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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr 2021 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu 22 Apr 2021 6:54 pm
Posts: 1
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping for some help with the following translation, from Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. I have had it translated by a friend of a friend, but I wanted to check it before I embroider it as a gift!

In English, it reads:

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home."

The translation I received is:

"Nuair a chaitheann an canbhás tanaí
sa curach smaoinimh
agus éiríonn an fharraige dhorcha fút
lig don uisce a thaispeáint duit
cosán solas na gelaí buí
chun tú a thabhairt abhaile go sábháilte"

which I'm told translates as:

"when the canvas wears thin
in the curragh of thought
and the sea becomes dark under you
let the water show you a yellow moonlight path
to bring you home safely"

Many thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr 2021 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat 03 May 2014 4:01 pm
Posts: 1443
kf1618 wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping for some help with the following translation, from Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. I have had it translated by a friend of a friend, but I wanted to check it before I embroider it as a gift!

In English, it reads:

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home."

The translation I received is:

"Nuair a chaitheann an canbhás tanaí
sa curach smaoinimh
agus éiríonn an fharraige dhorcha fút
lig don uisce a thaispeáint duit
cosán solas na gelaí buí
chun tú a thabhairt abhaile go sábháilte"

which I'm told translates as:

"when the canvas wears thin
in the curragh of thought
and the sea becomes dark under you
let the water show you a yellow moonlight path
to bring you home safely"

Many thanks in advance!


... agus a éiríonn an fharraige dorcha ...
(or ... agus go n-éiríonn an fharraige dorcha ...
or ... agus an fharraige a éirí dorcha fút)

dorcha is predicative here, so no lenition (no dh).
agus combines two relative clauses, so: agus a éiríonn

canbhás tanaí - I might be wrong but it could be understood rather as an already "thin canvas" (thin as attributive adjective) than a thin worn but originally thick canvas.
I wonder if caitheann is the right verb here, prob. again éiríonn is better
or: nuair atá an canbhás caite = when the c. is worn-out (at least dictionaries recommend it for "wear thin", "fray")
or nuair a thanaíonn an canbhás = when the canvas becomes thin

lig don uisce cosán sholas na gelaí buí a thaispeáint duit

word order,
lenition of sholas

may ... = go + subjunctive:
go dtaga cosán sholas na gelaí buí trasna an uisce = may come a path ...


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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2021 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri 09 Sep 2011 2:06 pm
Posts: 642
I agree with Labhras's corrections.Here's my version:

Nuair atá canbhás churach na smaointe caite
Agus an fharraige mhór ina smál dubh fút
Go dtaga cosán sholas na gealaí buí
Trasna na tonnta
Chun tú a thabhairt slán abhaile

Literally:
When the canvas of the currach of thought(s) is worn/frayed
And the ocean a black stain beneath you
May a path of yellow moonlight
Come over the waves
To bring you safely home

Labhrás, I thought future rather than present, though I suppose both are possible. Chance of 'caite' being understood - albeit just for a moment - as qualifying 'smaointe'?


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