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Re: [norse_course] Laxdaela Saga 19 Part 3 -- Rob's Translation

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  • Brian M. Scott
    For a section that started out so easily, this one was pretty awful! ... If you read Z s entire entry for , you ll see that there s specific mention of
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 2010
      For a section that started out so easily, this one was
      pretty awful!

      At 7:36:46 PM on Monday, August 30, 2010, rob13567 wrote:

      > Hann segir: "Litla ráðagerð hefi eg stofnað en gjarna
      > vildi eg að annað væri oftar að tala en um dráp húskarla
      > minna."

      > He says: "I have established little plan(ning) but I would
      > willingly that the next were more often to speak that
      > about (the) slaughter of my house-servants.

      If you read Z's entire entry for <stofna>, you'll see that
      there's specific mention of <stofna ráðagerð> 'to form a
      plan'.

      > He says, "I have made little (by way of) a plan but would
      > gladly that were other(wise) more often to speak of than
      > concerning slaying of my servants."

      > He says: ‘I have formed a little plan but willingly I
      > would-want that (one) were more often to talk otherwise
      > (annað) than about (the) killing of my house-servants.’

      I think that Rob and Grace have the right interpretation of
      <litla> here: he's done little planning. However, <annað>
      here is 'some other' in the sense 'something else': 'but I
      would dearly wish that something else were more often to be
      talked [about] than [the] killing of my house-servants'.

      > Jórunn svarar: "Þessi ætlun er ferleg ef þú ætlar að drepa
      > slíkan mann sem bróðir þinn er.

      > Jorunn answers: "This intention is monstrous if you intend
      > to likewise kill a man which is your brother.

      Rob: Note that although <slíkan> can be used adverbially,
      it's first and foremost the masc. sing. accus. of the
      adjective <slíkr>, and it immediately precedes the masc.
      sing. accus. noun <mann>. Thus, the first reading to try is
      'to kill a such man as your brother is', or, in real
      English, 'to kill such a man as your brother is', as Grace
      and Alan have done. Besides, 'in similar manner, likewise'
      doesn't have any real basis here: to what would she be
      comparing this killing?

      > Jorunn answers, "This expectation is monstrous if you
      > intend to slay such a man as your brother is.

      > Jórunn answers: ‘This plan is hideous, if you mean to kill
      > such a man as your brother is.


      > En sumir menn kalla að eigi sé sakleysi í þótt Hrútur
      > hefði fyrr þetta fé heimt.

      > And some men say that that would not be guilty in although
      > Hrut had previously claimed this money.

      Here <fé> is literal: remember that Hrút has just taken 20
      cattle from Höskuld.

      > And some men say that not be without cause in (it) though,
      > (that) Hrut had recovered those cattle.

      > But some men declare that (it) would-be not without cause
      > in (this instance) even-if Hrútr had claimed this property
      > (cattle) beforehand.

      'Beforehand' at least connotes 'in anticipation of something
      else', and for some speakers that's its only meaning; here
      the simple 'sooner, earlier' would fit better as a
      translation of <fyrr>.

      > Hefir hann það nú sýnt að hann vill eigi vera hornungur
      > lengur þess er hann átti, eftir því sem hann átti kyn til.

      > He has that now clearly that he will not be a bastard-son
      > longer that which he had, according as he possessed kin.

      > He has now shown it that he will not be (treated as) a
      > bastard longer, this which he is entitled (to), after it
      > as he had kinship to.

      > He has that now shown that he wants not to be an
      > outcast-bastard (any) longer in this than he was-obliged
      > to, because he had-a-right to kinship (?).

      CV s.v. <hornungr> has the metaphorical sense 'a scamp,
      outcast', giving as one of his examples <munu margir verða
      þess hornungar er eigu>, but without translation. I tracked
      this down to Ch. 2 of 'Jómsvíkinga saga'. King Gorm is
      telling his new wife Þyri his dreams, and she's explaining
      their significance.

      En þar er hinir þrír eyxn gingu upp úr sæ svartir að lit,
      þar munu koma hinir þriðju þrír vetur. Þeir munu vera svo
      illir, að það munu allir um mæla, að engi myni slíka, og
      það svarta óáran mun koma og nauð yfir landið, að trautt
      munu dæmi til finnast. En það er þér þótti eyxninir mjög
      vera hyrndir, þar munu margir menn verða þess hornungar er
      eigu.

      Fairly literally, I make this:

      And where the three oxen went up from [the] sea, black of
      hue, there will come the third three winters. They will
      be so bad that all will say of [them], that [they] could
      not remember the like, and that disastrous dearth and need
      will come over the land that scarcely an example thereof
      will be found. And where it seemed to you that the oxen
      had large horns ['were well-horned'], there will many
      people be deprived ['outcast'] of that which [they]
      have/own.

      On the basis of this model I'd translate <hann vill eigi
      vera hornungur lengur þess er hann átti> as 'he will no
      longer be deprived of that which he has/owns'.

