Translation Needed for Tattoo

Fáilte (Welcome) Forums General Discussion (Irish and English) Translation Needed for Tattoo

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    Hello all!

    I just had a beautiful baby boy named Gael. I was planning on going to Ireland to study Irish when I found out I was pregnant, so I wanted to pay homage to that by naming him Gael. That being, I want to get a tat done that reads:

    my boy, my life, my soul

    A friend of mine that was in Ireland gave me this translation: “mo mhac, mo shaol, mo anam”, but when I went online to check it (just to be sure) I found something different here – – : “mo buachaill, mo shaol, mo anam”. Which one is correct? Is there another way to write it?

    I will use this font to write it:, so I would also like to know how to write it in the traditional form, where I put a dot over the M instead of writing MH, for example.

    Thank you veeery much for the help!



    I’m not trying to be negative!!!! Normally, based on the beliefs of the people on here, we’re against the tatoos. Just so you know! But let’s see what people say. Personally I am against tatoos, since they mar the God-made body they are inscribed upon.


    Yeah, I don’t think of their being an overall consensus among the active participants of this forum “against” tatoos. I interpret the tone more as somewhere between caution and indifference to these kinds of requests. (And of course there is always a big trap door waiting for anyone who attempts to speak for an entire group of otherwise unrelated people. Don’t worry, I have my foot carefully positioned in front of my mouth.)

    As Carmanach has suggested, it is rarely a simple or straightforward thing to precisely translate the meaning of an idiom from one language to another, even if one is entirely fluent in both, which not many of the members of these forums will claim to be. This is a learner’s forum, and speaking for myself, I would be quite hesitant to risk suggesting a translation for something that will be so permanent and visible.

    And being a learner’s forum, our attention is focused on supporting one another to learn the language, not to provide a drive-by translation service. (Not that that wouldn’t be a valuable and reasonable thing to need and to provide — it’s just not what these forums are for.)

    So I wish you well. Maybe someone here will provide you with an answer that is suitable, although I’m more used to seeing these kind of requests spin off into grammatical complexities that the original poster must find at least as head-spinning as some of the more experienced of us here. I hope this explanation is helpful for interpreting what you get, or don’t get, as a result of your request.

    Héilics Órbhuí

    My personal stance on tattoos is that it’s a mistake to get something inked on your body if you don’t truly understand it. I would never get a Chinese character tattooed on myself as I don’t speak Chinese. Not to say someone couldn’t explain to me what it meant, but I am now relying on the explanation of this person to uphold or validate the thing that’s on my body.

    But I don’t have any tattoos, so different people obviously have different criteria for indelibly inscribing something onto their flesh.

    As far as “the board’s” stance on tattoos: I don’t think there are any rules against them or requesting translations, but as I understand it, this is more a board for genuine students of the language, not people looking for one-off translations.

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