Icelandic: What is essential is invisible to the eye

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by prettyapistol, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. prettyapistol New Member

    I was looking for someone to translate a phrase from English into Icelandic for me.

    "What is essential is invisible to the eye."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2009
  2. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Is this correct?

    Það sem er nauðsynlegt er ósýnilegt fyrir augað.
  3. Segorian Senior Member

    Icelandic & Swedish
    Translating a sentence out of context is not always easy, so it is useful to know that this is from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The original French sentence is:
    L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur.

    Unlike the English translation quoted by the OP, the French text has to the eyes instead of to the eye, but I feel that, as in English, the singular works better in Icelandic. My suggestion would be “Allt sem er mikilvægt er auganu ósýnilegt,” but I seem to remember that at least one printed Icelandic translation has “Hið mikilvæga er auganu ósýnilegt,” which is superficially closer to the French, but somewhat more formal.

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