Please correct typo!
- --- In norse_course@y..., "Eysteinn Bjornsson" <eysteinn@i...> wrote:
> var ekki haft ljós annat var ekki haf ljós annaðSorry - there was a typo in the MI version! The above
line should read:
> var ekki haft ljós annat var ekki haft ljós annaðThanks
- On Tuesday, May 08, 2001 2:48 PM, gfross@... [SMTP:gfross@...]
> No one has commented on my earlier request to include modernI wouldn't object, because I think both topics would be usefully complementary.
> Icelandic as a part of this group. Does that mean that none of you
> are interested? Does that mean that all of you are opposed to the
> idea? Does it mean that you don't care one way or the other? Does
> it mean that you missed my message? Or does it mean that you were
> waiting for the group's moderator(s) to make a decision?
> I'd like to have some place online where I can ask questions aboutI'm very interested in contemporary Icelandic literature, so that'd be cool.
> modern Icelandic. If the general response to my request is negative,
> I'd appreciate it if any of you know of and could tell me about an
> Internet web site that supports discussions of modern Icelandic
> language and literature. Thanks! Gordon
"Jumped in the river what did I see \ Black eyed angels swimming with me."
- Gordon - another internet resource you might find helpful is ICQ. Even if
there were no groups on this topic per se, perhaps you could find a couple
of Icelanders to chat with. (odd coincidence -- about 2 weeks or so after
this course started, I got a random chat request on ICQ from a guy in
Iceland. His name was Oskar, but it wasn't "our" Oscar from here. Kind of
--- "G. Ross" <gfross@...> wrote:
> Hei, Keth --__________________________________________________
> Thanks for your reply! You mention "other places" to learn (modern)
> Icelandic. Do you mean Internet web sites? I haven't been able to find
> any that foster discussion of the modern Icelandic language or
> literature. Could you email me the URLs of these "places" that you
> spoke of? Thanks!
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
- In a message dated 5/8/01 9:37:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> I'm pretty sure I can answer most questions about ModernAh, yes...time<G>. I agree with your comparison with OE and CE...that's why I
> Icelandic (and quite a lot about Old Norse) correctly.
> Whenever I have the time, that is.
joined this group instead of taking an Icelandic correspondence course.
Grammer shifts, "archaic" words and/or pronouncements (not to mention
spelling<G>...) from then to now are seldom well adressed in available
Stateside books and/or courses.
There's also the confusion esp in beginners like me to scramble the two as I
did my first attempt yrs ago...
- Gordon wrote:
>No one has commented on my earlier request to include modernHi Gordon,
>Icelandic as a part of this group. Does that mean that none of you
>are interested? Does that mean that all of you are opposed to the
>idea? Does it mean that you don't care one way or the other? Does
>it mean that you missed my message? Or does it mean that you were
>waiting for the group's moderator(s) to make a decision?
>I'd like to have some place online where I can ask questions about
>modern Icelandic. If the general response to my request is negative,
>I'd appreciate it if any of you know of and could tell me about an
>Internet web site that supports discussions of modern Icelandic
>language and literature. Thanks! Gordon
I enjoyed your letters, and thought you had some good points!
The way I have understood it, it has always been okay to ask
about Modern Icelandic on this list. At least, I never saw any
complaints, neither from listmembers nor moderators, and some
questions were asked and answered on several occasions.
However, it was stressed that the list was primarily for Old Norse
and while some people said they were *only* interested in Old Norse,
I guess most people are only *mainly* interested in Old Norse, but
do not mind an occasional comparison with Modern Icelandic.
For me, it is also difficult to see them as two different languages,
since discussion of the either one of them, will sooner or later have
to touch upon topics within the other.
In the same way, I often find it useful to refer to the Nynorsk language,
or even Danish or Swedish, in order to better understand Old Norse.
If your mother language is English, I can imagine that you yourself
stand in the same relationship to Old English. i.e. I think your understanding
of Old Norse might sometimes benefit from comparisons with Old English.
