Updated 9/5/2014 Why you shouldn’t trust your TV’s Closed Captioning for Outlander Gàidhlig translations!

I have heard that some people have been using the closed captioning feature of their televisions and cable boxes in order to more fully understand some of the dialogue in Outlander. Hey, I can understand that completely. I sometimes wish people came with this feature, particularly in Glasgow. 😉 I’ve listened to entire conversations in Glasgow and only nodded my head in what I sincerely hoped were appropriate moments.

However, while closed captioning can help with some of the English dialogue, it is often not quite as helpful with the Gàidhlig. Recently ( i.e. this morning), conversation came up on Twitter about what some people are seeing as CC translations during Gàidhlig dialogue sections of Outlander.

Àdhamh has found these quite funny, so for those using the CC feature, feel free to tweet the best of these to the two of us (@rtidwell730/@greatscotblog and @an_comhghallach) after each episode and I will keep this list updated.

Here’s what we’ve had so far.

Episode 101 – Sassenach

When Murtagh beckons to Claire to come with him:

Gàidhlig says:  Trobhad!  (Come!)

CC says: Druid! (Funny. I don’t see anyone painted blue or communing with trees. This mistake actually crops up a couple of times in the episode.)

Episode 102 – Castle Leoch

Jamie to Mrs. Fitz after the beating:

Gàidhlig says: Tapadh leibh! (Thank you)

CC says: Top of Life (Hmm. Interesting)

Episode 103 – The Way Out

Jamie to Geillis when refusing to stay for port:

Gàidhlig says: Móran taing (Thank you)

CC says: More Time (CC Fail. Nope. Never spend more time or drink anything Geillis has prepared! Thankfully Jamie is a smart lad.)

Episode 104 – The Gathering

Jamie to Clansmen about going to swear his oath to Colum

Gàidhlig says: Let me go and change first, a charaid (my friend)

CC says: Let me go and change first in the cottage. (No cottages here! Just Castle Leoch, but no one complains when Jamie takes his shirt off.)

Next up: Episode 105 – Rent! Only a bit over 24 hours until we find out here in the USA. Happy viewing!

18 thoughts on “Updated 9/5/2014 Why you shouldn’t trust your TV’s Closed Captioning for Outlander Gàidhlig translations!

  1. Also, when Jamie was talking to the boy at the pillory, he said “a bhalach”, but the CC translated it to something completely different. I’ll have to watch again to see what the CC reported.

  2. Reblogged this on Outlander Musings and commented:
    This is a great post! I have been trying (in truth, struggling is more like it) to pick up a bit of Gaelic here and there. If the CC can keep up, it gets it wrong! LOL

    Great post from a really excellent blogger!

  3. This was an awesome chat with Adhamh O’Broin on twitter. So funny. Particularly loved “Druid” from Murtagh followed by Claire’s “What?” hahahaha And yes to the greatScotblog. Excellent resource.

  4. It sounds to me as though the captioning is making the closest English words to the Gaelic pronounced/read AS English, so “Móran taing”, if read by someone with NO knowledge of Gaelic would SAY “morin tang”, but since that doesn’t make any sense, the closest English words they could come up with is “more time”. There was some CC of British crimies in Switzerland just like that – amusing but not helpful!

  5. Too funny. I assumed the CC would get it wrong so my solution is to watch it 20 or 30 times LOL. I really do get more out of it each time I watch it. And in truth I’ve probably watched each episode at least once a day! It is just SOOOO GOOD and they’ve done a phenomenal job putting it to film. I’m so impressed with Ronald Moore. Sam has become the Jamie of my dreams, truly – rolling the r, just when Jamie said to Claire “Thank you Sassanach, Truly”!

  6. This is fun! In ep.104 I believe “a charaid” was captioned as “the cottage” when Jamie asks to change his clothes before the oath-taking. Also, seems like some English is being captioned as “speaks Gaelic”. For example, when Mrs. Fitz is escorting Claire out of the kitchen to dress for the gathering, I think she actually says “Baste it, girl! Baste it.” referring to the poultry on the spit.

  7. Your comment about CC for Glaswegians cracked me up … my sister and I just had that conversation not to long ago. She’s lived in Glasgow almost 15 yrs, and is my “translator” when I visit – especially at gatherings when they get excited and start talking fast and thick. I catch myself smiling and nodding at hopefully appropriate moments as well. I do much better now – and have no trouble understanding the actors in Outlander (ie don’t need CC) – but my first ever visit to a chippy shop, every question they asked I had to look to my sister. Shop: “Salt and vinegar?” Me: “Ummmm … (look to my sister) … what did she say?”

    Just found your blog via your twitter post on waulking – lovely to read the Gàidhlig translations. 🙂

  8. Hi Mandy…Would love to see the translation for the Episode 101 conversation between Jamie and Dougal after Claire tells Jamie the English used Cocknammon Rock for ambushes. THANKS MUCH!

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