Eesti muusika / Estonian music

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Linguaphile
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Re: Eesti muusika / Estonian music

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-11-09, 15:31

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hajoseszter wrote:I'm unsure about "päivä/päevä", how should I decide which one is "better"?

Päivä is Kuusalu dialect, päevä is closer to Standard Estonian. (Modern standard Estonian actually would be "päev(a)" though).
It's the same with õe; ue is Kuusalu dialect, õe is Standard Estonian.
So you can decide for yourself which one is "better" for you.
I would recommend that if you use päivä also use ue, as both are the "stronger" dialect forms; if you use päevä also use õe, as both are closer to Standard Estonian.
Changing it completely to Standard Estonian is not an option because the syllable count would be wrong.

hajoseszter wrote:In "pardi" and "kõrge" I hear something between "r" and "d"/"g" (also little bit in "harju"), like a schwa or anything - why is that? What's the name of this phenomenon? I've heard this in many other songs in many languages.

I think that here it is just the way /r/ sounds before a consonant. I don't really hear it as a schwa. I think I know the phenomenon you are talking about, though (I think I've heard it more often in Northern Saami?). It is just a feature of the phonology when certain consonants occur next to each other. I don't know what it is called, or whether what I've heard with Northern Saami is the same phenomenon you are hearing here.

hajoseszter wrote:Could you add punctuation marks to the lyrics?

I did above at the top of this post, but this is another thing there may easily be disagreement about. I just added commas where the parallelism continued and a period where it moved to a different idea. Often lyrics to songs like this are written without pronunciation (and probably with good reason!) You can hear from the song that intonation is no help in determining punctuation here, and each line is its own independent unit; technically I think you could put a period after just about every line. The only exception might be the last three lines, where the negator "ei" of the line that starts with "Et see tee...." carries over into the next three lines as well so it's useful to mark them as one sentence.

hajoseszter wrote:It might be an old and/or dialectical song so I understand it's not easy to find the right words and to translate it...
BTW do you know which dialect is this?

Kuusalu


hajoseszter wrote:Please-please add a revised translation of how now it is. I've checked all the discussion about it and really appreciate all the nice footnotes, but a bit confused, too. :D

So here's my attempt - if I haven't missed something as well:

Let's make joy in the evening,
Joyful noise as the sun goes down / day goes [away].
The joy is heard all the way to Hiiumaa,
The sound to the edges of our land,
Hiiumaa fir trees glow,
Our land's birches echo,
Our alders resound widely,
Harju's aspens turn green,
Muhu's pines roar.
For the joy of our girls,
From sister's gentle shouts,
From brother's turning of verse.

Our two poor children,
A couple sons like ducklings.
We make joy along the road,
Joy along the road, pleasure in the land,
Make the forest's tall trees rumble,
Make the wide fields into song,
So that this road will not harm us,
The wide fields will not disparage us,
The forest's tall tree will not speak ill.


hajoseszter wrote:"kõmada": 'thunder' or 'muffled or distant rumble' would be better?

It's been my experience that Estonian words for sound do not "map" precisely with English equivalents. Anyway, to me thunder often [i]can[/b] be heard as a "distant rumble" so they do not seem all that different to me, although "thunder" is sometimes the word used for a much louder noise. So I've changed it to "rumble" in the translation.


hajoseszter wrote:As I see these kind of songs mostly performed by soloist and choir, or at least by two person. When this is sung by one person, some syllables are missing, as Linguaphile have mentioned, too - I thought it is in the style of their singing. I'm not sure if it is because of breathing, or not in all cases. Mari Kalkun and Maarja Nuut also do this, and it seemed to me that they have enough air to sing the missing parts also but they did this on a reason which I don't know. Could it be a tradition to sing like this if you're singing it alone? /Should I follow this?/ (Or a performance of these kind of songs could not be traditional with one person at all? :D)

I have heard it done both ways. It's traditional for there to be more than one singer, and I think sometimes when there was only one singer they did not sing the repetition, just the single line. I've heard it done that way too. So, I think you can do it either way.

