The following is the story of the prodigal son, from "An Bíobla do Pháistí" (Colmcille Press, 1986) (This book is a translation into Irish of "The Lion Children's Bible".
Labhraídh Íosa le gach saghas duine. Ní daoine maithe amháin a bhíodh ina chomhluadar. Bhíodh na Fairisínigh ag gearan faoi mar gheall air sin.
D'inis sé an scéal seo dóibh lá amháin.
Bhí fear ann a raibh beirt mhac aige. D'iarr an mac ab óige air a chuid féin den sealúchas a thabhairt dó. Chuaigh sé thar lear ansin, áit ar chaith sé a chuid airgid go fánach. Nuair a bhí a chuid dá shealúchas caite aige, tharla gorta sa tír sin. Bhí daoine ag fáil bháis den ocras. Chuaigh sé ag obair ag aoireacht muc. Bhíodh sé chomh/ hocrach ansin go n-íosfadh sé na féithleoga a d'fhaigheadh na muca dá dtabharfaí dó iad.
Bhí uaigneas air freisin.
"Nach mé an t-amadán," a dúirt sé leis féin. "Tá fir ag obair ag m'athair a bhfuil a ndóthain le hithe acu. Agus tá ocras ormsa! Rachaidh mé abhaile agus déarfaidh mé le m'athair go bhfuil brón orm. Ní fiú mé go dtabharfadh sé mac orm. Ach b'fhéidir go ligfeadh sé dom dul ag obair dó."
Chuir sé chun bóthair. Chonaic a athair ag teacht é agus rith sé amach le bualadh leis. Rug sé barróg air.
"Tugaigí éadaí nua dó," a dúirt sé lena shearbhóntaí. "Agus maraígí an lao biata agus déanfaimid fleá. Shíl mé go raibh mo mhac marbh agus tá sé beo tar éis an tsaoil."
Nuair a tháinig an mac ba shine isteach, bhí sé ar buile!
"Tá mé ag obair duit leis na blianta agus ní dhearna tú fleá ariamh dom," ar sé lena athair. "Ach féach gur mharaigh tú an lao biata do mo dheartháir gan mhaith!"
"Tá a fhios agat gur leat a bhfuil agam," a dùirt a athair. "Ach bhí sé ceart aoibhneas a dhéanamh agus áthas. Bhí do dheartháir caillte agus fuarthas é."
Nóta: "féithleoga" is an old, obsolete word for "faighneoga", pods/shells.
Jesus used to talk (2) to all sorts of people. It was not only good people who associated with him. The Pharisees used to complain about him on account of that.
He told this story to them one day.
There was a man (3) who had two sons. (4) The younger (5) son asked him to give him his share of the possessions. He went abroad then, where (6) he spent his money aimlessly. When he had spent (7) his share of the possessions, a famine occurred in that country. People were dying of hunger. He went to work herding pigs. He was (8) so hungry then that he would have eaten the pods which the pigs got, if they had been given to him. (9)
"Am I not a fool!" he said to himself. "My father has men working for him who have enough to eat, and I (10) am hungry. I'll go home and say to my father that I am sorry. (11) I am not worthy that he should call me his sone. (12) But perhaps he would let me come to work for him.
He took to the road. His father saw him coming and he ran out to meet him. He gave him a hug.
"Give him new clothes," he said to his servants. "And kill the fatted calf and we will have (literally "make") a feast. I thought my son was dead and he is alive after all."
When the older (13) son came in, he was furious!
"I have been working for you for years and you never made a feast for me," he said to his father. "But look, you killed the fatted calf for my no-good brother!"
"You know that what I have is yours," (14) said his father. "But it is right to rejoice and be glad. (literally "to do delight and gladness") Your brother was lost and has been found."
(1) "Beirt" (rather than "dá") is generally used for "two" when referring to people
(2) Note the use of the past habitual of the verb "labhair".
(3) Bhí fear ann - There was a man. Literally "There was a man in him." A very common construction in Irish to express existence, e.g. Bhí banríon ann fadó. - There was a queen long ago. Also, "Ba bhanríon a bhí inti." - "It is a queen she was."
(4) "To have" is expressed in Irish by tá (thing) ag (person), e.g. Tá iníon ag an fear. The man has a daughter.
(5) The comparative form of the adjective in Irish is the same as the genitive singular feminine (except for irregular comparatives). It can be expressed in two ways: Present: an mac níos óige or an mac is óige Past: an mac níb óige or an mac ab óige all expressing "the younger son." The "is" and "ab" are the present and past form of the copula. "Níos" and "níb" are formed from the copula and "ní". The past forms are optional--the present form can be used instead.
(6) "Áit ar" - "where" (literally "a place which").
(7) To express the equivalent of the past perfect in English, Irish uses bhí + past participle + ag (person), e.g. bhí an sealúchas caite aige. He had spent the possessions (literally "The possessions were spent with him").
(8) Note the use here of the past habitual - "he was (habitually) hungry."
(9) "Dá" with the past conditional is used to express contrary to fact conditions, e.g. D'íosfadh sé iad, dá dtabharfaí dó iad. He would have eaten them, if they had been given to him. "tabharfaí" is the past conditional impersonal form of the verb "tabhair".
(10) Tá ocras ormsa - literally "there is hunger on me." A typical Irish idiom--hunger, sorrow, etc. are "on" a person. The "-sa" on orm is the emphatic pronoun suffix.
(11) Tá brón orm. See (10).
(12) Tabhair ar, literally "to give on" means to call or name someone.
(13) Ba shine - past comparative of "sean" - old. See (5).
(14) fuarthas é - "he has been found." Past autonomous form of "faigh". Note that the pronoun subject is in the objective form, é instead of sé.
(14) The preposition "le" is often used for possession: Is leat a bhfuil agam. What I have is yours.
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