Song Lyric Comparison: “Innkuan Ki-it Le(a)ng”

I was listening to some videos posted by Sizang Burmese Mission Church (link in the right-hand side of this site), and came across a post-wedding prayer service for the bride and groom.  Before the end of the service, held in the bridegroom’s home, a hymn was sung.  I don’t have a Sizang Hymnal, but I have a Tedim Hymnal.  Being curious as to whether this song was in the hymnal, I searched arbitrarily for the word innkuan (family), which was often said in the song.  Sure enough, I found the hymn on page 400 of Tedim Labu (Staff Notation), called “Innkuan Ki-it Leng”.

As I read along, however, I heard distinct differences in the lyrics.  Sometimes it was only a standard /s/ –>/tʰ/ transformation (ex. siangtho in Tedim is Thiangtho in Sizang “holy”), but certain words, such as leng in the Tedim title became something like /lɪaː/ as I listened.  The audio wasn’t that clear, so I decided to look on SBMC’s website to see if they had any song lyrics posted.  They do on their downloads page, so I looked in the songbook, and sure enough, found the Sizang version: “Inkuan Ki-it Leang”.  Let me put the lyrics side-by-side for you all to compare.  The verses are the 1st and 2nd, but the choruses are from the 3rd.

Tedim Sizang
I kimkot teng kilawmna,
Innkuan ki-it leng;
Aw ging khempeuh lungdamna, Innkuan ki-it leng;
Lungnopna le kicinna,
Kiheina teng maitaina;
Hun khempeuh nuam mahmah a, Innkuan ki-it leng.
Ih kiimkot teng ki itna
Innkuan ki it leang;
Aw nging theampo lungdamna,
Innkuan ki it leang;
Thinnopna le ki cinna
Omna po ah maitai na;
Hun theampo nuam lalawm a, Innkuan ki it leang.
Bukno khat sung zong nuamna, Innkuan ki-it leng;
Huatna enna omlohna,
Innkuan ki-it leng;
I paina teng ah nuamna,
Leitung khempeuh lungdamna;
Lungdamna dim nuntakna,
Innkuan ki-it leng.
Buukno khat sung zong nopna Innkuan ki it leang;
Huatsa ki een om ngawl na
Innkuan ki it leang.
Ih paina teng ah nopna,
Leitung theampo lungdamna;
Lungdamna dim nuntakna
Innkuan ki it leang.
Innkuan sung ki-it leng,
Pasian van pan hong nuihpih,
Innkuan ki-it leng.
Innkuan sung ki it leang
Pathian van pan hong nui pui,
Innkuan ki it leang.

Looking at a few things between the two, we can see where there are glottal stops in certain Tedim words (reflected by in the orthography) verses the possible lack of the glottal stop in the Sizang words.  E.g. <nuihpih> vs. <nui pui>.  The reverse also happens, where there is a glottal in Sizang, but not in Tedim: S: <Ih> vs. T: <I>.  We also see complete word replacements: <khempeuh> –> <theampo>, <mahmah> –> <lalawm>, vowel length: T: <bukno> vs S: <buukno>, large inflections: T: <nuamna> S: <nopna>.

It’s interesting to reflect on these differences, and it makes me wonder if there is also a difference in the meaning of each word.  E.g. although mahmah in Tedim may morphologically equate to lalawm in Sizang, is there a semantical difference between the two words?  Or is lalawm not at all related to mahmah but placed there for semantic reasons?  These are things that keep me up at night…

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Mang pha maw,
Mang Thian Khual

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2 Responses to Song Lyric Comparison: “Innkuan Ki-it Le(a)ng”

  1. Thang Muang says:

    lalawm got the same meaning as mahmah. There is no difference.

    Like

    • Win Hein says:

      Kibang a hi le, bang hang “mahmah” bek lai at ngawl ziam ci khi. “Lalawm” le “mahmah” ii meaning te kibang hi hangin, kammal te sia kibang ngawl. Hi tana kei atu satewinsarna a hi hi.

      Like

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