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"Oh Holy Night" translation help

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  • Wilwarin
    I m trying to translate Oh Holy Night into Quenya, and I ve hit some snags. What is the best way to translate of the dear Savior s birth ? For Savior, I
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 28, 2006
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      I'm trying to translate "Oh Holy Night" into Quenya, and I've hit some
      snags.

      What is the best way to translate "of the dear Savior's birth"? For
      "Savior," I used "Deliverer" = Etelehtar. So far I have:
      Etelehtarva melda nosta = Deliverer's dear birth

      But how do I get the "of the" in there? Do I use both the genitive and
      possessive endings?

      I've also tried finding the word for "knees," but no such luck. The
      closest I can come up with is "bent-leg". Would that work?


      I may have other questions later.
    • Nathan Roy
      Aiya... I ve decided to join you in making my own translation of Oh Holy Night , so we can compare notes and hopefully arrive at a decent Neo-Quenya version.
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 3, 2006
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        Aiya... I've decided to join you in making my own translation of "Oh Holy
        Night", so we can compare notes and hopefully arrive at a decent Neo-Quenya
        version. Ideally, it would be nice for the new lyrics to fit the song's
        meter, but that will require significant paraphrasing of the text. Anyway,
        here is my translation of the first verse, with notes:

        O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
        A aire loome, i eleni siilar calimave
        [O holy night, the stars are shining brightly]

        It is the night of the dear Savior�s birth;
        Naa nostaloome* i melda Etelehtaro*
        [(It) is (the) birth-night of the dear Deliverer]
        *I coined this compound word to avoid "It is the night OF the birth OF the
        dear Deliverer".
        *I used the genitive because we don't think of people currently "possessing"
        their birthdays.

        Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
        Ambar lemne* andave, fifiirula uucaresse ar raanesse
        [The world lingered long, slowly fading in sin and in error]
        *To me, this seems a better rendition of the verb "to lie", as used here
        metaphorically

        Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
        Tenna tulleero* ar i suule cenne* valderyaa*
        [Until he came, and the soul saw its worth]
        *A more literal version could be "Tenna neero apantaina" [Until he was
        revealed], but I was unsure about "neero", and it looks messy
        *The word for "to feel" is "palta-", but it apparently denotes physical
        touching with the hand.
        *The wordlist shows "valda" for "worthy", so I inferred "valde" for "worth".
        (cf. tinda / tinde)

        A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices,
        Felme* estelo! Lumba Ambar alasta*
        [An emotion/impulse of hope! The weary world rejoices]
        *Perhaps "tinwe" could also be used here, being the "spark" that "kindles"
        the world's hope
        *I coined this verb from "alasse". (cf. falasse / falasta)

        For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
        An entasse orta* vinya ar alcarinqua arin
        [For yonder rises a new and glorious morn]
        *There seems to be no proof that the verb "break" can be used this way in
        Quenya

        Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
        Aa luhta cemenna!* Aa hlare oomar i Ainuron*
        [Bow to the ground! O hear (the) voices of the angels]
        *You're right - This is a tricky one to translate.
        *I suppose the Ainur are the closest thing to angels in Tolkien's mythos.

        O night divine, O night, when Christ was born!
        A loome Eruva, a loome i nosto Hristo*
        [O night divine/of God, O night of the birth of Christ]
        *Again, a more literal translation could be "yasse Hristo nee nostaiva", but
        personally I don't like the
        look of those passive constructions

        Anyway, I'm not trying to show you up or anything. Your translation is
        probably as good as mine, since I haven't been studying Quenya very much
        lately. It would be nice to make some lyrics for these carols that actually
        fit the meter. Then we could sing them! Well... Catch ya later.

        Nai seere elyen

        >From: "Wilwarin" <wilwarin03@...>
        >Reply-To: quenya@yahoogroups.com
        >To: quenya@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [quenya] "Oh Holy Night" translation help
        >Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 17:11:56 -0000
        >
        >I'm trying to translate "Oh Holy Night" into Quenya, and I've hit some
        >snags.
        >
        >What is the best way to translate "of the dear Savior's birth"? For
        >"Savior," I used "Deliverer" = Etelehtar. So far I have:
        >Etelehtarva melda nosta = Deliverer's dear birth
        >
        >But how do I get the "of the" in there? Do I use both the genitive and
        >possessive endings?
        >
        >I've also tried finding the word for "knees," but no such luck. The
        >closest I can come up with is "bent-leg". Would that work?
        >
        >
        >I may have other questions later.
        >

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      • Vanessa Languis
        Oh, wow. Thank you! I wouldn t think anyone would reply! ... Agreed. The only other possible option would be to translate from the original French, but that
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 3, 2006
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          Oh, wow. Thank you! I wouldn't think anyone would
          reply!

