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 Post subject: Translation for Tattoo
PostPosted: Mon 07 Aug 2023 3:10 pm 
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Hey,
Irish born and raised however lived in the UK all my life so never got to learn Irish, I am however trying to self teach so that I can start communicating with some of my Irish only speaking relatives (well choose to only speak Irish).
I am having a celtic cross tattoo on my arm with a claddagh built into it to represent my kids who's names are going to be in there as well. I would like to include Éirinn go Bráth however also wanted to change it to Family and Ireland Forever, can anyone help?
Thanks
Will


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PostPosted: Tue 08 Aug 2023 1:13 am 
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Location: Corcaigh
TheWilf wrote:
Hey,
Irish born and raised however lived in the UK all my life so never got to learn Irish, I am however trying to self teach so that I can start communicating with some of my Irish only speaking relatives (well choose to only speak Irish).
I am having a celtic cross tattoo on my arm with a claddagh built into it to represent my kids who's names are going to be in there as well. I would like to include Éirinn go Bráth however also wanted to change it to Family and Ireland Forever, can anyone help?
Thanks
Will


... family who only speak Irish? Fair play to them. That's a tough thing to accomplish in this day and age.

As for your request...

TL;DR:

"Family and Ireland forever" would be something like Clann agus Éire go deo or Muintir agus Éire go deo, but you need to tell us what you mean by family so we can translate it properly for you (see below).

The long explanation:

Firstly, there are several words in Irish for describing for different types of family. None of them are direct translations of the English "family". Clann means something like "descendants" or "offspring", and would be appropriate for referring to your children specifically, but not really to your siblings, parents or partner. Muintir means "people" as in "the people of Ireland", but it can take on a familial sense when you say something like mo mhuintir "my people". This could mean people you are personally close to, your local community, or your countrymen and women, but notably, in the sense of people you are close to, this would include your family. Finally, you could use a word like teaghlach, which means "household". This, of course, means family in the sense of "people who live together under one roof" but can't really extend to include family members not living in the one place, or deceased family members. We would really need you to be more specific about what you mean by "family" in this sense before we could help translate.

Next, Éirinn go Bráth, is a popular nationalist cheer for Ireland (one which may be likened UK chants and phrases like "God save the king" or "Rule Britania"), and it is often translated as meaning "Ireland forever", as you have suggested. Unfortunately, it isn't very good Irish, and strictly speaking, doesn't actually mean anything.

It is grammatically problematic because the word Éirinn is in the dative case, which means that it can't generally be used except following a preposition (like "in", "to", or "from"). So, if you wanted to say something like in Éirinn go bráth "in Ireland forever", or is as Éirinn mé "I am from Ireland", you could correctly use the form Éirinn there. However, without a preposition before it, Éirinn is kind of meaningless.

If you just want to say Ireland forever, this should instead use the nominative form of the word for Ireland, Éire. The nominative is the standard form of the word, which can be used without prepositions. Therefore, the correct way to say this in Irish would be Éire go bráth. This, of course, is distinct from the popularly used phrase, incorrect though that may be, and is not commonly used as a cheer. So, it is up to you whether you would like to use this grammatically correct form.

There is a dubious claim on the wikipedia article for the anglicised phrase "Erin go Bragh" that the term Éirinn is an acceptable nominative form in two Irish dialects. It doesn't specify which two dialects, however, and I've never encountered this myself in any dialect, so I am sceptical at best. I can't personally recommend using it, but maybe someone else on the forum can come in here and provide more information about this.

As for the origin of the popularly used phrase, Éirinn go Bráth, as far as I can tell it can be traced back to Early Irish. At this point in its development, a distinct and productive accusative case used to exist in the language. The earliest example of a similar phrase which I have come across can be found in one of the preludes to the Early Irish epic, the Táin Bó Cúailnge. In this story the young hero, Cú Chulainn, takes up arms for the first time and is given a chariot. He is warned that anyone who is given a chariot for the first time on that particular day will live a short life, but for-biad a ainm Hérinn co bráth (lit.) "his name would be upon Ireland until doomsday/the end of time", or more idiomatically, "his name will be famed and revered in Ireland forever". In this early example the form érinn is used. This is in the accusative case, but looks kind of like the modern Irish dative. My suspicion is that Irish nationalists who were familiar with this Early Irish text adopted the phrase from the early source, perhaps because they liked its military connotations of achieving fame or glory through taking up arms. I would conjecture that this modern adoption was thereafter clumsily misinterpreted as the modern Irish dative being incorrectly used to express "Ireland forever".


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug 2023 12:29 pm 
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Hey,
Sorry been a while, not been feeling the best.
I prefer the clann option I think, my kids mean world to me and I suppose the principle of descendants applies to me being a descendant of my mum as well who I was exceptionally close too.
I think I will go for that depending on what others think as well… Clann agus Éire go deo
I know like you said it may not be the popular phrase used however I would imagine, correct me if I am wrong, that is because of influences of the past and then more recent modern influences and popular culture. We all originate from Co. Cork so our Irish nationality is very important and so the more grammatically correct saying would probably be best served but someone else please feel free to correct me. I assume if it was the older incorrect form would be Clann agus Éirinn go Bráth?
Any help or opinions appreciated.
Thanks
Will


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 12:09 pm 
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TheWilf wrote:
Clann agus Éire go deo

Hey Will, yeah I think this is good for what you want as it includes all the family and kids and a few more hangers on as well. :)

Cheers,

Tim


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 4:33 pm 
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Location: Corcaigh
TheWilf wrote:
I prefer the clann option I think, my kids mean world to me and I suppose the principle of descendants applies to me being a descendant of my mum as well who I was exceptionally close too.


