[Fsfe-ie] Cumann Scóp-Ríomhoideas na hEireann

David O'Callaghan david.ocallaghan at cs.tcd.ie
Sun Nov 2 16:23:32 CET 2003

Dé Domh, 2003-11-02 ag 14:13, scríobh David Golden:
> I don't really like Bogearraí  - has a ring of a much-too-literal translation 
> from the english.   "Oideasra"  is given as the translation for "software", 
> "Oideas" for "program" here: 
> http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaeilge/foclora/abhair/riomhaire.htm

Yes, but bogearraí is also given here. Also, this is the translation
given on http://www.acmhainn.ie/tearmai/01s.htm, which I understand is
an "official" list of technical terms from Foras na Gaeilge. I think
bogearraí is the word in common use, and it doesn't make much sense to
go against that. IANAL. Linguist, that is.

> While one may draw a distinction between "program" and "software",
> e.g. a collection of clipart could be "software", though perhaps most would 
> not consider it a "program" as such, in formal terms, the image data can 
> indeed be considered a "program" written in, say, the "language of jpeg", 
> interpreted by the computer that displays the picture.  Lispfucius Say: code 
> is data, data is code.

Of course. Do you put a little GPL notice in the JPEG comment field? And
what do you provide when they ask for the source code?! ;)

> > I'm pretty sure that "Saor" normally means "libre"...
> Indeed, I'm pretty sure you're right.  However, my worry over "Saor" was that 
> in my experience, few use "saor in aisce" anymore - generations of 
> schoolchildren dumb-translating with english-irish dictionaries have meant 
> they use "saor" ambiguously, probably actually holding something isomorphic 
> to the woolly english "free" in their minds.

Also, many Irish adjectives beginning with S have an opposite that
begins with D, so "saor" (which primarily means libre, but also gratis)
is the opposite of "daor" (which primarily means expensive (or dear),
but also captive). This aids the confusion or drift in meaning...

> But is Saor (which I am happy to take to mean Libre...) even the most 
> appropriate for the sense of "Free" in the FSF, given Irish might have a 
> third shade of freedom, perhaps not perfectly expressible as either Libre or 
> Gratis?  Perhaps just as English confuses Libre and Gratis, so common usage 
> of Libre confuses, um, "Libre-as-in-personal-freedom" and 
> "Scóp-as-in-freedom-to-do"? 

I'm getting a better idea of what you mean now. Scope (or Scóp) to
explore, experiment, etc. By the way, how do we translate this back into
English?! Irish Organisation for Software with Scope to Do Things is a
bit cumbersome.

> I'm not confident at all that there is an adjectival usage or that it would be 
> an unusual prefix like sean or saor (it just "sounded right" that way round 
> to me, and if there isn't an adjectival usage, hell, I'm as free as the next 
> guy to invent one...).

Of course, but you might have to invent one in English too! Scopic
Software, perhaps?

> I'm about 50 miles away from my printed dictionary, but Scóp [Shkaawp ?] as a 
> word. probably noun,  is present in at least two online Gaelic dictionaries, 
> translating as "Scope/Freedom" and "Freedom":
> http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~smacsuib/focloir/gaelic-l/iggl1s.htm
> http://glossword.info/term/774,89,xhtml
> Scóip [Shkoep?] with the i is probably a new import from English "scope", 
> probably by someone unaware of the older word.

Perhaps. It's in my little Collins dictionary and is used in Dáil
procedings (Scóip an Acht, Scope of the Act), in an abstract sense.
But I don't want to start a Dictionary Fight!

I think that Saor is the best word to use, despite its ambiguity, and it
seems to be the common way to translate Free (as in freedom) into Irish.
Unfortunately this doesn't solve the "problem".


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