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8 - Translating Find and the Phantoms into Modern Irish

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2018

Tadhg Ó Síocháin
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

La traduction est un duel a mort ou perit inevitablement celui qui traduit ou celui qui est traduit.

IN THIS CHAPTER, I will argue that the translation into Modern Irish of literature from the Old and Middle Irish periods can offer advantages that do not always accrue from translations of such texts into English and other languages. I should, of course, point out immediately that translations into languages with a broad global reach have played a major role in bringing this literature to an international readership and in gaining for it a prestigious place in international scholarship. So my proposal is for Modern Irish translations in addition to rather than instead of translations into other languages. In the Appendix to this chapter, I present a Modern Irish translation of a medieval Irish poem, beginning ‘Oenach indiu luid in rí’, known generally under the English title of ‘Find and the Phantoms’ given to it by Whitley Stokes, which is reprinted following the Modern Irish translation. The poem tells of a terrifying encounter between the hero, Find Mac Cumaill, his son Oisín and his foster-son Caílte, and a collection of aggressive phantoms in a house in a remote glen where they go to seek shelter one night. Due mainly to the prowess of Find, the three survive their gruesome ordeal until morning when, as the sun rises, all are mysteriously overcome by sleep. When Find and his companions awake, the ghostly house and its phantoms have vanished and all three are unscathed. At the outset, I will provide some contextual information about the text chosen for translation. I will outline my aims and overall approach to the task and discuss some general theoretical questions as well as practical issues that influenced my approach. As translators always have to choose between possible alternatives, I will then try to explain some of the choices that I have made and discuss some problems that I encountered.

Source Text and Its Place within Fiannaíocht

My source text is a poem taken from the twelfth-century Book of Leinster (Dublin, Trinity College MS 1339, fols 206b–207b), and published by Whitley Stokes with an English translation in 1886.

Type
Chapter
Information
Translating Early Medieval Poetry
Transformation, Reception, Interpretation
, pp. 122 - 147
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2017

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