Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

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Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

Postby Bluggo » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:42 pm UTC

Dear clever people,

I am starting to look for a Christmas present for my little sister, who is studying Finnish at the university and lately has been getting very much into Finnish and Norse mythology.

I was thinking about getting her a bilingual, illustrated copy of the Kalevala, but I can not seem to find any: I found this quite surprising, since it is a quite important poem - oh well, if I can not find it I will probably just buy a Finnish copy and an English translation.

Do you have suggestions about what edition to choose, or about other potentially interesting poems?

I also thought about getting her the Edda or the Nibelungenlied, but frankly I know next to nothing about these poems: in your opinion, what could be a nice gift for a very bright 20 years old girl who likes mythology, freezing cold and strange languages?

Thanks!
Mary Ellen Rudin wrote:Let X be a set. Call it Y.
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Re: Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

Postby dhpe » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:56 am UTC

Although Kalevala indeed is perhaps the most significant piece of Finnish literature, I'd like to warn you that the language used in Kalevala is really old and it is pretty hard to understand even for native speakers. That kind of language is completely out of use in modern Finland. The Finnish language has transformed quite a bit since the Kalevala was written in the 1800s. I wouldn't read Kalevala if I were learning the language. But as she is interested in Finnish mythology, and if she already knows Finnish very well, then she might actually enjoy it.
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Re: Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

Postby Rusty » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:34 am UTC

As far as I'm aware (not being a Finnish speaker) the beauty of the Kalevala in the original Finnish is its rhythm, so the best translations are going to be those that keep that rhythm. For this, I think the first English translation by John Martin Crawford is the best I've seen (looksie). The bad news is, if you want a nice illustrated version then the Crawford edition I have is rubbish - just all text, and in a crappy font too. There are others which translate it more word-for-word, but the ones I've started to read have just sounded clunky in comparison. So in conclusion, erm, I don't really know.

EDIT: The edition I have is ISBN: 0766189384. There may be other editions of Crawford's translation which are much better to look at.
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Re: Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

Postby Bluggo » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:09 pm UTC

Thanks!
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Re: Kalevala: no bilingual editions?

Postby Дерсу Узала » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

In case anyone comes across this thread, and wonders whether there are still no bilingual (English, Finnish) editions available, I have found one, which is just a side-by-side publishing of the Finnish original and the (rather literal) 1907 Kriby translation, both texts from Proj. Gutenberg.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/elias-l%C3%B6n ... 5489BBB8B8
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