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Timo Kalmu









Posts:616
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Subject: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
Our Croatian friend asked: "SO VENE KEISER IS SONG ABOUT RUSSIAN ZHAR?! ARE THERE ANY ENGLISH WORDS FOR IT?"

The Estonian lyrics are at:
[meestelaul.metsatoll.ee]

I tried to translate them somehow:

Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
praised over emperors
glorious over kings.
This is the one, who buys us out of slavery.
This is the one, who saves us from (hard) days,
redeems us from a snowfall,
?? from serfdom,
from the evil of overseer (of the forced labor),
from the sticks of (another kind of) overseer.
Money buys us out of slavery.
Money saves us from (hard) days.
Copeck forces a farm-hand (to work) for us.
Money orders a servant for us.
Money buys a new slave for us.
Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man.
Old times were the times of hardship.
Now there is a new time.
Old times were the times of hunger.
Now there is a time of bread.
Old times hazel catkins were eaten,
soup of alder was drunk,
birch cambium was scraped.
Now we eat rye bread,
(flowering) wheat heads are coming out of their sepals.
Young oat is covering the ground.
Long live the Russian Emperor,
who was gracious for us.

These lyrics may sound weird to someone, who's not familiar with Estonian history.
They praise Alexander I of Russia for abolition of serfdom.
People could now pay to their landlord instead of working for them.
The song ends with a poetic description of spring and promises of better times.

The matter of serfdom in Baltic countries is too complicated to be explained here.
There is something about it in Wikipedia, but unfortunately in Estonian only.
[et.wikipedia.org] (ad to the url) Pärisorjus#P.C3.A4risorjus_Eestis
October 21, 2009 12:17PM
mrgud

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Posts:29
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
Timo, thanks again

The song is very beautiful and has catchy tune.

As I have unconeceted fragments of estonian history, I know that was Mahtra soda war,alias rebelion against serfdom but in 1858.Isn't that after the abolition?
I used as a source book of author Tiovo U Raun.
Still have to to answer you on first issue.
First thing first.Only I need some time.

Aitah
October 21, 2009 04:23PM
mrgud

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Posts:29
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
The missing word "valda", if it is a noun it should be expert, experience, proficient

if it is a adjective , what is more likely, maybe it would be "expeerienced in redemption of serfdom"

Can't figure verb for "valda"
October 23, 2009 10:28PM
Timo Kalmu









Posts:616
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
No!

"valda" may be Singular Nominative, Partitive or Illative of the modern noun "vald", but it makes me no sense here "valda vaku-orjusesta".

"Vaku orjus" was kind of serfdom. Probably the quantity of forced labor was calculated according to territory. I don't know exactly.
E.g.
[maastikud.soomaa.ee]
'Osjo Jürri peab tegema nädalas 3 ¼ orjuse päevi. "Vaku orjust" peab ta hobusega tegema aasta läbi 47 päeva ja jalgsi jüripäevast mihklipäevani 169 päeva. Mihklipäevast jüripäevani 74 ¾ päeva. abiorjust pidi ta hobusega niihästi suvel kui talvel vooris käima 36 päeva. Kümnise maksuks pidi ta maksma 12 muna, 3 noort kana, 4 naela lina või lõngu. 2/3 vakka kaera, 5/6 rukkeid ja 2/3 otra.'
(It's a list of Osjo Jürri's obligations.)

"Vakus" was a land unit like "vald" consisting of several villages.
[www.arheo.ut.ee]
[et.wikipedia.org]

I can't help you here, because I cannot fully understand the verse.

You cannot rely on modern standard Estonian while interpreting "archaic songs". The language is pretty different and words may have different meanings depending on the dialect. Often some verses have "wandered" to territories of other dialects, but they have preserved their original vocabulary. It's very complicated.
October 24, 2009 11:47PM
mrgud

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Posts:29
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
If you can't figure out, than I am useless for sure. Is there any other audio or video source of that song or it lives only with "Harju mehed"?

I can't find any.Maybe on folklore.ee , but I also can't find the right path there.

P.S. As I was confused in what you explained about languages,dialects and root, I decided I must read each county history to clear it up.
October 25, 2009 01:03AM
Timo Kalmu









Posts:616
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
I added some sources of similar verses to the Estonian page.
[meestelaul.metsatoll.ee]

About languages, dialects, identity and roots. It is not so black and white for me. The answer depends on the person, whom you ask it about.



Revealing the others, what we were talking about:

1) All people living in Estonia are estonians (except slavic and others, of course)Vironians,Harrians, Osilians you mentioned are actually estonians from Voru county,Harju county (harju mehed ) and Saaremaa island?!?!? But all are ethnic estonians who speaks estonian?!. Seto people are estonians also? Or minority of Seto nationality divided and live in south Estonia in Setomaa county and border Russia region?

