I sure hope I titled the post usefully
Language and its research is an amazing tool that allows us understand a lot about a culture that speaks it. For example, Khajiit's known "May your roads lead to warm sands" already tells us about the homeland of the said race (which is indeed a desert), their views on good things (warm sands being a good destination wished upon you) and their very nature (khajiit literally being translated to desert-walker). But sheer scale of TES world makes it harder for developers to describe every little detail like this, so it is indeed a canvas for our imagination.Due to limits of our knowledge on everyday life of Mer, I'd like to take a liberty and propose you a pair of Russian epithets that, in my humble opinion, would blend into named cultures seamlessly.
Two epithets I'm talking about are "Со́кол я́сный" and "Свет оче́й (мои́х)", both commonly used in folklore and poetry as terms of endearment.
Little note – in Russian adjectives can be used both before and after the noun it describes, meaning mostly doesn't change so don't mind the changes of word order.
"Со́кол я́сный" (transcription:
, transliteration: sokol yasniy) literally translates to "Clear falcon" or "Bright falcon", but for reasons explained later I'll bring it down to "Fair falcon".
Word я́сный has multiple meanings1. This way clear sky is ясное небо, bright moon is ясный месяц, logical mind is ясный ум. But the epithet "Ясный сокол" is used only as a term of endearmant addressing a man, and in folclore the most notable case of using of this epithet is addressed towards a very handsome young man (fairytale about the Phynnist the Falcon, *"Пёрышко Финниста Ясна сокола"*2). Therefore I believe using "Fair falcon" is allowed.
As I already said, "Fair falcon" and its forms like "Сокол / Falcon" and "Соколи́к / Little falcon" are used as a term of endearment addressed to men and, in some cases, horses (though it is considered obsolete in this regard). Examples being:
"Ты мой ясный сокол" – "You (are) my fair falcon", the most simple example of using this epithet.
"Приезжай ты к нам, соколик мой ясный, (..)" – "Come to us, my fair falcon", from Pushkin's novel Dubrovsky (Дубровский)3.
"(..) дай время мне // Задушить грусть, печаль выплакать, // На тебя, на ясна сокола… (..) " – "Give me time to strangle sadness, to cry out grief onto you, onto fair falcon" from Koltsov's poem Separation (Разлука).
I feel like an analogue to this epithet would blend in nicely into Mer cultures due to symbolic meaning and a certain fascination with Eagles specific to those nations. During my research I couldn't find information on possible counterparts of this epithet in other languages.
"Свет оче́й (мои́х)" (transcription:
Unlike "Fair falcon", "Light of my eyes" has its counterparts in other languages – Italian Luce dei miei occhi and Spanish Luz de mis ojos. Word "очи", plural to "око", comes from old Russian. Everyday word for eyes is "глаза", word "око/очи" on the other hand has gained a poetic tone to it, therefore its usage is kinda limited. For example, in Russian adaptation of Skyrim The Eye of Magnus was translated as "Око Магнуса"4.
"Light of eyes" is a bit tricky in its usage, because it can be used to describe someone's sight or just eyes. So, while searching for an example of using "Light of my eyes", I've seen examples like "Очей горящих" or "Burning eyes" in Lomonosov's work, "Полулукавый свет очей" or "Halfsly light of eyes" – in Tyutchev's and "Туман (..) // И омрачает свет очей" or "Fog darkens light of eyes" in already mentioned Koltsov's.
As term of endearment, I found an example of its using in Zhukovsky's poem Svetlana (Светлана): "Радость, свет моих очей, // Нет для нас разлуки." – "Joy, light of my eyes, // There's no separation for us."
Other forms of "Light of (my) eyes" include "(мой) Свет" or"(my) Light", "Светик" or "Little light", both used, for example, in Krylov's The Crow and The Fox.
Regarding this one, I feel like it can be applied not only to Mer cultures, but it is often used as counterpart to "Fair falcon" when looking for information for both metioned epithets, so it did stick to me. Those sources also claim that "Light of my eyes" is addressed only to men because Man is light of life for women while cases of actually using it state different thing so I would not recommend believing this idea. Second most popular idea on usage of both epithets claims "Fair falcon" addresses only men while "Light of my eyes" only women, but I couldn't find any proof to that in trustworthy sources.
What do you think? I'd be happy to hear your opinions on this! Maybe you too have some real life epithets that could blend nicely into different TES nations' culture?
Notes: There's also third epithet I believe could blend into TES societies well, that being "Душа (моя)" and its variation *"Душенька"*5, which translates to "(my) Soul" and "Little soul". It feels appropriate to believe that inhabitants of Tamriel could call their significant others "my soul" due to the importance of one's soul in TES universe, but I feel like it might have been already used ingame, so I left it out.
2 – I find simmilarity between names Phynnist and Phynaster amusing so if you are interested in learning more – here's a wiki page about this fairytale containing synopsis, here's text of it in English (though it's not literal translation and more of an adaptation, from the first look I notice a lot of additional dialogue), here's the text of it in Russian and here's a bit more on Phynnist's character.
3 – If for any reason you're interested in checking out sources of examples I mentioned, here they are: Pushkin's Дубровский, Koltsov's Разлука, Lomonosov's Ода… на взятие Хотина, Tyutchev's Как летней иногда порою, Koltsov's Осень, Zhukovsky's Светлана,
5 – little offtopic note but Russian "little soul" is funny because "душенька" means good thing, like "little cute soul", while "душонка", which also means "little soul", means a bad thing, more like "petty soul".
TL;DR: Russian terms of endearment "Fair falcon" and "Light of my eyes" would blend nicely into our interpretation of Mer cultulers imo. Might also add "My soul" to the list but it might've been used already.
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