Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað? (English translation)

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Icelandic

Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað?

Það á að vera sjálfsagt
talið ósköp eðlilegt
og á allra færi
en ég get ekki að því gert.
Þau segja mér hætt’essu drengur
allir finni sína leið.
En ég stend einn í neyð.
 
Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað, ekki elskað neinn?
Af öllum þunga, með hjarta og lunga, finna allur til?
Segið mér hvað ef ég get ekki elskað neinn?
Ekki neinn?
 
Það er eitthvað brotið
eitthvað brotið inn í mér.
En sárin gróa og ég skil þau eftir hér.
Þau segja mér hætt’ essu drengur
allir finni sína leið.
En ég stend einn í neyð.
 
(Ég spyr) hvað ef ég get ekki elskað, ekki elskað neinn?
Af öllum þunga, með hjarta og lunga, finna allur til?
Segið mér hvað ef ég get ekki elskað neinn?
 
Er ég einn þessum sporum í
ég á bágt með að trúa því
ég heyri hætt’essu drengur
en hrópa út í neyð!
 
Ég get ekki elskað neinn.
Ég get ekki elskað neinn.
 
Er ég einn þessum sporum í
ég á bágt með að trúa því.
 
Submitted by Elw-YouzhnyElw-Youzhny on Sun, 17/02/2019 - 16:05
English translation
Align paragraphs
A A

What if I can't love?

It should be untaught
Deemed so natural
And that it should be up everyone's street
But I just can't help it
They tell me "stop it, kid"
Everyone finds their own way
But I stand alone in need
 
What if I can't love, can't love anyone?
From all this weight, with heart and lung, feel pain everywhere?
Tell me, what if I can't love anyone?
No one?
 
There's something broken
Something broken within me
But the wounds are healing and and here I leave them behind
They tell me "stop it, kid"
Everyone finds their own way
But I stand alone in need
 
(I wonder) what if I can't love, can't love anyone?
From all this weight, with heart and lung, feel pain everywhere?
Tell me, what if I can't love anyone?
 
I am alone in my shoes
I have a hard time believing it
I hear "stop it, kid"
But I am crying out in need
 
I can't love anyone
I can't love anyone
 
I am alone in my shoes
I have a hard time believing it
 
Submitted by IceyIcey on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 21:43
Last edited by IceyIcey on Mon, 11/03/2019 - 12:10
More translations of "Hvað ef ég get ekki ..."
English Icey
See also
Comments
DorkVikingDorkViking    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 04:37

First of, pretty darn good job. There are some touch ups needed, specially in the first verse, but for the most part it's those pesky nuances that tripped you up. I'll probably break this up into multiple comments so as not to leave gigantic book to read through, which should also make it easier to exchange feedbacks. (Also, I'm force to do this on my phone since my laptop shorted out)

Það á að vera sjálfsagt

Let's break this into it's main components:

  • Það á að vera

Depending on context this can be translated in one of three ways, 

  1. it has to be
  2. it should be
  3. it's supposed to be

Note, though #1 is verbatim translation of the term in question it is seldom contextually correct, rather it would most often be a best bet on translating "það þarf að vera..." (Verbatim = it needs to be). That leaves #2 & #3 of which I would say the latter would be the safer bet generally, depending on the intensity implied.

  • Sjálfsagt

Sjálfsagt literally means "self-said" and on its own can be translated as either 

  1. Self evident
  2. Goes without saying

In certain contexts it can also be translated as

  • of course
  • Probably
  • Sure [thing]
  • Obviously

Here's the tricky part, even if 1 & 2 are the "correct" translations, one is probably more often going to pick an option out of the bullet list depending on best fit
Where does all this lead? 
After weighing the options for each components against each other, in my opinion, the closest translation is

Það á að vera sjálfsagt

It should go without saying

IceyIcey    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 13:25

Wow first out, thank you so muh for this precious feedback! It's really thorough, it's exactly what I hoped for, thank you! :3

So let's see...

First out thank you for the explaination on the meanings of "Það á að vera", it was really needed. Then, about "sjálfsagt", I would say that its form is pretty nordic, and I think that translating it too directly sounds strange in English. Maybe a more natural way of expressing it could be "obvious" or "evident", what do you think?

DorkVikingDorkViking    Sun, 10/03/2019 - 01:37

Well sjálfsagt itself is pretty Nordic
Now, both obvious and evident translate as augljóst (literally shine in eye) so it carries the weight of tangibility.

Hann er augljóst góður bílstjóri  He's obviously a good driver
Hann er sjálfsagt góður bílstjóri - he's probably a good driver

Þetta er augljóst Feneyska - That obviously is Venetian 
Þetta er sjálfsagt Feneyska - That surely is Venetian

Generally, sjálfsagt refers to tribal knowledge, something everyone knows, or the less certain version of a statement.
So to naturally translate sjálfsagt in ​​​​​​this context one can look at English words like

  • Established
  • Accepted

or phrases like

  • Widely acknowledged
  • Goes without saying
  • It's self-evident
DorkVikingDorkViking    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 05:57

Ok, the next batch... Kinda wished there was a strike/strikethrough option in the editing lol

talið ósköp eðlilegt

In this context talið simply means deemed/considered, derrived from telja (count/consider).Ósköp on its own usually refers to disasters but for a funny quirk in Icelandic it can be used as an emphasiser "ósköp er þetta fallegt = That is [oh] so beautiful" Eðlilegt is correctly translated as natural, though instinctual can also be an option in some cases

It's said to be so natural
deemed oh so natural

As it is written as a part of the same sentence as the first line, your initial It's is not necessary. And yes the oh is strictly speaking not needed but lends the line a bit nicer touch IMHO.
__________________

og á allra færi

This line may contain a form of an idiom, depending on how broad you want to define it. Á þínu/mínu færi means within your/my capabilities/means/abilities, thus the line translates something like

And that anyone would pull it off
and within everyone's abilities

____________________

en ég get ekki að því gert.

