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PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec 2013 12:57 am 
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NiallBeag wrote:
A wee correction to Silent Night way up at the top:

The word "ciùin" isn't best translated as "silent" in English -- it's clearly been chosen on grounds of the German original. There's a second translation in English too, that goes "still the night"... "silent" was a more distant translation, but just sounded better, so it's the one that gained traction.

Gaelic doesn't have any words that have a core meaning of "quiet" -- all quietness comes as a result of stillness and calmness, so both "sàmhach" and "ciùin" actually mean calm. But as I understand it, "sàmhach" is used with people (thence incidentally for things like a restful sleep) and "ciùin" is used with inanimate things (seas, wind-free evenings etc).


Good points, Niall, but as to the lyrics I'm just reproducing what I've found in various locations, although I did do some cleaning up of grammar and spelling here and there, where I felt confident of the changes. I make no claim to being anything but a continuous learner where Gàidhlig is concerned, or Gaeilge either, and with Oikan ayns Bethlehem being part of the thread, I should add that I am a total beginner as to Gaelg).

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec 2013 5:02 pm 
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Fair enough, but just to be clear: my main point is to the English translation of the Gaidhlig translation, not the Gaidhlig translation itself. My point was that the English "silent" isn't the best rendering of the Gaelic "ciùin". (My secondary point was that I prefer the second translation anyway, as "ciùin" is a much better translation of the German "stille" than "samhach" is.)

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PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2017 6:51 pm 
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Bumping this up for the holiday season once again, so that visitors can find it more easily.

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