Icelandic: Les Misérables

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by ShakeyX, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    Watching Les Misérables the french set musical film. Aware that the language is going to be very different from the norm due to it being songs and probably poetic. I was wondering if in general someone could break down this sentence below as it is quite peculiar... strange construction, ei, æ, if someone could give a breakdown of its words and ordering. But what caught my eye throughout this whole film, in the subtitles (which i thought was a mistake at first, but was present almost in every line, was these apostrophe after some words.. like vita'. Does that have any meaning as I have never seen it before, i thought maybe it indicated a pause in the singing but i can assure you that didn't match up. Any ideas?

    "Bara barn sem vita' ei má að hætta herjar æ mig á" -Just a child who cannot know that danger follows where I go (what is sung in English) but would be nice to get a more literal breakdown.
  2. sindridah Senior Member

    This is really confusing sentence, but from my personal perspective I would translate this sentence something like: Just a child who doesn't know how to stop, keeps infesting me"
    But don't quote me on this translation;D
  3. NoMoreMrIceGuy Senior Member

    It's hætta as in danger, not hætta as in stop.

    Bara barn sem vita' ei má að hætta herjar æ mig á
    Just a child that knows not can that danger assaults always me on.

    So that's pretty much the 'Just a child who cannot know that danger follows where I go'.

    The ' after vita is there to indicate that the 'a' drops away when sung (it runs into the ei) ...sem vit'ei má...
  4. sindridah Senior Member

    Já auðvitað, var ekkert að taka eftir þessu í því samhengi þegar ég las þetta fyrst, svo sýnist þetta svo augljóst núna eitthvað, *steikt* ;D
  5. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    So us that ' a country wide accepted thing or just an educated guess. Is it normally written in Icelandic poems or is it a foreign addition to the language for this purpose? So it's just to blend vowels in songs?
  6. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    English - UK
    It wasn't just an educated guess, the use of apostrophes to signify merged vowel sounds in poems (songs in particular) is well established in Icelandic punctuation. It's an instruction for readers/singers on how to pronounced it so that the metre works as it is supposed to.

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