Ukrainian: бодай єм долі не мала, коли-м ся в тобі кохала

123xyz

Senior Member
Macedonian
Hello,

I have discovered a Ukrainian folk song I really like and I hope that someone could help me figure a verse from the second stanza, since its meaning escapes me fully. The stanza is as follows:

Ах, смів ти казати, що я тя кохала.
Що ж то за кохання? Я о том не знала.
Бодай єм долі не мала, коли-м ся в тобі кохала,
Тілько-м жартовала.

I am having trouble with the bolded part. I've looked up the words in the dictionary, but that didn't really help, in light of the fact that I've never studied Ukrainian and simply looking up individual words doesn't allow me to conceive the meaning of entire syntactic units - I only managed to get "May God allow that I didn't have the destiny, when I loved myself in you", which clearly makes no sense. Furthermore, I cannot find "єм", presumably because it's not a lemma. So could someone provide me with a translation?

Thank you in advance
 
  • oveka

    Senior Member
    Ukraine, Ukrainian
    Ах, смів ти казати, що я тя кохала.
    Що ж то за кохання? Я о том не знала.
    Бодай єм долі не мала, коли-м ся в тобі кохала,
    Тілько-м жартовала.

    Іn the literarylanguage:
    Ха! І ти смів казати, що я тебе кохала.
    Що ж то за кохання? Я про нього не знала.
    Нехай би я долі не мала, коли б я тебе кохала,
    Тільки жартувала.

    ся в тобі кохала = кохалася в тобі/тобою.
     

    123xyz

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    I find the literary version of the verse (I had no idea that the song was in dialect) somewhat more comprehensible, but I still have some doubts - does it mean "may I not have such a destiny that I will love you", i.e. "I don't want to love you"?
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Yes, that's what it means, or more precisely "God forbid I love you". It's interesting how the reflexive -ся is treated as a particle in this dialect, I didn't know it happens in East Slavic. I also wonder if єм is 1st. P. Sing. of бути – this seems like compound past tense that's also uncharacteristic of the subgroup.
     
    Last edited:

    oveka

    Senior Member
    Ukraine, Ukrainian
    It clearly said: єм = я Бодай би я долі не мала, коли б я тебе кохала.
    Ніж тебе кохати, краще долі не мати!
    Це - лемки. It is Lemkos.
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    It clearly said: єм = я

    I'm not talking about translation into Ukrainian (which is obvious), I'm talking about grammar.

    It actually occurred to me just now it's the same shortened clitic form of the verb to be as found in Polish past tense (f. kochałam się, m. kochałem się), but, unlike in Polish and as with -ся, it's also a free particle. Very curious, I find it very useful when Slavic -l participle past conjugates for person.
     

    marco_2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I'm not talking about translation into Ukrainian (which is obvious), I'm talking about grammar.

    It actually occurred to me just now it's the same shortened clitic form of the verb to be as found in Polish past tense (f. kochałam się, m. kochałem się), but, unlike in Polish and as with -ся, it's also a free particle.

    But in Polish we also can say e.g. ja to zrobiłem = jam to zrobił; ty to uczyniłeś = tyś to uczynił etc., though it sounds a bit archaic. By the way, I met changing я into є in Hnatkevych's novels, when he used Huculs' dialect.
     
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