List of Kalevala translations

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A list of translations of the Finnish national epic Kalevala in chronological order by language.

Based partially on the list made by Rauni Puranen and the article here.

Language Year Translator Remark
Swedish 1841 M. A. Castrén Full translation of the 1835 Old Kalevala.
1864–1868 Karl Collan Full translation of the 1849 Kalevala.
1884 Rafaël Hertzberg
1944 Olaf Homén An abridged edition
1948 Björn Collinder
1999 Lars Huldén and Mats Huldén
French 1845 and 1867 Louis Léouzon le Duc An important translation used by many other translators to bring Kalevala to their own language.
1926 Charles Guyot Abridged version of Louis Léouzon le Duc's translation.
1927 Jean Louis Perret Full translation in metric verse.
1991 Gabriel Rebourcet Full translation. In old style French vocabulary.
German 1840 N. Mühlberg The first 60 lines of the first song, published in: Verhandlungen der gelehrten Esthnischen Gesellschaft zu Dorpat. Ersten Bandes erstes Heft. 1840, 94-96.
1848 Jacob Grimm A short 38 line reading at a presentation in the Berlin Academy of Sciences.
1852 Franz Anton Schiefner A very important translation used by many other translators to bring Kalevala to their own language.
1885–1886 H. Paul
1967 Lore Fromm, Hans Fromm Full translation directly from Finnish.
2004[1] Gisbert Jänicke Full translation.
English 1868 John Addison Porter Partial translation (The story of Aino[2]) via Franz Anton Schiefner's translation.
1869 Edward Taylor Fletcher Partial translation directly from Finnish (with a lengthy essay).
1888[3] John Martin Crawford Full translation, via Franz Anton Schiefner's translation.
1893[4][5] R. Eivind A complete prose adaptation for children.
1907[6][7] William Forsell Kirby Second full translation. Directly from Finnish. Imitates the Kalevala meter.
1950[4] Aili Kolehmainen Johnson Abridged prose translation.
1954[4] Margaret Sperry Adapted verse translation of song 50.
1963 Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr. Scholarly prose translation. Included with detailed essays and background information.
1969 Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr. Scholarly prose translation of the 1835 Old Kalevala.
1977 Ursula Synge Abridged prose version. Using W.F.Kirby's translation as a reference.
1989 Eino Friberg Editing and introduction by George C. Schoolfield. Imitates the Kalevala meter selectively. The songs in this version are also not of the same length or structure as in the original.[8] Released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the original publication.
1989 Keith Bosley Uses a syllabic verse form to allow for accuracy and metrical variety; released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the original publication. Subsequently published as an audiobook read by the translator himself in 2013.
1992 Mauri Kunnas The "Canine Kalevala" is that of The Kalevala with the characters presented as anthropomorphized dogs, wolves and cats. The story deviates from the full Kalevala, presumably, to make the story more appropriate for children.
Hungarian 1871 Ferdinánd Barna Full translation via Franz Anton Schiefner's translation.
1909[9] Béla Vikár
1971 Kálmán Nagy
1976 István Rácz
1985[10] Antal Reguly Old Kalevala songs 1-3 and 29.
1987 Imre Szente
Russian 1888[11] Leonid Petrovic Belsky An important translation used by many other Slavic translators to bring Kalevala to their own language.
1998[12] & 2006[10] Eino Kiuru and Armas Hiiri
Estonian 1891–1898 M. J. Eisen
1938 August Annist
Czech 1894–1895 J. Holeček Full translation in metric verse.
Ukrainian 1901 Jevhen Tymčenko
Danish 1902 Ferdinand Ohrt Partial translation.
1994 Hilkka and Bent Søndergaard
Italian 1909[13] Igino Cocchi Verse translation (hendecasyllable)
1910[14] Paolo Emilio Pavolini Verse translation (original metre)
1912[13] Francesco Di Silvestri Falconieri Prose translation
1980 Liliana Calimeri Used Ursula Synge's version as a model.
1988[13] Gabriella Agrati and Maria Letizia Magini Prose translation
2007[13] Marcello Ganassini Verse translation (blank verses)
Lithuanian 1922 Adolfas Sabaliauskas
1972 Justinas Marcinkevičius
Latvian 1924[10] Linards Laicens
1965  ? Uses trochaic tetrameter and syllable stress rhythm.
Dutch 1928[10] Maya Tamminen Partial prose translation.
1940[10] Jan H. Eekhout. An excerpt in poetic form.
1969 Jr. Henrik Hartwijk Translation of song #5. Published in the Yearbook of the Kalevala Society.
1985[10] Maria Mies le Nobel Utilised German as well as English translations in his translation process.
Serbian 1935 Ivan S. Šajković
Japanese 1937 Kakutan Morimoto
1961[10] Tsutomu Kuwaki
1976 Tamotsu Koizumi
Spanish 1944 Alejandro Casona Based on Charles Guyot's version.
1953 María Dolores Arroyo Partial translation via Perret's French and Pavolini's Italian translations
1985 Ursula Ojanen and Joaquín Fernández Full translation directly from Finnish.
1995 Carmen Crouzeilles Abridged prose translation. Published in Buenos Aires.
1999 Juan B. Bergua
Romanian 1946 Barbu B. Brezianu's Full prose translation.
1959 Iulian Vesper Full translation using an eight syllable verse form.
1985[10] P. Starostin Published in Moldovan which is identical to Romanian. Abridged translation.
Hebrew 1954 Saul Tschernichovsky
1978 Sarah Tubia
Yiddish 1954 Hersh Rosenfeld
Belarusian 1956[10] M. Mašapa Prose and poetry excerpts.
Icelandic 1957 & 1962[10] Karl Ísfeld This translation utilises the Icelandic "three-par" alliteration method.
Chinese 1962 Shih Hêng Translated via the Russian translation.
1981[15] Sun Yong Translated via W.F.Kirby's English translation.
2000[10] Zhang Hua Wen
Esperanto 1964 Johan Edvard Leppäkoski Full translation in Kalevala meter, published as trochaic octometers (one for every two Finnish verses) with mandatory central caesura
Turkish 1965[16] Hilmi Ziya Ülken Translation of the first 2 songs. Using the Hungarian and French as basis. Published in the Yearbook of the Kalevala Society, volume 43 (1963)
1982 Lale and Muammar Oğuz Full interpreted prose translation. Missing 25% of the original content for artistic purposes.
Norwegian 1967 Albert Lange Fliflet Nynorsk language translation. Based on an earlier unpublished translation.
Georgian 1969[10] M. Macavarian, Š. Tšantladze & G. Dzneladze.
Arabic 1970 Muhamed Said al-Juneid Abridged translation published in the yearbook of the Kalevala Society.
1991 Sahban Ahmad Mroueh
Armenian 1972[10] A. Siras. Proosaa Abridged prose translation.
Polish 1974 Józef Ozga-Michalski Full translation based on the work of Karol Laszecki.
1998 Jerzy Litwiniuk Full translation
Komi 1980 & 1984[10] Adolf Turkin Partial translation (Väinämöinen's playing and song 10.)
Fulani 1983 Alpha A. Diallo Book was published in Hungary, illustrated with Akseli Gallen-Kallela's artwork.
Tulu 1985 Amrith Someshwar Used Keith Bosley's Wanton Loverboy to aid in the translation of some parts.
Latin 1986 Tuomo Pekkanen
Vietnamese 1986 Cao Xuân Nghiêp Full prose translation.
1991 Hoàng Thái Anh Full prose translation.
1994 Búi Viêt Hòa's Full translation in metrical verse.
Slovak 1986[10] Marek Svetlik & Jan Petr Velkoborský.
Hindi 1990 & 1997[10] Vishnu Khare
Slovene 1991 Jelka Ovaska Novak Partial translation.
1997 Jelka Ovaska Novak Full translation.
Swahili 1992 Jan Knappert Illustrated with Tanzanian Robino Ntila's graphics.
Bulgarian 1992 Nino Nikolov
Greek 1992 [10] Maria Martzouk Verse translation of the first 20 poems with prose translation of the rest.
Faroese 1993 Jóhannes av Skarði
Tamil 1994[17] R. Sivalingam (Uthayanan) Full translation. Introduction by Asko Parpola.
Catalan 1997 Ramon Garriga i Marquès, Pirkko-Merja Lounavaara Full translation directly from Finnish.
1997 Encarna Sant-Celoni i Verger Abridged translation.
Persian 1998 Mahmoud Amir Yar Ahmadi and Mercedeh Khadivar Mohseni Full translation directly from Finnish.
Kannada 2001 Dr K R Sandhya Reddy Full translation from English.
Macedonian 1998 Vesna Acevska
Croatian 2001 Stjepan A. Szabo Partial translation in narrative form.
2006 Slavko Peleh Full translation using the German translation partially.
Low German 2001[10] Herbert Strehmel.
Oriya 2001[10] Mahendra Kumar Mishra Prose translation.
Udmurt 2001[10] Anatoli Uvarov Summary.
Veps 2003[10] Nina Zaiceva Verse summary.
Portuguese 2007 Orlando Moreira Full translation from an English version.
2009 José Bizerril and Álvaro Faleiros Partial translation. Only the first song.
2009 Ana Soares & Merja de Mattos-Parreira Full translation from Finnish; in verse; with critical introduction, and hundreds of footnotes.
Meänkieli 2007[10] Bengt Pohjanen Translation of a select four songs.


