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Thread: A simple Christmas carol (колядка?) с моим переводом -- corrections welcome!

  1. #1
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    A simple Christmas carol (колядка?) с моим переводом -- corrections welcome!

    'Tis the season for Christmas carols, but many of the most famous English ones are filled with archaic words. (In fact, one might say "pseudo-archaic," because in reality a lot of these songs are from the Victorian era -- but with language more appropriate to Elizabethan English.)

    So here's the first verse and refrain of a classic, and my attempt to explain the meaning. Stressed syllables are underlined and text in red is used for words (or senses of words) that are no longer used in modern speech.

    The Wassail Song

    1st verse:

    Here we come a-caroling,
    Among the leaves so green!
    Here we come a-wandering,
    So fa-air to be seen!

    Refrain:

    Love and Joy come to you
    And to you your Wassail, too!**
    May God bless you and send you
    A Happy New Year!
    May God send you a Happy New Year!

    ** Because the word "wassail" is older than Shakespeare, this line has numerous modernized variants: "And to you good Christmas, too!" or "Let us raise a toast to you!" or "Let us drink a glass or two!", etc.

    "a carol" = "песня про Рождество" -- from Google, I found words such as "колядка" and "щедривочка" -- are they correct?
    "to go/come caroling" = "обходить по домам, поя рождественные песни"
    "wassail" = "горячий напиток из сидра или вина, с сушёными фруктами/ягодами и пряностей" -- in short, something analogous to Ukrainian "варенуха"
    "a-" = meaningless prefix used with the "-ing" form of verbs in old songs and poems for rhythm.
    "fair" = the normal modern meaning is "справедливый" -- the meanings "красивый" or "приятный" sound very old-fashioned

    So, here's a translation:

    1-ая строфа:
    Вот мы приходим с колядкой
    Под листьями, такими зелёными!
    По всем домам мы обходим,
    Выглядя так приятно!

    Припев:

    Пусть вам Любовь да Радость будут,
    Давайте мы выпьем тост за вас!
    Храни вас Бог! И пошли вам Бог
    Счастливый Новый Год!
    Пошли вам Бог Счастливый Новый Год!

    And here's a fun, fast-tempo version from the 1960s -- с дополнительным строфами и аккомпанементом на банджо!!

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    I found words such as "колядка" and "щедривочка" -- are they correct?
    "щедривочка" is ukranian term. I do not know many about it.
    As for "колядка" - it is common slavic term (unkranian too).
    First of all "коляда" is slavic word for celebrations of pre-Christmas, Christmas and post-Christmas periods.
    On of the most famous rituals of these periods is "колядование". During "колядование" people (usually chindren) visit random houses and sing "blessing" songs in exchange for gifts (usuallt sweets and candies). These songs are called "колядки" or "колядные песни".
    I cannot understand from wiki is "carol" for "колядки" or more common "рождественские/новогодние песни" (which may be something not binded to ritual of "колядование", for example famous "в лесу родилась ёлочка...").
    But your song sounds exactly as "колядка" ("...По всем домам мы обходим...").

    "Выглядя так приятно!" sounds unnatural in this context.
    I think "Такие нарядные!" will be much better (something like "so good-looking").

    Rest of the song sounds good. However "Под листьями, такими зелёными!" sounds STRANGE in russian winter.
    P.S.
    Maybe "Among spurces so green" will be better. Russians never call needles of ever-green spruce as "leaves/листья" ("needles/иголки" is used instead).
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    Rest of the song sounds good. However "Под листьями, такими зелёными!" sounds STRANGE in russian winter.
    P.S.
    Maybe "Among spurces so green" will be better. Russians never call needles of ever-green spruce as "leaves/листья" ("needles/иголки" is used instead).
    They mean mistletoe (омела).
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Полуношник View Post

    Not necessarily mistletoe (омела)! Another traditional English Christmas carol -- which is possibly older than the U.S. -- is The Holly and the Ivy, "Падуб и Плющ". An interesting thing about this carol is that the строфы (verses) are full of references to "Страсти Христовы" (blood, thorns, etc.), but the припев (refrain) is completely non-religious -- more like a New Year song than a Christmas song. It reminds me a little of "Прилетила, ластивочка...":

    "Oh, the rising of the sun,
    And the running of the deer!
    The playing of the merry organ,
    Sweet singing in the choir!"