          > Ideally, it would be nice for the new
          > lyrics to fit the song's
          > meter, but that will require significant
          > paraphrasing of the text.

          Agreed. The only other possible option would be to
          translate from the original French, but that might
          prove to be even harder.

          > It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;
          > Naa nostaloome* i melda Etelehtaro*
          > [(It) is (the) birth-night of the dear Deliverer]
          > *I coined this compound word to avoid "It is the
          > night OF the birth OF the dear Deliverer".
          > *I used the genitive because we don't think of
          > people currently "possessing" their birthdays.

          That seems to fit much better than mine:
          Ná lómë nostava Etelehtarva melda!
          It-is night of-the-birth of-the-Deliverer dear!

          > Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
          > Ambar lemne* andave, fifiirula uucaresse ar raanesse
          > [The world lingered long, slowly fading in sin and
          in error]
          > *To me, this seems a better rendition of the verb
          > "to lie", as used here metaphorically

          Where did you find the word for "error"? I had to use
          "úsahtissë"/"in-temptation".

          > Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
          > Tenna tulleero* ar i suule cenne* valderyaa*
          > [Until he came, and the soul saw its worth]
          > *A more literal version could be "Tenna neero
          > apantaina" [Until he was revealed], but I was unsure
          about "neero", and it looks messy
          > *The word for "to feel" is "palta-", but it
          > apparently denotes physical touching with the hand.
          > *The wordlist shows "valda" for "worthy", so I
          > inferred "valde" for "worth".
          > (cf. tinda / tinde)

          I never would have thought of "valde", and I
          definately prefer "saw" to "felt".

          > A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices,
          > Felme* estelo! Lumba Ambar alasta*
          > [An emotion/impulse of hope! The weary world
          > rejoices]
          > *Perhaps "tinwe" could also be used here, being the
          > "spark" that "kindles"
          > the world's hope
          > *I coined this verb from "alasse". (cf. falasse /
          > falasta)

          Your description is close to what I have:
          Tinwë estelwa Ambar lumba tenya alassë
          A spark of-hope (the) World weary feels joy

          > For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
          > An entasse orta* vinya ar alcarinqua arin
          > [For yonder rises a new and glorious morn]
          > *There seems to be no proof that the verb "break"
          > can be used this way in Quenya

          > Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
          > Aa luhta cemenna!* Aa hlare oomar i Ainuron*
          > [Bow to the ground! O hear (the) voices of the
          angels]
          > *You're right - This is a tricky one to translate.
          > *I suppose the Ainur are the closest thing to angels
          > in Tolkien's mythos.

          Yeah, I had "fall on your bent-legs" but that would
          never fit the meter. I was planning on using "fall to
          the ground" instead.

          > O night divine, O night, when Christ was born!
          > A loome Eruva, a loome i nosto Hristo*
          > [O night divine/of God, O night of the birth of
          Christ]
          > *Again, a more literal translation could be "yasse
          > Hristo nee nostaiva", but
          > personally I don't like the
          > look of those passive constructions

          That definately fits better than my "Ai ló Eruva, ai
          ló írë Hristo né nóna."

          > Anyway, I'm not trying to show you up or anything.

          Oh, no, not at all! I'm glad you wanted to do your
          own. As far as I know, no one else has done a Quenya
          translation of this song.

          Thank you once again. I greatly appreciate the help.
          If you want to see my translation of the full three
          verses, it's here:
          http://wilwarinandamar.livejournal.com/212224.html

          Currently I'm actually expanding this project by
          putting it on sheet music and I hope to create an MP3
          of me singing it. I'll try to post it as soon as I
          can. (But I'm a procrastinator with a large amount of
          schoolwork that needs to get done first, so we'll
          see...)

          -Wilwarin



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