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Does Irish Have A Translation for “Bond Servant”?
Posted: 28 October 2011 10:32 AM   Ignore ]  
Comhalta
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I am hoping somebody may be able to clarify a particular Irish-English translation for me.  I have searched the internet extensively and continue to find conflicting information.

I am seeking the Irish translation for “bond servant” – as used by Paul in Romans 1:1 (New American Standard Bible, 1995) that is derived from Greek word “doulos”. 

In the New Testament times, it was not uncommon for a freed slave to voluntarily re-enter servitude to a master whom he loved.  This servitude was called bond-service.  Only a freed slave could be a bond servant and once he had chosen to become one, he could never be freed again.  Neither could he be bought or sold, and he served his chosen master until death. 

William O’Domhnuill’s Translation of the Tiomna Nuadh/New Testament (1602) uses the word, “shearbhfhoghantuidhe” in Luke 2:29. Is this old Irish?  I cannot seem to find the word in contemporary Irish dictionaries.

Google translator indicates the Irish translation of “bond servant” to be “sheirbhseach banna” and the Irish translation of “bond slave” to be “daor banna”.  However, if I search the definition of “daor” independently, it translates “expensive” instead of “slave”.
Also, is “banna” the most appropriate translation of “bond” in “bond servant”?  It would seem “gealltanas” might be more appropriate.

So, as I understand it, my options are the following:

scla’bhai = slave
sheirbhseach = servant
daor banna = bond servant (but why does “daor” translate as “expensive” and is “banna” the best translation of “bond”?)
shearbhfhoghantuidhe = servant or bond servant (Old Irish?)

To summarize, I would very much appreciate knowing your thoughts as to which Irish word or phrase would be the best translation of the Greek word “doulos” and the English word “bond servant”.

Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.

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Posted: 28 October 2011 10:55 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Comhalta
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A Batteman, a chara,

I’m not a specialist, but you can find an Irish translation of the New Testament on the following web site:
http://www.anbioblanaofa.org/ga/pdf

It also has the sentence you were looking for: “Mise Pól, searbhónta Íosa Críost, a bhfuil glaoite air chun bheith ina aspal agus atá
dealaithe amach chun dea-scéal Dé.”

So, “bond servant” would be “searbhónta” (I suspect “searbhodhantuidhe” is just “searbhónta” in old spelling, rather than Old Irish).

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Posted: 28 October 2011 12:00 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Wow - thank you SO much for your quick and helpful response!  I REALLY, really appreciate it.

Go raibh míle maith agat!

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Posted: 28 October 2011 02:40 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Tá fáilte romhat! smile

Glad I could be of help. The tricky part of it is that “servant” has a whole range of possible meanings in English, which I’m not sure you can render through “searbhónta” - not just the idea of being servile, but as you pointed out, serving somebody of one’s own free will. I wonder if there is another word in Irish that would express this concept better? For instance, “sclábhaí” has an unpleasant ring to my ear, like someone who does the dirty work for others, so that probably wouldn’t fit…

Any thoughts anyone?

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Posted: 28 October 2011 03:08 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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However, if I search the definition of “daor” independently, it translates “expensive” instead of “slave”.

I think “daor” is being used as a noun here, in which case it’s translated as “unfree person: slave,” as in “an saor agus an daor” - “the free and the unfree.”

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Posted: 28 October 2011 03:10 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I was so intrigued that couldn’t help doing some more research myself… wink

The Focal.ie database has “searbhónta”, but also “giolla”, which seems to fit quite well, given the other uses of “giolla” (best-boy, call-boy, gofer, servant, minion, porter, orderly etc). It also has the advantage of sounding a bit like “gealladh” and “géilleadh” and indeed “gealltanas”, though that’s probably not its true origin.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 01:49 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Well in Old Irish the word “Cumal” meant a female slave/bondswoman, focal.ie has it translated as “bansclábhaí—handmaid”

eDIL (electronic Dictionary of Irish Language) also has “doírsech” in Old Irish. For slave/bondsman it uses a number of passages in the bible—this appears to be daoirseach in modern Irish.

Even Mogh (Muġ) could be used for bondsmen as well as slave:

—“A male slave or servant (in wide sense); in early texts generally of a serf or bondman, later occas. of free retainers. Translates L. servus in Glosses”—

If the bit about earlier texts is correct it would for example explain the name of “Muġ Nuaḋat” the purported ancestor of the Éoghnacht and the contemporay of Conn (of the hundred battles). You often see his name translated as “Slave of Nuadha” though “Servant of Nuadha” might seem more apt. (given he was a king and all)

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Posted: 01 November 2011 09:38 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Good stuff everybody!  I so appreciate it.

duḃṫaċ - would it be too much for me to ask you to provide some of the specific Bible passages (book, chapter, verse) that use “daoirseach”?  That would be EXTREMELY helpful.

So - if I am following all the threads correctly, it appears the top three choices for “bond servant” (male) are “searbhónta”, “daoiseach” and “giolla”, yes?

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Posted: 01 November 2011 11:10 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Sorry if I misled you with my message, Batteman. What I was getting at with “giolla” was the voluntary serving aspect of “bond servant”, but perhaps it would be too free as a translation… So I would recommend you go with “searbhónta” or one of the words duḃṫaċ has provided (completely new and very interesting stuff to me).