  1. ^ "National epic "The Kalevala" reaches the respectable age of 175". Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  2. ^ John Martin Crawford. "Kalevala - The national epic of Finland" Preface to the First edition, (1888).
  3. ^ "Kalevala: The Epic Poem of Finland". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr. "The Kalevala or Poems of the Kaleva district" Appendix (1963).
  5. ^ "Finnish Legends for English Children". Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Kalevala: The land of heroes - Vol 1.". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Kalevala: The land of heroes - Vol 2.". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ Eino Friberg. "Kalevala - Epic of the Finnish people" Introduction of the first edition, (1989).
  9. ^ "KALEVALA SZEMELVÉNYEK A FINNEK NAIV EPOSZÁBÓL.". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Kalevalan käännökset ja kääntäjät". Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Leonid Petrovic Belsky - Калевала". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Eino Kiuru and Armas Hiiri - Калевала". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Paolo Emilio Pavolini - KALEVALA - Introduzione". Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Paolo Emilio Pavolini - KALEVALA". Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sun Yong - Kalevala". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  16. ^ Hilmi Ziya Ülken. "Turkish translation of The Kaevala Runos 1 and 2" Yearbook of the Kalevala Society, volume 43 (1963)..
  17. ^ "R. Sivalingam - KALEVALA". Retrieved August 19, 2010.