Monday, December 28, 2015

Music on My Mind

Chisu, "Tuu mua vastaan".

Trying to work through the lyrics of this song is a bit baffling; it's filled with colloquial and dialectal terms that are not easily recognized if you don't already know them and phrases no real person would ever say so they can't be guessed at beforehand. I had never seen mua before; it's a version of the first-person pronoun, as if Finnish needed yet more pronoun forms. The more formal form, I take it, would be minua. Tuu I don't recognize, but it seems to be related to tulla, and in particular to the imperative form tule, 'come'. Vastaan is one of those words that has infinite shades of meaning depending on how exactly it is used; its basic meaning is something like 'over against', but it can mean lots of other things derived from this. The lyrics translation sites translate tuu mua vastaan as 'come meet me', which I would never have guessed, but makes some sense.

There are a number of other words you wouldn't normally expect to hear, like Venukselta. The -lta ending means 'off of', so the phrase astun alas Venukselta means 'I will step down off of Venus'. So now you can use the phrase if you ever happen to be in Finland and have an occasion to make people think you are crazy. Although, to be sure, for all I know people in Finland might say things like this all the time.

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