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 Post subject: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 8:11 pm 
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Just starting to read An Hobad, and I'm curious about some of the language used...specifically the conditional mode.

I'm encountering places where the translator has used the conditional mode whereas Tolkien used simple past tense, for example:

D'osclaíodh an dóras isteach ar halla sorcóireach ar gheall le tollán é

Where the English is:

The door opened onto a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel

A little later in the paragraph:

Théadh an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i dtaobh an chnoic

Where the English is:

The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill

I'm just curious about the use of the conditional rather than simple past tense...is it a literary thing? Or is it because we're talking about something that isn't actually performing an action but allows for potential action (for example, the door isn't actually in the process of opening into the hall, but it allows for the passage of a person into the hall)?

BTW, since I'm sure I'm not the only one happily gloating over a long-awaited copy of this book in Irish, perhaps we can use this thread to talk about it.

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
D'osclaíodh an dóras isteach ar halla sorcóireach ar gheall le tollán é

Where the English is:

The door opened onto a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel


To me "one opened the door" is "osclaíodh" in standard Irish (and "foscladh" in Ulster). No "d" in the past autonomous...

Quote:
A little later in the paragraph:

Théadh an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i dtaobh an chnoic

Where the English is:

The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill



"théadh" is past habitual (nothing to do there, in my opinion).
And the conditional wouldn't be right either in these cases... Who made the translation?

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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 9:45 pm 
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Ah, you're right...both are the past habitual! Not a form I've encountered much. Guess I'm going to get used to it now!

The translator is Nicholas Williams, by the way. He's also translated "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass."

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 9:50 pm 
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He's a Celtic scholar though. I'd like to understand why he used the past habitual there...

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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 11:06 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
The door opened onto a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel

The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill


Strictly speaking it is the past tense. But doesn't it imply that the door opened and continues to open.
It is not something that happened in the past and doesn't happen anymore.

If you say "d'oscail an doras.. " It is something that happened in the past.
Personally I'd say - Osclaíonn and doras... The door opens...
But really I'd have to see the paragraph to see more context.

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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012 11:47 pm 
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Here's the entire section:

In Irish (if there are mistakes, they're probably mine...it's hard to prop the book open to type from, and I'm not as accustomed to touch-typing in Irish as I am in English!):

Bhí an doras cruinn ciorclach ar nós sleaspholl loinge, péint uaine air, agus murlán buí práis ina cheartlár. D'osclaíodh an doras isteach ar halla sorcóireach ar gheall le tollán é, tollán fíorchompordach gan deatach ar bith ann. Painéil adhmaid a bhí ar na ballaí, leacáin agus caipéad ar an urlár agus bhí cathaoireacha ann mar aon le mórán crúcaí i gcomhair hataí agus cótaí -- thaitníodh cuariteoirí go mór leis an hobad. Théadh an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i dtaobh an chnoic -- An Cnoc, mar a thugadh gach uile duine ar feadh na mílte slí thart timpeall air -- agus is iomaí doras cruinn a d'osclaíodh amach ón tollán, ar thaobh amháin ar dtús agus ansin ar an taobh eile. Níor mhaith le hobad ar bith dul suas agus teacht anuas staighrí: seomraí codlata, seomraí folctha, soiléir, lardrúis (a lán díobh sin), vardrúis (bhí seomraí iomlána aige gad tada iontu ach éadaí), cistiní, seomraí itheacháin, bhí siad sin go léir ar an aon urlár amháin, is ea, agus ar an aon phasáiste amháin. Is ar taobh do láimhe clé (is tú ag dul isteach) a bhí na seomraí ab fhearr, mar ba iad sin na haon seomraí a raibh fuinneoga iontu, fuinneoga ciorclacha, suite go domhain isteach, a d'fhéachadh amach ar an ngairdín, agus a mhóinéir ar thaobh an chnoic lastall den ghairdín síos go dtí an abhainn.

