Post 9kmdXrALUbM

Robert Reynolds Oct 04, 2017 (17:17)

It's been some time since I've done a translation, so I tackled "Spirit of Life": a hymn that's basically an anthem of the Unitarian Universalist faith. This version is fairly literal; I'm not familiar with the process of adapting song translations to fit the original music.

a Koivie-Súle Súle Coivio, ánin tule.
á Lire órenyasse órenyanen ilye valmi *​ofelmeva.
á Hlapu súrisse súrinen, á orya earesse earnen;
á Mene i masse mánen, antie antaila coivien canta *​failiéva.
Sundur *​hepir ni *​harive sanda; rámar leryar ni;
a Koivie-Súle Súle Coivio, ánin tule, ánin tule.

original English (not back-translation):
Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.


*​ofelme 'compassion, (lit.) together-feeling' from HKF's New Testament translation
*​failie 'justice' also from HKF NT
*​hep-​ 'to retain, keep' reconstructed (my first time attempting this!) from Sindarin heb-​ via √KHEP
*​harive 'nearly, closely' from HKF NT

loose compound Koivie-Súle because ?Súle Koivieo sounds awkward. Would the genitive version be rather Súle Koiviéo based on the recent stress/lengthening discussion?
valmi *​ofelmeva object genitive so possessive/adjectival case
súrisse rather than súrinen for consistency/rhythm with earesse, masse
masse or másse? Tolkien seems to vary about exceptions to the "avoid long vowel before consonant cluster that doesn't involve y" rule. Possible confusion with masse 'where; portion'?
órenyanen, súrinen, earnen, mánen instead of locatives because I interpret this prayer as being for the Spirit of Life to enact its will by means of various elements of the world. Cf. my choice of súle for 'spirit [as exertion of will]', in turn cf. a UU description of this sense of spirit as 'a force operating through all things'. Same source also says 'present in all things', so choice of case seems subjective; I choose instrumental to emphasize concept of action.
mánen instead of plural form mainen despite PE17 attestation of the latter because Tolkien seems to have later decided against plural usage by VT47, if I'm correctly interpreting
instead of *​hepe *​harive, I investigated using (√ÑAR or √ADA as prefix ar-​ 'near') + √KHEP which I think would become ?*​arkep-​ or possibly analogical ?*​arhep-​ 'to near-keep' in Q

Tamas Ferencz Oct 04, 2017 (18:08)

I think "giving" there is not a gerund but a participle, so antaila

Robert Reynolds Oct 04, 2017 (18:09)

+Tamas Ferencz that's very possible: I was uncertain of its grammatical role

Tamas Ferencz Oct 04, 2017 (18:12)

"hold me close": how about sundor hepir ni arte? "next to them"

Tamas Ferencz Oct 04, 2017 (18:23)

On masse: we have mannar attested, but also máryat, mánte so I suppose anything is possible:) To avoid confusion with homophones, how about preceding it with an article i masse?

Robert Reynolds Oct 04, 2017 (19:07)

+Tamas Ferencz I do keep forgetting about suffixing pronouns to Q prepositions for some reason! Sundor hepir ni arte has me thinking about the underlying meaning: it's not really "roots hold me next/close to roots" but more like "roots keep me closely/tightly/effectively grounded" or "roots keep me effectively rooted". It's unclear to me how best to make verbs or at least 'rooted, grounded' from √STUD of sundo. Maybe enda 'center' from √ENED could yield an adjective 'centered' or a causative verb 'to center' that could be made frequentative as that could have a meaning more clearly suitable. Other workarounds may be possible to explore...

Tamas Ferencz Oct 04, 2017 (19:48)

How about 'hold me down' or 'back'? Restrain me? Stunt me? Stop me?

Björn Fromén Oct 05, 2017 (00:13)

coivieo sounds awkward indeed but should be possible per PE 17:72 (sindieo 'of greyness'). Not **coiviéo anyway, since in Q a vowel is always short if another vowel immediately follows. Cf. Oromé-va ~ Orome-o, ciryalí-nen ~ ciryali-on.

Attested plural of sundo is sundur (PE 18:95).

Александр Запрягаев Oct 05, 2017 (01:43)

Coivio it is. Tons of examples in PE21. (Though Tolkien considered coiviéno in the 1950s as an analogical formation.)

Robert Reynolds Oct 05, 2017 (03:17)

Thank you all. I re-changed (atavistanen) the plural of sundo from sundar (based on Tarmasundar) to sundor (from Tamas and seems regular) to sundur (a u-stem? from Björn) and substituted the full form Súle Coivio from the loose compound Coivie-Súle. Then, I thought about the meaning/interpretation of 'roots hold me close' and decided on sundur hepir ni sanda 'roots keep me firm, true, abiding' based on Tamas' idea of 'hold me down/back/restrained' in a positive sense; the simultaneous juxtaposition of having restraining roots and freeing wings is deliberate, I think, as a tree with wings or a bird with roots.

Tamas Ferencz Oct 05, 2017 (10:08)

+Robert Reynolds great - and your reasoning truly shows how important it is to translate sense and emotion when you translate a text, and not just take it word for word as so many do who attempt translations into Eldarin

Tamas Ferencz Oct 05, 2017 (10:11)

I wasn't aware of sundur and coivio by the way - one learns something every day in this community!

Funny a few years ago one really struggled to express "live, life" in Q and now we have several ways (vehte, oia-, coivie, cuile etc.).