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'The Hobbit' Published For the First Time in Irish
J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel ‘The Hobbit’ is now available in the Irish language. ‘An Hobad’ has just been published for the first time in Irish by Evertype publishing company in Westport, County Mayo, and the Irish translation features Tolkien’s original illustrations. ‘The Hobbit’ has been translated into over 50 different languages since its first publication in 1937.
Copies of An Hobad arrived today at Dublin bookstore An Siopa Leabhar, which is one of just a handful of shops stocking the rare book.
Daragh Ó Tuama, manager of the bookstore, is delighted to be one of the first Irish stores where the book will be available. Ó Tuama is also excited to get his hands on the book.
“I’ve never read ‘The Hobbit’ in English so my first time reading it will be in Irish,” he said.
The translator of the book is Nicholas Williams who recently translated Irish editions of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There’. Williams tried to stay true to Tolkien’s classic.
The Hobbit starts with the sentence: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
This is how Williams translated the whole paragraph:
“I bpoll sa talamh a bhí cónaí ar hobad. Níor pholl gránna, salach, fliuch é, lán le giotaí de phéisteanna agus le boladh láibe. Níor pholl tirim, lom, gainmheach a bhí ann ach an oiread, gan aon rud ann le n-ithe ná le suí síos air; poll hobaid ab ea é agus is ionann sin agus compord.”
According to Ó Tuama, the Irish translation of ‘The Hobbit’ has gained a great deal of attention from customers, even before the book hit the shelves. He felt it was due to the fact that the English version of the book has become such a staple of modern literature.
“It’s excitement that I’ve never seen before with any of the books we’ve stocked,” said Ó Tuama. “It could really help Irish language reading and for many, it could be the first book they read in Irish because it is such an iconic book.”
Because of its small print run, a copy of ‘An Hobad’ doesn’t come cheap and costs €39.95. More information on the book can be found here.