Translation Help: Just five words!

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September
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Translation Help: Just five words!

Postby September » 2014-01-05, 9:42

So, I've recently taken up the lengthy task of translating the folk song Ormurin Langi into English (the whole thing, all 85 verses of it). It's actually not difficult for the most part, but I've hit a snag in verse 16 and am looking for some help.

The verse goes:
Senda boð til Eirik Jall
- vænur er borin til evna,
hann skal fylgja í ferðini við,
sín faðirs deyða at hevna.

[They] send a message to Jarl Eirikur
?????
He shall accompany the journey
to avenge his father's death.

Bolded is the line I don't understand at all. The lines around it I get just fine. I know that vænur means beautiful. I know that er means are, and borin is the past participle of bera, which has a whole bunch of meanings, and then there's a preposition and evna, which also has several different meanings. So I'm in the position of knowing what all the words mean but being totally unable to piece them together. I've moved on for now and am on verse 19, but I'd really like to figure this out.

Any ideas?

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Re: Translation Help: Just five words!

Postby Mulder-21 » 2014-01-27, 20:29

This one is tricky, even for Faroese people.

You are correct about the individual words.

The word evna being in genitive plural is because of the de facto death of the genitive (note, that 'til' takes the accusative in the 1st line: not *til Eiriks jals) hard to undertand, if you don't know a bit of grammar. It's derived from the neuter noun evni.

This word is quite versatile: Usually it means ability, but it can also mean potential, topic, power, drug etc.

I'd interpret this usage as either ability or potential. Eirikur Jallur was "beautiful to his potential/ability" which would mean that he had very good abilities, which the latter two lines support: He's on his way to avenge his father's death, and to do that, you definitely needed special abilities.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
Almost fluent: Norwegian, Swedish
Basic: Slovak (studying), Spanish
Have studied: Hebrew, Russian
Interests: Ukrainian, Romanian, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Ossetic, Hungarian, Estonian, Baltic languages

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September
Posts: 37
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Location: Clatskanie, Oregon
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Re: Translation Help: Just five words!

Postby September » 2014-02-09, 11:01

Wow, thank you so much for such an in-depth answer! This is exactly what I needed to know.

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Mulder-21
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Re: Translation Help: Just five words!

Postby Mulder-21 » 2014-04-15, 20:16

You're most welcome. :)
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
Almost fluent: Norwegian, Swedish
Basic: Slovak (studying), Spanish
Have studied: Hebrew, Russian
Interests: Ukrainian, Romanian, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Ossetic, Hungarian, Estonian, Baltic languages


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