If you want to hear an entirely different way of singing this song, here you go - it has most of the lines from the first stanza, but not the second stanza:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Y7lMiDOG8

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ainurakne
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Re: Eesti muusika / Estonian music

Postby ainurakne » 2020-11-09, 19:45

Linguaphile wrote:I would recommend that if you use päivä also use ue, as both are the "stronger" dialect forms; if you use päevä also use õe, as both are closer to Standard Estonian.
Well, if you really want to aim for the coastal dialect (the part of the language that is most often considered the Kuusalu sub-dialect), then, among other things, you should remove all the õ-s from the lyrics (depending on the context, either o, a or e is usually used in place of õ) and pursue vowel harmony.

Linguaphile wrote:Changing it completely to Standard Estonian is not an option because the syllable count would be wrong.
Well, technically one could also use archaic suffixes in Standard Estonian too, in order to keep the magic syllable count. :mrgreen:

hajoseszter wrote:Finally I've found lyrics and translation on a picture of the booklet:
...
Why are there so many differencies? Could you help me which choices are better to understand more the song?
I'll just try to translate it from scratch:

hajoseszter wrote:Veere, veere päevakene,
Roll, roll sun/day

In Finnic languages, päev/päiv usually means both: day and sun. Or you could just think of it as the two aspects of a single phenomenon.

Standard Estonian päike(ne) (the sun) is likely a shortened form of *päivükkainen - conforming to standard Estonian päevakene (or päevukene) - so, I'm thinking the one that is meant in this song is most likely the sun.

hajoseszter wrote:veere päeva vetta mööda,
roll, sun/day, along the water,

hajoseszter wrote:lase kase latvu mööda.
slide (or descend) along the tree-tops of the birch trees.

Or move over the birch trees by brushing their tree-tops.

hajoseszter wrote:Veere sinna, kus su veli,
Roll to where is your brother,

hajoseszter wrote:sõõri sinna, kus su sõsar.
roll to where is your sister.

I have not heard the verb sõõrima before, but I'm assuming it's the same as veerema. In any way, it should mean moving by rolling, rotating or doing circles.

hajoseszter wrote:Seal sind hellalt hoietakse,
There you will be held gently,

Or it could also mean: There you will be gently tended or taken care of

hajoseszter wrote:kahe käe peal kannetakse,
(there you will be) carried on two hands,

hajoseszter wrote:pannaks padjule magama,
(there you will be) put to sleep onto pillows,

hajoseszter wrote:hõbesängi hõljumaie,
(there you will be put) "into the floating state" into a silver bed,

"to put into the floating state" - I just don't know how to translate this better. :lol:
Probably just means that the bed is so soft that one would feel like they are floating while being in this bed.

hajoseszter wrote:kullast sängi puhkamaie.
(there you will be put) to rest into a golden bed.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 3082
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Eesti muusika / Estonian music

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-11-09, 21:39

Why are there so many differences? Could you help me which choices are better to understand more the song?

I will try to go through it line-by-line and explain what I can (in each section: Estonian version, then the two translations one after the other).

Veere, veere päevakene,
Roll, roll along, oh Day,
Roll, roll, dear sun,

"Päev" in modern Estonian means only "day", but in archaic language it also means "sun". (In modern Estonian "sun" is now "päike" or "päikene".)
"-ke" and "-kene" are two versions of the same diminutive suffix. In the song, it is added to "päev" to form "päevakene". As a diminutive, it's hard to translate - it can indicate dearness or smallness or simply addressing something in an affectionate way. "Dear sun/day", "little sun/day", "oh sun/day".
It has also become an intrinsic part of the modern word for "sun" - päike/päikene has this diminutive suffix fossilized onto it. In modern Estonian, you can't refer to the sun without using the diminutive suffix. This developed from the archaic form you see in the song - päevakene.
The reason it can be either one here (sun/day) is because it used to be believed that each day had a new sun. It was not the same sun appearing each day. The new sun rose from the east and then it disappeared over the horizon in the west; below the horizon in the west was a collection of suns, the "brothers" and "sisters" of the current day's sun, resting and waiting for the next ones to join them there. This is basically what the song is about.

veere päeva vetta mööda,
roll all along the water
roll, sun, along the water,

veere = roll
päeva = day/sun (as explained above)
vetta mööda = along the water

lase kase latvu mööda.
fly high above the birch trees.
go down below the tree tops.

