Mair Licht is a collection of Scots translations. Read poems by Robert Burns translated into French and other languages. And explore Scots translations of poetry from different cultures.

Mair Licht is inspired by the German poet Goethe whose last words were  “Mehr Licht!” Whether he was calling upon the universe to shed more light on the mysteries of life or simply asking somebody to open his bedroom shutters remains unclear.

There is a long tradition of translations from and into Scots. We hope the translations featured here will help you on your journey to find mair licht.


Auld Lang Syne written in Scots by Robert Burns is one of the world’s most famous songs. Listen to the song performed with its original tune by Scots singer Mairi Campbell.

And study the French translation alongside Burns’ words in the PDF file.

Also enjoy and perhaps learn the words of the popular French version of Auld Lang Syne known in France as Ce n'est qu'un au-revoir sung here by French singer Tilde.     



Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was an Austrian poet who wrote in German. Although he wrote in different styles, he is best known for his lyric poetry.

He wrote his famous poem Der Panther after seeing a panther in a cage on a visit to a Paris zoo.

Compare Rilke’s original German with the Scots translation by Andrew Philip.


Nordahl Grieg was a Norwegian poet. In 1936 at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Grieg wrote the anti-war poem Til ungdommen (in Scots, Tae Youth).The poem was set to music in the 1950s and has become an important part of Norwegian culture. After the 2011 Norway Attacks in which many young people died, the song was performed at funerals and memorial services across Norway.

Scots poet Gerda Stevenson has translated Til ungdommen into Scots. Read her translation beside the Norwegian original in the PDF file.

Listen to Norwegian singer Herborg Kråkevik perform Til ungdommen and to Gerda singing Tae Youth.


 

 
 Gerda Stevenson sings Tae Youth

 
 Gerda Stevenson's Tae Youth