In English:

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats -- the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill -- The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it -- and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the lefthand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round window looking over his garden and the meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

Redwolf


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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 12:15 am 
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Redwolf wrote:
Here's the entire section:

In Irish (if there are mistakes, they're probably mine...it's hard to prop the book open to type from, and I'm not as accustomed to touch-typing in Irish as I am in English!):

Bhí an doras cruinn ciorclach ar nós sleaspholl loinge, péint uaine air, agus murlán buí práis ina cheartlár. D'osclaíodh an doras isteach ar halla sorcóireach ar gheall le tollán é, tollán fíorchompordach gan deatach ar bith ann. Painéil adhmaid a bhí ar na ballaí, leacáin agus caipéad ar an urlár agus bhí cathaoireacha ann mar aon le mórán crúcaí i gcomhair hataí agus cótaí -- thaitníodh cuariteoirí go mór leis an hobad. Théadh an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh, ní go díreach ar fad, isteach i dtaobh an chnoic -- An Cnoc, mar a thugadh gach uile duine ar feadh na mílte slí thart timpeall air -- agus is iomaí doras cruinn a d'osclaíodh amach ón tollán, ar thaobh amháin ar dtús agus ansin ar an taobh eile. Níor mhaith le hobad ar bith dul suas agus teacht anuas staighrí: seomraí codlata, seomraí folctha, soiléir, lardrúis (a lán díobh sin), vardrúis (bhí seomraí iomlána aige gad tada iontu ach éadaí), cistiní, seomraí itheacháin, bhí siad sin go léir ar an aon urlár amháin, is ea, agus ar an aon phasáiste amháin. Is ar taobh do láimhe clé (is tú ag dul isteach) a bhí na seomraí ab fhearr, mar ba iad sin na haon seomraí a raibh fuinneoga iontu, fuinneoga ciorclacha, suite go domhain isteach, a d'fhéachadh amach ar an ngairdín, agus a mhóinéir ar thaobh an chnoic lastall den ghairdín síos go dtí an abhainn.

In English:

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats -- the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill -- The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it -- and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the lefthand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round window looking over his garden and the meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

Redwolf



I think the sense is more of 'used to' open - 'used to' go... etc.
It didn't happen just once - it was a regular thing in the past...

D'osclaíodh an doras... = The door would open... = The door used to open...

The above works all right I think, but I think 'The tunnel wound on and on...' might have been better translated 'Lean an tollán ar aghaidh, etc.'

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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 12:38 am 
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It doesn't seem to be an exact direct translation.

I wonder is it Munster Irish. It doesn't sound caighdeánach.


Redwolf wrote:
thaitníodh cuariteoirí go mór leis an hobad.

Redwolf wrote:
the hobbit was fond of visitors

Not the same tense.

Redwolf wrote:
an tollán ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh

That's going forward, no necessary wounding. Although he does say "ní go díreach ar fad"

Redwolf wrote:
Níor mhaith le hobad ar bith dul suas agus teacht anuas staighrí

Redwolf wrote:
No going upstairs for the hobbit

In English it just says the Hobbit doesn't go upstairs, no reason why. But it Irish it says he doesn't like going upstairs.

Redwolf wrote:
ar gheall le tollán é
- That sounds like a Munsterism(?)
I'd say "cosúil le tollán".

_________________
___________________________________________________________

It is recommended that you always wait for three to agree on a translation.
I speak Connemara Irish, and my input will often reflect that.
I will do an mp3 file on request for short translations.

___________________________________________________________


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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 1:43 am 
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Ok, without the context I didn't understand it was in the past habitual...

Btw, in a grammatical point of view (and spelling) it's very standard, not Munster. For syntax I don't know.
But there's at least one Munster word: "lastall" (I think it's Munster).

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 Post subject: Re: An Hobad
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 2:36 am 
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Bríd Mhór wrote:
It doesn't seem to be an exact direct translation.

Redwolf wrote:
Níor mhaith le hobad ar bith dul suas agus teacht anuas staighrí

Redwolf wrote:
No going upstairs for the hobbit

In English it just says the Hobbit doesn't go upstairs, no reason why. But it Irish it says he doesn't like going upstairs.



I'd say the Irish is actually closer to the sense intended than the English implies. The idea is that the hobbit, being short and stout and rather on the "comfortable" side, would prefer not bothering with stairs, in either direction. But it's a sense you get more from reading the whole book than from the first paragraph...which tells me at least that the translator is very familiar with the work.

This is really an exciting opportunity for me, to view a work with which I'm so very familiar (I did a senior paper on The Hobbit and LOTR) through the lens of another language. The writer in me is having a wonderful time with this!

Redwolf


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