Estonian: teal/tääl and peal/pääl

< Previous | Next >

Beobachter

Member
English, USA
The official text of the Estonian national anthem contains these lines:

Ei leia mina iial teal
see suure, laia ilma peal,

However, I have also seen them written as follows:

Ei leia mina iial tääl
see suure, laia ilma pääl,

(Note that, although the words "tääl" and "pääl" appear in the Võro version of the anthem, the Võro text for these lines is otherwise very different.)

I would like to know:

1) What difference in meaning, if any, is there between the two versions, and

2) What is the difference in pronunciation, if any.
 
  • Kassikakk

    Member
    Estonia, Estonian
    1) No, there is no difference in meaning, except that I'm not quite sure what 'teal' or 'tääl' means anyway. Surely nobody uses such a word nowadays. My dictionary says it's an old form for 'siin' ('here'), but it sounds so strange that I even suspect they may have listed it just because it being in the anthem. But, generally, using forms like 'pääl', 'sääl' instead of 'peal', 'seal' is characteristic of all southern dialects, not just Võro, and since the whole text of the anthem is such, well, archaic, then using this kind of forms may sound just right to someone. That might explain the different versions. 'Peal' / 'pääl', of course, means 'on (something)' (the line goes 'on this big, wide world...').
    2) Yes, there is a difference in pronounciation. In 'peal' both e and a are pronounced to form a diphthong while 'pääl' just has a long ä (like a in 'bad'). Same with 'teal'/'tääl'.
     

    Beobachter

    Member
    English, USA
    In recordings of vocal performances, I have heard it sung--it seems to me--both ways (e.g., sometimes with "peal" and sometimes with "pääl"). Which way is it normally sung nowadays?
     

    Kassikakk

    Member
    Estonia, Estonian
    I guess the 'peal' version is more frequent, as it corresponds to the "normal" (=official) language usage.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top