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The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

This is not a "translation forum," per se, though translation requests may occasionally be honored at the discretion of the moderators. If you're seeking a one-time translation for something like a tattoo, engraving, wedding vow, or other such purpose, we strongly recommend that you visit our friends at ILF: http://irishlearner.awyr.com



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:04 am 
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The Sporting Pitchfork wrote:
As much as I love the word "smacht" and try to regularly fit it into my rudimentary Irish conversations, I'm not sure if there's a direction there either... Although there may be way, way back at the Proto-Indo-European level. Might be interesting to see what kinds of words crop up for terms such as discipline/hit/strike/etc. in other IE language families. Certainly wouldn't rule it out...

MacBain's Etymological Dictionary wrote:
smachd
authority, correction, Irish smachd, Old Irish smacht, Middle Irish smachtaigim, I enjoin, smacht, fine for breaking the law: *smaktu-, from s-mag, root mag, Indo-European magh, be strong; English may, Gothic magan, be able; Greek @Gmc@nhos, means (see mac).

MacBain's might be an interesting resource for browsing. Scottish Gaelic ... but, you know, if you go back far enough ... :wink: Online, or as a downloadable text file:

Online: http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/MB2/index.html
Text: http://www2.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/faclair/macbain/

Also check out the Gaelic / Irish dictionaries available one level up at: http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:15 am 
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Redwolf wrote:
As far as I can discover, however, "smack" has solidly Germanic roots, so unless they're related back at the Proto-Indo-European level, it's probably just a coincidence.


A loan-word could have gone the other way, like fluit.

~~

I've often wondered if there's a connection between cratur/craytur/craythur/creithur meaning booze, and the greek word 'kratur', which is literally the wide, flat bowl that wine was drunk from*, but is also by extension the wine itself and the act of drinking. This first time I heard the song The Humours of Whiskey (below) krater is what I thought I was hearing.

Irish monks and scholars have been classically learned since the dark ages, and in the period when English was being stuffed down their throats, Latin and Greek were attractive alternatives to english for irish scholars. You can't call someone uneducated if he can speak latin, greek, and irish, even if he can't (or refuses to) speak english to you.

Borrowing an ancient greek word for partying might initially have been a way to demonstrate erudition, and then was eventually assimilated as a part of the language. Being literate in Latin was also a way for irish scholars to get access to a pan-european culture and to the church, again without having to go through english.

Anyway, that's been my theory. While googling a minute or so ago, I found this claim on wiktionary:

Quote:
From Irish, craythur, the origins of the word date back to large Iron Age bowls from which alcohol was served. It is cognate to the ancient Greek Κρατερ. [Κρατερ=krater]


Which accepts the link that was intriguing me, but has an alternate explanation of the actual connection. It also doesn't identify a source or any authority for the statement.


Quote:
The Humours of Whiskey
Let your quacks and newspapers be cutting their capers
About curing the vapors the scratch and the gout
With their medical potions, their serums and their lotions
Upholding their notions, they're mighty put out.

Who can tell the true physic to all that's pathetic
And pitch to the divil, cramp, colic and spleen
You'll know it I think if you take a big drink
With your mouth to the brink of a jug of poteen

So stick to the cratur' the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh what botheration, no dose in the nation
Can give consolation like poteen me boys.


*the greek understood fermenation, but hadn't worked out how to get rid of the sediment. A wide bowl made it easy to seperate out the solids.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:02 am 
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Groovy.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Hey Lads - Very interesting chat going on here.

I heard that the Gaelic word 'bodhar', meaning deaf, is possibly the root of the English word 'boring'. Perhaps this fits into the 'obvious' category?


I have noticed parallels between Anglo Irish grammar and Scots Gaelic, for example - it is common, particularly in Lewis to say for example 'Tha mi an deidh mo dhinnear ithe.' or 'Tha mi air a bhith a snàmh.' In Ireland you would commonly hear ' I am after eating my dinner' or 'I am after swimming'.

I am missing the Irish language knowledge, however, I am sure the same grammatical structures are there


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:45 pm 
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Sort of along those lines, I just came across a word-for-word parallel between the putative Irish idiom "cuir suas le..." and the English idiom "put up with..." (which means of course "endure"), and was given to understand that the Irish phrase has the same meaning. Interesting, I thought. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not best assured of my source.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:16 pm 
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curleywurley wrote:
Hey Lads - Very interesting chat going on here.

I heard that the Gaelic word 'bodhar', meaning deaf, is possibly the root of the English word 'boring'. Perhaps this fits into the 'obvious' category?


I have noticed parallels between Anglo Irish grammar and Scots Gaelic, for example - it is common, particularly in Lewis to say for example 'Tha mi an deidh mo dhinnear ithe.' or 'Tha mi air a bhith a snàmh.' In Ireland you would commonly hear ' I am after eating my dinner' or 'I am after swimming'.

I am missing the Irish language knowledge, however, I am sure the same grammatical structures are there


Irish has the same structure. "Tá mé i ndhiaidh mo dhinnéar a ithe"...I'm after eating my dinner." That structure in Hiberno English comes directly from the mother tongue.

Another one that makes its way into Hiberno English is the concept of physical features, emotions, and illnesses being "on" you, rather than something you possess.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Sort of along those lines, I just came across a word-for-word parallel between the putative Irish idiom "cuir suas le..." and the English idiom "put up with..." (which means of course "endure"), and was given to understand that the Irish phrase has the same meaning. Interesting, I thought. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not best assured of my source.


It does have that meaning in Irish, but I suspect it may be Béarlachas (a structure that was borrowed directly from English into Irish)...much as "tá fáilte romhat" (which originally would have been used only to welcome somebody to a place...not as a response to "thank you").

One that's interesting is the phrase that's used when irritated with someone, or with something someone's said or done. In English, we might say "I don't want to put you OUT," but Irish uses the phrase "put in" instead! (for example, "Ní maith liom tusa a chuir isteach, ach..." I don't want to put you out (but literally "in"), but...").

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Thanks.

Didn't know that "tá fáilte romhat" was being used as a response to a thank-you! That strikes me as weird-sounding, but it just goes to show how disconnected from the living language I am. Is that now the common practice, then?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Thanks.

Didn't know that "tá fáilte romhat" was being used as a response to a thank-you! That strikes me as weird-sounding, but it just goes to show how disconnected from the living language I am. Is that now the common practice, then?


Yes, in many areas. I've heard "tá fáilte romhat" more frequently than the more traditional "go ndéana sé maith duit," even in the Gaeltacht (and it's what's taught in most learning methods these days). It's evidently become standard, even if it's not traditional.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Quote:
"go ndéana sé maith duit,"

Would this translate roughly as "may it serve you well"?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Quote:
"go ndéana sé maith duit,"

Would this translate roughly as "may it serve you well"?


More or less. Literally "may it do good to you."

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Yeah, that's how I read it. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:02 pm 
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We were always told to say `go ndéanfa mhaith a duit` as a reply and scolded for saying fáilte romhat. My Granda would throw his paper at you if you said that. His other personal favourite was ro barríocht. He was a good shot with the Irish News. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:07 pm 
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We were also told that the americanism `so long` came from slán. Dont know if thats true or not, but sounds good!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:39 pm 
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runaí wrote:
We were also told that the americanism `so long` came from slán. Dont know if thats true or not, but sounds good!

Y'know, without documentation to fall on, this Yank is tempted to go along with that. As a parting idiom, "so long" really makes no sense in English - unless you stretch it to the point where it has a near-death experience, and even then, you look at it, shake your head, and go, "Nah." I've tried.

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