About the Preparation of these WWW Pages

First and foremost, I must confess that I am not fluent in the Irish language. I'm fascinated by the ancient tales and thought it would be interesting, and maybe useful to some, to show an Irish along with an English version of this story on the web. I have, no doubt, made many errors in aligning the two texts.

The English translation is from The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge (1914) by Joseph Dunn, London: David Nutt. The Irish transcription is from Die Altirische Heldensage Táin Bó Cúalnge (1905) by Ernst Windisch, Leipzig: Verlag von S. Hirzel.

Dunn's English translation includes many passages that are not part of Windisch's transcription. For the most part, I've deleted these from the English translation, except where it was a complete piece, or where it was needed to understand the subsequent story.

There are a few different manuscripts on which the transcriptions are based. Generally, Windisch gives a single transcription, but in some cases-- primarily the poetic segments-- the manuscripts differ enough that he has included more than one version. I've mixed pieces from different sources, in an attempt to match the English translation as well as possible.

There are a few technical obstacles to portraying the Irish language in HTML. One of these involves the dotted consonants, for which there are no HTML entities. For the time being, I've left those letters undotted. I have, however, marked them with hidden tags, in case HTML and personal computers ever support them.

The other difficulty is the character "7" which I've replaced with "&." I think this is a reasonable compromise, given that the character more or less means "and."

I am not a scholar of Irish, just a descendent of famine emigrants. So please be kind if you send me your comments.

Steve Taylor
Vassar College

Táin Bó Cúalnge home page