What tense is it?

kamilbc1

Member
Polish
Hi guys,

Can you help me what tense is the most suitable in English for this phrase?

1. Δε σταματούσα στην ανηφοριά στους κορμούς των δέντρων σκάλιζα κρυφά
I used to not / did not stop on the hill in trunks of the trees I carved / was carving secretly


(not sure about the translation in bold, please double check and help :))
2. 'Ηλιε, ήλιε, αυτοκράτορα, το τραγούδι το αυγερινό, σε όλους χάρισε, να σε χαρώ.
Sun, sun, emperor, the song the dawn, give it to everyone, let me make you happy.

3. Γιατί εκεί κοντά σου στο εικόνισμά σου τ' αγγελικό της νιότης θυμητάρι μ' ένα στεφάνι βασιλικό
Because there near you in your icon the angelic youth incense burner with a royal wreath


Thanks for your help.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    1. Δε σταματούσα στην ανηφοριά στους κορμούς των δέντρων σκάλιζα κρυφά
    I used to not / did not stop on the hill in trunks of the trees I carved / was carving secretly

    In English it isn't always necessary to show the imperfect aspect, unless you need to make it clear that this was a habitual action in the past. Without context it isn't really possible to tell you which English tense is preferable. Nor do I know how formal or informal you want the translation to sound. Going up the hill I didn't (use to) stop; I carved in secret on the trunks of trees.

    (not sure about the translation in bold, please double check and help :))
    2. 'Ηλιε, ήλιε, αυτοκράτορα, το τραγούδι το αυγερινό, σε όλους χάρισε, να σε χαρώ.
    Sun, sun, emperor, the song the dawn, give it to everyone, let me make you happy.

    να σε χαρώ
    - it's idiomatic, and it's often used to ask a favour of someone.
    Sun, sun, emperor, I beg of you, bestow dawn's song on everyone.
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    1. Δε σταματούσα στην ανηφοριά στους κορμούς των δέντρων σκάλιζα κρυφά
    I used to not / did not stop on the hill in trunks of the trees I carved / was carving secretly.
    Velisarius' explanations are excellent. If you chose to use the English imperfect another construction with 'used to' is "I used not to stop..." The only other thing is it's probably "at the trunks" rather than "in". How he managed to carve the trunks without stopping is beyond me! But that's what it says! The writer could have put "που είχα σκαλίσει". I presume he must have carved them off and on, not stopping when he chose not to carve! :confused:
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Another possible English translation is "I wouldn't stop in the uphill stretches, I would secretly carve on tree trunks". In other words, he `made it a habit of roaming the countryside, unafraid of the slopes he had to climb, and of carving [his beloved's name, I suppose] on trees.

    Also, in «στο εικόνισμά σου τ' αγγελικό της νιότης θυμητάρι», the adjective αγγελικό could also (you can't really tell) refer to εικόνισμα, and θυμητάρι means 'token, souvenir' rather than 'incense burner' (which is θυμιατήρι).
     
    Last edited:

    kamilbc1

    Member
    Polish
    Another possible English translation is "I wouldn't stop in the uphill stretches, I would secretly carve on tree trunks". In other words, he `made it a habit of roaming the countryside, unafraid of the slopes he had to climb, and of carving [his beloved's name, I suppose] on trees.

    Also, in «στο εικόνισμά σου τ' αγγελικό της νιότης θυμητάρι», the adjective αγγελικό could also (you can't really tell) refer to εικόνισμα, and θυμητάρι means 'token, souvenir' rather than 'incense burner' (which is θυμιατήρι).

    Thanks a lot Αγγελος!!!
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Should that be ''the song of the dawn''? I understand αυγερινό as an adjective referring to the song.
    Sorry, bearded. I should have made it clear that it was a copy-paste from the OP. (to save scrolling up and down :) ).


    My version was:
    να σε χαρώ
    - it's idiomatic, and it's often used to ask a favour of someone.
    Sun, sun, emperor, I beg of you, bestow dawn's song on everyone.
     
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