- Why don't you create a new group with Old Icelandic along with Modern
Icelandic for norse_course members? :)
Just my 2 cents
"...much he neglects, the man who sleeps in the
WEALTH IS HALF-WON BY THE VIGOROUS."
- Hej, Eysteinn!
Thank you so much for your helpful clarification! Actually, although
you say you aren't in a position to answer my questions, you are
exactly the person I would like to have answer my questions about
Icelandic -- a native speaker! Hurrah! And I am very glad that you
see OI and ModI as one language, and I do agree with you that they
should be taught together and that by doing so, students would be
saved a great deal of time and effort, especially if their primary
goal was to read. In fact, that is exactly what I am doing now, using
both Stefan Einarsson's textbook of modern Icelandic and the three
Old Norse textbooks I have at hand. Unfortunately, none of them was
designed very well for the beginning READER, with emphasis on
recognition rather than translation, production, and grammatical
The hoary weight of tradition still hangs heavy over the heads of
scholars in the archaic languages. They were taught to translate,
translate, translate, and parse, parse, parse and, unless they have
studied current trends and methods of teaching and writing textbooks
for the modern foreign languages, especially for English as a
Second/Foreign Language, a field that has blossomed in the last 30
years, and then learned to apply these methods to their own
languages, they will continue to ask their students to -- yes --
translate, translate, translate, and parse, parse, parse.
A background in linguistics and the writing and editing of ESL/EFL
textbooks as well as in teaching ESL/EFL courses has helped me in my
recent investigations of the modern methods of designing textbooks
and, even more recently, of designing online courses that focus on
helping the learner develop the ability to read a foreign language as
quickly and enjoyably as possible. I've learned that both LCTL and
CARLA offer a great deal of help.
So much can be done to make it easier for beginning students to learn
to read Old Icelandic materials. My thoughts at this point are that
the main project is to develop recognition exercises and lots of
supplementary paragraphs of simplified Icelandic prose designed to
familiarize students with the various morphological forms of words
that they have already learned. The "hell" of Icelandic for
foreigners -- at least, for this English speaker -- is the complexity
of its morphology. What a delight Norwegian -- which I have been
learning to read during the last month -- is in this regard!
Well, just a few thoughts I wanted to toss out! As always, I welcome
your comments -- and I thank those of you who have responded so
helpfully to my previous messages.
Alt det beste (I'll eventually learn how to say that in Icelandic) --
--- In norse_course@y..., "Eysteinn Bjornsson" <eysteinn@i...> wrote:
> --- In norse_course@y..., gfross@p... wrote:
> > No one has commented on my earlier request to include modern
> > Icelandic as a part of this group. Does that mean that none of
> > are interested?
> Being an Icelander myself, I'm not really in a position
> to answer your questions. Generally, Icelanders don't
> really see Modern Icelandic and Old Norse as two languages.
> You cannot possibly learn one without learning a huge lot
> of the other. Personally I am of the opinion that the two
> should always be taught together, and that this would
> ultimately save the student an extraordinary amount of time
> and effort, but I don't think anyone on this list (owners
> included) agree with me on that.
- --- In norse_course@y..., gfross@p... wrote:
> see OI and ModI as one language, and I do agree with you that theyExactly. The key word here is "read". As for pronunciation,
> should be taught together and that by doing so, students would be
> saved a great deal of time and effort, especially if their primary
> goal was to read.
when it comes to OI, I personally think that "learning" how
to speak OI "as it was spoken" is a complete waste of time.
Not even the academics bother these days, and simply use
ModI pronunciation (one more reason to get familiar with
ModI, I guess).
Another reason to learn the two versions of Icelandic side
by side is that most of the really good OI editions of the
sagas are published in Iceland (e.g. the Íslenzk Fornrit
editions). But these not only valuable for the OI text, but
also for the massive scholarly introductions and commentaries,
which, of course, are all in ModI.
- Eysteinn wrote:
>Exactly. The key word here is "read". As for pronunciation,There is also the alternative to pronounce Old Norse the way
>when it comes to OI, I personally think that "learning" how
>to speak OI "as it was spoken" is a complete waste of time.
