Mac Grianna and Conrad: A Case Study in Translation

  • Sinead Coyle

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This case study of Mac Grianna's translations of four of Conrad's works evaluates the quality of these translations and assesses how he brings his own individual qualities as a creative writer to the act of translation. Against a background of developments in translation studies in Europe and Ireland, his work is contextualised and analysed in the light of contemporary commentators, Paedar Ua Laoghaire and Gearóid Ó Nualláin, with an examination of their stipulations regarding the translation of the Irish language from English, notably the promulgation of caint na ndaoine to the exclusion of any other style or register of the Irish language. An analysis is made of Mac Grianna's creative ability using Guildford's nine characteristics of the creative individual. Each quality is examined and assessed as it relates to the translations of Conrad, using samples from the translations to demonstrate how they illustrate these characteristics. All examples from the translations are accessed through Tobar na Gaedhlige. French translations of the samples are given as a further method of comparison. Some complexities of Conrad's style are analysed, such as his use of de-verbal negative adjectives and Mac Grianna's response to these challenges is investigated. Criticisms that stem from his use of cain na ndaoine in these translations are examined, and his use of storytelling devices such as alliteration, rhythm, and synonymic adjectives are demonstrated.
Date of AwardOct 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAilbhe Ó'Corráin (Supervisor) & Peter Smith (Supervisor)


  • Paedar Ua Laoghaire
  • Gearóid Ó Nualláin
  • creativity
  • stylistics

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