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Nathanna cainte/seanfhocail - Irish idioms

Going through the bonus idioms in French and Spanish, it struck me that many of the phrases, such as "there's no smoke without fire", "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" and "don't count your chickens before they hatch" have no Irish-language equivalent, and would sound artificial in translation. On the other hand, many of the nathanna cainte we learnt in school are untranslatable, so maybe when the full app launches, it would be best to stick to those with universal equivalents such as "De réir a chéile a thógtear na gcaisleán" (Rome wasn't built in a day), and "Ní neart go cur le chéile" (United we stand, divided we fall)?

October 2, 2014



I would completely agree. Don't go forcing English idioms into Irish. Garry Bannister has a book titled "Gaelic Idioms" that everyone should check out. It's out of print, but it can be found online.


my favourite seanfhocal is: níl ain tinteán mar mo thinteán féin (there's no place like home)


Níl aon laghas mar ghrá ach posadh. I always got a laugh out of that yin.

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