O Come, all ye faithful Verdurians!

Posted by Philip Newton on 00:51 5/7/02

In reply to: (none)

I thought about translating a song into Verdurian in such a manner that it could still be sung well -- which would entail getting not only the number of syllables but also the stress right.

After playing around with this and that song, I settled on O Come, All ye Faithful, for some reason. After translating the first verse, which took a while, the next few went quite a bit quicker.

I tried to base my translation on the Latin version I found in various places on the Web, so those of you who know the English, German, or other version may notice some differences. I only translated the four verses I saw listed in most places; some places had quite a few more verses listed.

Here's a picture of the sheet music, which will serve to show how I intended the syllables to match notes:

[image of the song; see below for lyrics]

And here are the lyrics -- the Latin I used as a base, the Verdurian translation I made, and a rough (not singable) English translation of the Verdurian lyrics.

1. Adeste fideles, laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte regem angelorum
Venite adoremus, venite adoremus,
venite adoremus Dominum
1. Zhaneno, lelesî mädörnece zulî
zhaneno, zhaneno ad Bedhleemán.
Nesne, leleno, dalu soië anëluë
Zhanenam pro urisan, zhanenam pro urisan,
zhanenam pro urisan sannam taë
1. Come, triumphantly joyous faithful,
Come, come to Bedhleem.
See, a king of the angels is born.
Let's come to worship, let's come to worship,
let's come to worship our lord
2. Cantet nunc "Io!" chorus angelorum,
cantet nunc aula caelestium.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
2. Shantano cevaem, tësî mu anëlî
shantano, corë oränisë er bracsë.
Brac Iainän, brac ilun im oränan.
2. Sing solemn chants, all you angels!
Sing, heavenly and glorious court.
Glory to Iain, glory to him in heaven.
3. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine,
gestant puellae viscera.
Deum verum, genitum non factum.
3. Selta de seltan, Eledh de Iainán
nesne de auvan redelcëi chistëi.
Eledh sade, kedhul rho fassul.
3. Light from light, Eledh from Iain
was born from the womb of a pure woman.
Genuine Eledh, begotten, not made.
4. Ergo qui natus die hodierna
Iesu, tibi sit gloria.
Patris Aeterni Verbum Caro factum.
4. Nesnei eludëno! Erh emayom
Iesu, len esane brac fsëgdá.
Log pirei adesnei rhusi.
4. You were born today! We greet you.
Jesus, glory shall be to you forever.
Word of the Father, you became flesh.

Some notes:

  1. The order of the verses varied a bit depending on which source I consulted (though they all agreed on which verse was first ... probably because most people only remember the first verse of songs :). Feel free to rearrange the verses if you are used to a different order.
  2. soië is to be pronounced roughly as if written (which matches the pronunciation [sjE] given in the table of articles).
  3. In several cases, i or u is meant to form a diphthong with the preceding vowel (and in one case, i is meant to be pronounced like y, to make Iainán into two syllables, as if spelt Yay-nán). If in doubt about the syllabisation, consult the sheet music.
  4. I'm using the plural verb with the singular noun corë ("court")... I hope this is permissible (after the British model, where singular nouns which are considered as a group can take a plural verb), since otherwise the rhythm doesn't fit so well :).
  5. I wasn't sure whether esan can take an imperative form in a sentence such as brac len esane fsëgdá. It seemed to make most sense to me. From the meter, Iesu, ut len eshele brac fsëgdá would also fit (with the second syllable of Iesu being sung for one note only), but that seemed more of an (unlikely) wish to me.
  6. I was so enamoured by how well taë fit into the last two notes of the song with its accent that I forgot that the dative, not the genitive, is used for relations with persons of higher rank than oneself. I hope poetic licence will apply here ;) -- otherwise, sing san-nam ta-ë as san-na-am tan.


Filipo Petrei Lebdaney

Mark responds:

Wow! It's rather neat to see Verdurian sheet music. It almost makes me want to devise a musical notation. :) And curiously, this is one of my favorite hymns, and I like to sing it in Latin. (I also made an Esperanto version once, in my misspent youth.)

Using i and u as optional diphthongs strikes me as a reasonable liberty to take, and I'm sure I've used esane as a 3rd-person imperative. I wouldn't use plural verbs directly with corë, but I can see going from shantano, which echoes the first line of the verse anyway, to an appositive corë.

For verse 2, I wonder if it might sound better as "Brac I-ai-ná-an, im oränan brac ilun". And for verse 3, perhaps "kedhul er rho fassul".

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