Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More meanderings on Hiraeth/Saudade


A friend, Slim Russell, noted the similarity between the Welsh hiraeth and Portuguese saudade, not knowing the linguistic relationship. These are from some notes I wrote to her.

Well, it's not so strange a connection in that Portuguese/Galego (Galician) and Welsh are related, both stemming from the same Gaulish-Celtic ancestor...and that strange melancholia was a noted trait among the Celts.

The Welsh hiraeth, Breton hiraezh, Cornish hyreth, and Irish sireacht (shiracht), all stem from the Celtic root word, siros, which is related to Latin serus—which evolved into Portuguese/Galician via Iberian Celtic speakers, full circle to Saudade. Galicians also use morriña, that's extreme saudade on steroids.

Portuguese/Galician Gaulish had many similarities to Irish (Q-Celtic) vs Gaulish, from which Welsh (P-Celtic) stems. Of course Portuguese/Galician evolved from Iberian, or Atlantic Celts trying to speak Latin, language of the conquerors.
"Hiraeth is a Welsh word for which there is no direct English translation: homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past.

Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of saudade (a key theme in Fado music), Brazilian Portuguese banzo (more related to homesickness), Galician morriña, Romanian dor, Russian toska and Ethiopian tizita."  —Wiki
"Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician (from which it entered Spanish) that claims no direct translation in English. ...Saudade is also associated with Galicia, where it is used similarly to the word morriña (longingness). Yet, morriña often implies a deeper stage of saudade, a "saudade so strong it can even kill," as the Galician saying goes. Morriña was a term often used by emigrant Galicians when talking about the Galician motherland they left behind. Although saudade is also a Galician word, the meaning of longing for something that might return is generally associated with morriña. A literary example showing the understanding of the difference and the use of both words is the song Un canto a Galicia by Julio Iglesias."   —Wiki

One of my favorite songs of Cesária Evora, is Sodade. (Cape Verde spelling.)
Y un canto a Galicia, desde Julio Iglesias, who is Galician.

It's Pearl Harbor Day, a good a day as any to suffer from a case of saudade or hiraeth.


Longing/Saudade/Hiraeth  A blog I wrote on saudade/hiraeth.
and another on Hiraeth.

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