Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

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Ikiru
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Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby Ikiru » 2019-02-04, 5:38

Hello.

I'm interested in the relationships between Breton, Gaulish and other Celtic languages, and more precisely in the (controversial) thesis of François Falc'hun respecting the origin of the Breton language. I've been able to gather 54 Gaulish words or groups of words nominating animals and to have them translated into Breton. I translated them into Welsh and Irish thanks to Internet dictionaries but I'd welcome any correction and addition to the these translations from people knowledgeable in Welsh and Irish.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby kevin » 2019-02-04, 9:27

Can you provide this in a higher resolution? It's almost unreadable.

So for now only two things for Irish that I saw immediately:
"uaineoil" is not just the animal, but the lamb meat. I think you're looking for "uan".
"a dhéanamh" means "to do", not sure how you found this as a translation for swan.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-04, 13:29

You can also find a dictionary of reconstructed Proto-Celtic online, though the forms included may beg some of the very questions you're seeking to answer.

https://www.wales.ac.uk/en/CentreforAdvancedWelshCelticStudies/ResearchProjects/CompletedProjects/TheCelticLanguagesandCulturalIdentity/CelticLexicon.aspx
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-04, 15:58

Now that I'm on a PC, I can take a stab at reading the actual terms. (As kevin said, it would really help if you could give us something higher resolution.) It would also help to know what lexicographical sources you've been using. We can likely suggest better ones.

Quite a few terms are listed with initial lenition rather than in (or in addition to) their proper citation forms. Examples include:

Ele > gele
Faedd > baedd
Farch > march
Fháinleog > fáinleog
Fhuiseog > fuiseog
Frân > brân
Frithyll > brithyll
Gacynen > cacynen
Gaseg > caseg
Wiwer > gwiwer
Wylan > gwylan

Many are given in their plural forms rather than their singulars. -od is the most Welsh plural ending associated with animals, so gwangod, cyngod, tyrchod, and pysgod are all plural. Ceirw and Defaid are also plural; their singulars are, respectively, carw and dafad. Morloi is the plural of morlo which is literally "sea-calf".

Aderyn is the singulative of adar. (And if you don't know what a "singulative" is, you should learn before going any further.) Cacynen is the singulative of cacwn.

Bébhar is a misspelling of béabhar, a borrowing from English. The Old Irish name was dobrán (< dobur "water") which also designated the otter. (The modern reflex dobhrán means only "otter".)

The Irish cognate of Welsh ci and Gaulish cunos is , which now means "hound". It also occurs in faolchú, another word for "wolf" in which the first element represents Old Irish fáel "wolf". The contemporary term mac tíre literally means "land's son".

Similarly, twrch daear, one of the common Welsh terms for "mole", literally means "earth boar".

I don't know where you got reilige for "owl"; maybe from scréachóg reilige "barn owl" ((fr) chouette effraie)? In any case, this is the genitive singular of reilig "graveyard". (Scréachóg is a diminutive of scréach "screech" and also means "jay".) Modern Irish general terms for "owl" include ulchabhán, mulchán, and cailleach oíche (lit. "night hag").

Speaking of hags, the Welsh word for "loach", gwrachen is derived from gwrach which also means "hag, witch" and is the source for the English word wrasse ((fr) labre).

Modern Welsh terms for "aurochs" include bual mawr ("large bison") and ych hirgorn ("longhorn ox"). The Irish equivalent is úras, not *aracs, which I've never seen before.
Last edited by linguoboy on 2019-02-04, 18:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-04, 18:18

kevin wrote:"uaineoil" is not just the animal, but the lamb meat. I think you're looking for "uan".

Uaineoil is a compound of "lamb" (uan) and "meat" (feoil). It's the same for muiceoil, mairteoil. (Mart is a heifer or bullock fattened for slaughter.) Similarly cig oen is literally meat (cig) of lamb (oen).

kevin wrote:"a dhéanamh" means "to do", not sure how you found this as a translation for swan.

Lompróidh for "bear" is slightly more comprehensible. This looks like a misspelling of iompróidh, the future tense of iompraím which means "bear" in the sense of "carry". The name of the animal is béar, another English borrowing. The earlier term is mathghamhain, a compound of math (an even earlier word for "bear" which was already archaic in Old Irish) and gamhain "calf".

And speaking of "calf", you seem to have mistranslated (fr)daim. "Suede" (soft leather with a napped finish) is only one possible translation of daim. The root meaning is "fallow deer" (Dama dama) which is called hydd brith ("speckled stag") or danas in Welsh and fia buí ("yellow deer") in Irish. Daim has a true cognate in Irish damh meaning "ox" or "stag". The diminutive damhán means "small ox" or "calf" though--perhaps surprisingly--damhán alla or "wild calf" is Modern Irish for "spider".