>Not even the academics bother these days, and simply use
>ModI pronunciation (one more reason to get familiar with
>ModI, I guess).
it is taught in Norwegian schools. See for example Odd Einar
Haugen's "Norrøn Grunnbok", which I think is the best Old Norse
textbook currently available. But it presupposes some knowledge
of modern Norwegian (reading ability) - but once you have that
- which I believe to be a much easier language to learn than Modern
Icelandic, especially for those already familar with English, because
the morphology is almost as easy as it is in English - then you
are all set to use Odd Einar Haugen's book. The pronounciation
of Old Norse that you find described in Odd Einar Haugen's book is a
lot easier than the pronounciation of Modern Icelandic - certainly if you
are already familiar with the pronounciation of one or more
of the other Scandinavian languages - or of German.
>Another reason to learn the two versions of Icelandic sideI also have one or two volumes of the Islenzk Fornrit series;
>by side is that most of the really good OI editions of the
>sagas are published in Iceland (e.g. the Íslenzk Fornrit
>editions). But these not only valuable for the OI text, but
>also for the massive scholarly introductions and commentaries,
>which, of course, are all in ModI.
the main difficulty of which is the Modern Icelandic introduction
and commentary, which I must admit is very hard to read for me.
The Old Norse text itself is however much more transparent to
me. The reason is - I think - that Modern Icelandic has introduced
a lot of abstract words, that were not there in Old Norse, or were
at least used very sparingly. And this happens to be the main obstacle
towards reading - in Gordon's sense - modern Icelandic.
Another category of words, that take time to learn for foreigners
learning Modern icelandic, are all the technical words. Mind you,
I really admire the Icelanders's insistence on using Icelandic
words, instead of simply importing "the word with the thing".
The Germans have done something of the same, and it has been done
in Norway too, although to a far lesser extent than in Iceland.
Here is an example from this morning's television news broadcast
where there was an advertisment for roller skates for kids.
The ad went something like this: "Nå er det den rette årstiden til
å kjøpe deg 'blades'" (Now is the right time of the year to buy
yourself 'blades'). Note that the advertizers simply use the
English word "blades", which they even pronounce the English way.
This is an unfortunate development, because it will cause the young
generation to grow up using English words for a lot of normal
objects. But I suppose the advertisement people have found out
that things sell better, if they are given English names;
and I guess it has something to do with the propagation of the idea
that it is the English-speaking countries that are "central", whereas
we others ar "peripheral".
Here is another example: English "radio", Norwegian "radio" - simple.
English "computer", Norwegian "computer" - also simple.
Yes, it is true that there exists another word for radio broadcasts
which is "kringkasting" - for example NRK = Norsk rikskringkasting.
In the same way, the Germans use "rundfunk" (or "funk").
But what are the Icelandic words for radio and computer ?
Any way, I hope you see why Norwegian (or Danish) is often quite
easy to learn for foreigners, because you get a large number of words
"for free". Other examples: kommunikasjon, telegraf, sentrum,
meteorolog, historie, matematikk, bibliotek, diskusjon, debatt,
argument, grammatikk, morfologi, resultat, konklusjon, etc, etc..
- Hello all :)
I finished my examinations yesterday and finally
have some time again.
I haven't read the mail on this list for the past two weeks
(when I tried to log in to yahoogroups again I found I had
forgotten my password:) but I will try and catch up now.
I also haven't replied much to private mail for some time,
I'll try and catch up on that too (but if I owe you a letter
you are welcome to send me a reminder).
So... where were we? Oh, yes, Óskar and I didn't get the
funding for the project we applied for :| Oh, well...
Óskar will be in examinations until the 28th of May - and two
days after that he'll be off to China for a month. So he's out,
at least for a while.
But what happens to this poor neglected project?
Here's what I'm thinking:
1. I will be working on this alone and in my free time,
work will be sporadic.
2. I will not ask people to post their solutions to me.
3. This list will become a mutual study group for people
learning ON (using this course or something else). I will
remain on the list but I may not be writing much or answering
every question. Arlie will remain as main moderator (I hope).
