Έλα νιότη μου πέρνα meaning

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Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/kamilbc" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1473068">Kamilbc</a>
Joined: 10.10.2020
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Hi guys,

I have been listening to a song by Haris Alexiou called Έλα νιότη μου πέρνα. I have found the translation of it on her but I am not quite sure what the title means?
It was translated as Come my youth, pass it sounds a bit weird as for me.

Can anybody explain please? Regular smile

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<a href="/en/translator/evipar" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1356668">Evi_Par</a>
Joined: 03.10.2017
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<a href="/en/translator/kamilbc" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1473068">Kamilbc</a>
Joined: 10.10.2020

Hey Evi_Par I have found that translation too. The title was translated as: Come my youth, pass and it does not make sense to me. I would appriciate more explanation on what the title mean?

I have also found a Alexiou's single on Discogs.com where it was translated as My youth goes away which I think it is not correct either.

The form of the verb πέρνα indicates that it is Present-Imperative and the word έλα Ι would say it means here more Hey! Come on! in this case but I am not quite sure as I have just started leaaning Greek.

I also realise it is not easy to translate lyrics by Lina Nikolakopoulou!

Editor and a hardcore K-pop fan
<a href="/en/translator/mileylovato" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1095804">Miley_Lovato</a>
Joined: 24.10.2011

I think "My youth goes away" helps you understand what she says better but literally she says "Come on my youth, go away" . To be honest is difficult to translate songs that belong to entehno genre because they're more poetic. Although native speakers understand what the lyrics say once you try to translate them you might see that it's possible to give various meanings to the words.

Here I think she asks to get older because being in love is painful.

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<a href="/en/translator/kamilbc" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1473068">Kamilbc</a>
Joined: 10.10.2020

Thanks Miley_Lovato for your reply. You've been very helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!

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<a href="/en/translator/maria203" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1442980">maria203</a>
Joined: 05.01.2020

Hello Kamilbc! I would agree that the meaning is more close to "Please, my youth, go away" (talking to her youth as a person) because being young and in love hurts her.

Lina Nikolakopoulou's songs are indeed difficult to translate cause most of the time, as there are no structured sentences in the lyrics. But the main thing is that she uses words that are not common in modern verbal speech. Words old-fashioned but familiar, or, words that carry on a tradition. This gives a completely different tone to the lyric, which is difficult for someone who doesn't have greek as his native language to understand it.

For example, in this particular song, the lyrics "Στις σπηλιές του Αχέροντα ζωντανή με πας" are freely translated as "you lead me to the caves of the river Acheron while I am still alive". Acheron is a river in the region of Epirus, and at some point there is a ravine with high cliffs. According to Greek mythology, in that place was the "Gate of Hades", where Hermes handed the dead people over to Charos, to lead them to the Underworld. And even the name of the river "Acheron" probably comes from the word "άχος" (= sorrow) and means "the river of sorrow". Therefore, in this verse we can sympathize with the singer about the grief she feels, because by her lover's actions it's like killing her.

Also, in the refrain there are the words "στέρνα".
The first time is the plural of the word "το στέρνο" (= the sternum or breastbone). This particular word, and especially the plural, is not used frequently, but everyone knows its meaning. In the lyric of the song "Κι άμα ανάψουν τα στέρνα" can be translated as chest, and lyric's meaning is about "the heat you feel in your chest after intense dancing".
The second time is the word "η στέρνα" (= water cistern). Cisterns existed in the old days for the collection of water in the villages and that's how it's called only the traditional building (the modern one is called "reservoir/δεξαμενη"). So the word brings memories of the countryside of the last century.
Both words sounds the same, but they have totally different meaning and they were used in the past.
(* bonus, there is also a third word for "στερνά", plural of στερνός-ή-ό (= the last one), which is also used as the "last years of a person's life")

Ι gave all that information because I guess you want a deeper understanding of the lyrics, but I hope it wasn't mind-blowing. Regular smile

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<a href="/en/translator/kamilbc" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1473068">Kamilbc</a>
Joined: 10.10.2020

Hi maria203. I really would like to say a massive thank you for your reply! You have helpt me enormously to get more understaning of that beautiful song.
Having heard just that one song made me buy the whole album "Δι ευχων" where all the lyrics were written by Lina Nikolakopoulou. I think that's one of the best album I have ever heard despite I am not able to understand fully all the lyrics.

I have just started my adventure with Greek language as I have always loved it but never got time or was never determinded to get down to it. It is difficult to bits and I hope to get through all the noun declation, the tenses and the conjugation hahaha.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ maria203 Regular smile

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<a href="/en/translator/maria203" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1442980">maria203</a>
Joined: 05.01.2020

I am so happy that I helped you to understand the song more deeply!
"Δι΄ευχών" is also another song whose significance changes completely if you have Greek as your native language.
Although I am not the biggest fan of Haris Alexiou, I would say that the album "Ως Την Άκρη Του Ουρανού Σου" is by far the best (at least for me) and the song "To Kyma" one of the most beautiful Greek songs I have heard.

I hope you will love the Greek language more and more, because it is really fascinating. Do not focus or worry about grammar and pronunciation. We Greeks know that our language is difficult and we are really excited when someone tries to speak even a few words. I think that when you start to understand it you will feel all the charm that it hides. Perhaps, what makes learning Greek different from learning another language is that the main purpose is not to use it for communication but to get in touch with the culture (ancient, byzantine and modern). Read Greek literature -even translated-, listen to Greek music and watch Greek cinema / television and it will be easier for you to catch the feeling.

Feel free to ask anything you don't understand or you want to get it better. I'll be really happy to help you!

Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/kamilbc" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1473068">Kamilbc</a>
Joined: 10.10.2020

Thank you so much maria203!!!!

I do spend around 2 - 3 hours daily to study Greek. The more I study it the more I get addicted to it hahah Regular smile
The language is so beautiful and it gets me really excited when I am able to say something new and then to be able to practice it with my greek friends here in London or whenever I visit Athens (I try to be there at least once or twice a year). I must admit I get quite stressed when it comes to speaking especially to people in Greece hahah - I forget everything and I got stuck!
Recently I have found a nice YouTube channel EasyGreek and I find it very useful as it features the real language.

Actually my love for Greek language started when I was a kid. My parents got loads of vinyls and among them there was one which cought my eye! It was an album of a polish singer of Greek origin - Eleni. She was born in a greek family who left Greece in the early 50s due to bad political situation etc. we all know the history. She made an amazing career in Poland as a singer just because her songs had always the Greek vibes despite they were sung in Polish or English and that was really unique!
I have always wanted to know what was about her songs in Greek and started checking out some single words in dictionary etc. but never started to study seriously until now.
Unfortunatelly the lyrics of her Greek songs are impossible to find so I have posted some of the songs on this web and thanks to the great people I managed to get some of them Regular smile

I can say I am obsessed with everything what's greek but when it comes to language I just adore it!

Thanks a lot for Alexiou's song recommendation I'll check it out. Frankly I do not know much her music and I would have to explore more to be able to say anything about her music. Feel free to share more Greek singers and bands here. Regular smile

Thanks maria203 and I may take you up on your help offer in the future! Regular smile