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What language is this?


ElaineDE 3 | 5
10 Jun 2010  #1
A year ago I posted a request for an old song to play at my dying mother's bedside. I thought it was Polish, but got a response that it was probably Hutsul. I'd like to ask again, because it might be a clue as to whether my grandfather was Polish or Ukrainian or Hutzul.

My elderly aunt remembers the song as being about a woman who went for a ride on an animal (she thought it would be a horse, but it might be a ram), and the animal threw her and she lost her teeth. Trying to write down the words as she sang them was quite a challenge for someone who doesn't know Polish:

She-la baba na barana
Je who ran na hu-beh
Baran pedna, peznu zu-beh

(Please forgive the mangling of the language!)

Someone replied:

"Most probably:
Sidari daǐdana, sila baba na barana,
Baran beĥnu, babu zvernu.

Hardly Polish.
Looks like some short song in Hutsul language.
But they were Polish citizen before ww2. "

I am hoping that someone might know if this song is part of the Hutsul language, or, if not, what it might be!
OP ElaineDE 3 | 5
11 Jun 2010  #3
Thanks. That really puzzles me. Grandfather was born in Narol, (Galicia) Poland. Grandmother was born in Jedrzejowka nearby.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
11 Jun 2010  #4
it's Slovakian

I wouldn't be so sure about that. It's really hard to say what the language is based on the transcription provided.
vetala - | 382
11 Jun 2010  #5
Hutsuls are simply Ukrainian highlanders from Carpathian mountains of which part is in Poland so some of them might have been Polish citizens. Galicia was very multi-cultural, it was inhabited by loads of nationalities. But first you should check the dialect of Polish Carpathian highlanders, it differs from regular Polish as well and is pretty similar to the dialect used by other Carpathian highlanders. In fact, all Slavic languages are pretty closely related so what you wrote could be in any Slavic language and dialect. For example in regular, dialect-free Polish it would be "siadła baba na barana jechała na..."

If your grandfather said that he was Polish then he probably was. Especially if he was a Roman Catholic. Knowing songs in foreign languages and dialects doesn't change a person's nationality.


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