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Posted: 01 November 2011 02:44 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Gei 21:10 Dúirt sí le hAbrahám: “Tiomáin chun siúil an daoirseach seo agus a mac, óir ní bheidh mac na daoirsí i bpáirt chun na hoidhreachta le mo mhacsa Íosác.

Deo 15:17 faighse meana agus cuir trína chluais é agus isteach sa chomhla, agus bíodh sé mar dhaor agat go brách. Déan mar an gcéanna le haon daoirseach leat.

Sea 30:23 Bean thréigthe, nuair a phósann, agus daoirseach nuair a thógann [sí áit] a máistreása.

daor (45 results)

searbhónta 75 results

Giolla 91 results

(Results with eSword from http://www.anbioblanaofa.org/)

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Posted: 01 November 2011 05:03 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Fascinating!  I especially was intrigued by the passage from Deut/Deo 15:17 as this depicts the ritual where a freed slave ceremoniously choose bond service by having an awl (or gold ring) driven through his/her own ear as a means to signify to others that they cannot be bought or sold. They are henceforth a “bond servant”.

So this leads me to two more questions:

1) What is the difference between “daor”, “dhaor” and “daoirseach”?  Which would be the most appropriate translation for “servant” (or “bond servant”)?

2) How would one translate “servant for life” in Irish?

Again, I really appreciate all the wealth of knowledge being offered to me here.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 03:02 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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daor and dhaor are two forms of the same word. 

http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/lenition.htm

daoirseach is derived from daor. It is not a word I’ve seen used often.


As to what best suits bondservant, I don’t know. If the bond is freely entered into, I don’t think daor suits.

Giolla might, and was often a component of a given or assumed name, e.g. Giolla Chríost.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 12:50 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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That makes perfect sense to me. 

You mentioned there were 91 results of “giolla” in the Irish Bible - 1) would it be possible to provide a few scripture references - maybe both Old and New Testament?

Would it be appropriate to use “giolla” in a phrase that basically translated “servant (aka orderly) for life”?  If so, 2) what would be the Irish equivalent of “Servant for Life” using the Irish word “Giolla”?

This will be my last post, as I do not want to “wear out my welcome” (or as my Czech grandmother used to say, “vare out my velcome”).  smile

Thanks again to one and all for your wonderful assistance.  If anybody ever finds themself in Houston, Texas, please let me know; I’d be more than happy to treat you to some wonderful Bar-B-Q and Tex-Mex cuisine!  smile

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Posted: 02 November 2011 02:28 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Deo 33:1     Seo í an bheannacht lenar bheannaigh Maois, giolla Dé, clann Iosrael roimh bhás dó.

Bre 3:19 Ach d’fhill sé féin ar ais ó Íola Ghilgeál, agus dúirt: “Tá teachtaireacht rúin agam duit, a rí.” “Ciúnas,” a d’fhógair an rí agus amach leis na giollaí go léir óna láthair.

Rút 2:9 Bíodh do shúil agat ar an gcuid sin den ghort a bhíonn á bhaint acu agus bí ina ndiaidh aniar. Tá ordú tugtha agam do mo sheirbhísigh gan cur isteach ort. Má bhíonn tart ort, buail síos chun na soithí agus ól deoch as ar tharraing na giollaí.”

1Rí 13:6 Dúirt an rí leis an ngiolla Dé: “Iarr fabhar an Tiarna do Dhia arís (agus guigh orm) ionas go bhfaighidh mé lúth mo láimhe ar ais.” Agus chuir an giolla Dé a impí chun an Tiarna, agus fuair an rí ar ais lúth a láimhe agus bhí sí mar a bhí roimhe sin.

Mth 8:13 Dúirt sé leis an taoiseach céad ansin: “Imigh leat; agus bíodh agat de réir mar a chreid tú.” Agus ar an nóiméad sin féin, leigheasadh an giolla.

Gní 5:26 Ansin d’imigh an ceannfort agus a chuid giollaí agus thug siad leo iad, gan aon lámh láidir, áfach, mar bhí eagla orthu roimh an bpobal, go gclochfaidís iad.

Gal 3:24 Dá bhrí sin, bhí an dlí mar a bheadh giolla againn nó go dtiocfadh Críost agus go bhfíréanófaí sinn tríd an gcreideamh.

Would it be appropriate to use “giolla” in a phrase that basically
translated “servant (aka orderly) for life”? If so, 2) what would be the
Irish equivalent of “Servant for Life” using the Irish word “Giolla”?

Giolla Saoil

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Posted: 03 November 2011 04:41 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Comhalta
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Just an observation as well, so we have:

Saoirse is derived from Saor there is also the word Daoirse which derives from Daor, of course I can’t imagine Daoirse been turned into a fistname as Saoirse has LOL

Here’s a page with some derivatives of Daor from Dineen, it’s use as an intensifier is interesting. I especially like

Daor-Smaċt (Daor-Smacht) = Extreme Tyranny
Daor-Boċt (Daor-Bocht) = very poor (extreme poverty)

http://glg.csisdmz.ul.ie/pictures/0308-dao.png

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