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Oh, I really, REALLY love poetry in regional dialects:

Ot wes thi bist uf tomis, ot wes thi wurst uf tomis, 
ot wes thi egi uf wosdum, ot wes thi egi uf fuuloshniss, 
ot wes thi ipuch uf biloif, ot wes thi ipuch uf oncridaloty, 
ot wes thi siesun uf Loght, ot wes thi siesun uf Derkniss, 
ot wes thi sprong uf hupi, ot wes thi wontir uf dispeor, 
wi hed ivirythong bifuri as, wi hed nuthong bifuri as, 
wi wiri ell guong dorict tu Hievin, wi wiri ell guong dorict thi uthir wey – 
on shurt, thi piroud wes su fer loki thi prisint piroud, 
thet sumi uf ots nuosoist eathurotois onsostid un ots biong riciovid, 
fur guud ur fur ivol, on thi sapirletovi digrii uf cumperosun unly.

I can kind of understand this, but it's not the English language as I know it.

What's going on here?

What kind of dialect is this?

How might I translate this to plain English?


Super secret spoiler... SHHH

Don't tell anyone, but I think this poem's in the same dialect.

Thi qaock bruwn fux jamps uvir thi lezy dug

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  • $\begingroup$ Did Eliza Doolittle read you a bed-time story last night? $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Apr 20 '18 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Chowzen Funny thing, I was thinking of Norfolk, South African and New Zealand. Didn't think of stereotype Cockney. $\endgroup$ – AJFaraday Apr 20 '18 at 15:15
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The poem is

Chapter I - The Period, Book I - Recalled to Life, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:
it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way –
in short, the period was so far like the present period,
that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received,
for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

explanation

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is a famous pangram(a sentence using all letters of alphabet), the hint "Thi qaock bruwn fux jamps uvir thi lezy dug" is this pangram with some substitutions. As substitutions are only vowels, the sentence was recognizable. After finding the substitution on the pangram, I just had to apply them on the poem

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ More precisely, the vowels are replaced with the next vowel $\endgroup$ – somebody Apr 20 '18 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ Good, thorough answer. Nice work :) $\endgroup$ – AJFaraday Apr 20 '18 at 10:26

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