Other miscellaneous errors:

  • Bréagán is a toy, not a toad.
  • Diúil is the genitive of diúl "sucking". I assume this is misdivision of lao diúil "suckling calf", where lao is the element which means "calf". (Viz. (cy)llo.)
  • Dylluanodchat is an unholy amalgamation of the plural of tylluan "owl" with a lenited form of (ga)cat "cat".
  • Eochraí and pis are both "roe" in the sense of "fish eggs". (Pis literally means "pea".) "Roe" in the sense of "roe deer" (Capreolus capreolus) is (ga)fia odhar "dun deer" and (cy)iwrch. (Carw is just a general term for a male deer.)
  • Craen/craein are borrowings from English and refer to the mechanical lifter, not the bird which is (cy) garan, crëyr, crychydd and (ga) corr. All of these names can also refer to the heron as well. The only unambiguous term in Irish is grús, a recent Latinate borrowing.
  • Rógaire is an adaptation of English rogue and only translates "dog" when this is used as an insult for a nasty human being.
  • Marcra and marchshlua are collective terms for horsemen, not horses. The modern translation would be "cavalry" ((fr) cavalerie). Marc is just a literary term for "horse" in Irish.
I'm sure that's not all of them, but it's good number.
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-04, 21:32

kevin wrote:"a dhéanamh" means "to do", not sure how you found this as a translation for swan.

I think I've figured it out now: the line above is for "doe". The Welsh translation given is Gwnewch, which is the polite/plural imperative form of gwneud "do, make". The actual equivalents of "doe" should be (cy)ewig, (ga)eilit and Irish for "swan" is eala.

Another mistranslation: (cy)sêl/(ga)séala are both adaptions of Old French seel from Latin sigillum ((fr)sceau). That is, they aren't animal names at all and don't belong in the list.

Also, moch is a plural form corresponding to singulative mochyn "pig". It can't mean "badgers" by itself without being followed with daear "earth". An alternative name in Welsh is broch.

Caorach is the genitive form. The nominative singular is caora.

Lastly, the correct spelling of *afranc is afanc. (The Irish cognate, abhac, means "dwarf".)
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby Ikiru » 2019-02-05, 15:02

kevin wrote:Can you provide this in a higher resolution? It's almost unreadable.


To get it in a higher resolution you can left click on it and then right click + "open in a new tab". You can zoom with Ctrl + scroll wheel or using your fingers if you're using a phone.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby księżycowy » 2019-02-05, 15:24

I can't say how it works on a computer, but zooming in on a phone, whether is a new tab or not, does not make it any easier to read. If anything, it makes it worse.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby kevin » 2019-02-05, 15:26

I know how to zoom, but no, that results in a larger size, but not in a higher resolution.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-05, 15:36

kevin wrote:I know how to zoom, but no, that results in a larger size, but not in a higher resolution.

I had that problem on my phone, but it worked fine on a PC. Otherwise there'd've been no way I could've made half the corrections I did!
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby Ikiru » 2019-02-05, 16:39

kevin wrote:I know how to zoom, but no, that results in a larger size, but not in a higher resolution.


You have to open in a new tab twice to see the picture in full resolution. It works just fine on the phone I'm using right now.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby Ikiru » 2019-02-05, 17:17

linguoboy wrote:You can also find a dictionary of reconstructed Proto-Celtic online, though the forms included may beg some of the very questions you're seeking to answer.

https://www.wales.ac.uk/en/CentreforAdvancedWelshCelticStudies/ResearchProjects/CompletedProjects/TheCelticLanguagesandCulturalIdentity/CelticLexicon.aspx


Yes it would indeed beg the question I ask myself. The goal is to measure the approximate lexical distance between Breton and each of these three languages, not to confirm their common ancestry.

Thank you very much for the benevolent and very helpful corrections and additions you made to the chart. Here is the new chart:

Image

Here is the translation of the word 'Aurochs' I found in Irish. I added yours as it might be closer to the old term (given its Gaulish equivalent.)
http://en.glosbe.com/en/ga/Aurochs

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-05, 17:27

Ikiru wrote:Here is the translation of the word 'Aurochs' I found in Irish. I added yours as it might be closer to the old term (given its Gaulish equivalent.)
http://en.glosbe.com/en/ga/Aurochs

Cheers. I see now why I wasn't finding it before: the correct spelling is áracs, with a síneadh fada (accent aigu). Unlike French, there is no orthographical rule in Irish which allows one to drop diacritics over capital letters.

