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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (July-December) » "ban" in phrase « Previous Next »

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agneis mcf (pool-151-201-156-228.phil.east.verizon.net - 151.201.156.228)
Posted on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 08:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I was asked to translate a phrase from a song ("The Castle of Dromore") which says "a phaiste ban a stor".

Most of it I can get: "darling child" or something like that, but what is the meaning of the "ban" in this phrase?
I haven't seen the words myself, but they were given to me by someone, so maybe there's an error.

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alec1 (m22-mp1.cvx1-b.dub.dial.ntli.net - 62.254.104.22)
Posted on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 09:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

What is the full context -Could it be bán(with a fada on the 'a')

Bán is means white and is often used for Blond/Fair in Irish.

Máire Bán= fair haired/blonde Mary


I would guess your phrase is 'My Darling Fair-haired child'

A Stór = my darling

alec

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Seosaimhín (cache-mtc-ah02.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.96.167)
Posted on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Agneis, a chara,
I know the song in question, both the Irish language and English versions actually, courtesy of my good mother who I was fortunate enough to have as my teacher at Elementary School for seven years or so.
The English version and the Irish language version do not necessarily convey exactly the same meaning, and the line in question is actually sung in Irish in the English language version of the song.

The line you refer to is indeed, as Alec rightly guessed
" a phaiste bán, a stór" with a fada on the "a" in "bán"
"bán" is the word for the colour "white"
"bán" when referring to people generally refers to the colour of their hair i.e. "white" or "fair"
"bán" can also mean "favoured"/ "favoured one"
"stór" means "treasure" often it's translated as "darling"

I translate this line

"A phaiste bán, a stór"
as
"O fair(haired) favoured child, o treasure"

Grammar Point:
" A Mhamaí!": "O Mammy!"
"A thaisce": "O darling!"
"A phaiste bán!" : "O fair/favoured child!"

The "A" in front of the noun denotes the use of the vocative case, as in when one is addressing another person directly. The use of the possessive particle "mo" (my") before the noun would indicate possession, as in

"Mo Mhamaí!" "My Mammy!"
"Mo thaisce" " My darling"
"Mo phaiste bán" "My fair/favoured child

There is a subtle difference between the two, but it does exist and it is better to be aware of it.

"Bán" can here be taken to mean the colour of the child's hair or "Favoured" as in "O favoured child"
My mother, when teaching this song told us to think of both meanings when singing the song i.e. "fair" and "favoured"

The name of this song for those who are interested is:
Caisleán an Drom Oir (The Castle of Dromore)

Alternative meaning of "bán" (Anglicised "bawn")
In the English of South Derry "bán" or as they pronounce it "bawn" has taken on yet another meaning:it is used to describe a beautifully tended lawn/grassy area /"favoured spot" such as one might find outside an old landlord's residence. Séamás Heaney uses this meaning of "bán" to translate "keep" in his translation of Beowulf.

Hope this has proved useful,
Seosaimhín

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 04:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I know the vocative always demands lenition but does the possessive pronoun, "mo" require it as well?

Le meas,

James

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Seosaimhín Nic Rabhartaigh (cache-rk07.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.189.71)
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 03:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara,
Yes, "mo" requires lenition or as my mother always said during Irish language class "mo" puts in a "h"!

the possessive pronouns take lenition (seimhiú)/no lenition/ nasalization (urú) as follows:

Na forainmeacha pearsanta (na hAidiachtaí Sealbhacha)
The Personal pronouns (the possessive adjectives)
Before a noun beginning with a consonant (capall/horse)

my: "mo" (+ lenition)" mo chapall" (my horse)
your: "do" (+ lenition) " do chapall"
his: "a" (+ lenition) "a chapall"
her "a" ( no lenition)" a capall"

our:"ár" (+ nasalization/urú) "ár gcapall (our horse)
your:"bhur" (+ nasalization/urú) "bhur gcapall"
their: "a" (+ nasalization/urú) " a gcapall"

Before a noun beginning with a vowel (athair/father)

the "mo"/"do" contract to "m'" /"d'"

m'athair (no lenition: one can't lenite a vowel!)
d'athair
a athair (his father)
a hathair (her father) note: the "h" before the noun to distinguish it from "his" father

ár n-athair (+ nasalization )
bhur n-athair (+ nasalization)
a n-athair (+naalization)

Tá súil agam go gcuideoidh an méid seo!
I hope this will help!

Beir bua agus beannacht,
Seosaimhín

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Sheosaimhín (correct vocative?)

Thanks for the summary. I'll print it out and put it in my note-book. As always, you've winnowed about three chapters of confusing, nearly incomprehensible "grammar-ese" into less than one page of succinct, useful data.

You are amazing.

Le meas,

James

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Seosaimhín Nic Rabhartaigh (cache-dq08.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.209.140)
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara,
Tá fáilte romhat! Is maith an smaoineamh é, an méid thúas a ghreamadh (to stick) isteach i do chóipleabhair.
And you did get the correct vocative of my name! Maith thú!
Slán go fóill,
Seosaimhín

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agnéis (pool-151-201-156-192.phil.east.verizon.net - 151.201.156.192)
Posted on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 10:40 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for your thoughtful explicit responses. I was asked this by a friend who is truly impressed that there's a "hotline" for Irish language question.
Agnes

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