Posted on February 5, 2016
Today is the birthday of Finland's national poet!
Johan Ludwig Runeberg, born on this date in 1804, lived in the region we now know as Finland. When he was born, it was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden (and, indeed, he spoke and wrote in Swedish), and when he died, it was part of the Russian Empire – but he was always a Finn.
He wrote mostly about life in rural Finland, and he told the tales of people who sacrificed and worked hard to succeed – people who also gave generously to others. He also wrote an epic poem about the Finnish War, when Sweden lost Finland and the Russian Empire gained it.
Runeberg's epic points out the humanity of all sides in the war: the Swedes, the Russians, and the Finns. But the poem emphasizes the courage and heroism of the Finns.
Here is another of Runeberg's poems:
I enjoyed reading that poem, but a part of me was wondering how the translator managed to achieve such good rhythm and rhyme while translating from Swedish to English. The translator would have HAD to have changed the poem to do so, right?
So I googled, “How do translators keep rhyme in poems that they translate?” And I found out that translators have to make a ton of decisions when translating anything, but especially poetry or song lyrics. Here is an article that explains seven possible options for translating poetry.
Check out Finland...
In Finland (and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere) it is still winter. Winter in Finland looks like this: (Shiver!)
|Depending on the day or year, there may be enough|
snow to practically bury cars...
...or just enough to frost every twig on every branch
on every tree.
|Cool sights include an amazing sculpture...|
...and a hotel made up of glass igloos!
|In Helsinki, you can skate...|
...or take a wintery walk in the park.
|What's better than a snow-covered forest?|
The snow-covered forest topped with some
amazing Northern Lights!
|Have a great day, Finland!|
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