Deborah has been "encouraged to put the right Irish on the names", but
is that what is really needed? Presuming the actors and audience will
have little or no familiarity with the correct -- OI, MI, ModI -- names,
I would think efficiency and comprehension are more important than
I would suggest Aideen for Etain, Angus for various correct forms,
perhaps Mihir to retain a hint of the spelling and ease pronunciation,
Tir nan Oge, etc.
The result won't be any worse than the pronunciation I heard from the
guide in the nearest heritage centre (Ardagh, Co. Longford) to Slieve
Golry, the location of Midhir's Brí Léith -- "midder" and "etane".
Sorry to offend any purists, but I'm going through a similar process
with a pronunciation guide for an Irish legends book to be published in
the US. For example --
"ei" = near enough to "e" in "met" (Fechin, Feichin)
"ao" = near enough to "ee"
"aoi" = near enough to "ee"
Dáithí Ó hÓgáin's Myth, Legend and Romance, Prentice Hall, 1991, has a
fine pronunciation guide in both IPA and close English equivalent.
----- Original Message -----
From: Deborah L. White <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 8:46 PM
Subject: Names in "The Wooing of Etain"
Dia daoibh a chairde,
I've been hired as a faculty member (music division) of a summer theater
workshop in San Francisco. The workshop will run a month and will
in three performances at the end.
This year's production is a musical play, based on the story "The Wooing
Etain", which according to my sources is originally a 9th C. text
Éadaoin(e)"?). The scriptwriter and artistic director got the story from
Ella Young's "Celtic Wonder Tales". As you might imagine, the Irish in
story is completing corrupted, for example "Tir-Na-Moe" and "Eochy".
been encouraged to put the right Irish on the names.
Here's what I have so far, and please correct and suggest as needed (I'm
more familiar with modern Irish than Old Irish):
Tir-Na-Moe = Tír na mBeo
Bri Leith = Brí Léith
Bridgit = Bríd
Tuatha de Danaan = Tuatha Dé (Danaan)
Angus Og = Aonghus Óg
Midyir = Midhir (nó) Midir
Dagda = Daghdha (nó) Dagda
Ogma = Oghma
Fand = ?
Gobniu = Goibhniu
Nuada = Nuadhu
Mananuan = Manannán
Tir-Na-Nog = Tír na nÓg
Eochy Airem = Eochaidh Aireamh
Fuamach = Fuamnach
Etar = Étar (nó) Édar
Etain, Etain ni Etar = Éadaoin, Éadaoin Ní Étar
One other sticky point is the correct wording for "fairy", "fairies",
"fairy mounds". According to Ó Dónaill, "sí" means "fairy mound"
being the plural), while "aos sí" means "fairy folk / fairies". Then
"sídh", which, I believe, is the older spelling of "fairy mound" -- with
"aos sídhe" being the older spelling of "fairy folk / fairies". Am I
in assuming that "sí", or "sídhe", have been used for "fairies" as well
"fairy mounds"? (Certainly, Yeats did this with his poem "The Hosting of
Sidhe".) What's the best way to approach this, from the viewpoint of the
story in question, and for the sake of accuracy?
Go raibh míle maith agaibh,
Celtic & Early Music