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Swedish or Old Swedish?

8 posts / 0 new
Moderator and earthbound misfit
Joined: 05.04.2013
Pending moderation

Hello everyone!
I've come across quite a few songs (especially Medieval ballads) which are marked as "Swedish", but their language appears to be older than nusvenska. So I was haighly tempted to switch the language to "Swedish (old Swedish)", but I don't feel confident enough with the language to make such a change and felt like a second opinion would be healthy. What do you think?

Here are the links to a few of these songs:
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/garmarna-varulven-lyrics.html
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/swedish-folk-kristallen-den-fina-lyrics.html
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/swedish-folk-herr-mannelig-lyrics.html
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/fejd-ulvsg%C3%A4ld-lyrics.html

Senior Member
Joined: 06.10.2011

I've listen to the songs, and read the lyrics. The songs, some more than others, have an old style of saying things and some old words.
Although the words are not that commonly used in the day to day conversation, a native Swede would have no trouble at all understanding the sentences.
But would certainly view someone who spoke like that, like something of a basketcase.

If you go back to around 1900 these words, those who appears odd, would be quite common. If you go back a bit more, then Swedish get realy wierd. =)

So as a native i don't view the lyrics as ancient, but quite out dated.

Moderator and earthbound misfit
Joined: 05.04.2013

I understand...we got a few songs marked as "old Swedish", is this what you would define so?

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-svinna-lyrics.html
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/slowgold-dr%C3%B6mmar-lyrics.html (honestly, this one looks like standard Swedish to me, am I wrong?)

Senior Member
Joined: 06.10.2011

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-svinna-lyrics.html

This first one is definitely an attempt to make lyrics based on a more "old/ancient" swedish(fornsvenska), compared with the first 4 examples above this gives a much older impression. I cannot say how accurate or correct it is, the band is in the Satanism-genre, i have my doubts about the lingustic skills they posses - but it gives a nice ancient impression.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/slowgold-dr%C3%B6mmar-lyrics.html
The second one i would not call old swedish at all, it's contemporary swedish.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/garmarna-varulven-lyrics.html
In this one they use "Ulv->Varg->Wolf", "älskogen->älska->Make love", "gångare->häst->horse" and so on, but it's mixed with som realy contemporary swedish as well. But i guess i would label it as old since no one uses thouse old words daily.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/swedish-folk-herr-mannelig-lyrics.html
Same here, but a bit older feel, random "f" letters starts to pop up. "gifva->ge->give", "gåfvor->gåvor->gifts", "ungersven->unmarried male(sometimes refered to an man that is a virgin)"

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/fejd-ulvsg%C3%A4ld-lyrics.html
Same, old

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/swedish-folk-kristallen-den-fina-lyrics.html
This one is just a tad oldish

Moderator and earthbound misfit
Joined: 05.04.2013

Well, thank you really much for taking the time of going through everything, it gave me a better insight. Thanks ^^

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
Joined: 16.02.2011

Great to have some native speaker's input!

Could I ask you to also take a look at some of the other songs in the Old Swedish category? E.g.
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-frana-lyrics.html
The author mentioned in an interview that all his newer albums are in Old Swedish (except for the most recent one), and most of his older songs are in Old Norse (i. e. Old Icelandic), which I can confirm.
One of the songs has been translated a while ago: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-svinna-lyrics.html

I also tried to translate some of the Old Norse ones but it's really more difficult than historic Old Norse since some words are simply not in dictionaries. But with the Old Swedish ones I don't even know where to start looking for words I don't know.

Senior Member
Joined: 06.10.2011

Hi, late reply.. seems like my life is all work, no play atm. ^^

I'm afraid that my linguistic skills in old norse, or in reaaaaly old Swedish ain't that good. Grammatics change, words change their meaning, words get lost through time(from common knowledge). Swedish changed alot due to our close contact with mainly Germany, and at times it feels like half of our current Swedish dictionary contains words that we've borrowed from them.
Also, from what i'm told, "we" have changed words and grammatics abit to make Swedish differ yet more from Danish, our sworn enemies through time.

But i can answer what my impression is, as an average swedish joe, of these songs.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-frana-lyrics.html

Sooo Yeaaaah ^^

This is some realy old stuff, and it's getting kinda hard to decode, I've read some "old new swedish"(direct translation) from around 1500 - 1750(winging it here) and it is not too hard to understand, some odd words, odd placement of letters and what not. But not "Greek" so to speak.

But this lyric has an older feel to it, i get a sense of a mix of Swedish and Norweigan.. Also, if the lyrics is typed correctly there's letters that we no longer use.

Like þ = D, æ = Ä, ø = Ö

At first glance the lyrics looks abit outlandish, due to strange letters and spelling, but if i "sound them out" i hear words that i recognize from old Swedish and Norwegian and i can make some sense of it all.
Then there are words that i don't recognize at all, like "marder->skog->forrest", never heard of that one before.

Saw the request for a translatioon of Arckanum - Frana

I might give it a go, first i'll translate it to modern swedish though.. but give me a bit of time, got a new position at work that demands a lot of attention and i kinda go into "stand by mode" when i get home. ^^

(Fun fact, the Swedish word for window is "Fönster"(Again, borrowed from Germany, "Fenster"), but way back when it was called "Vindöga->Wind eye"(in Danish "vindue"), the english people liked it so much that they borrowed it and it became "Window". (according to a historian))

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
Joined: 16.02.2011

Thanks a lot for replying! Busy as well.

Cri33e wrote:

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/arckanum-frana-lyrics.html

Sooo Yeaaaah ^^

This is some realy old stuff, and it's getting kinda hard to decode, I've read some "old new swedish"(direct translation) from around 1500 - 1750(winging it here) and it is not too hard to understand, some odd words, odd placement of letters and what not. But not "Greek" so to speak.

The author would be pleased to hear that - that text was written in the 21st century (or possibly in the 90s), like all Old Swedish songs by this artist Teeth smile

Quote:

But this lyric has an older feel to it, i get a sense of a mix of Swedish and Norweigan.. Also, if the lyrics is typed correctly there's letters that we no longer use.

Like þ = D, æ = Ä, ø = Ö

At first glance the lyrics looks abit outlandish, due to strange letters and spelling, but if i "sound them out" i hear words that i recognize from old Swedish and Norwegian and i can make some sense of it all.
Then there are words that i don't recognize at all, like "marder->skog->forrest", never heard of that one before.

Saw the request for a translatioon of Arckanum - Frana

I might give it a go, first i'll translate it to modern swedish though.. but give me a bit of time, got a new position at work that demands a lot of attention and i kinda go into "stand by mode" when i get home. ^^

Thanks a lot! I would have added requests to all of them but didn't want to overwhelm any potential translator Wink smile And yeah, modern Swedish would be fine by me, too, I understand that well enough in written form, at least when I can use a dictionary.

Quote:

(Fun fact, the Swedish word for window is "Fönster"(Again, borrowed from Germany, "Fenster"), but way back when it was called "Vindöga->Wind eye"(in Danish "vindue"), the english people liked it so much that they borrowed it and it became "Window". (according to a historian))

Huh, nice! Didn't know the etymology of that English one.

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