4. Óskar's idea to rewrite the course (New Lessons) will be
abandoned for now. Instead I will concentrate on continuing the
original line (Old Lessons). The sixth one is now available at the
website. Óskar had actually half-finished lessons 7-11 as well
(he had written most of the grammar but the exercises and vocabulary
hadn't been planned). I will start by hammering those together.
5. Lessons will only be released in one format, HTML.
6. Projects peripheral to the actual lessons (toons, reader etc.) will
be frozen for the time being.
I very much appreciate how patient and friendly the members of this list
- Hi Haukur!,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Haukur Thorgeirsson" <haukurth@...>
> I very much appreciate how patient and friendly the members of this list
> have been.
> Best regards,
How could we not be patient and friendly? - You and Oskar have presented
with a rare and wonderful opportunity - for which I'm certain we're all very
- --- In norse_course@y..., keth@o... wrote:
>Hei, Keth! Tusen takk for denne informasjon! (Forgive the errors;
> There is also the alternative to pronounce Old Norse the way
> it is taught in Norwegian schools. See for example Odd Einar
> Haugen's "Norrøn Grunnbok", which I think is the best Old Norse
> textbook currently available.
am learning only to read Norwegian, not to write it, and since I'm
also learning to read Danish and Swedish at the same time, I may have
thrown in some Danish or Swedish words or spellings.)
Anyway, vil jeg se paa denne bok av Einar Haugen.
> Any way, I hope you see why Norwegian (or Danish) is often quitewords
> easy to learn for foreigners, because you get a large number of
> "for free". Other examples: kommunikasjon, telegraf, sentrum,Og "informasjon" (se oppe). :-)
> meteorolog, historie, matematikk, bibliotek, diskusjon, debatt,
> argument, grammatikk, morfologi, resultat, konklusjon, etc, etc..
Ha det bra!
- Hei Gordon !
Your information about modern methods of teaching language
skills I find very interesting !
For me it is definitely true that there are "stages", "levels" or
"progressions" that one needs to pass through, and that these
levels should be passed in a certain order -- from easy to more
difficult -- which is the general answer to the question about
the most efficient way to learn a language.
One may of course argue that the "best path" is individual,
which is most definitely true when it comes to particulars.
For example, if you are already well versed in Latin morphology,
it could very well be that you ought to begin a study of Old Norse
by studying *its* morphology, and comparing it to Latin.
However, if you know next to nothing about "morphology" which
is not at all uncommon these days, a different path to Old Norse
would most definitely be in order. I like your idea of graded
excercises where "forms" are learned through lots and lots of
easy examples. The most common way of learning a language is
after all (still) the way 99.99% of the Earths population learns
it's mother language. That is through lots and lots of easy
conversation accompanied by "hands on" examples. e.g. "Hey lad,
fetch me that shovel, will you?" I am sure that *none* of my
comprehension of this easy example *ever* came to me by way
of any formal kind of study.
--- In norse_course@y..., gfross@p... wrote:
> --- In norse_course@y..., keth@o... wrote:
I also agree that for adults with some other IE language
as basis, the best way to progress with ON is to *first*
concentrate on mastering comprehension. i.e. one should
strive to become acquire *reading skills* first.
The ability *to speak* is a higher level, and is not
worth too much hassle in the beginning. It will begin to
arise by itself as one develops the reading skills.
Of course, it is not *forbidden* to play with the language
and try to make up sentences every now and then. That is
only healthy, and it is by impulses like these that *Nature*
teaches us to speak -- the playful way. But one shouldn't
let it be a major goal before one has achieved good reading
But how to achieve this with the internet as ones major tool,
and in particular by means of a mailing list where 99% have not
yet reached the level of speech ???
The image of a hand comes up. But oh je, it is a hand with 9
thumbs. Do childeren ever teach each other to speak ?
Proper reading skills first -- that definitely seems to be
the right way to go.
> > There is also the alternative to pronounce Old Norse the way
> > it is taught in Norwegian schools. See for example Odd Einar
> > Haugen's "Norrøn Grunnbok", which I think is the best Old Norse
> > textbook currently available.
