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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov 2017 5:57 pm 
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Dia dhuit, friends -

I'm writing a YA Fantasy novel laced with Celtic history. Here's my question: if my hero finds something ancient with an Ogham incription, what language would the transliteration be in? I'm guessing Old Irish, right? So verify my order of operations here: 1) translate what I want to say from English into Irish. 2) Translate Irish into Old Irish. 3) Turn translation into Ogham script. Is this right? Is this even possible? And how do I figure out how to say things in "ancient" Irish, LOL? Surely there's a dictionary or tool out there if I can get it into modern Irish first, yeah?

Thank you for your help!
Cu


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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov 2017 6:50 pm 
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Location: Baile Mhic Ghoilla Eoin, VA
There are people on the forum (Embarien comes to mind) who do Old Irish translation. And there is no need to go through modern Irish, you can feel free to translate directly from English to Old Irish.

That being said, I think Ogham was already done with before the Old Irish period, and I don't know if anyone (read: anyone at all anywhere ever) knows how to translate into that Ancient or Primitive Irish that appears in ogham inscriptions. So it may not be possible at all :(

Others would know more, though. Don't necessarily trust me :P

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ЯГОН ТОҶИК НЕСТ ИНҶО???


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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov 2017 8:00 pm 
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You can always try looking for words in the eDil online dictionary - www.dil.ie.


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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov 2017 9:09 pm 
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Early Irish, the language Ogham was used for, is very different from Old Irish, at least in its small written remnants. Perhaps usage of Ogham (and Irish?) was very conservative prior to christianization.
Early irish is much closer to Continental Celtic and similar to Latin (and other early Indoeuropean languages) in respect to its endings and declension system.


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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov 2017 10:58 pm 
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"Early Irish," interesting!

So how do I do this? Hero finds object carved with Ogham script... no one in the world can translate it for him? LOL. Does not suit my narrative very well. Could someone who speaks modern Irish work it out with a dictionary or is that totally unbelievable?


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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov 2017 8:00 am 
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As mentioned Ogham stones are written in Primitive Irish, also called Early Irish or Archaic Irish.

There is no way a speaker of modern Irish could translate it.

It would have been the language spoken by heroes from the mythological cycle like Cú Chulainn. Hence I think, as a fantasy novel, you'd be talking about either:
(a) Somebody from that time translates it. That is from < 500 AD
(b) A Fae being translates it, i.e. Daoine Sidhe.
(c) A Professor or Doctor of Celtic Studies translates it.

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The dialect I use is Munster Irish, particularly Cork Irish, so words or phrases I use might not be correct for other areas.:D

Ar sgáth a chéile a mhairid na daoine, lag agus láidir, uasal is íseal


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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov 2017 11:10 am 
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If you go onto the Isos Dias.ie website - you can look at these pages in the Book of Ballymote - Auraicept na n-Éces, which you can find in the RIA collection - it is thought to date from around 1390 -

RIA MS 23 P 12

folio 167v to folio 170v (The Book of Oghams)


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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec 2017 3:33 pm 
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CuChulainn wrote:
"Early Irish," interesting!

So how do I do this? Hero finds object carved with Ogham script... no one in the world can translate it for him? LOL. Does not suit my narrative very well. Could someone who speaks modern Irish work it out with a dictionary or is that totally unbelievable?


It’s not that no one can translate from Primitive Irish ogham inscription to English – a lot people – those who study history of Celtic languages, with some help of dictionaries, can. Basic structure of Primitive Irish and other Celtic languages are known (but not exact forms of suffixes), vocabulary (basic on later Old Irish texts and other Celtic languages) is somehow known. So when a new ogham inscription is found, it can be understood by a proper scholar who knows how to read it.

The problem is the other way around – you will find no one, who can translate an English text into Primitive Irish, because we do not know enough about the language to reconstruct original usage and create believable new texts. We do not know enough about the language, because most inscriptions are just short with only some personal names on it, and they don’t show much grammar beside simple genitive formation.


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