Translation and Language Support

Translation and Language Support

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Posted Fri 29 Mar 2024 9:13 PM
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We are planning a trip to Ireland and are looking for accurate, language interpretation needs. One of the items that we are interested in getting while in Ireland are tattoos. The challenge that we have been running into are two different interpretations of what the proper translation for a Gaelic Proverb. There seems to be disagreement and we are unclear, since we are Americans. 

The Gaelic Proverb reads:
Tagh do bhean mar a 's math leat do chlann.
Choose your wife as you wish your children to be. 

The Irish Translation (via Google and Bing) reads:
Roghnaigh do bhean chéile mar is mian leat do leanaí a bheith
Choose your wife as you wish your children to be. 

Is the Gaelic Proverb accurate, and it would be understood within Ireland or does that proverb need to be translated to Irish to be correct? 

 Appreciate any assistance folks have.
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Posted Mon 1 Apr 2024 7:44 AM
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Hi Nate,

How nice that you are coming over to see us! 

While I'm not an Irish speaker, we do have previous threads discussing accurate translations for that same purpose. Here's one, and another. Hopefully some of our fluent members will jump in. 

Since you really want to make sure the translation is accurate, I would also get in touch with Foras Na Gaeilge, the organization responsible for the promotion of the Irish language.

Any other souvenirs you got your eyes on or places you wouldn't want to miss on your trip?

Cheers,
Antoine
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Posted Fri 5 Apr 2024 9:34 AM
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Hi Nate,
I have checked with some friends regarding your query and they have informed me, that your first proverb ( "T.......) is Scots Gaelic and they think it is incomplete.

The Google translation is accurate (i.e. if you want your children to be in a particular way - good-looking, well behave etc, you have to choose a woman with these qualities).

Scots Gaelic would not be readily understood in Ireland, but the Google translation into Irish would be.
Are you aware that there is a big difference between Scots Gaelic and Irish, even though they both come from the same language?

So, our advice would be to stick with the Google translation. However, for a tattoo it might not be very catchy or pithy.
So my friends have given me a few short(ish) catchy ones:

Is Fearr Bean ná Spré = A Woman is better than a Dowry
Is leath na beatha bean mhaith tí = A Good wife is half of life
Ní Féasta go Rósta is Ní  Céasta go pósta = It's not a feast without a roast; it's not persecution until you get married
Ní haitheantas go haontíos = You don't know a person until you live with them

I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip to Ireland and get in touch, if you have any other questions.

And don’t forget to send us a picture, if you are getting tattoos, whilst you are here!

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