It's hilarious that these ended up opposites in the translations but I can see how.
lase = let, shoot, set out
kase latvu = tops of birch trees
mööda = along, around
So it is "set out along the birch tree tops" or "shoot along the birch tree tops" or something along those lines. I think the first version is translating it from the perspective of the singer: the birch tree tops are up high and the sun is in the sky, "high above". The second version is translating it from the perspective of the sun: the height of the tree tops is fairly low for the sun, and it is setting, so soon it will be even lower, "down below" where the sun normally is in daytime. Maybe this explains why they are so different: different perspectives of whether the tree tops are "high above" or "down below".

Veere sinna, kus su veli,
For your brother he is waiting,
Roll to where your brother rests.

veere = roll
sinna = to there
kus su veli = where your brother [is]
Again this comes from the idea that each day has a new sun and that the old ones disappear to rest or wait below the horizon as each day a new one joins them there. The translations are attempting to explain that a bit, even though the Estonian version simply says "roll to there, where your brother is".

sõõri sinna, kus su sõsar.
go on, where your sister's staying.
around to where your sister sleeps.

Sõõr means a circle or ring and so sõõri would be a verb related to that. I believe it's basically used here as a synonym for "roll".
sinna = to there
kus su sõsar = where your sister [is]
Both of the translations also kept the alliteration of the Estonian version: sõõri sinna, kus su sõsar; go on, where your sister's staying; around to where your sister sleeps.

Seal sind hellalt hoietakse,
You'll be held ever so softly,
There you will be tended tenderly,

seal = there
sind = you
hellalt = dearly, tenderly, lovingly, gently
hoidma = keep, hold
The monolingual dictionaries I checked don't have "hellalt hoidma" as a set phrase, but the Estonian-English ones translate it as "to baby" and "to cradle". They are again using alliteration like the Estonian version does:Seal sind hellalt hoietakse; You'll be held ever so softly; There you will be tended tenderly."

kahe käe peal kannetakse,
carried on two arms so sweetly,

There is no "sweetly" in Estonian here.
kahe käe peal = on two arms
kannetakse = is carried

panaks padjule magama,
there you'll sleep on fluffy pillows,
put upon the pillow to sleep,

pannaks = would put
padjule = onto pillows
magama = to sleep
Again here the second translation has some alliteration that mirrors the alliteration in the original: pannaks padjule magama; put upon the pillow to sleep.


hõbesängi hõljumaie,
there you'll swing in silver cradles,
set upon a bed of shiny silver,

hõbesängi = silver bed, silver place for sleeping
hõljuma = to float, to soar
Again here the translations include alliteration, as does the original: hõbesängi hõljumaie; there you'll swing in silver cradles; set upon a bed of shiny silver, so this has an influence on the wording of the translation.

kullast sängi puhkamaie
you will rest in golden cradles.
to fall into a fine bed of gold.

kullane = golden
säng = bed, sleeping place
puhkama(ie) = to rest
Again alliteration in the second translation: to fall into a fine bed of gold.

Okay - I wrote most of that a couple of hours ago and saved it as a draft as I had not finished. Actually I had nearly finished and then lost some of it and had to re-do it! Now I see that Ainurakne has already answered. I'm going to go ahead and post it, later I'll look at his reply and see what differences we have. Hopefully we are not so different that it will make things even more confusing again. Anyway, mine is more addressing the translations you already posted, whereas it looks like Ainurakne provided his own translation, so maybe between those two things you will find what you need.

Edit: now that I've read through Ainurakne's, to me it seems we said much the same thing. Ainurakne's explanation of päevakene is I think better than mine, but I don't think we contradict each other either, he just explained it better. And I'm delighted that Ainurakne hasn't heard the verb sõõrima either; it was driving me crazy that I didn't know it and couldn't find it anywhere (not even the dictionary of dialects!). But it seems we came to the same conclusion about its meaning given the context. As for the original translations that Eszter posted, I think Ainurakne's version is closer to the second one than to the first one, at least in parts, but still not the same as either one, for the reasons that have been explained. It truly is difficult to translate this type of thing, and that doesn't mean it can't be translated, but does mean that basically no two people are likely to translate it in exactly the same way. Often the words have multiple meanings and multiple translations and poetry has multiple interpretations. All of this leads to variation when you try to translate it. Ainurakne's version sounds quite good to me.


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