Can you read/translate this Danish-language handwriting?
September 13, 2014 8:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a photograph of my 3-greats grandfather, who was born in Denmark in 1848 and died in Iowa in 1926. There's text on the reverse of the image that is in Danish. I don't know what it says. Do you? Difficulty level: old person's crabbed handwriting. Thanks!
posted by That's Numberwang! to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is very difficult for me, I do Svenska and tried this as well. Some words I cannot make out at all. I can make out the words ballad of your father and that something is very good. I hope someone else can do this for you. I wish you the best of luck.
posted by Fayrose at 10:02 PM on September 13, 2014

Best answer: Norwegian guy here. I read it roughly as follows: Da jeg har et bilde af din far som soldat, skal du have det. Det er vel 50 aar gammelt, ja mere. Han var mig en hov broder og jeg (tror?) han har varet en god mand og far. Velsignet være hans minde.

This means: As I have a picture of your father as a soldier, you shall have it. It is probably 50 years old, or more. He was a wonderful brother to me, and he was a good man and father. Blessed be his memory.
posted by edlundart at 10:17 PM on September 13, 2014 [12 favorites]

Response by poster: Longtime family mystery solved! Thank you very much.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 11:16 PM on September 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Confirmation here from Denmark :) well done!
posted by alchemist at 12:26 AM on September 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I sent this to my mom. Her early-morning translation at it was very similar to edlundart's:

What I have is picture of your Father when he was a soldier, Will you have it It is really 50 years old or more. He was to me [half?] Brother (or brother in arms?} and it is my belief he was a good Man and Father. Blessed be his Memory.

We got off on a sidetrack of figuring out his uniform (we thought at first it was US Army, but the insignia weren't right ... and his census record/boat records says he emigrated in 1877). Is that a Danish army uniform? Did he fight in the German/Danish War (aka the Second Schleswig War) in 1864? (Sorry if this is intrusive! We got curious.)
posted by julen at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2014

Response by poster: I don't know for sure that he was in the Second Schleswig War, but that was the only war from that time and in that area that I can think of, so I suspect he was. That will be the next part of my research.

Thanks to all for your help!
posted by That's Numberwang! at 10:57 AM on September 14, 2014

looking at the pic, the uniform looks a lot like this one, and this one. (just fyi - I am not a uniform specialist)

The description is: Dansk officers uniform ca.1910-15 artilleriet. Benklæder syet i uld, med livvide ca. 86 cm. skridtlængde: 84 cm. Uniformsjakke, dobbeltradet med gyldne knapper, skulderdistingtioner i guldtrækkerarbejde og monteret med primiere løjtnantsdistingtioner (2 stjerner). på indersiden påsyet mærke: Forsvarets materiel intendantur. Karmosinrød krave, på benklæderne ditto dobbelt galeoner. tilhørende frakke udført i svært uldent stof, distingtioner i guldtrækkerarbejde, med to stjerner Pr.Løjtnant af artilleriet..

translated to: Danish officer's uniform around 1910-15 artillery
Danish officer's uniform ca.1910-15 artillery. Trousers made of wool, with Waist approximately 86 cm. Stride length: 84 cm. Uniform jacket, double-breasted with gold buttons, shoulderdistinctions in gold pulls work and mounted with primiere løjtnantsdistingtioner (2 stars). on the inside sewn tag: Defence equipment intendancy. Crimson-red collar, on the trousers ditto double galleons. associated coat made of heavy woolen fabric, distingtions in gold pulls work with two stars Pr.Løjtnant of artillery
posted by alchemist at 11:08 AM on September 14, 2014

Based on the handwriting and the context, I believe the third sentence in the text is "Han var mig en kær Broder", "He was a dear brother to me".

(The "æ" and "r" i "kær" is written the same way as the same letters in "været".)
posted by iviken at 3:35 PM on September 14, 2014

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