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The Hans Christian Andersen Center

In the newspaper Kjbenhavnsposten ('the Copenhagen post') 12th October 1829 a Greenlandic translation of Hans Christian Andersen's poem "The dying child" was published: "Merak tokolersok", translated by missionary Knud Kjer. In the paper the translation was printed aside with the Danish original. Part of Kjer's letter to the newspaper editor served as an introduction. It is, of course, in Danish:

Ved et venskabeligt Laan har jeg i dette Foraar gjort Bekjendtskab med frste Aargang af Deres Blad. Jeg fandt det lille Digt med Overskrift "Det dende Barn", i No. 77, saa smukt, at jeg prvede paa i Grnlands Sprog at give det lige saa simpelt og naivt som Originalen, og giver mig den Frihed, hosstaaende at sende Dem Oversttelsen, i det Haab, at en saadan, i et Sprog, i hvilket metriske Oversttelser ere saa sjeldne og saa vanskelige, ikke vil vre uden Interesse for Dem eller Deres Lsere. – Jeg anmrker, at den, for her i Landet at have noget Vrd, maatte kunne synges, og at den derfor er indrettet til Melodien af "Midnatstimen i Taarnet slaaer", med en saadan Forandring i Versemaalet, at anden og 4de Strophe have faaet et lige Tal af Pedes [lige mange versefdder].

Holsteinborg d. 7 Julii 1829.
rbdigst
Kjer.
Mission. ord.

Johan de Mylius writes in his book 'The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day', 1998, 12th October 1829, that "HCA jokes about it in a letter to Edvard Collin dated 15th June 1830, in which he mentions a certain Miss Scheel, 'who is very enamoured with my poems', but not surprisingly, as;"

this is something I am quite accustomed to on Sealand, in Jutland and on Funen. Yes, I have quite possibly won many a heart in Greenland for my Dying Child.

Merak tokolersok.

Kassukaunga ananang – !
Sinitsiarmilanga!
Kijank! – sardliardlunga
Sinek saissegingma!

Kijank! – tupedler imm!
Kijaneret ou nakau;
Timmingoavkut niglerse!
Kamnalo annordlerkau.

Singub kassursarpanga
Nuennarkemionga;
Sinektorsin narangama
Engelit tekkoaka.

Sennimne irsigiuk
Isarolik Engele, Erinalo tussaviuk?
Tussarnekau kissime!

Sullnueenik atatavta
Pirksoma tunninerpa?
Sullukaissanermy onga
Mane innutidlunga?

Imakale tokoguma
Isarokaissersonga?
O kallungna, ananang – !
Sadlunga pissegingma!

Sang erkipinga arksavkut
Sikkitidlungalo?
Ounakautin ullursavkut
Kausersinnardiutidlo!

Pigituinaissauarma
Annersarolukennk!
Kijavit? kijalerponga!
Arnaga kijakennk!

Kassugaluktnarponga
Sikkorngeromarponga!
Irsiginiaissegingma,
Engelib kuningmanga!

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