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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Another look at Fedelm in Different Recensions

For fun and to show the difference that can occur between translations I wanted to expand on yesterday's blog and offer the description of Fedelm from two recensions of the the Táin Bó Cúailnge, the first from the Book of the Dun Cow and the second from the Book of Leinster. You'll see some similarities and also some significant differences between the two:

In tan didiu dosoí an t-ara forsin carpat ocus lotair do thecht ass co n-accatár in n-ingin macdacht remib. Folt buidi furri. Bratt brecc impe, delg n-óir and. Léine chulpatach co n-derggintslaid impe. Dá assa co foraib óir impu. Agad fochóel forlethan. Dí broí duba dorchaidi. Abrait duib dáin co m-bentaís foscod i m-medón a dá grúaide. Indar latt ropo di partaing imdéntai a beóil. Indar lat ba fross do némannaib boí inna bélaib .i. a fíaclai. Teóra trillsi fuirri .i. dí thriliss immo cend súas, trilis tara h-aiss síar co m-benad a dá colptha inna díaid. Claideb corthaire do findruine inna láim, esnaid óir and. Trí meic imlisse cechtar a dá súla.  Gaisced lasin n-ingin & dá ech duba foa carput.’
 - Táin Bó Cúailnge, Recension 1, Lebor na hUidre, 11th/12th century O'Rahilly (1976)

Then when  the charioteer turns the chariot back and had gone they saw the girl of marriageable age before them. Yellow hair on her.  A speckled cloak on her, red-gold there. A hooded tunic [léine*] with red-embroidery about her. Two shoes with gold on them. Her face slender below, broad above. Two heavy dark black eyelashes, delicate they look, which cast a shadow in the middle of her two cheeks. You would think fresh crimson adorns her mouth. You would think there were pearls there behind her lips, that is her teeth. Three plaits of hair with her that is two plaits about her head upwards, a plait covering her back down shadowing her calves to the end. A weaving beam of fine-brass in her right hand, inset with gold. Three pupils in each of her two eyes. Weapons with the girl and two black horses under her chariot.

Impáis in t-ara in carpat ocus dothaét Medb for cúlu, co n-accai ní rap ingnad lé, .i. in n-aenmnái for fertais in charpait na farrad ina dochum. Is amlaid bói ind ingen: ic figi corrthairi ocus claideb findruini ina láim deiss cona secht n-aslib do dergór ina dessaib; bratt ballabrecc uani impi; bretnas torrach trencend sin brutt osa brunni; gnúis chorcra chrumainech lé; rosc glass gairectach le; beóil derga thanaide; dét niamda nemanda, andar let batar frossa findnémand erctais ina cend; cosmail do nuapartaing a beóil; binnidir téta mendchrot aca seinm allámaib sirshúad bindfogur a gotha ocus a cáinurlabra; gilidir snechta sniged fri oenaidchi taidlech a cniss ocus a colla sech a timthach sechtair; traigthi seta sithgela, ingni corcra córi cruindgéra lé; folt findbudi fata forórda furri; teora trillsi da fult imma cend, trilis aile co m-benad foscad fri colptha.
Táin Bó Cúailnge, Recension 2, Book of Leinster version, 12th century, Windisch (1905.) 

The charioteer turned the chariot and suddenly at Medb's back, she saw something, a person unusual to her, that is the single girl at a shaft of the chariot beside the company. And thus is the girl: besides weaving fringe and a sword of fine brass in her right hand, seven sword-ornaments of red-gold well arranged on it; a speckled-spotted green cloak on her; a brooch rounded, strong-covered there on her cloak and chest; a face red, rich-blooded with her; eyes green and laughing with her; a subtle red mouth; brilliant pearl-like teeth, you would think they were white-pearls showering abundantly from her head; similar to fresh scarlet were her lips; melodious strings of a lyre being played by a master, long lasting, sweet-sounding her voice and her enchanting speech; bright as falling snow from a single night was her shining skin and her body that was beyond her garment; feet slender long and fair, nails dark red, well-proportioned, round and neat with her; hair light-yellow, long, and golden on her; three plaits of hair on her head, another plait with a shadow reaching to her calf.

*a léine (pronounced lay-nuh) is a specific garment: loose, hanging to the knee, with long full sleeves. Although it is glossed here as tunic it is not overly similar to the general tunic most people are familiar with. See here for more detail 

Copyright Morgan Daimler

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