Fáilte (Welcome) › Forums › General Discussion (Irish and English) › Help in translating a quote from English to Irish
- This topic has 6 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 years, 7 months ago by Onuvanja.
July 25, 2018 at 1:36 pm #37007huxnflowersParticipant
Could someone translate this quote to Irish for me, please?
“Bring the past only if you’re going to build from it.”
(by Domenico Cieri Estrada)
I’ve asked people on Duolingo, but they advised this website to ask here too, as it’d be important to be a correct translation for sure.
Thank you in advance!July 26, 2018 at 9:44 am #46235
Perhaps something like:
Ná tabhair leat an t-am atá thart ach le rud éigin a thógáil air. (Don’t carry the past with you except for building something on it) I’m slightly hesitant whether to opt for “thógáil air” (build on) or “thógáil as” (build from), but I think “on” is closer to the meaning of the Spanish original “Trae el pasado sólo si vas a construir”. Please do wait for other suggestions or corrections! There might be more idiomatic expressions or proverbs in Irish for conveying a similar idea.July 27, 2018 at 7:41 am #46236huxnflowersParticipant
Thank you so much for your answer! Yes, I’ll wait for other suggestions.July 28, 2018 at 3:53 am #46237Héilics ÓrbhuíParticipant
I keep trying to think of something like “ná ceannaigh sean-teach muna bhfuil suim agat tuí a chur air”, lol.. but that isn’t an authentic expression, just my attempt to forge one. (For OP, that means “don’t buy an old house if you don’t intend to thatch it”).
In Irish, given its extraordinary wealth of existing sayings, it’s generally considered preferable to pick one that lines up with what you mean conceptually than to translate it word-for-word. Sometimes an equivalent just doesn’t exist, though.August 1, 2018 at 9:02 am #46238
Haha, excellent stuff, Héilics! I almost thought that was an original proverb in Irish. Regarding my own suggestion, you could also say “ná hiompair an t-am atá thart ar do dhroim” (don’t carry the past on your back) or “Fág an t-am atá thart i do dhiaidh mura bhfuil sé ach do do bhac” (leave the past behind if it’s only weighing you down). I’m not completely happy with any of them, though… Perhaps someone else has a better idea?August 1, 2018 at 9:09 am #46239Héilics ÓrbhuíParticipant
lol glad you like it 😉
Yeah I have a hard time with this one, since I don’t know if there’s any precedent (and thus correct verb) to use for “bringing” or “taking” the past (as if it were a thing you could even take, which of course it isn’t). I guess a native speaker would be more confident in saying what works and what doesn’t. I think your original “tabhair leat” is about as good as anything I’d come up with. My only other immediate thought is something like “lig uait an t-am atá thart murach go bhfuil tairbhe le bhaint as” (let the past go unless there is benefit to be taken from it), or something similar to that.August 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm #46240
Yes, “lig uait” is quite good actually. Or even “caith uait” (throw away), which is a bit stronger.
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