Yeah, it's pretty clear that áracs is a recently borrowing from English. It's such a rare word, I couldn't tell you which term is more common in contemporary Irish, but I will point out that a query for "aurochs" in the National Termninology Database for Irish returns úras but not áracs, despite the fact that both are listed. Áracs isn't found at all in earlier lexicographical works like de Bhaldraithe or Ó Dónaill.

For Welsh, the standard contemporary lexicographical works are the Geiriadur yr Academi (English-Welsh) and the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (Welsh-Welsh and Welsh-English). Glosbe is, at best, a secondary source and I wouldn't trust anything you found in it without checking it with one of these more rigourously vetted works.
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-05, 17:50

A few corrections on the revised document:
  • There are still a couple lenited forms, i.e.: dwrch, fuwch.
  • Fianna is the plural of fia and foichí is the plural of foiche.
  • *ochí is a misspelling of oiche "night".
  • Gwydd is a misspelling of gŵydd. (Gŵydd and gwŷdd are different words in Welsh.)
  • CaochÛn is a misspelling of caochán (from caoch "blind").
  • You still have muiceoil "pork, pigflesh" as an equivalent of "pig".
  • Mathghamhain is not used in Modern Irish to mean "bear" and the modern spelling would be mathúin in any case.
Also, you seem to have misunderstood my remarks on dobrán. To clarify:
  1. This is an Old Irish form, not a modern word.
  2. The modern descendant is dobhrán, but this means "otter" and not "beaver".
  3. The Modern Irish word for "beaver" is béabhar, which despite being a borrowing has been present in Irish for at least 500 years.
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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby Ikiru » 2019-02-05, 18:30

linguoboy wrote:Cheers. I see now why I wasn't finding it before: the correct spelling is áracs, with a síneadh fada (accent aigu). Unlike French, there is no orthographical rule in Irish which allows one to drop diacritics over capital letters.


Actually there is no such license in French either although many French people think there is. The influence of the Académie isn't what it used to be.

linguoboy wrote:Yeah, it's pretty clear that áracs is a recently borrowing from English. It's such a rare word, I couldn't tell you which term is more common in contemporary Irish, but I will point out that a query for "aurochs" in the National Termninology Database for Irish returns úras but not áracs, despite the fact that both are listed. Áracs isn't found at all in earlier lexicographical works like de Bhaldraithe or Ó Dónaill.

For Welsh, the standard contemporary lexicographical works are the Geiriadur yr Academi (English-Welsh) and the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (Welsh-Welsh and Welsh-English). Glosbe is, at best, a secondary source and I wouldn't trust anything you found in it without checking it with one of these more rigourously vetted works.


Well thanks for these tools, I'm sure it'll be very useful in the close future. Do you know any good tool for etymological inquiries in Welsh and Irish?

Anyway I'm quite satisfied with these preliminary results. Gaulish might seem very distant from other Celtic languages at first sight because the half illiterate druids who wrote these words don't seem to have understood that the Greek and Latin alphabets could be used for writting a language other than respectively Greek and Latin. Thus every one of those looks very Greek or very Latin.

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Re: Help for translating a few words into Welsh / Irish

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-05, 18:51

Ikiru wrote:Well thanks for these tools, I'm sure it'll be very useful in the close future. Do you know any good tool for etymological inquiries in Welsh and Irish?

The GPC contains etymological information, but only in Welsh. I haven't found a good online source for Irish etymology.

Wiktionary actually contains quite a bit of etymological information, particularly for IE languages, and it's generally very reliable. For instance, if you look at the entry for afanc, you'll find:
From Proto-Celtic *abankos (compare Breton avank, Irish abhac (“dwarf”)), from *abū (“river”). More at afon.
The entry for afon, in turn, connects the etymology all the way back to a PIE etymon. I imagine that should be sufficient for your general purposes.

Ikiru wrote:Anyway I'm quite satisfied with these preliminary results. Gaulish might seem very distant from other Celtic languages at first sight because the half illiterate druids who wrote these words don't seem to have understood that the Greek and Latin alphabets could be used for writting a language other than respectively Greek and Latin. Thus every one of those looks very Greek or very Latin.

To be fair, the language itself was closer to Greek and Latin, being contemporaneous to them. Old Irish and Old Welsh weren't written down until about 700 CE and it's clear that quite radical changes have taken place within both languages by that point. If you look at the few extant attestations of Primitive Irish, you'll see a much closer resemblance to Gaulish (and Latin!).
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