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Translation help please
Posted: 24 January 2017 07:51 AM   Ignore ]  
Comhalta
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I’d like to translate the line from Tolkien “Not all those who wander are lost”

Thank you

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Posted: 24 January 2017 08:31 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Comhalta
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There are a bunch of ways you could say this, as there are as many ways of saying “to be lost” as there are of saying “wanderer” in Irish.  Due to the syntax, I’d say something like “ní hionann bheith ar fán agus bheith ar strae”, which means more like “wandering and being lost are not the same.”  It’s not easy to elegantly say “not all those who wander..”, which is something like “níl gach duine díobh atá ag fánaíocht..”  Irish sayings tend to be more succinct and poetic than this. 
Take my suggestion with a grain of salt, as I’m not a native and there could be errors.  Wait for other people to weigh in before tattooing this on yourself.

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Posted: 25 January 2017 07:23 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Comhalta
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Thank you, I’ll definitely wait for more people to weigh in.  I know that a direct translation is not likely due to the language differences but I’m hoping to get as close as I can.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 01:07 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Comhalta
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I think I’d take a literal approach:

Ní bhíonn gach fánaí ar strae: Not every wanderer is lost

Do wait for more input though, please.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 07:52 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Comhalta
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That’s not a bad suggestion, and I had thought of something more along those lines but I wasn’t sure if there was some ambiguity in meaning, i.e. it could mean that not all wanderers are lost, but wasn’t sure if it could also mean that no wanderer is lost.  But the latter would probably be “ni bhionn fanai ar strae.”  So it’s probably safe.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 10:25 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Comhalta
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It’s had a fair bit of vetting over the years. It’s been the stock answer for this translation request at IGTF, and later at ILF, for years. I have sometimes wondered, though, if it would be less ambiguous without the habitual (níl gach fánaí ar strae) or with some kind of emphasis (e.g., “níl/ní bhíonn gach uile fánaí ar strae”).

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Posted: 30 January 2017 11:27 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Comhalta
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Thank you all for your help on this.  QQ, How do the less ambiguous ones translate?

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Posted: 30 January 2017 11:56 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Comhalta
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bspeaker - 30 January 2017 11:27 AM

Thank you all for your help on this.  QQ, How do the less ambiguous ones translate?

Pretty much the same. The difference between “níl” and “ní bhíonn” is that the second one is what’s called the “habitual”—it describes something that happens regularly or repeatedly.

“Uile” means “all/every,” and in this case is added to “gach” (which means “every/each”) to emphasize it a bit.

I’m not sure if either works, though, or that either would be an improvement, so please don’t run with them without further input.

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Posted: 09 February 2017 02:56 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Comhalta
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Normally I don’t post links for other forums, but since this one has gotten so slow, I’m going to suggest that you go to ILF for further input and for confirmation. As with Daltaí, you have to join, but it’s free. The best place there to post this would be on An Föram Mór, which is the main forum.

http://www.irishlanguageforum.com

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Posted: 10 February 2017 09:17 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Comhalta
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Thank you, I will check it out.  I’m not in any rush thankfully smile

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Posted: 15 February 2017 02:58 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Comhalta
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I’m not a native speaker, but for what it’s worth, I quite like the version suggested by Héilics “Ní hionann bheith ar fán agus bheith ar strae”. Still, the one offered by Ailís “Ní bhíonn gach fánaí ar strae” is just as good and has the advantage of being shorter, so I’d probably go for that one. There are also a number of other words for conveying the idea of “wandering” or “moving around” in Irish, such as “siúl” and “seachrán”, but I don’t think either of the two would suit your context.

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Posted: 15 February 2017 03:12 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Comhalta
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Thanks smile  I think both versions have their merits.  I tried to take a less literal approach and I think it is slightly less ambiguous, but the “stock” answer is certainly fine.  As you say, it’s a bit more succinct.

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