Donla uí Bhraonáin

500 seanfhocal, proverbs, refranes, przyslow

Díolaim mhealltach de 500 seanfhocal Gaeilge agus leaganacha Béarla, Spáinnise agus Polainnise leo. A collection of the most popular proverbs in Irish with versions in English, Spanish and Polish.

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Product ID: 443 ISBN: 978-1-901176-75-9 Categories: , , , ,

A collection of the most popular proverbs in Irish, selected by the editor and accompanied by translations or equivalents in English. Spanish translations supplied by Carmen Rodriguez Alonso and Polish versions by Anna Paluch. This collection, illustrated by Fintan Taite, has a universal relevance and brings the wealth of Irish lore to a new public, a multilingual Ireland of all ages and backgrounds.



Weight 275 g
Cover

soft

Illustrated by

Fintan Taite

Pages

105

Published

2007

Catherine Foley, Irish Times, (05/07/08)

Do you want to impress your friends this summer as you sup a cool beer or Fanta orange on the terrace some Saturday afternoon? What about dropping an Irish proverb or two, a bon mot so to speak, into the conversation, without batting an eyelid, such as ‘maireann croí eadrom i bhfad’, which means a light heart lives long’. If you happen to speak Sapnish, it’s ‘un corazon alegre vive mucho tiempe.’ Want to say it in Polish? ‘Lekkie serce dlugo zyje’.

Or should you be called on for advice about women, it’s worth recallinjg the truism that ‘a house without a woman is empty and cold’ or as they say as Gaeilge: ‘is folamh fuar é teach gan bean’. To declare this with your best Spanish accent is quite powerful: ‘Una casa sin un mujer está vacía fría’ while the Polish for this pearl of wisdom is ‘dom bez kobiety jest pusty i zimny’.
You may find yourself pontificating about celebreties, saying that ‘fame is a cold thing without a friend’. This sounds more chilling in Irish: ‘Is fuar an rud clú gan cara’ and even more impressive in spanish ‘ La fama es fría sin un amigo’.

These and other proverbs, all categorised under headings such as love, debt, courage, sleep, family, good or manners, can be found in a little book that has gone into its second print-run since it was published late last year by Cois Life.

Do you want to impress your friends this summer as you sup a cool beer or Fanta orange on the terrace some Saturday afternoon? What about dropping an Irish proverb or two, a bon mot so to speak, into the conversation, without batting an eyelid, such as ‘maireann croí eadrom i bhfad’, which means a light heart lives long’. If you happen to speak Sapnish, it’s ‘un corazon alegre vive mucho tiempe.’ Want to say it in Polish? ‘Lekkie serce dlugo zyje’.

Or should you be called on for advice about women, it’s worth recallinjg the truism that ‘a house without a woman is empty and cold’ or as they say as Gaeilge: ‘is folamh fuar é teach gan bean’. To declare this with your best Spanish accent is quite powerful: ‘Una casa sin un mujer está vacía fría’ while the Polish for this pearl of wisdom is ‘dom bez kobiety jest pusty i zimny’.

You may find yourself pontificating about celebreties, saying that ‘fame is a cold thing without a friend’. This sounds more chilling in Irish: ‘Is fuar an rud clú gan cara’ and even more impressive in spanish ‘ La fama es fría sin un amigo’.

These and other proverbs, all categorised under headings such as love, debt, courage, sleep, family, good or manners, can be found in a little book that has gone into its second print-run since it was published late last year by Cois Life.


John Kearns - ITIA Bulletin, November 2007

This collection of 500 Irish proverbs, in English, Polish and Spanish translation, is beautifully illustrated with cartoons by Fintan Taite and would make an ideal gift for any speakers of the languages it features. Editor Uí Bhraonáin began by compiling a set of 500 Irish proverbs thematically, from various sources, in particular Seanfhocla Chonnacht by Tomás S. Ó Máille from 1948. The 88 thematic sections range from Eolas (Knowledge) to Díth Céille (Stupidity) and Grá (Love) to Eascairdeas (Enmity). Irish is used as the primary language for all purposes – resulting in the book opening somewhat ominously with proverbs about death, Bás coming first alphabetically in the list of sections – with English occupying more or less the same target status as the Polish and Spanish though the Polish, if anything, appears occasionally more polished (excuse the pun!) e.g. when ‘Little’ is used somewhat awkwardly as the English section heading for ‘Beagán’, the Polish Malo sounds much more comfortable).

Paluch’s Polish translations make a deliberate effort to be explanatory, and hers are the most frequent of the translations to supplement the literal version with equivalent Polish words of wisdom (her introduction reveals she immersed herself in an early edition of Julian Krzyzanowski’s Nowa ksiega przyslów i wyrazen przyslowiowych polskich, a book I remember as a massive four-volume affair, demonstrating the richness of the Polish proverbial tradition). Thus for proverb 467 - Ag iarraidh dhá éan a mharú le haon urchar amháin – we get a literal translation and an equivalent in both English (“Trying to kill two birds with a single shot” and “Killing two birds with one stone”) and the same in Polish, though with a more inventive Polish equivalent (“Próbowac zabic dwa ptaki jednym strzalem” and “Upiec dwie pieczenie na jednym ogniu”, literally “Cooking two roasts on the one flame”).

As Uí Bhraonáin notes at the outset, while many of the Irish proverbs may have been generated in a world quite far removed from our twenty-first century lifestyles, they maintain a relevance today and this relevance finds itself reflected in many similar philosophies articulated in both the Polish and Spanish equivalents. The only desideratum this reviewer has with this excellent volume might be an index of some kind, in addition to the Table of Contents, which could make the book more than a dip-in read for the curious. One wonders too whether there might have been space for more languages – Chinese in particular would have been welcome, given the extremely high status it has attained in Ireland in the past decades.

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