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Academic Paper


Title: Ireland in translation
Author: Michael Cronin
Institution: Dublin City University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Translation
Subject Language: Irish
English
Abstract: Translation has long featured as a convenient metaphor for the Irish condition. However, its use as metaphor should not disguise the insights translation provides into the status and formation of Irish English. When Richard II arrived in Ireland in 1394 his problems were not only political and military. They were also linguistic. On the occasion of the visit of the Irish kings to Richard in Dublin that same year, James Butler, the second Earl of Ormond, had to interpret the king's speech into Irish. Loyalty to Richard's kingship did not extend to loyalty to his chosen tongue. The translation skills of another Earl of Ormond would be further called upon in 1541 when the Irish parliament made Henry VIII King of Ireland. The Earl on this occasion interpreted the Speaker's address into Irish for the benefit of the Lords and Commons, although they were predominantly of Anglo-Norman or Old English origin. The act of translation, in this instance, was not without its ironies. James Butler was interpreting into a language that had been outlawed four years previously under the 'Act for the English Order, Habit and Language'.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 27, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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