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Early Indo-European Texts

Old Irish

Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, Caren Esser, and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old Irish with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Irish Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old Irish language and its speakers' culture.

Táin Bó Regamna 'The Cattle Raid of the Important Calf', also part of the Ulster Cycle

AN mboí Cú Chulainn iN nDún Imʰridʰ coNgúalae ní, aN ngéim. CoN ndíuchrastar trianaL chotludʰ conidʰ corastar assaL imdʰai coN riacht inN naridʰin inaL sʰuidʰiu for lár. ÍarN sin immach doL sʰuidʰiu arL les. CoN mbu íL, aL bʰen, berthae aL étach ocus aL armm inaL dʰiaidʰ. CoN naccae ní, Lóeg araL chinn inaL charput inneltiu oc Fertai Loíg antúaidʰ.

"CidʰL dotLucai?" ol Cú Chulainn friH Lóeg.

"Géimʰ roLchúala issinL mʰaigʰ," ol Lóeg.

"CidʰL leth?" ol Cú Chulainn.

"Aníarthúaidʰ amne," ol Lóeg.

"InaN ndiaidʰ," ol Cú Chulainn.

Tíagʰait ass íarumʰ coH hÁth da Fʰerta. InN dan mbátar ann, íarumʰ coNgúalatar culgaire inL charpait iN doíbʰ Grellchae Culgairi. Tíagʰait fóe coN naccatar ní, inN garpat reimʰibʰ. Óenech derg foa ocus óenchoss foL sʰuidʰiu ocus síthbʰe inL charpait sethnu indL eich coN ndechuidʰ geinn trít friH fosadʰ aL étain anair. Ben derg issinL charput ocus bratt derg impe ocus diL bʰraí dʰergʰa lé ocus aH bratt eter diL fʰeirt inL charpait síar coN sligʰedʰ lár inaH diaidʰ ocus fer mór iN gomʰair inL charpait. Fúan forbbtha immi ocus gabʰallorg finnchuill friaL aiss oc immáin naH bó.

"Ní fóelidʰ inL bʰó libʰ ocaH himmáin," ol Cú Chulainn.

"Ní dír duit éim aH hetercert naH bó so," ol inL bʰen. "Ní bó charat na choicéli duit."

"Is dír damʰsa éim baí UladʰN nuile," ol Cú Chulainn.

"Etercertaisu anba, aL Chú," ol inL bʰen.

"CidʰL arndidʰ íL, inL bʰen, atomLgʰládʰathar?" ol Cú Chulainn. "CidʰL nach é in fer atomLgʰládʰathar?"

Translation

When Cu Chulainn was in Dun Imrid, he heard something, a roaring of the cattle. And he woke up from his sleep and he threw himself out of his bed so that he reached the bench that was sitting on the floor. After that, outside with him, into the yard. And it was she, his wife, who brought his clothing and his armour on his trail. And he saw something, Laeg, in front of him, in his harnessed war-chariot, at Ferta Laeg, from the north.
"What brings you (here)?" said Cu Chulainn to Laeg.
"A roaring of cattle that I heard in the plain," said Laeg.
"Which direction?" said Cu Chulainn.
"From the north-west, in fact," said Laeg.
"(Let's go) on their trail!" said Cu Chulainn.
After this, they set out to Ath da Ferta. Afterwards, at the time they were there, they heard the rumble of the chariot on the side of Grellach Culgairi. They go down to it and see something, the chariot before them. A single red horse under it, and a single leg under the just-mentioned, and the shaft of the chariot through the horse, so that a wedge went through it till the surface of its forehead from the front. A red woman (was) in the chariot, and a red cloak around her, and two red eyebrows on her, and her cloak to the back between the two hind-poles of the chariot so that it dragged on the ground on her trail, and a big man (was) in front of the chariot. (There was) a tunic as a covering on him, and a forked pole of white hazel on his back; he was driving the cow.
"The cow (is) not happy with ye at her driving," said Cu Chulainn.
"The judging of this cow is indeed not fitting for you," said the woman. "(It is) not the cow of a friend nor of a companion to you."
"It is fitting for me indeed (to judge) the cows of all of the Ulstermen," said Cu Chulainn.
"You judge a great quantity, o Cu," said the woman.
"Why is it that it is her, the woman, who speaks to me?" said Cu Chulainn. "Why is it not him, the man, who speaks to me?"