Of all the translation travesties out there, negative translations ~ above tombstones and also memorial markers make me the saddest.

You are watching: Rest in peace in irish gaelic


Of every the translate in travesties out there, bad translations top top tombstones and memorial markers do me the saddest. Someone wanted to respect a love one or a respect individual with this ingraving, didn’t carry out adequate research, and also now your heartfelt emotion is a laughing stock on the Internet.

The really sad thing is that this details translation travesty is everywhere the Internet (not just on this person’s memorial), presented together the way to speak “Rest in Peace” in Irish.

I guess ns don’t must tell you the it’s horribly, i m so sad wrong. However you recognize me — I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s horribly, sadly wrong.

So what’s wrong with it?

As you’ve most likely guessed native the location of this short article (and native the truth that this is a photo of one of two people a tombstone or some type of memorial marker), whoever commissioned this to plan it to say “Rest in Peace.”

Unfortunately, what they have actually there is not “rest” as in “sleep/repose.” It’s “rest” as in “remainder” (e.g., “I’ll eat the rest of the cookies”).

If that weren’t negative enough, they didn’t also get that right. “The rest” in ireland is “an chuid eile” (literally “the various other portion”). Without the definite article “an” (“the”) it’s nonsense. To add insult to injury, “chuid is misspelled. Without the identify article, it’s “cuid.”

And then there’s the idiom thing

Wrong word choices and spelling aside, an additional thing that’s wrong with this is that it’s not how you’d express this emotion in Irish. Whoever came up through this check a direct, word-for-word translation from English, and if you monitor this blog you already know that that just does no work.

I’ve stated it before, and I’ll say it again (and again and again): Languages are not codes because that one another.

(I stole that line native someone lengthy ago, and I can’t mental who, yet it’s a good one, so i think I’ll keep it.)

Word-for-word translations rarely work in between languages, specifically not as soon as the languages space as grammatically and also culturally various as irish is indigenous English.

To begin with, “síocháin,” which means “peace” together in “the lack of conflict,” while not wrong per se, is probably not the word that would be provided to refer this sentence in Irish. A an ext usual choice would be “suaimhneas“– “tranquility/rest/repose.”

In addition, as soon as we great a details state or feeling on a person, we don’t say they’re “in” the state, us say that state is “on” them: “Suaimhneas air/uirthi/orthu” (“Peace/rest top top him/her/them”).

This brings up yet one more point: In plenty of cases, once translating to Irish, you require to recognize what pronoun come use. Ireland loves pronouns, and also will happily use them whereby a verb can be provided in English. If you’re speaking of a person or pet you regularly need to recognize either the gender (or the preferred pronouns, in the instance of a person) to analyze correctly.

Air” = “on him”

Uirthi” = “on her”

Orthu” = “on them

A phrase that girlfriend will see on ireland tombstones is “Suaimhneas Síoraí Air” or “Go Raibh Suaimhneas Síoraí Air” — “Eternal rest be upon Him” (apply exactly pronoun together required). This is the closest you can acquire in irish to a direct translation that “Rest in Peace.”

Another phrase you’ll see frequently is Ar dheis Dé walk Raibh a Anam/a hAnam/a nAnam” — “May his soul/her soul/their souls be at God’s appropriate hand.”

How walk it acquire this way?

When we view a devastating translation such as this, the very first impulse is come blame an equipment translation, which doesn’t take care of Irish fine at all.

With that in mind, I checked Google “translate” to see what it would certainly make the the English expression “Rest in Peace.” depending on the capitalization (Google “translate” is weirdly case-dependent), the returned:

Rest in Peace: No translation

Rest in peace: No translation

rest in peace: scíth a ligean — “to take one’s rest/ease”

I’m guessing that, if an equipment translation was supplied to develop this, it wasn’t Google.

The horrifying thing, though, is if friend plug “Chuid Eile i Síocháin” right into Google seek an English translation, that does give you “Rest in Peace.” Even much more horrifying is the truth that you can’t adjust it. It provides you a possibility to “offer a far better translation,” yet not come say “this makes absolutely no sense.

It’s feasible someone supplied a different machine translator to arrive at this. It’s also feasible someone inquiry a friend/relative that grossly misrepresented your facility with the language.

It’s also feasible that the person attempted a word-for-word “translation” from an English-Irish dictionary and also (predictably) got it wrong. We might never recognize for sure.

It’s even likely the whoever commissioned this stone found this “translation” top top the Internet. There’s a lot of really negative Irish ~ above the Internet, i m sorry underscores the great to be learned native this and also all other poor Irish translation:

Do no — ns repeat, DO no — effort to analyze from English to ireland yourself unless you’re fluently in the language. execute not simply use something you found on the net (or in a book, or in a song, etc.) there is no verifying it through an expert. Finally, if you’re not making use of a paid human translator (which girlfriend really need to do, if possible), make sure at the very least THREE people AGREE, top top the correct translation before doing anything long-term with it. Preferably three people from different sources.

I, and also the irish language, will give thanks to you.

P.S.: ns don’t understand who took the photo over or to who the memorial is dedicated. If anyone does know who took the picture, please let me recognize so i can offer them credit.

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In enhancement to being “The Geeky Gaeilgeoir,” Audrey Nickel is the writer of The irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook,” published by Bradan Press, Nova Scotia, Canada. Because that information around the book, including where to buy it, you re welcome visit http://www.bradanpress.com/irish-tattoo-handbook/