- Yes all the people in Estonia are officially Estonians (including Estonian speaking descendents of coastal Swedes and Seto). However there may be still someone, who prefers to identify himself not as an Estonian, but a Seto or a Swede or something else or even both as an Estonian and Seto etc. We cannot be 100% sure about it.
Vironians live in Virumaa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virumaa) the others are correct.


2) Seto is language or dialect????? Voru/Voro language is actually hard estonian dialect or totaly separated language spoken in Voru county, but people are estonains?!? Voro language or dialect is somehow conected with Seto language. Voru county is former Ugandi county which in past has independent state? But they are estonians?? Ludze people are estonians living in Lithuania and quitely disaperaing? But they are ethnic estonians and speak estonian language in Ludze dialect? Sakalian folks are actualy todays Viljandi folks, but nothing changed and they are truly estonians?

- All those folks were speaking South-Estonian dialects, but that South-Estonian was another language with it's own written standard, which based on it's Tartu dialect. Ludze was a place in Latvia near Lithuania and Belarus, but this dialect is totally vanished as much as I know.
Võro and Seto are almost the same language, but they have different culture. Even some Võru people (of Hargla) call their language Seto, because Võro is not that ancient administrative entity.

3) Karelians are close to ethnic Suomi and has nothing to do with estonians!

- All the Finnic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic-Finnic_languages) dialects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect#.22Dialect.22_or_.22language.22) of Estonia are officially considered to be dialects of the Standard Estonian (which itself is quite a late construction) and all the Finnic dialects of Finland are considered to be dialects of the Standard Finnish (which is an artificial construction as well). The separation does not follow linguistic but administrative (cultural) borders. Karelians live on both side of Finnish - Russian border. Their dialects are quite far from standard Estonian but closer (to my dialect) than the pure Seto.

4) Eesti and Estonian is new term used in last 150 years as you said but root of the word means "folks from the east" and originate in german language as ost people or aesti folk in free translation "eastern folks" ?!? That is actually ancient german word as estonains (or harju,osilians ,sakalians ) are one of the oldest european nations.

- Probably correct, but "Estonia" was used in old chronicles already (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_of_Livonia). It was not our self nomination until the Estonian national awakening (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_national_awakening).

5) And where do Vepsians fit?

- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vepsians) Vepsian and Livonian are the most remote and distinctive offsprings of Baltic-Finnic family. There are some dialects though, which share both Vepsian and Karelian features (Livviko, Lüüdi).
October 25, 2009 11:49PM
Lauri Õunapuu

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Posts:1966
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
> "Vakus" was a land unit like "vald" consisting of
> several villages.
> [www.arheo.ut.ee]
> [et.wikipedia.org]
>
> I can't help you here, because I cannot fully
> understand the verse.

It may be that the old name of the type of manor-duty (?) remained at the same time as the name of the countryside's changed?? So, the simple translation of the verse should be "rescues the parish from manors work-duty" ?

anyway.. I know a guy who could explain it on some hundred of A4- page.. I try to attract him to the internet.. maybe I succeed

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Lauri Õunapuu
lauri[ät]metsatoll.ee
+372 56155559
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
October 28, 2009 03:00PM
mrgud

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Posts:29
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
Your language is a really amazing,non persistant but very powerfull at the same time.

I took the liberty and present few verses together with "valda" verse to my ordinary estonian web-pals.

They also have no idea, nor can make sensfull sentence.
October 28, 2009 07:51PM
Timo Kalmu









Posts:616
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
I believe that Lauri is right.

It means something like: "rescues the parish from manors work-duty".

"(Kes päästab) valda vaku-orjusesta ..."

Much better for my ears would be:
"(Kes päästab) valla vaku-orjusesta ..."

But such "mistakes" are common in old songs.
October 29, 2009 08:39AM
mrgud

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Posts:29
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
Lauri gave me guite good link (for me thou) which explaines "regilaul","regiviis" and "regivarss" and use of language,dialects and what you tried to explain about "wandering" plus althered lyrics used for singing. No wonder it can't be translated easily. Part that is missing is how the term , for example "valda" is preserved if none of the songs are written.

[www.folk.ee]

Too bad that author of the this page didn't put audio examples on construction of the songs.
October 29, 2009 11:20AM
Timo Kalmu









Posts:616
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
If you could clarify a bit the problem, we might help.

Some people can still "construct" these songs (including Lauri).

As for me personally, I am just not able to sing "a regilaul" twice without modifying (read: forgetting or adding) anything.

About "valda" - this word is still in use for Municipality.
[et.wikipedia.org]

I'm afraid, we cannot speak about terms here, cause there were no canonic definitions of these words. They were not written down as you noticed.
October 29, 2009 02:53PM
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Subject: Re: Russian Emperor (should be) a praised man
man maia
November 21, 2013 11:59PM
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