Irish: Goodnight, God bless

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ablazza

Senior Member
English, UK
Are there any Irish (Gaelic?) speakers out there? I am struggling to find a reliable translation of 'Goodnight, God bless', as would be said to a child at bedtime.
 
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    You can either say "Oíche mhaith" (goodnight) or ""Oíche mhaith agus codladh sámh" (goodnight, sleep well). There is no point giving you a literal translation of "God bless" because nobody would use that in Irish in this context :)
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Well, the way to say God bless, on its own, would be "Beannacht Dé ort" (this is when talking only to one person). It's old-fashioned and sounds very religious - much more so than the English. I don't think I've heard anyone except priests say it, and you have to understand that in Irish we do use blessings in plenty of other contexts, e.g. when saying goodbye, after a sneeze, to say hello, or to sign off in a letter. :)
     

    ablazza

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    What are some of the other blessings you use eg after a sneeze?
    This is for an inscription on a grave stone for my Irish mother, ie it doesn't matter (up to a point) if it's old-fashioned and religious. Could you not say 'Oiche mhaith. Beannacht De ort' ?
    Google translate (which I don't trust an inch) translated 'God bless (you)' as 'Dia duit' which another Irish person told me was a different form of Gaelic?
    I am a modern language teacher (obviously not Irish!) so I am interested in all this, plus, I must get it right!
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hi ablazza,
    Thanks for giving more context. 'Dia duit' is generally spelt with lenition (Séimhiú)- Dia dhuit [Shortened form of, 'Go mbeannaí Dia dhuit', literal meaning is, 'May God bless you' it's a greeting - our way of saying "Hello", so (perhaps) not entirely suitable for your Mum's Headstone.

    I personally think in the context it's best not to cobble something together, although from one point of view it may render a more personal message, from a linguistic point of view it may not be understood as such.
    One suggestion : Solas na bhflaitheas uirthi = The light of Heaven on her
    taken from the following website :Source : on-line

    By the way, do make sure the inscriptions takes accents in to account : ( á, ó, ú, é, í )

    If these more classical Irish grave stone inscriptions don't genuinely suit, then say so.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Thanks for the context - "Beannacht Dé" would be entirely appropriate here. Make sure that you put the accent on the E - if you don't, the whole sentence makes no sense.

    Rather than
    Oíche mhaith. Beannacht Dé ort, I would opt for Codladh sámh agus beannacht Dé.

    That means sleep well and God bless. You can add "ort" at the end of beannacht Dé if you are sure nobody else from the family will be buried in the same plot. If that isn't the case, don't add "ort" since it refers to one person and will therefore have to be changed if anyone else is buried there at a later date. Without "ort" it means "God bless" for any and all who are buried there.

    Definitely don't trust Google translate for gravestones - it is completely wrong. Dia duit as mentioned above, is the way we say "hello" in Irish. It would make no sense at all in your context.

    You could use the more traditional sayings as l'Irlandais said. These include Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam (may her soul be on the right hand of God), or Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam (may her soul have eternal peace) but with these two they refer to one woman only, so again if anyone else is to buried there in future, or is already buried there, I would avoid these.

    Anyway, if you want the personal touch, then you don't need to go with the set phrases and you can just go with Codladh sámh agus beannacht Dé - it's your own personal message that way.
     
    Last edited:

    ablazza

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Thank you very much for your suggestions. I think I'll probably go with Codladh sámh agus beannacht Dé which sounds more colloquial and something you might say to a child, because I am trying to say to her what she said to me every night: 'Good night, God bless'. Also, others have suggested this to me too, so it must be quite an ordinary saying, which is what I want. By the way, she was buried in June and we hope to have her grave stone installed by her birthday: 17th March - St Patrick's Day! She was very proud of being born on this special Irish day and quite offended her parents had not christened her 'Patricia' (instead of Hannah). Also, she was Protestant Irish - Church of Ireland, so something too religiously Catholic would not be appropriate.

     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Don't worry - I don't think anything in Irish would sound particularly Catholic, unless it was a blessing involving Mary ;)
     
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