Danish: Der faae vi Barn-Jesus i Tale

Bonjules

Senior Member
German
Hola,

I'm reading the extraordinary tale ( by H.C. Andersen) 'The Snow Queen' - in French - but the line quoted doesn't seem satisfactory in translation. The complete quote from a Psalm which recurs throughout the story is:
Roserne voxe I Dale
Der faae....

The various translations seem to want to capture the rhyme, with different results.
Could someone help with a literal one?
I don't know any Danish.
Thanks
 
Last edited:
  • jette(DK)

    Senior Member
    Danish
    You seem to cover a lot of languages, but I suppose that you would prefer an answer in English?

    I just checked my H.C. Andersen, printet in 1930, an heirloom from my grandmother. It says:

    Roserne voxe i Dale,
    Der faae vi Barn Jesus i Tale.

    In modern spelling that would be:
    Roserne vokser i dale,
    der får vi barn Jesus i tale.

    That would translate something like this in English:
    The roses grow in the valleys,
    that is where we may speak to infant Jesus.

    The lines are a paraphase of a very beautiful Danish Christmas hymn, Den yndigste rose er funden ("The most beautilful rose has been found", H.A. Brorson, 1732). The verse reads:
    Ak, søger de ydmyge steder,
    i støvet for Frelseren græder,
    så får I vor Jesus i tale,
    thi roserne vokser i dale.

    That is - approximately:
    Alas, look in the most humble places
    in the dust, because our Saviour is crying
    then you will be able to speak to our Jesus
    as the roses grow in valleys

    ... which is perhaps not crystal clear to me either ...

    I hope this was helpful.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Thank you so much for the detailed response jette, that was great.
    I didn't know there were significant changes in Danish spelling in the last 80 years!

    At first I thought the Hymn might be the same as the also very beautiful German
    Christmas song "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" ( a rose has 'sprung up') by Praetorius ( Apparently not, but you can find that one also on Youtube, If you do, try a version with one of the big choirs).
    The rose seems a frequent image for Christ or his birth, in illustrations the rose often has snow on it, making it more dramatic.

    In any event, thanks again for all the work and have a wonderful Christmas season,
    bj
     
    The spelling hasn't changed significantly over the last 80 years, but over the last 200 years - since the birth of H.C. Andersen - it has.

    The reprints that has followed are 1:1 copies of the original, including the language and spelling. In 1930 this was probably the only version of his tales you could get while today many alternate versions with a more updated language exists - much like the bible.
     

    jette(DK)

    Senior Member
    Danish
    Billebob is of course right that the spelling of your (and mine) version reflects the spelling at the time when the story was written (1844).

    A significant spelling reform of the Danish language was implemented in 1948:
    1. Nouns should no longer be capitalized (Roserne/roserne).
    2. Past tense forms for skulle (skulde), kunne (kunde) og ville (vilde) should from then on be spelled with ll/nn and no longer with d.
    3. The letter å should replace the writing aa of the same vovel. (faa/få)

    "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" (yes, beautiful, too!) also exists in Danish ("En rose så jeg skyde", nr. 117 in the Danish Hymn Book (http://www.dendanskesalmebogonline.dk/salme/117)

    You will find "Den yndigste rose er funden" her: http://www.dendanskesalmebogonline.dk/salme/122
    I'm sure this one is originally German, too!

    And I agree that the rose is a symbol of (the birth of) Jesus. In Danish and probably German Christmas hymns the contract of the beautiful rose of summer and the frost and snow of the midwinter season is often used to create a dramatic contrast!
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Yet it might all be by chance/confusion/creative deception!
    At least if this (rose-) tradition started with Praetorius' hymn (1600's). According to one of my songbooks which also researched the origin of all the songs
    it read originally 'Reis' (not to be confused with the food/rice); 'Reis', an old word not used much anymore is a sprig, a young shoot on a plant.
    This makes great sense, languagewise ( one syllable, male or neutral gender -'ein Ros'- whereas Rose would be feminine, 'eine') as well as in the context of the song it self which says ..'.sprung forth from a tender root': It deals really with Jesus' supposed lineage.
    It appears that someone subsequently changed 'Reis' to 'Ros' which is of course much more attractive and captivating, a smart move.
    greetings to all
    bj
     
    Last edited:

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    OK, sure that is an old way of spelling it. But nobody said anything about the missing "r":

    Der faa vi

    and not

    Der faar vi

    Is that the last signs of a real subjunctive we have here, or what is it? And if so, what justifies or calls for one here. I really cannot believe that present tense did not have an "r" at one time, and later got one, when in every other case the language only lost letters during its evolution.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    OK, sure that is an old way of spelling it. But nobody said anything about the missing "r":

    Der faae vi

    and not

    Der faar vi

    Is that the last signs of a real subjunctive we have here, or what is it?


    This is not a typo and it’s not the subjunctive mood. The verbal forms used here (faae/voxe) are in the present indicative, and the –e represents the verbal plural form used at the time this was written. (The present tense: 1st, 2nd, 3rd pers. singular: voxer, 1st,2nd,3rd person plural: voxe.)


    Saa faae I vor Jesum i tale
    Thi roserne voxe i dale.



    Additionally you’ll notice the old imperatives in the plural (i.e. 2nd person), used in the first two lines of the same stanza,


    Ach søger de nedrige steder,
    I støvet for Frelseren græder,


    In other words, ”...søg (I) på de ydmyge steder og græd i støvet for frelseren...der møder I Jesus, for roserne vokser i [de lave] dale.

