Translations (Brian Friel)
Professor Stan Lombardo, Classics Professor at the University of Kansas, speaks and discusses all the Latin and Greek text in Brian Friel’s
Translations. For the English & Irish idioms and pronunciations, please navigate further down the page.
Professor Stan Lombardo, Professor of Classics at the University of Kansas, speaks and translates the Greek and Latin; discusses metrics and pronunciation styles. He has translated a great deal of Greek poetry, including Homer’s
Odyssey. You may also hear excerpts from his readings.
JIMMY. ‘Ton d’emeibet epeita thea glaukopis Athene…’
Lit: ‘But the grey-eyed goddess Athena then replied to him’ (Homer, Odyssey, XIII, 420)
JIMMY. ‘…alla hekelos estai en Atreidao domois…’
Lit: ‘…but he sits at ease in the halls of the Sons of Atreus…’ (Homer, Odyssey, XIII,
JIMMY. ‘Hos ara min phamene rabdo epemassat Athene – ‘
Lit: ‘As she spoke Athene touched him with her wand.’ (Homer, Odyssey, XIII, 433)
JIMMY. ‘Knuzosen de oi osse –‘
Lit: ‘She dimmed his eyes.”
MANUS. ‘Glaukopis Athene.’
Lit: ‘flashing –eyed Athena”
JIMMY. ‘Autar o ek limenos prosebe – ‘
Lit: ‘But he went forth from the harbour’ (Homer, Odyssey, XIII, 3-4)
JIMMY. ‘…o oi biotoio malista (kedeto)’ …
Lit: ‘…he cared very much for his substance’ (Homer, Odyssey, XIII, 3-4)
JIMMY. ‘Theo—theos’ (a god) ‘thea’ (a goddess)
JIMMY. ‘Baptizein’ (to dip or immerse)
HUGH. Sophocles from Colonus …Tulach Alainn…Sean Beag. HUGH. …’aplestos pithos’ (unfillable cask)
HUGH. ’aei’. (always)
HUGH. Glaukopis Athene?
JIMMY. Metis from Hellespont?
JIMMY. Endogamein…(to marry within the tribe) exogamein… (to marry outside the
JIMMY. Esne Fatigata?
Lit: ‘Are you tired?’
MAIRE. Sum Fatigatissima.
Lit: ‘I am very tired’
JIMMY. Bene! Optime!
Lit: ‘Good! Excellent!’
DOALTY. Ignari, stulti, rustici…
Lit: ‘Ignoramuses, fools, peasants’
DOALTY. Responde – responde!
Lit: ‘Answer! Answer!’
JIMMY. ‘Nigra fere et presso pinguis sub vomere terra’
Lit: ‘Land that is black and rich beneath the pressure of the plough.’
JIMMY. …cui putre…
Lit: ‘crumbly soil’
HUGH. Adsum, (present) Doalty, Adsum. Perhaps not in sobrietate perfecta (complete
sobriety) but adequately sobrius (sober)…
JIMMY. Ave, (hail) Hugh.
HUGH. Caerimonia nominationis – (ceremony of naming)
HUGH. ‘baptisterium’ (cold bath)
HUGH. Gratias tibi ago. (I thank you) …studia (studies)…MAIRE. Perambulare… (to walk about)
JIMMY. Verecundus (shame-faced, modest)
DOALTY. Conjugo. (I join together)
BRIDGET. Acquiesco. (I find comfort in)
HUGH. Procede. (proceed)
BRIDGET. Acquiesco, acquiescere, acquievi, acquietum.
HUGH. Silentium! (silence)
HUGH. …diverto – divertere…
OWEN. … Jacobe, quid agis?… (James, how are you?)
HUGH. Silentium! (silence)
HUGH. …Festinate! Festinate! (hurry)
HUGH. Gaudeo vos hic adesse. (welcome)
JIMMY. Nonne Latine loquitur? (Does he not speak Latin?)
HUGH. …opus honestum!… (an honourable task)
HUGH. Quantumvis cursum longum fessumque moratur. Sol, sacro tandem carmine
Lit: ‘No mattter hnow long the sun delays on his long weary course
At length evening comes with its sacred song’
MAIRE. ‘Tu es centurio in exercitu Britannico’
Lit: You are a centurion in the British army.’
‘Et es in castris quae sunt in agro.’
Lit: And you are in the camp in the field.’
DOALTY. ‘Ignari! Stulti! Rustici!’
HUGH. ‘domus lugubris’ –house of mourning. JIMMY. Infelix… (unhappy)
HUGH. Barbarus hic ego sum quia non intelligor ulli…
Lit: ‘I am a barbarian here because I am not understood by anyone’
HUGH. Edictum imperatoris. (the decree of the commander)
HUGH. …and the Aeneid…
HUGH. ‘desiderium nostrorum’ (the longing/need for our
HUGH. Semper- per omnia saecula…(always—for all time) ’aei’. (always)
HUGH. Urbs antiqua fuit…(there was an ancient city) late regem belloque
superbum…(kings of broad realms and proud in war)
Recorded and edited by Paul Meier, University of Kansas, 2002.
Length of recording: 00:06:44
Part 2. Barbara Carswell and Paul Meier speak the Irish and English names, terms, and idioms, in Brian Friel’s
A single page document of the following text can be found here.
Barbara Carswell, a native of Northern Ireland, holds an MS. Ed from the University of Kansas, did her undergraduate work at St. Mary’s College of Education, Belfast, taught Irish to secondary school students in Northern Ireland, and in Rann na Feirste, Loch an Iubhair, and Gaoth Dobhair (Gaelteacht areas in Donegal), and also taught Irish at the University of Kansas. Her dialect is that of Donegal.
Paul Meier is a dialect coach, and the founder and director of IDEA. His dialect instruction CDs (one for each character) for Translations are available from his Website, as is his Dialect of Northern Ireland booklet/CD or eBook.
Anna na mBreag
Baile na gCall
Beann na Gaouthe
Big Ned Frank
Bun na hAbhann
Caitlin Dubh Nic Reacctainn
Carraig an Phoill
Carraig na Ri
Cnoc na Mona
Cnoc na nGabhar
Cnoc na Ri
Con Connie Tim
Doalty Dan Doalty
Dubh Nic Reactainn
Eamon Donal from Tor
Hugh Mor O’Donnell
Jimmy Jack Cassie
Lieutenant George Yolland
Lis na Muc
Lis na nGall
Lis na nGradh
Loch an Iubhair
Loch na nEan
Owen Hugh Mor
Poll na gCaorach
Sarah Johnny Sally