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Subject: Clann Lir - Earrann a h-ochd. Section eight.
From: Colin Mark <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Colin Mark <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 29 Dec 2002 13:02:45 -0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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 This is a story which I came across in an old school book called
Leabhraichean Leughaidh, Leabhar 1 (Reading Books, Book 1).
I have already posted the whole story for those who would like to try
translating it for themselves. Every week I will post one or two sections at
a time with a literal and an idiomatic translation. All accents, spelling
and punctuation are (or should be :-) )as they were in the book, except that
I have used obliques (\ and /) to represent grave and acute accents
respectively. But note that I haven't given too literal a translation, so as
not to distort the sentences too much.

9. An sin dh'fheo\raich Fionnghuala, "De/ cho fada is a bhios sinn an riochd
eala?"
"Naoi ceud bliadhna," fhreagair Aoife, "tri\ ceud bliadhna air an loch so,
tri\ ceud bliadhna air sruth na Maoile eadar Eire agus Alba, agus tri\ ceud
bliadhna an E/irinn."

Literal:
Then asked Finella, "What so long and that we will be in [the] shape of a
swan?"
"Nine hundred year," answered Aoife, "three hundred on this loch, three
hundred on the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, and three hundred
in Ireland."

Idiomatic:
Then Finella asked, "How long shall we be in the shape of swans?"
"Nine hundred years," answered Aoife, "three hundred on this loch, three
hundred on the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, and three hundred
in Ireland."

dh'fheo\raich - this means the same as 'faighnich' and is used in the same
way. However, it appears to be much less commonly used. The verbal noun
'feo\rachadh' appears to be used more as a noun meaning 'enquiry' than as a
verbal noun.

De/ cho fada is ...? 'De\ cho ...' is the standard method of asking how big
?, how long?, how strong? etc. The adjective is followed by 'agus' or its
shortened form 'is /'s', folllowed by the relative form of the verb (in this
case 'bhios').

an riochd eala - this would originally have been 'ann an riochd eala', but
in commonly used constructions like this, the 'ann' is usually omitted. Note
that 'the' is omitted when there is a following noun in the genitive case
(except when the noun in the genitive is being used as if it were an
adjective).

Naoi ceud bliadhna - nouns commonly used in counting, such as pounds,
dollars, years etc. are usually in the singular. Note that 'ceud' does not
lenite a noun, though it is itself lenited after aon, da\, tri\, ceithir and
(by some people) co\ig.

sruth na Maoile - as stated this is the stretch of sea between Scotland and
Ireland - called the North Channel in English. I don't know if there is a
better name for it. I presume it gets its name from Maol Chinn Ti\re (Mull
of Kintyre)

eadar Eire agus Alba, agus tri\ ceud bliadhna an E/irinn. The use of 'E\ire'
for Ireland here is unusual. The Scottish Gaelic for Ireland is 'E\irinn'
(nominative and dative), with the genitive being 'na h-E\ireann' (i.e.
always definite in the genitive).

Cailean

Is i a' Ghàidhlig Cànan mo Dhùthcha.

URL: http://www.gaeldesign.com/colinmark

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