Twenty Years A-Growing Twenty Years A-Growing discussion

the book needs to be re-edited for global audience

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payne grew up in Ireland but after leaving in my teens in the 1970's I've only been back for the occasional holiday and funeral. I heard about this book a few months ago and decided to read it. I'm in Berlin and I found it for a couple of euro on ebay germany.

Its a lovely book and I heartily recommend it but it might probably be best appreciated by people who are out of the flush of youth. Its not what you might call an exciting book although it certainly is interesting. The language is lilting; often sentences have extra words padding them out to make them balance out and reach the ear in a more pleasing way. It's not, but it's almost poetry -if that makes sense. Its the old Irish way of speaking. An example of this: English English - "are you going" Irish English - "would you be going"

I have a petty criticism or two of the translation (or editing whichever it is) the name Shaun is used but this is an anglicised version of Séan (although it is pronounced the same). Surely the correct name could have been used with a footnote to explain? The original book was written in Irish after all and there are plenty of footnotes. Likewise with the name Siobhán (shiv-awn). There should also be a footnote on page 152 to explain the context of the word the foreign sailor is using (gurlamacras). The only reason I realised it was because I had Irish pushed down my throat in my miserable schooldays. I'm 57 and its the first time this was useful to me. Gurlamacras is a mangled pronunciation and spelling of "go raibh maith agat" (pronounced gu-rev-mah-agut) which means "thanks" in Irish.

Someone needs to re-edit the book

Susan I bought my copy in May at the Blasket Island Visitors' Center. Unfortunately, the sea was too rough to visit the island - but I enjoyed the book. The edition I bought has a different cover, so perhaps it has been re-edited. You're right: not an exciting plot, but a fascinating glimpse of a long-gone lifestyle.

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