      It took me quite a while to sort out <eiga kyn til>. In the
      Lexicon Poeticum it's glossed (my translation) 'to have a
      predisposition or talent for'; given the use of <kyn>, I
      suspect that the underlying idea is that one has an
      inherited predisposition or talent for something, rather
      along the lines of English 'he comes by it naturally'. The
      example is from 'Málsháttakvæði', <nökkut ættak kyn til
      þess>, apparently 'I have rather an inherited talent for
      this'. In modern usage I find examples like <Hann var
      vinnugefinn og góður verkmaður, eins og hann átti kyn til í
      báðar ættir>; it appears that the idea is 'He was
      industrious and a good worker, traits inherited from both
      sides of his family', but a more literal translation of
      <eins og hann átti kyn til í báðar ættir> might be 'as he
      had by birthright from both lines'. <Eftir því sem hann
      átti kyn til> would therefore seem to be 'because he had by
      birth a right to [it]'.

      Putting it all together, 'he will no longer be deprived of
      that to which he is entitled by birth'.

      > Nú mun hann hafa eigi fyrr þetta ráð upp tekið, að etja
      > kappi við þig, en hann mun vita sér nokkurs trausts von af
      > hinum meirum mönnum því að mér er sagt að farið muni hafa
      > orðsendingar í hljóði milli þeirra Þórðar gellis og Hrúts.

      > He would not now have taken before this counsel, to
      > contend in rivalry with you, that he would be himself
      > conscious of a certain hope (of) protection of him more
      > men because more is said to gone would have messages
      > silently between them, Thord Gelli and Hrut. (Z. etja 2 –
      > e. kappi við e-n, to contend in rivalry, vie with one)

      > Now he will not have for this chosen a plan, to vie with
      > you, but he will look for help from the more men because
      > to me is said that messages will have gone in secrecy
      > between them, Thord gellir and Hrut.

      > Now he will not have taken up (adopted) this plan, to vie
      > (lit: incite a contest) with you, before (fyrr…en) he will
      > have (see vita ván, Z2) for himself (the) expectation of
      > some protection from other greater (ie more important) men
      > because to me (it) is said that messages will have
      > travelled silently between them, Þórð Gelli and Hrútr.

      For the most part I agree with Alan's interpretation,
      especially concerning the split <fyrr en>, but I prefer
      Grace's non-literal reading of <í hljóði> (save that I'd say
      'in secret'), and I take <af hinum meirum mönnum> to be
      'from the greater [= more important] people', with preposed
      definite article. (Of course if Þórð and Hrút are numbered
      amongst the more important people, <hinum> could also be
      'the other'.)

      > Mundi mér slíkir hlutir þykja ísjáverðir.
      > Such things would seem to me worth-looking-into.
      > Such opportunities would to me seem worth looking into.
      > Such things would seem to me worth-looking-into.

      Definitely 'things': I'm pretty sure that the reference is
      to the communications between Þórð and Hrút. I'm not sure
      that they're really in a position to look into them; <ísjá>
      is 'attention', so I suspect that in this case <ísjáverðr>
      is 'worth paying attention to'.

      > Veistu og það Höskuldur síðan er mál þeirra Þórðar godda
      > og Vigdísar urðu að ekki verður slík blíða á með ykkur
      > Þórði gelli sem áður þótt þú kæmir í fyrstu af þér með
      > fégjöfum fjandskap þeirra frænda.

      > You know (?) that Hoskuld next is their, Thord Goddi and
      > Vigdis Urdu's, case that not happens such friendliness on
      > with you-two, Thord Gelli and you, as already you thought
      > come in first of you with gifts hostility to those
      > relatives.

      > You also know it, Hoskuld, afterwards, since their case,
      > Thord goddi's and Vidis' happened, that friendliness is
      > not between you (yourself and) Thord gelli as before
      > although you first got rid og (koma af?) enmity of those
      > kinsmen with gifts of money.

      > You know that also, Höskuldr, from-the-time when (see
      > síðan er) their case, Þórðr goddi and Vigdís, arose,
      > that (there) was not such friendliness between you two,
      > Þorðr gelli (and you) as before, even-though
      > in-the-beginning you got rid of (see koma af sér, Z4)
      > (the) hostility of those kinsmen with gifts-of-money.

      Or simply 'since their case, ..., arose'.

      > Nú þætti oss hitt ráðlegra að þú byðir Hrúti bróður þínum
      > sæmilega því að þar er fangs von af frekum úlfi.

      > Now it-seemed-to us the most advisable that you offer
      > Hrut, your brother, similarly because there it is hard to
      > deal with a hungry wolf. (Z. fang 2 – fangs er ván at
      > frekum úlfi, it is hard to deal with a hungry wolf)

      > Now (it) seems to us more advisable that you offer your
      > brother, Hrut, honourably because it is hard to deal with
      > a hungry wolf (Z).

      > Now, (the) other (course) (hitt) seemed to us
      > more-advisable, that you offer to Hrútr, your brother,
      > honourably because there is an expectation of grappling
      > from a greedy wolf (it is hard to deal with a hungry
      > wolf).

      Here I'm pretty sure that <hitt> is emphatic 'that': 'Now
      *that* would seem to us more advisable, that you offer ...'.

      Brian
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