Icelandic: And all is always now. [T.S Eliot]

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by qmw6357, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. qmw6357 New Member

    English-United States
    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to figure out the translation of one of my favorite passages from T.S Eliot's "Four Quartets" from English to Icelandic. This is the passage in English for context:

    Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
    Not that only, but the co-existence,
    Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
    And the end and the beginning were always there
    Before the beginning and after the end.
    And all is always now.

    The last sentence in the passage, "And all is always now" has always resonated with me deeply. I've been trying to translate this passage correctly from English to Icelandic, and that phrase is what I for sure want to make sure I get right. Would "og allt er alltaf núna" be a correct translation considering the context of the poem? Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. Merkurius Senior Member


    If you want to translate it directly than it is correct! „And all is always now“ = „Og allt er alltaf núna“.
    I would however recommend that you would say „Og allt er alltaf nú“ it's more poetic.

    For the moment I can't think of any better way to translate it in a poetic way :)

  3. qmw6357 New Member

    English-United States
    Thank you so much! Also, one more small question. Is there any difference in saying "Og allt er ávallt nú" instead of "og allt er alltaf nú?" So, basically, what is the difference in meaning between "ávallt" and "alltaf?"
  4. NoMoreMrIceGuy Senior Member

    No difference whatsoever. Alltaf is more common, so ávallt tends to sound more formal or poetic. Also, it's more homonymous to always.

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