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  1. #1
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    Default Tonttu (traditional Christmas song) (Finnish)

    Hello Finnish native speakers, would you help me with the translation of this song? It's pretty much done, only there are perhaps some mistakes... If you could just check and correct thanks a lot in advance!

    Tonttu

    Pakkasyö on, ja leiskuen
    Pohja loimuja viskoo.
    Kansa kartanon hiljaisen
    yösydän untaan kiskoo.
    Ääneti kuu käy kulkuaan,
    puissa lunta on valkeanaan,
    kattojen päällä on lunta.
    Tonttu ei vaan saa unta.

    Ladosta tulee, hankeen jää
    harmaana uksen suuhun,
    vanhaan tapaansa tirkistää
    kohti taivasta kuuhun,
    katsoo metsää, min hongat on
    tuulensuojana kartanon,
    miettivi suuntaan sataan
    ainaista ongelmataan.

    Vaiti metsä on, alla jään
    kaikki elämä makaa,
    koski kuohuvi yksinään
    humuten metsän takaa.
    Tonttu puoleksi unissaan
    ajan virtaa on kulkevinaan,
    tuumii, minne se vienee,
    missä sen lähde lienee.

    Pakkasyö on, ja leiskuen
    Pohja loimuja viskoo.
    Kansa kartanon hiljaisen
    aamuhun unta kiskoo.
    Ääneti kuu käy laskemaan,
    puissa lunta on valkeanaan,
    kattojen päällä on lunta.
    Tonttu ei vaan saa unta.

    Tonttu -it's a tiny elf-like creature who helped farmers with their animals on the farm in old times. He's small, usually wears grey woolen clothing and maybe a grey or red "santa hat". He's kind, but shy of people... I'm translating "tonttu" into "gnome" here.

    It’s a frosty night, and flames
    In the north flash glows
    People of the quiet mansion
    Haul through their dreams in the heart of the night
    The moon silently walks on its journey
    White snow is on the trees
    Snow is on the roofs
    But the gnome can’t sleep

    Comes from the barn, stops in a snowdrift
    In front of the grey door
    In his old manner
    Towards the moonlit heaven
    Looks at the forest, where there are pines
    As the mansion’s protection from the wind
    Considered hundreds of directions
    Always with troubles

    The forest is silent, under ice
    All life rests
    The rapids foaming alone
    Guarantee the hum of the forest
    The gnome half-asleep
    The stream of time moves on
    Ponders where it will go
    Where its source might be

    It’s a frosty night, and flames
    Flash glows to the north
    People of the quiet mansion
    Haul through their morning dreams
    The moon is silently lowering
    White snow is on the trees
    Snow is on the roofs
    But the gnome can’t sleep
    Last edited by sankari; 01-04-2012 at 08:46 AM.
    Poetry is what gets lost in translation - Robert Frost

  2. #2
    Senior Member amaryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sankari View Post
    Hello Finnish native speakers, would you help me with the translation of this song? It's pretty much done, only there are perhaps some mistakes... If you could just check and correct thanks a lot in advance!

    Tonttu

    Pakkasyö on, ja leiskuen
    Pohja loimuja viskoo.
    Kansa kartanon hiljaisen
    yösydän untaan kiskoo.
    Ääneti kuu käy kulkuaan,
    puissa lunta on valkeanaan,
    kattojen päällä on lunta.
    Tonttu ei vaan saa unta.

    Ladosta tulee, hankeen jää
    harmaana uksen suuhun,
    vanhaan tapaansa tirkistää
    kohti taivasta kuuhun,
    katsoo metsää, min hongat on
    tuulensuojana kartanon,
    miettivi suuntaan sataan
    ainaista ongelmataan.

    Vaiti metsä on, alla jään
    kaikki elämä makaa,
    koski kuohuvi yksinään
    humuten metsän takaa.
    Tonttu puoleksi unissaan
    ajan virtaa on kulkevinaan,
    tuumii, minne se vienee,
    missä sen lähde lienee.

    Pakkasyö on, ja leiskuen
    Pohja loimuja viskoo.
    Kansa kartanon hiljaisen
    aamuhun unta kiskoo.
    Ääneti kuu käy laskemaan,
    puissa lunta on valkeanaan,
    kattojen päällä on lunta.
    Tonttu ei vaan saa unta.

    Tonttu -it's a tiny elf-like creature who helped farmers with their animals on the farm in old times. He's small, usually wears grey woolen clothing and maybe a grey or red "santa hat". He's kind, but shy of people... I'm translating "tonttu" into "gnome" here.

    It’s a frosty night, and flames
    In the north flash glows
    People of the quiet mansion
    Haul through their dreams in the heart of the night /towards the heart of the night
    The moon silently walks on its journey
    White snow is on the trees
    Snow is on the roofs
    But the gnome can’t sleep /can't fall sleep

    Comes from the barn, stops in a snowdrift / OR:stops on a crust of snow
    In front of the grey door
    In his old manner /looks up
    Towards the moonlit heaven
    Looks at the forest, where there are pines (serving as the mansions'protection from the wind
    As the mansion’s protection from the wind
    Considered hundreds of directions
    Always with troubles

    The forest is silent, under ice
    All life rests
    The rapids foaming alone
    Guarantee the hum of the forest
    The gnome half-asleep
    The stream of time moves on
    Ponders where it will go
    Where its source might be

    It’s a frosty night, and flames
    Flash glows to the north
    People of the quiet mansion
    Haul through their morning dreams
    The moon is silently lowering
    White snow is on the trees
    Snow is on the roofs
    But the gnome can’t sleep

    Hi again! In this poem/song old language expressions are used, which aren't in use anymore such as "kuohuvi", "Miettivi"...
    However, sometimes they still appear in modern poetry.

    Your translation of tonttu is a good one. These gnomes used to live in stables, sometimes even inside the house and at Xmas time people put
    in the old days food for them in their saunas or kitchens, cause it was supposed to bring good luck the coming year Nice custom

    Most of the translation was - again - good, just sorry it arrives to you after Xmas. Those countries following the Julian calendar though have it
    on Jan 7!

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to amaryn For This Useful Post:
    sankari (01-05-2012)

  4. #3
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    THANK YOU again It's all right that it's after Christmas, I'm glad you're helping me at all!
    Jan 7? Christmas Eve today, cool.
    Btw I made my family listen to Finnish carols at Christmas dinner and this was one of them xD
    I expected more mistakes to be honest, haha! I know those old forms though... At least that they have "vi" in them.
    Great, I thought the description of a "tonttu" sounded pretty close to a gnome. They used to leave food for gnomes in saunas? I didn't know that, very nice indeed
    Poetry is what gets lost in translation - Robert Frost

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