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 Post subject: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2018 4:10 pm 
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Hi everybody, having started to learn Irish just yesterday as an absolute beginner I'd better look for some help for the tattoo I'm getting. Just looking up the words in a dictionary can be risky I assume ;-)

Here's what I like to have; me being German it is kind of translated twice so I'll explain what it means to me. In English I'd say
" my friend - my love - my place - my life" this is obviously dedicated to the one special woman in my life.
the dictionary tells me:
" mo cara -mo grá - mo áit - mo saol"

"friend and love" seem an easy choice to me, are they not?

to me "place" seems to be difficult; to me it does not mean "home" but more of "I cannot be in the wrong place if I'm with you" or "my place is always by your side, home or away from home"

is there a difference in meaning between "saol" and "beatha"?

Apart from that, would an Irish speaker use "mo"? I want it to be just the way a native speaker would say that.

Your help is greatly appreciated... thank you in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2018 6:21 pm 
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an bhaird wrote:
" mo cara -mo grá - mo áit - mo saol"


mo chara - mo ghrá - m’áit - mo shaol


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 Post subject: Re: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2018 8:53 pm 
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Location: Baile Mhic Ghoilla Eoin, VA
an bhaird, why don't you share with us what you had in mind in German, if you'd like?

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 Post subject: Re: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2018 11:10 pm 
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Quote:
is there a difference in meaning between "saol" and "beatha"


Both can mean "life", and the usage normally depends on the context (sometimes either can be used, but sometimes one is preferable to the other). One explanation I've heard is that one uses saol when speaking about a particular life, and beatha when speaking about "life" in the abstract. That isn't entirely accurate, but does give some idea of the usage. Saol can also mean "world".

In case you did not follow what Labhrás said above, the possessive pronoun "mo" causes a sound change in certain consonants which follow it, which is indicated by adding the "h" where he indicated, and when "mo" is followed by a word beginning with a vowel (or a silent consonant combination like "fh"), it becomes m' ["m" plus apostrophe]. This sort of consonant "mutation" happens a lot in Irish, and Irish grammar can be very different from that of non-Celtic languages, so it's not a language well-suited to just choosing words from a dictionary (which can be dangerous with any language, of course).

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I'm not a native (or entirely fluent) speaker, so be sure to wait for confirmations/corrections, especially for tattoos.


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 Post subject: Re: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2018 11:22 am 
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Saol is derived from Latin saeculum, a "lifespan", the "wordly life", hence both meanings of life and world and everything in between, everything "secular".
And hence its (partial) difference to beatha being the biological process of living.


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 Post subject: Re: Irish tattoo
PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2018 1:27 pm 
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Labhrás wrote:

mo chara - mo ghrá - m’áit - mo shaol


Thank you... reading up a bit on grammar I thought probably there had to be anything like that initial mutation.

Cúmhaí wrote:
an bhaird, why don't you share with us what you had in mind in German, if you'd like?

ok... well here it is... obviously it shows similarities to the English translation :D
"mein Freund - meine Liebe - mein Platz - mein Leben" ... if you know a bit German... "Freund" is masculine but in this case the meaning is something like "soul mate" not girlfriend or partner, hence the masculine version... which in Irish is irrelevant then. You see why German can be...well is tricky.

Labhrás wrote:
Saol is derived from Latin saeculum, a "lifespan", the "wordly life", hence both meanings of life and world and everything in between, everything "secular".
And hence its (partial) difference to beatha being the biological process of living.


then "saol" seems very much the right choice to me

Thank you folks.


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