​​​​​​Ok, notice how this line is the last part of a (very long) sentence. And there is ambiguity in form of an implication. The narrator is not saying he's incapable of but saying that he can't help wondering, if this thing is supposed to be this easy natural thing...

But I just can't do it
but I just can't help it.

IceyIcey    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 13:37

I had found that "og á allra færi" was an idiomatic expression...I changed it to using another idiom: "up anyone's street" (yep, I like to translate idioms wth idioms). Do you think it fits or should I go with a plain and simple "in anyone's capabilities"?

As for "en ég get ekki að því gert", I kinda sense the structure behind this sentence, but would you mind deconstruct it for me, so I can maybe get a better grip on this hue? You know that when it comes at verbs like "to do", they can have so many nuances that a vocabulary just can't unfold...

As for the rest of the translation...did you go through it or is it still on the "to do" list? I am sooooo worried about that "Af öllum þunga, með hjarta og lunga, finna allur til?". The more I look at it, the more it looks like an unleashed monster x)

DorkVikingDorkViking    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 18:52

On to do list, like I said I'm stick doing this on my phone so it takes longer. Then I also have duties as husband and father  Wink smile
Allow me to finish go through the entire lyrics and I'll get back to your questions 

DorkVikingDorkViking    Sun, 10/03/2019 - 18:46

I like the idea of translating idioms with idioms, and I looked up the "up anyone's street"

Macmillan Dictionary - (right) up someone’s street
exactly the type of thing that someone is interested in or is good at doing

And this idiom does not fit that well since it implies that the person(s) doing it would be both interested and good at performing the act while the Icelandic idiom is talking about how it should be a generic know how. So I did some sleuthing and found this idiom

Merriam-Webster - get/have a handle on
to understand and be able to deal with (something)

So I think translating og á allra færi to and [what] everyone has a handle on or something along those lines...

Ok, I decided to sleep on it before posting the answer and I think and up everyone's/everybody's1 street/ally2  might work slightly better than the other suggestiosn

  • 1. The main difference between everyone and everybody is that everybody is used in more casual way
  • 2. Up someone's street is British English while Up someone's Ally is American English
DorkVikingDorkViking    Sun, 10/03/2019 - 01:45

Alright, this next batch is bigger because there's really not that much to add

Þau segja mér hætt’essu drengur
They tell me "stop it, boy/kid"

Yes, you are correct að segja = to say But when it precedes a personal pronoun að segja = to tell
Technically drengur = [preteen] boy although translating it as kid might be a better fit in this context... In fact I keep flip flopping on wether I would change or not
_______

allir finni sína leið.
Everyone finds their [own] way

The Icelandic text in this regard is definitely saying how everyone has a different path to love and they'll find their own way towards it. The original translation suggests that everyone shares the same path to love and that everyone will find love in the same way. Which is why I made the suggestion above, the word own is in brackets because it's debatable if it's needed here or not. There is a slight nuanced difference in meaning but one can also argue that adding that word is redundant
_______

En ég stend einn í neyð.
But I stand alone in need

Perfect
_______

 

Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað, ekki elskað neinn?
What if I can't love, can't love anyone?

Straight forward word by word translation, the narrator is wondering what if he is incapable of loving anyone and you caught that
______

Af öllum þunga, með hjarta og lunga, finna allur til?
From the entire weight/burden, with heart and lung, ache all over?

Gotta love poetical phrasing, it looks so nonsensical at first glance. And though I can easily wrap my mind around it enough to see what the author was going for, it hasn't been easy at all to unravel it over to English. It doesn't help that this line contains an interjected sentence, a feature that is much more common in Icelandic than English. By removing it one can look at the whole main sentence to try and get a better sense of it.
Af öllum þunga finna allur til
Af depending on context it can mean

  • From
  • Off
  • Of
  • By

Allur/Öllum depending on context it can mean

  • Everything
  • Everyone
  • All
  • Whole
  • Entire

Þungi usually means either weight or burden though it can be used for great when it implies burden.Finna til is an idiom that means to hurt/ache and can also be used sympathetically
​​​​​_______

Segið mér hvað ef ég get ekki elskað neinn?
Ekki neinn

Tell me, what if I can't love anyone?No one?

Yeah I've got nothing to add to this part

IceyIcey    Mon, 11/03/2019 - 12:12

Wow thank you so much for this feedback, it's been really helpful!

There's just one thing I'd want to ask. In that "Af öllum þunga, með hjarta og lunga, finna allur til?" what does he mean by "with heart and lung"? I really can't grasp the reason for it to be there...

DorkVikingDorkViking    Sat, 09/03/2019 - 23:45

 

Það er eitthvað brotið
eitthvað brotið inn í mér.
En sárin gróa og ég skil þau eftir hér

There's something broken
Something broken within/inside me
But [the] wounds heal and I leave them here/and here I leave them behind

Yhis might be the last post (aside from replies) do let's get started.Within me vs inside me there really aren't any arguments for or against either. The only thing I can think of is that within would be more towards the abstract/mental while inside might lean towards the physical.
[the] in this case the narrator referring to specific wounds so you may want to add the definite article

_________
And that's it really... The rest is either correct or been addressed in another comment.