nicu (pour_vrai) wrote in linguaphiles,

Finnish folk song lyrics - gibberish?

About "Ievan Polkka" (made internets-popular via the Leekspin meme): I know absolutely no Finnish, so I'm having fun doing some rudimentary decoding with the help of a side-by-side English translation (bottom of page).

Each stanza contains a slightly different line about "dancing to and fro", which I'm guessing corresponds to the line ending in "laiasta laitaan" in Finnish. Each stanza then ends with the following line, always the same (when sung, abbreviated in the written version): Salivili hipput tupput täppyt äppyt tipput hilijalleen. Unless I'm wrong about the "laiasta laitaan" bit, there doesn't seem to be anything provided in English for this line. There are also a couple of gibberish verses (the Leekspin bit) not included in either written version. Is "salivili..." gibberish as well, or can someone explain what it means?

(Why do I care so much? So far, it's the only line I can actually pronounce/sing along to...)

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