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NAVNKALD (?)

English translation: switch partners, squaredance

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Danish term or phrase:navnekald
English translation:switch partners, squaredance
Entered by: SeiTT
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16:34 Jan 15, 2004
Danish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
Danish term or phrase: NAVNKALD (?)
NAVNKALD (?)

Hi,

I'm reading an Icelandic book which mentions a custom (nafnakall) which was common at Icelandic balls towards the end of the nineteenth century; apparently this custom originated in Denmark, the then colonial power.

The following paragraph describes this very custom, but it is impossible to translate properly without a knowledge of the custom itself. None of my Icelandic informants knew of the custom, or was able to discover anything about it. So, what I’ve decided to do is to quote the paragraph in the original Icelandic and my admittedly poor attempt at an English translation and just hope someone recognises the custom – perhaps they might also understand some Icelandic too, one never knows!

Incidentally, Jón is the most beloved (and richest) lad in the valley, and Anna is his fiancée. The object of this custom must be to give everyone a chance to dance with Jón and to stop his clingy fiancée monopolising him...

104:19 María sá vel hvað henni leið. Hún beið þess með óþreyju,
104:20 að Jón dansaði við hana. Loks kom röðin að henni í
104:21 "nafnakalli". Það var alltaf siður, að Jón héti tilkomumesta
104:22 nafninu. Það var nefnt eftir fornaldarhetjum. María
104:23 átti að nefna. Hún nefndi sjálfa sig Jökul. Það myndi
104:24 honum líka verða gefið. Og það varð. Þau fóru út á gólfið.
María clearly saw what Anna was going through. She waited impatiently for Jón to dance with her. At last it was her turn to call out the dancing name she had chosen. It had always been the custom for Jón to get the most imposing name. The names of the heroes of Old Iceland were used, and it was María’s turn to call out. She called herself Jökull, and he would be given the same name, which was exactly how it turned out. They went onto the floor.

Anway, what I’m hoping for are 1. the original Danish word and 2. an English translation, which needn’t be one word – a full explanation would be just fine, in as many words as are necessary!

All the best,

Simon
SeiTT
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
switch partners (or) squaredance
Explanation:
The English "game" for "navnekald". The closest I can think of that is similar to the Danish dancegame is "switch partners" in that it is performed in a similar manner, where a "caller" or "danceleader" will say "switch partners" and then people dance with another partner, etc. Otherwise it might be the squaredance routine where the "caller" calls out the names for the routine changes. With the rest of the text, you might be able to deciver which routine it is, eg "switch partner" or squaredancing.
Selected response from:

Suzanne Blangsted
Local time: 15:45
Grading comment
many thanks, excellent

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4switch partners (or) squaredanceSuzanne Blangsted


  

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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
switch partners (or) squaredance


Explanation:
The English "game" for "navnekald". The closest I can think of that is similar to the Danish dancegame is "switch partners" in that it is performed in a similar manner, where a "caller" or "danceleader" will say "switch partners" and then people dance with another partner, etc. Otherwise it might be the squaredance routine where the "caller" calls out the names for the routine changes. With the rest of the text, you might be able to deciver which routine it is, eg "switch partner" or squaredancing.

Suzanne Blangsted
Local time: 15:45
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2737
Grading comment
many thanks, excellent
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