Irish Proverb 184 - Seanfhocail Ghaeilge 184

Is é seo Seanfhocal an Lae:

Today's Proverb is:

Seachnaíonn súil an ní nach bhfeiceann.

Seo ciall an tseanfhocail:

The translation or meaning is:

An eye disregards what it does not see.

An bhfuil a mhalairt de thuairim agat maidir le ciall an tseanfhocail seo, nó ar mhaith leat an t-aistriúchán s’agatsa a roinnt linn? Déan caint ar seo thíos.

Got a different idea on what this proverb means or want to share your own translation? Comment below. 


Posted Aug 31 2016


Dale D wrote re: Irish Proverb 184 - Seanfhocail Ghaeilge 184
on Wed, Aug 31 2011 19:10

"Seachnaíonn" is from the verb "seachain" "avoid".  I'm curious about the idiom, because in English there is a sharp difference between "disregards" and "avoids" that I don't think I would have captured trying to translate this myself.  To "disregard" something implies treating it lightly, while to "avoid" something implies an emphatic rejection or some strong feeling on the subject.  An eye that "disregards" something it doesn't see would not seem to be "avoiding", which implies some awareness of the things' existence, something the proverb seems to imply is not there.

Any clarification, please?


seano wrote re: Irish Proverb 184 - Seanfhocail Ghaeilge 184
on Wed, Aug 31 2011 20:04

I see what you mean, Dale. It doesn't seem to make sense when you think about it. The word disregards really isn't the right word here - it should be avoids. However avoids doesn't necessarily imply knowledge of the thing. You can avoid a terrible fate, even if you were blissfully unaware of the falling piano as you sped away on your bike. In this case, if you don't see something unpleasant, you avoid it - it doesn't affect you. It's really equivalent to What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't griieve over.  

limlom wrote re: Irish Proverb 184 - Seanfhocail Ghaeilge 184
on Mon, Aug 31 2015 17:35

The English meaning would overlap with idioms such as:

--"What you don't know won't hurt you."

--"Out of sight out of mind"

The latter can also be expressed as: "an té a bhíos amuigh fuaraíonn a chuid,"

Christopher123 wrote re: Irish Proverb 184 - Seanfhocail Ghaeilge 184
on Fri, Sep 8 2017 19:42

This proverb is interesting. In Ó Dónaill's dictionary, it's translated as 'what the eye sees not the heart craves not' The verb seachain seems to mean both 'to avoid' and, in older Irish 'to forsake' :

mairg fuair go seachónadh sibh

ar choicéadaibh chuain Ṡligigh

. . .

sein Teamhraigh

'alas if anyone found that for the cocket of Sligo Bay thou wouldst abandon ancient Tara', see

So, the eye forsakes, gives up, what it does not see. Which could mean 'out of sight, out of mind' or that we ignore any evidence that is not given by the senses. Additionally, their might be some wordplay in 'súil', meaning both 'eye' and 'hope' Hope forsakes what the eye doesn't see: We abandon hope if we don't see a thing before our eyes.

Learn Irish with Talk Irish, 117a Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH, N Ireland
© Copyright 2019  -  Privacy Policy  -  About Us  -  Jobs  -  News  -  Links