Danish: Sorgen in Andersen's "Lykkens kalosker"

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Kübelchen, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Kübelchen New Member

    I have a very easy question, I hope: I'm reading Andersen's fairy tale about the galoshes of luck, which has two fairies as actors - one of them is called "Sorgen", as I looked up in the Danish original. It seems to be a word in "Old Danish", since I didn't find it in online dictionairies. I've read German, Russian, English translations, and in different versions, she's either "sorrow" or "care". In my native language, German, "Sorge" means "care", but is that true for Danish also? Can any native speaker help out here - which translation is the more fitting?
  2. Ífaradà Junior Member

    In Norwegian "sorg" means sorrow. Sorgen then translates to "the sorrow". I assume it's the same in Danish.
  3. bicontinental Senior Member

    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    In this fairy tale Andersen personifies sorrow and happiness, referring to them in the definite form as Sorgen and Glæden respectively, the latter being the messenger or servant of Lykken, (Fortune).

    The noun sorg in Danish means 'sorrow' and the corresponding verb is at sørge (to feel sorrow, to mourn). When this verb is combined with the preposition for, i.e. sørge for it means “care for, take care of…”. A care (noun) as in “she didn´t have a care in the world” is best translated as bekymring.

    As far as I know there's nothing dated about the use of sorg in the singular, in which case it means 'sorrow'. Especially the plural form of the noun (sorger) may have a softer meaning more like 'worries, concerns', e.g. økonomiske sorger, (financial worries) ...and that does indeed sound somewhat dated, at least in my opinion.

    Ref: http://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog?query=sorg&tab=for


  4. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish

    The German word would be "Trauer" - at least in many contexts.

    German "Sorge" - DK "omsorg".

    I don't know the fairy tale so you'll have to take your own pick. But as counterpart to "glaede" (Freude), "Trauer" seems not too far off the track.
  5. Kübelchen New Member

    Thanks a lot to all of you!

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