"Who is in the Garden?"

Latvian song Free translation Word-for-word translation
Kas dārzā,
kas dārzā?
Bitīt' rožu dārziņā.
Who's in the garden?
Who's in the garden?
A bee is in the rose garden.
who-nom.sg. garden-loc.sg.
who-nom.sg. garden-loc.sg.
bee-dim.nom.sg.(last vowel omitted)
rose-gen.pl. garden-dim.loc.sg.
Kas vārdā,
kas vārdā?
Anna* vārdā,
Anna* vārdā,
What's their% name?
What's their name?
Their name is Anna (or name of any child).
who-nom.sg. name-loc.sg.
who-nom.sg. name-loc.sg.
child's name-nom.sg. name-loc.sg.
Lai ar** bija Anna vārdā,
Šogad skolu nepabeigs.
Even if their name is Anna
They won't finish school this year.
let also-(last vowel omitted) be-3rd.p.past Anna‑nom.sg. name-loc.sg.
this-acc.sg.-year school-acc.sg.
not-finish-3rd.p.fut.
Ja pabeigs, tad pabeigs
Pār deviņām vasarām.
If they finish, then it will
Still take them nine years (to do it).
if finish-3rd.p.fut., then finish-3rd.p.fut.
over nine-fem.dat.pl. summer-dat.pl.
Ložņā, bitīt,
caur zaru zariem,
Caur zaru zariem,
caur lapu lapām.
Oh bee, weave your way
through the branches
Through the branches,
between the leaves.
weave/intertwin-2nd.p.sg.imp. bee-dim.voc.sg.
through branch-gen.pl. branch-dat.pl.
through branch-gen.pl. branch-dat.pl.
through leaf-gen.pl. leaf-dat.pl.
Ja citu atrod,
liec to savā vietā.
Ja citu atrod,
liec to savā vietā.
If you find another one,
put her in your place.
If you find another one,
put her in your place.
if another-acc.sg. find-pres.2nd.p.sg.
put that-acc.sg. own-loc.sg. place-loc.sg.
if another-acc.sg. find-pres.2nd.p.sg.
put that-acc.sg. own-loc.sg. place-loc.sg.

*Anna. I've used "Anna" to represent the name of any child.

% I've used the word "their", even though the Latvian uses no possessive word at all here. I could just as easily have said "his or her", but I thought "their" would flow better.

** Although the word lai means 'let, allow', and the word arī means "also, likewise", the expression lai arī means "even if". The word arī in this song is truncated to ar'.

The dance usually has the following pattern:

  1. The children walk in a circle holding hands; one child stands alone in the middle. The children in the circle sing the first four verses.
  2. With the fifth verse, the children stand still and raise their joined arms in the air. The middle child starts to walk (or run) in a sort of weaving pattern between the other children, under their raised arms.
  3. With the sixth verse, the child stops and pushes (hopefully, gently!) into the middle of the circle the child behind whom they happened to be when the verse started.
  4. The song begins again and the dance starts over with a new child in the middle.


To see the explanation of the grammatical abbreviations used in the "word-for-word" translations, go to → Grammatical Abbreviations


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This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised September 18, 2008