Yes, clann can be interpreted as either your own clann, i.e. your descendants, or your mother's clann, i.e., you, your siblings, your own children, and all of their cousins.


TheWilf wrote:
I think I will go for that depending on what others think as well… Clann agus Éire go deo


I think this is the best option.

TheWilf wrote:
I know like you said it may not be the popular phrase used however I would imagine, correct me if I am wrong, that is because of influences of the past and then more recent modern influences and popular culture.


That is certainly my interpretation of how the phrase in popular usage probably came to be.

TheWilf wrote:
I assume if it was the older incorrect form would be Clann agus Éirinn go Bráth?


I wouldn't say so. Anything that has Éirinn go Bráth without a preposition either being present, or somehow implied, is grammatically awkward.

Also, using the spelling bráth suggests to me something almost aggressive, like "until death", as the word literally means "doomsday". Others may disagree with me regarding this connotation, and I'd be happy to hear from them if so, however, I can confidently say that go deo simply means forever, and doesn't carry any such connotations.


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 5:19 pm 
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Hey All,

Thanks for all your help, pretty much settled then I think with “Clann agus Éire go deo”.

This is a link to something similar to what I am having although needs to be designed on the day as I don’t go to the gym that much haha! My kids names, Jessica and Aedan are going to go in the ring instead of the knot above the cross.

Interested in thoughts or opinions, not sure where to work the phrase in yet.

https://images.app.goo.gl/PFajRNCyFbaD1JtT9

Thanks
Will


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 5:47 pm 
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Ade wrote:
Yes, clann can be interpreted as either your own clann, i.e. your descendants, or your mother's clann, i.e., you, your siblings, your own children, and all of their cousins.

Er.. no. This is poor Irish. Clann does not mean your mother's siblings! It only means your offspring.


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 9:15 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Ade wrote:
Yes, clann can be interpreted as either your own clann, i.e. your descendants, or your mother's clann, i.e., you, your siblings, your own children, and all of their cousins.

Er.. no. This is poor Irish. Clann does not mean your mother's siblings! It only means your offspring.


I never claimed that clann refers to your mother's siblings.

What I said was that, if one were to speak about their mother's clann, that would mean their mother's offspring and their descendants. That would be them, and their siblings, and any children any of them may have. So, if I were to refer to clann mo mháthair, I would be understood to be referring to myself, my siblings, any children of mine, and any nieces or nephews I may have.


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 9:30 pm 
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Ade wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
Ade wrote:
Yes, clann can be interpreted as either your own clann, i.e. your descendants, or your mother's clann, i.e., you, your siblings, your own children, and all of their cousins.

Er.. no. This is poor Irish. Clann does not mean your mother's siblings! It only means your offspring.


I never claimed that clann refers to your mother's siblings.

What I said was that, if one were to speak about their mother's clann, that would mean their mother's offspring and their descendants. That would be them, and their siblings, and any children any of them may have. So, if I were to refer to clann mo mháthair, I would be understood to be referring to myself, my siblings, any children of mine, and any nieces or nephews I may have.

clann mo mháthar, yes - the progeny of my mother. But clann agus Éire is just not right - granted it doesn't matter much what some person puts on their arm - I always look away immediately to avoid being dragged into the mud with such people - but Clann agus Éire means "offspring and Ireland". That is just not right. But as I said, it's not as if it matters in this case.


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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug 2023 10:38 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Ade wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
Ade wrote:
Yes, clann can be interpreted as either your own clann, i.e. your descendants, or your mother's clann, i.e., you, your siblings, your own children, and all of their cousins.

Er.. no. This is poor Irish. Clann does not mean your mother's siblings! It only means your offspring.


I never claimed that clann refers to your mother's siblings.

What I said was that, if one were to speak about their mother's clann, that would mean their mother's offspring and their descendants. That would be them, and their siblings, and any children any of them may have. So, if I were to refer to clann mo mháthair, I would be understood to be referring to myself, my siblings, any children of mine, and any nieces or nephews I may have.

clann mo mháthar, yes - the progeny of my mother. But clann agus Éire is just not right - granted it doesn't matter much what some person puts on their arm - I always look away immediately to avoid being dragged into the mud with such people - but Clann agus Éire means "offspring and Ireland". That is just not right. But as I said, it's not as if it matters in this case.


I think clann in a phrase like clann agus Éire is somewhat open ended. It's up to the person getting the tattoo to determine whose offspring are in question. It's not necessary to assume clann refers to his/her own offspring rather than those of some ancestor (as in Clann Uí Fhlatharta).

I also think it's a bit too restrictive to translate it as strictly "offspring" in a case like this. From the earliest writings in Irish you get the word clann with a meaning more similar to "family group", "kin", or indeed, the English loanword "clan". See for example 29d6 from the Würzburg glosses, .i. hóbói mochland et mochenéel "i.e. since my clan and my kindred came into being", or 27a from Dioghluim Dána, fearr beagán cloinne ná clann "a single child can be better than a large family".

My point in bringing up either of the two of these examples here is not to suggest that the translation "offspring" is impossible in either case, but simply that "clan" and "family" were chosen as preferable translations based on the context. In a similar way, I think the context of clann agus Éire is quite clearly one which demands the understanding "family and Ireland" rather than "offspring and Ireland".


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