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The Irish For: There's a bit of alchemy involved in translating Harry Potter into Irish

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THIS IS THE latest dispatch from our columnist Darach Ó Séaghdha, author of the award-winning and bestselling Motherfoclóir. Every Sunday morning, Darach will be regaling (re-Gaeling?) us with insights on what the Irish language says about Ireland, our society, our past and our present. Enjoy.

Órcloch was a lesser-used word in Irish in the twentieth century. Literally, it means gold stone (ór cloch) but more precisely it refers to the business of turning stone in to gold: alchemy.

It is fitting in a way that this word has found its way onto one of the bestselling Irish language texts that isn’t a schoolbook. I’m referring to the translation of the first Harry Potter book into Irish, which is discussed in the latest episode of the Motherfoclóir podcast.

Translation is a kind of alchemy, especially when working with such a well-loved and widely referenced text.

This is especially true........

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