19 April 2017

Grain names: KÉREN, LJAVER, BLÍDE, SWETE?



[047/11]
AMONG THA GÀRS.SÉDUM HÉDON WI
NAVT ALENA. KÉREN. LJAVER ÀND BLÍDE
MEN ÁK SWETE THÉR LIK GOLD BLIKTE (...)

Among the gras-seeds we
not only had Kearen, Lyaver and Bleade*,
but also a sweet variety that shone like gold (...)
*unknown what seeds are meant; some cognates below  
Or:
Among the grains we
not only had Selected, Preferred and Favourite,
but also the Sweet variety, which shone like gold (...)




KÉREN LJAVER BLÍDE SWETE
Ottema 1872 gerst (barley) haver (oats) rogge (rye) tarwe (wheat)
Sandbach 1876 barley oats rye wheat
Wirth 1933 Korn (grain) Haver (oats) Blyde (?) Swete (?)
Overwijn 1951 gerst (barley) haver (oats) stuifmeel (pollen) tarwe (wheat)
Jensma 2006 uitverkoren (chosen) lieve (beloved) blijde (blithe) zoete (sweet)
de Heer 2008 koren/gerst (barley) haver (oats) rogge (rye) zoete tarwe (sweet wheat)
Lien 2013 bygg (barley) havre (oats) rug (rye) hvete (wheat)
Menkens 2013 Gerste (barley) Hafer (oats) Roggen (rye) Weizen/Süßkorn (wheat/ sweet grain)

Notes
Ottema guessed BLÍDE is "rogge"/rye (without explicit reasoning) and this was copied by Sandbach, de Heer, Lien and Menkens. He translated KÉREN not as "koren", but as "gerst"/barley, which was copied by Sandbach, Overwijn, Lien en Menkens. Wirth was the first to be honest about the uncertainty of the translation, followed by Menkens. Overwijn was creative in translating BLÍDE, but I don't agree with his reasoning. Jensma translated from the assumption that the text was meant to be funny. It is possible that SWETE was meant as an adjective (meaning: "a sweet sort"), rather than as a noun.

at a harvest festival

Ottema 1872 Dutch
Onder de grasplanten hadden wij
niet alleen gerst, haver en rogge,
maar ook tarwe, die als goud blonk (...)


Sandbach 1876 English
In the fields we had
not only barley, oats, and rye,
but wheat which shone like gold
(...)

Wirth 1933 German 
Unter den Grassaaten hatten wir
nicht allein Korn, Haver und Blyde*,
sondern auch Swete**, die gleich Gold blinkten
(...)
*unbekannte Getreideart? (unknown cerial?)
**süße Äpfel? Ottema übersetzt "Weizen" (sweet apples? Ottema translates "wheat")


Overwijn 1951 Dutch
Onder de graszaden hadden wij
niet alleen gerst, haver en stuifmeel*,
maar ook tarwe, die als goud blonk
(...)
*blyde is van dezelfde stam, als het Franse "blé" = koren, dat is het Bretonse "bleud" = meel of stuifmeel, zodat stuifmeel de juiste vertaling moet zijn, want 'gemalen' meel is geen zaad, stuifmeel wél. (blyde is of the same stem as the French "blé" = cerial, which is the Breton "bleud" = flour or pollen; since 'grinded' flour is not a seed, the translation must be pollen) My comment: blé and bleud will be cognates, but the meaning has probably changed.

Jensma 2006 Dutch
Onder de graszaden hadden wij
niet alleen uitverkoren, lieve en blijde,
maar ook zoete*, die als goud blonk
(...)
*In de namen van deze 'fictieve' gewassen wordt de dubbelzinnigheid van vruchten en noten/ vreugde en genoten doorgezet. (In the names of these 'fictional' plants the ambiguity of fruits and nuts/ pleasure/ joy is continued.)

de Heer 2008 Dutch
Onder de graszaden hadden wij
niet alleen koren (gerst), haver en rogge
maar ook (zoete) tarwe, die als goud blonk
(...)

Raubenheimer 2011 (same grain names as Sandbach)

Lien 2013 Norse
Blant gressvekstene hadde vi
ikke bare bygg, havre og rug,
men også hvete som skinte lik gull
(...)

Menkens 2013 German
Unter den Gras-Saaten hatten wir
nicht nur/allein Gerste, Hafer und Roggen,
sondern auch Weizen/Süß(korn)*, der wie Gold blinkte
(...)
 *svvete; vgl. engl. wheat = Weizen ~ Die Übersetzung der Getreidesorten ist unsicher; es könnte auch eine unbekannte Getreideart dabei sein. (Translation of the cereals is uncertain; unknown varieties may be among them.)

###

Some cognates:

corn (maize) - english
koren (grain; wheat/tarwe, rye/rogge, barley/gerst) - Dutch
korn - german, norse, icelandic, swedish, danish

haver (oats) - english, dutch
hafer - german

possible cognates BLÍDE, besides blé and bleud: "blies" (chaff), "blaad" (flower, blossom, bloom, fruit)

Ambiguity:
KÉREN also means "chosen"; for example in EN FÁM WAS KÉREN
LJAVER could also means "rather, preferably" (Dutch: liever), related to LJAVDE (love), LJAWA (dear)
BLÍDE also means "happy, blithe"; for example in ALLE WÉRON BLÍDE
SWETE (also?) means "sweet"; for example in HJARA SWETE WINA



This example shows that when a modern word exists which is similar to the old word, it does not have to have the same meaning. Sometimes the same word has different meanings in different regions of the Netherlands. Meanings also change through time. This is the case with words in general, but in particular with names of animals and plants/ trees.


Other examples:
Dog in Dutch refers to a particular type of dog, the general word is hond, which is cognate of hound.
Big in Dutch does not mean pig, but piglet. The general word is varken, but the German cognate of that - Ferkel - means piglet.

(I will think of more examples.)

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