    In short, "among the leaves so green" can refer to many different varieties of "вечнозелёные растения".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    First of all "коляда" is slavic word for celebrations of pre-Christmas, Christmas and post-Christmas periods.
    On of the most famous rituals of these periods is "колядование". During "колядование" people (usually chindren) visit random houses and sing "blessing" songs in exchange for gifts (usually sweets and candies). These songs are called "колядки" or "колядные песни".
    I cannot understand from wiki is "carol" for "колядки" or more common "рождественские/новогодние песни" (which may be something not binded to ritual of "колядование", for example famous "в лесу родилась ёлочка...").
    But your song sounds exactly as "колядка" ("...По всем домам мы обходим...").
    Indeed, the English "caroling" custom somewhat resembled Halloween trick-or-treating -- one goes from house to house singing, and traditionally the owner of the house was supposed to offer sweets (for children) or an alcoholic drink (for adults). Today, the carolers expect only applause as their reward -- certainly not alcohol, и это жаль...

    And completely non-religious "winter songs" such as "Jingle Bells" (originally linked to American Thanksgiving, not Christmas) or "Frosty the Snowman" are nowadays often considered "carols," a word that originally meant religious hymns such as "Silent Night" and "We Three Kings."

    P.S. "which may be something not binded to the ritual..." Remember, the verb "to bind" is irregular in the past; thus it should be "something not bound to...". But personally I would prefer to say "something unconnected to" or "something not linked to" -- the verb "bind" suggests a very tight, close, hard-to-separate connection ("the ritual of Christian communion is bound to the Christian doctrine that Jesus was God" -- in that context, "is connected" or "is linked" would almost sound too loose, as though the ritual and the doctrine coincide only by historical accident).
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    The word колядка is definitely archaic and the custom should be regarded culturally as thing of the past for Russia (though it's an interesting word of course). Christmas itself (and everything connected with it) is not viewed as something really important by many people in Russia (due to Soviet past, i.e. Homo Sovieticus - человек советский - is still the predominant cultural and psychological type which determines way of thinking and mental habits - according to Levada Center sociological research).

    Thus, колядки is history. In contrast to Anglo-Saxon 'Christmas carols' which exist though of course in some modern alternative ways.

    It is safe to say that колядки somewhat resembled Halloween trick-and-treating too (other associations would be 'mummers', 'guisers', 'fortune telling'). Those customs may have some common root in the ancient human history.

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    and the custom should be regarded culturally as thing of the past for Russia
    Да ну. Дети, звонящие в дверь с чем нибудь типа "коляда, коляда, открывай ворота" до сих пор имеют место быть в моей жизни.
    Правда всё чаще ленятся и просто выжидательно смотрят в глаза.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    Да ну. Дети, звонящие в дверь с чем нибудь типа "коляда, коляда, открывай ворота" до сих пор имеют место быть в моей жизни.
    Правда всё чаще ленятся и просто выжидательно смотрят в глаза.
    А где живёшь? Ничего подобного за 26 лет моей жизни не припомню. Хотя это может быть следствием жизни в большом городе.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Accidentally I bumped into this fresh article in Российская газета (приложение Союз Россия/Беларусь) http://www.rg.ru/2015/12/24/obryad.html

    The article describes some колядки performed in Belarus.

    Цитата: "Ряд рождественских обрядов - "Шчадрэц" в Солигорском районе, внесенный в Список нематериального культурного наследия ЮНЕСКО, обряд "Цары" в деревне Семежево Копыльского района, "Куры" в Кличевском районе с участием детей, а также обряд "Цягнуць Каляду на дуба" - являются нематериальными культурными ценностями Беларуси."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    Да ну. Дети, звонящие в дверь с чем нибудь типа "коляда, коляда, открывай ворота" до сих пор имеют место быть в моей жизни.
    Правда всё чаще ленятся и просто выжидательно смотрят в глаза.
    I should have mentioned that it's virtually impossible in cities. Though might happen in villages.
    Я не могу представить, чтобы в мою квартиру в центре города (с отсутствием звонка) пытались бы стучаться колядующие в варежках и валенках с платками и мешками... )))

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    А где живёшь?
    Я не могу представить, чтобы в мою квартиру в центре города (с отсутствием звонка) пытались бы стучаться колядующие в варежках и валенках с платками и мешками... )))
    Ну вообще наверное от района к району зависит действительно. В пригородных чаще. В родном 600-тысячном городе очень редко бывает и на окраинах.
    Регулярно (каждый год) сталкивался в маленьком (30-40 тысяч) северном городе Салехарде, где понятия окраины практически отсутствует.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    Ну вообще наверное от района к району зависит действительно. В пригородных чаще. В родном 600-тысячном городе очень редко бывает и на окраинах.
    Регулярно (каждый год) сталкивался в маленьком (30-40 тысяч) северном городе Салехарде, где понятия окраины практически отсутствует.
    Вообщем всё как обычно. Традиции живут, но где-то там... Да и то не часто
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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