Literary
Translation

I recently tried Literary Translation for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. As an Irish and French student, I believe that translating extracts is how we truly learn to fully understand a language.

My first piece of Literary Translation was published in Trinity Journal of Literary Translation in November 2021. Unfortunately, JOLT is the only Irish journal dedicated solely to translation.

I hope to share all of my translations here in several languages. Of course, as translation is generally up to the impression of the translator I am open to suggestions and corrections.

'Póg'
by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Irish to French Translation

Póg

Do phóg fear eile mé

i lár mo bheola,

do chuir sé a theanga

isteach i mo bhéal.

Níor bhraitheas faic. 

Dúirt leis,

“Téir abhaile, a dheartháirín,

tánn tú ólta

is tá do bhean thall sa doras

ag fanacht.”

 

Ach nuair a chuimhním

ar do phógsa,

critheann mo chromáin

is imíonn

a bhfuil eatarthu

ina lacht. 

La Bise

Je l’ai ken avec un autre homme 

claquement dans les lèvres 

il a mis sa langue

dans ma bouche. 

Rien n’a été ressenti. 

Il a dit

« Rentre chez-toi, frérot,

tu est faya 

et ta meuf

attente. »

 

Cela va de soi, quand je me souviens

tes bécots 

ma teuch titille

et grand frisson

du jouissance 

la dose

entre eux.

'Hymn to a Broken Marriage'
by Paul Durcan

English to Irish Translation

Hymn to a Broken Marriage 

Dear Nessa – Now that our marriage is over

I would like you to know that, if I could put back the clock

Fifteen years to the cold March day of our wedding,

I would wed you again and, if that marriage also broke,

I would wed you yet again and, if it a third time broke,

Wed you again, and again, and again, and again, and again:

If you would have me which, of course, you would not.

For, even you – in spite of your patience and your innocence

(Strange characteristics in an age such as our own)

– Even you require to shake off the addiction of romantic love

And seek, instead, the herbal remedy of a sane affection

In which are mixed in profuse and fair proportion

Loverliness, brotherliness, fatherliness:

A sane man could not espouse a more faithful friend than you.

Iomann do Phósta Bhriste

A Neasa, anois agus ár bpósadh atá thart

Ba mhaith liom a fhios agat gur, dá mbeadh mé in ann an chlog a chur siar

Cúig bhlian déag go lá Márta fuar lánár bpósadh 

Pósfainn thú arís, agus dá é a bhriseann freisin,

Pósfainn thú arís eile, agus dá é a bhriseann don dtríú uair,

Pósfainn thú arís, ‘is arís, ‘is arís, ‘is arís, ‘is arís;

Dá mbeiféá mise agat sa chás sin, ar ndóigh, ní bheiféa

De, fiú amháin tusa, d’aineonn do fhoighne agus do neamhchiontacht

(Tréithe aite san aois mar ár gceann-na)

Fiú teastaíonn tú a chroitheadh d’andúíl de grá rómánsúil

Agus a lorg, ina ionad sin, an leighead luibhne den ngean stuama.

Sa chás sin atá measctha i bhfairsing agus i gcion cothrom

‘Leannánach’, ‘deathrúilacht’, ‘aithriúlacht’;

Ní fhéadfadh fear stuama cara níos pearsanta a tacaigh ná leatsa. 

'Vikings'
Anonymous

The Vikings

Is acher ingáith innocht.

fufuasna faircggae findfolt

ni ágor réimm mora minn

dondláechraid lainn oua lothlind.

Irish (9th century) to French Translation

with reference from Paul Muldoon's English translation of the poem featured in his 2021 collection 'Howdie-Skelp'

Les Vikings

Le vent ce soir est aussi passionné que le fil d'une épée.

La criniére est un choc indiscipliné de blanc

Cela signifie que raid des Nordiques

Serait presque certainement dévié de sa route.

'He visits my town once a year'
by Amir Khusro

He visits my town once a year

He visits my town once a year

He fills my mouth with kisses and nectar.

I spend all my money on him.

Who, girl, your man?

No, a mango.

English to Irish Translation

Tugann sé cuairt orm uair sa bhliain

Tugann sé cuairt orm uair sa bhliain

Dalladh póg agus neachtar a thabhairt dom.

Caithim mo chuid airgid air.

Cé, a ghirseach, d'fhear féin?

Beag ná mór, aon mangó amháin.

'harvesting vellum'
by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

English to Irish Translation

harvesting vellum

peel away layers of skin

and find again

the hidden digits

once written on this wrist

blue ink on flesh, blue ink

over skin and vein,

blue ink of a number, a name

it's still there, just as under layers

of lip

lies the fossil

of a first kiss.

bailiú veilleam

sraitheanna craiceann imigh i dtreo eile

agus aimsigh arís

na digití ceilteacha

scríofa ar rosta seo fadó

dúch gorm ar fheoil, dúch gorm

ar chneas agus ar fhéith,

dúch gorm d'uimhir, ainm

tá sé ann fós, díreach mar atá faoi sraitheanna de liopa

luíonn an iontaise

de chéad póg.