    Bic.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    This is not a typo and it’s not the subjunctive mood. The verbal forms used here (faae/voxe) are in the present indicative, and the –e represents the verbal plural form used at the time this was written. (The present tense: 1st, 2nd, 3rd pers. singular: voxer, 1st,2nd,3rd person plural: voxe.)


    Saa faae I vor Jesum i tale
    Thi roserne voxe i dale.



    Additionally you’ll notice the old imperatives in the plural (i.e. 2nd person), used in the first two lines of the same stanza,


    Ach søger de nedrige steder,
    I støvet for Frelseren græder,


    In other words, ”...søg (I) på de ydmyge steder og græd i støvet for frelseren...der møder I Jesus, for roserne vokser i [de lave] dale.

    Bic.
    Interesting! Do you have any info about when the indicative began getteing an "r"? I suppose there must have been a period when it began spreading and a time when it was accepted by grammar book editors as "standard".
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    These two references may be helpful to you….

    http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Sprog,_religion_og_filosofi/Sprog/Dansk/dansk/dansk_(Historie)

    Bøjningsforhold.
    I den gammeldanske periode undergik sproget store grammatiske forandringer. [................] verbernes personbøjning forsvandt næsten helt;[.......] men skriftsproget vedblev at skelne efter dette mønster:
    Bøjningsforhold

    nutid
    datid
    ental jeg/du/han
    kaster
    kastede
    tager
    tog
    flertal vi/I/de
    kaste
    kastede
    tage
    toge
    Tilsvarende havde imperativ ental kaste (efter ca. 1550 kast), tag og imperativ flertal kaster, tager. Optativ og infinitiv faldt sammen i kaste, tage.
    [..............] Fra 1870'erne gik verbernes flertalsformer af brug og overlever nu kun i bevingede ord som vi alene vide, de sidste skulle blive de første (i Bibelen siden 1948 med ental skal) og proletarer i alle lande, forener eder!


    http://www.dsn.dk/nyt/nyt-fra-sprognaevnet/2001-4.pdf

    [.....] det var det danske folk, heriblandt gode og sikre
    sprogbrugere som Herman Bang, I.P Jacobsen, Holger Drachmann og Johannes V. Jensen,
    der holdt op med at bruge verbernes flertalsformer (fuglene ere fløjne), og Kirke- og
    Undervisningsministeriet fulgte efter ved med en bekendtgørelse fra 1900 at gøre
    flertalsformerne valgfri. Denne valgfrihed blev i øvrigt først formelt afskaffet med
    retskrivningsloven i 1997!
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    These two references may be helpful to you….

    http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Sprog,_religion_og_filosofi/Sprog/Dansk/dansk/dansk_(Historie)

    Bøjningsforhold.
    I den gammeldanske periode undergik sproget store grammatiske forandringer. [................] verbernes personbøjning forsvandt næsten helt;[.......] men skriftsproget vedblev at skelne efter dette mønster:
    Bøjningsforhold
    nutiddatid
    ental jeg/du/hankasterkastede
    tagertog
    flertal vi/I/dekastekastede
    tagetoge
    Tilsvarende havde imperativ ental kaste (efter ca. 1550 kast), tag og imperativ flertal kaster, tager. Optativ og infinitiv faldt sammen i kaste, tage.
    [..............] Fra 1870'erne gik verbernes flertalsformer af brug og overlever nu kun i bevingede ord som vi alene vide, de sidste skulle blive de første (i Bibelen siden 1948 med ental skal) og proletarer i alle lande, forener eder!


    http://www.dsn.dk/nyt/nyt-fra-sprognaevnet/2001-4.pdf

    [.....] det var det danske folk, heriblandt gode og sikre
    sprogbrugere som Herman Bang, I.P Jacobsen, Holger Drachmann og Johannes V. Jensen,
    der holdt op med at bruge verbernes flertalsformer (fuglene ere fløjne), og Kirke- og
    Undervisningsministeriet fulgte efter ved med en bekendtgørelse fra 1900 at gøre
    flertalsformerne valgfri. Denne valgfrihed blev i øvrigt først formelt afskaffet med
    retskrivningsloven i 1997!
    Wow!!!!. So what we were actually talking about here was the plural of Danish verbs. I'd vote for your post as the most informative one in this thread.
     

    MindBoggle

    Senior Member
    Danish. English from childhood
    As a person who loves fresh grammar and old texts, I must respect your erudition, bicontinental. :)

    I like the old forms. A shame nobody uses them anymore. :mad:
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    This weekend I met with a whole bunch of rather well ecucated Danes. I quizzed them on this question. Only one even knew the plural and on the question when they would think it was officially out of standard Danish, the averate guess was around 1920.
     

    MindBoggle

    Senior Member
    Danish. English from childhood
    This is a forum for language nerds. What is known in here is probably not 'common knowledge'. ;)
    I think of myself as someone who knows quite a lot about language, in particular my own, and even though I knew the old forms - because I often read old texts - I must confess I didn't know when the official norm changed. So in that respect even I was outnerded by Bic. :eek:
    That's no small feat.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    This is a forum for language nerds. What is known in here is probably not 'common knowledge'. ;)
    I think of myself as someone who knows quite a lot about language, in particular my own, and even though I knew the old forms - because I often read old texts - I must confess I didn't know when the official norm changed. So in that respect even I was outnerded by Bic. :eek:
    That's no small feat.
    Well, I wasn't talking about what is "common knowledge" to a majority of people, was I? I was talking about well educated people.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top