippy from lyin' in the sea that they can't even keep their grup o' them."
"Yabblins! There may be a poorish few not wrong, savin' where they make out the people too good; for there be folk that do think a balm-bowl be like the sea, if only it be their own. The whole thing be only lies. Now look you here; you come here a stranger, an' you see this kirk-garth."
yabblins means “perhaps”; a balm-bowl is a chamber-pot and a kirk-garth a churchyard
"And you consate that all these steans be aboon folk that be happed here, snod an' snog?"
snod an’ snog means “snug and cozy”
Look at that one, the aftest abaft the bier-bank: read it!
the bier-bank is the churchyard path
I have me antherums* aboot it!
I tell ye that when they got here they'd be jommlin'* an' jostlin' one another
But that's because ye don't gawm the sorrowin' mother was a hell-cat that hated him because he was acrewk'd—a regular lamiter he was—
gawm means “know”; acrewk’d is “crooked”; lamiter means “cripple”
'Twarn't for crows then, for it brought the clegs and the dowps to him.
the clegs and the dowps are “the flies and the crows”
and won't it make Gabriel keckle when Geordie comes pantin' up the grees with the tombstean balanced on his hump, and asks it to be took as evidence!
keckle means “laugh”
From the August 6th entry (not out on Dracula Daily at the time of this posting):
We aud folks that be daffled*, and with one foot abaft the krok-hooal**
*Crazy or stupid.
**One foot in the grave.
Ye see, I can't get out o' the habit of caffin'* about it all at once; the chafts** will wag as they be used to.
But don't ye dooal an' greet,* my deary!
*Mourn and grieve
I’m a masc bi man and my partners a fem gay man and it always cracks us up when ppl share their weird homophobic definitely not based on reality Hot Takes online especially the ‘hetero passing’ nonsense w gay/bi relationships. i wanna know where the huge amount of masc/fem gay relationships are in media.. i would like to see them.. it’d be so great to see more relationships like my own in fiction.. too bad it’s not actually More Palatable to cishets so it barely exists either. it’s wild to say using butches as ur example too it makes it more obvious ppl just repeat things without thinking about it all like can u even name a butch in mainstream media. at all. wc confession anon if u r a kid please get better friends ur hanging out with losers and if u r not a kid. embarrassing
Not my place to assume anything anon, idk what they're going through how or anything so I'm gonna veer away from personal attacks (and would prefer if other people did the same). But like, yeah, not a great take. It's obviously media focused, and there's a lot to criticize there, but i think that implying butch/femme (hc's nonetheless, not the actual characters) falls into that sort of lens is....not it and did not sit well with me.
Went back to Wattpad and read the things I used to read and Omygosh they were so cringe, I can't read those books nowadays because AO3 has spoiled me. But, I'm so glad younger me got to experience those fics, they made me so happy back then and even now just going back and looking at the stuff I read makes me nostalgic. Not nostalgic enough to sit and read through them again, but reminiscing how they made me feel is really nice.
To all the Wattpad, AO3, fanfiction.net, Tumblr, Quora, LiveJournal, Reddit, etc. Authors out there, thank you for giving me joy during those challenging days of my first year of high school. It was literally my life line for a while.
I HAVEN'T STOPPED READING THO, YOU STILL GIVE ME SO MUCH SEROTONIN PLEASE NEVER STOP.