Criomagan: Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean

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This is the second of our criomagan — short stories or news bits from Scottish Gaelic periodicals published in North America early in the 20th Century. We’ll be publishing these pieces weekly for you to enjoy and try your hand at translation. Send us your work!

Like the first, this criomag is from the premiere issue of Fear na Céilidh, a monthly periodical published in Sydney, Nova Scotia in the 1920s and early 1930s. A translation of last week’s story, is at the bottom. Click back to the link above to review the Gaelic.

And so for this week’s blast from the past, on to “Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean.”

Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean

Bha na fuamhairean ri’m faighinn gu math tric anns na seann sgeulachdan. Ach ged bha iad mòr, trom, làidir, agus fiadhaich, cha bu chùis-eagail sam bith iad do neach a bha car innleachdach na dhòigh: dhèante an gnothach orra soirbh gu leòr.

Tha sin a leigeil ris nach robh mòran toinisg anns na cinn aca, ged bha tomad neo-chumanta mòr annta. Tha sgeul air trì de na daoine biastail, mòra sin a bha ag còmhnaidh cuideachd ann an uaimh, agus a’ dèanamh am beòlaint mar a dh’fhaodadh iad.

Latha bha ann, thuirt fear de na fuaimhairean: “Chuala mi geum bà!” An ceann latha ‘s bliadhna, dh’fhaighnich an dàrna fear: “Gu dè sud a thuirt thu rium an là roimhe?” Agus an ceann latha ‘s bliadhna eile, thuirt an treas fuamhair: “Mur sguir sibhse dhe ur boilich, fàgaidh mise an uaimh agaibh fhèin!”

Ma bha an corr seanchais eatorra, cha deach a chur an eachdraidh. Agus ged bhiodh iad ag còmhradh riamh o’n uair sin, cha bu mhòr an leabhar a lìonadh e, ge do b’fhiach a chur ann.

We hope you enjoyed the story (and joke). We’ll publish a translation next week.

Here’s a translation of last week’s item:

“With every horrible act reported in the newspapers, people are inclined to think the world is truly going to evil. But one must remember that affairs have greatly changed over the last twenty or fifty years. At that time people had no news but what would come from a little portion of their own country: Murder and rapine occurring in other lands they would never hear about in their lives. Today, one gets reports from every corner of the world, and it’s the bad news that is swiftest to reach us.”

Here’s the original (from 1928!):

Leis gach gnìomh oillteil air am faighear fios anns na pàipeirean, tha daoine buailteach air bhi smaoineachadh gu’m bheil an saoghal a’ sìor dhol dh’ionnsaidh an uilc.  Ach feumar a chuimhneachadh gu’m bheil cùisean air atharrachadh gu mòr o chionn dà fhichead no leth-cheud bliadhna. Aig an am sin cha bhiodh de naidheachdan aig an t-sluagh ach na thigeadh à earainn bhig de’n dùthaich fhèin: bhiodh mort (ag)us reubainn a’ dol air adhart an dùthchannan eile air nach faigheadh iad forfhais ri’m beò. An-diugh, bithear a’ faighinn brath a h-uile latha as gach cearna de’n t-saoghal, agus ‘s i an droch-sgeul a’s luaithe ruigeas sinn.”

“Criomagan” from “Fear na Céilidh,” 1928

“‘S i an droch-sgeul a’s luaithe ruigeas sinn.”

The Scottish Gaelic periodicals published in Nova Scotia in the early 20th Century contained many short stories and news bulletins that are interesting, information and often amusing, opening a window into the world of the Gaelic reader in times past.

We’ll be publishing occasional selections of these bits or “criomagan” of news for visitors to our website both as a learning exercise and for fun. Try your hand at translating them!

This first criomag is from the first issue of Fear na Céilidh, March 1928, Vol, 1, No. 1. The sentiment rings true today:

“Leis gach gnìomh oillteil air am faighear fios anns na pàipeirean, tha daoine buailteach air bhi smaoineachadh gu’m bheil an saoghal a’ sìor dhol dh’ionnsaidh an uilc.  Ach feumar a chuimhneachadh gu’m bheil cùisean air atharrachadh gu mòr o chionn dà fhichead no leth-cheud bliadhna. Aig an am sin cha bhiodh de naidheachdan aig an t-sluagh ach na thigeadh à earainn bhig de’n dùthaich fhèin: bhiodh mort (ag)us reubainn a’ dol air adhart an dùthchannan eile air nach faigheadh iad forfhais ri’m beò. An-diugh, bithear a’ faighinn brath a h-uile latha as gach cearna de’n t-saoghal, agus ‘s i an droch-sgeul a’s luaithe ruigeas sinn.”

We’ll post a translation with our next criomag.

If you want to send us your translation, or want translation help, e-mail Liam at willbcassidy@gmail.com.