> Hei, Keth! Tusen takk for denne informasjon! (Forgive the errors;
> am learning only to read Norwegian, not to write it, and since I'm
> also learning to read Danish and Swedish at the same time, I may
> thrown in some Danish or Swedish words or spellings.)
No, that is quite good actually!
Personally I can read Swedish and Danish quite well, but
I cannot speak it. That isn't necessary either, since
Danes and Swedes generally understand Norwegian quite well.
Well, most likely, we do speak a bit more slowly, and are
careful to be distinct when pronouncing. We also insert
a few words of the other language here and there. But apart from
that, we just speak our own language. It isn't much different
from people with different dialects of English conversing with
> Anyway, vil jeg se paa denne bok av Einar Haugen.
Bra! Husk på at han heter Odd Einar Haugen. Einar Haugen
var en annen språkforsker som virket mye I USA. Jeg tror
han var professor ved Harvard-universitetet. Men han er død nå.
Odd Einar Haugen er imidlertid en helt annen språkmann, ikke
en gang i slekt, såvidt jeg vet. Han er ennå en ung mann
og satte sammen en hel serie med lærebøker i norrønt mål
for noen år siden. Dette var et ledd i det programmet som heter
"fjernord", som er et opplæringsprogram for studenter som
studerer språkfag på universitetsnivå på egen hånd.
Dersom du bestiller "Norrøn grunnbok" følger det visstnok
også med en CD-rom, der det er forskjellige øvingstekster
(tror jeg - jeg har ikke hatt anledning til å se på CD-romen,
da jeg har den forrige utgaven)
Selv har jeg nå prøvet en rekke norrøne grammatikkbøker.
Eldre norrønfilologer bruker f.eks. helst Ragnvald Iversens
bok. Men det må være fordi de er vant med denne. Selv har
jeg funnet ut at det går fortere å finne ut av ting når en
bruker O.E. Haugens bok. Den er også ganske fullstendig, og
har et utmerket stikkordregister. Forleden fikk jeg forresten
også tak i en engelsk bok om norrønt språk. Jeg mener at
forfatteren heter det samme som deg! Men det er nok en annen ;)
da førsteutgaven allerede kom ut i 1927. Om du vil kan vi
godt diskutere Gordons bok på denne listen, og sammenligne
med andre grammatikkbøker.
Dersom du velger å skaffe deg et eksemplar av O.E. Haugens
"grunnbok", så er det viktig a vite at den er beregnet på å
brukes sammen med Heggstads norrøne ordbok. Er du interessert
i å prøve en norsk internettbokhandel, så kan du muligens nå
fram via <http://www.bokkilden.no>. Jeg så nemlig at de
reklamertepå TV igår - og jeg tror at de har et rimelig bra tilbud.
> > Any way, I hope you see why Norwegian (or Danish) is often quite
> > easy to learn for foreigners, because you get a large number of
> > "for free". Other examples: kommunikasjon, telegraf, sentrum,
> > meteorolog, historie, matematikk, bibliotek, diskusjon, debatt,
> > argument, grammatikk, morfologi, resultat, konklusjon, etc, etc..
> Og "informasjon" (se oppe). :-)
> Ha det bra!
I lige måde!
(that's Danish - but it doesn't matter :)
- Keth wrote:
>Here is another example: English "radio", Norwegian "radio" -All right. I'll list the Icelandic words
>simple. English "computer", Norwegian "computer" - also simple.
>Yes, it is true that there exists another word for radio broadcasts
>which is "kringkasting" - for example NRK = Norsk rikskringkasting.
>In the same way, the Germans use "rundfunk" (or "funk").
>But what are the Icelandic words for radio and computer ?
for those and the others you mentioned.
Norwegian - Icelandic
radio - útvarp
computer - tölva
kommunikasjon - samskipti
telegraf - símskeyti
sentrum - miðbær
meteorolog - veðurfræðingur
historie - (mannkyns)saga
matematikk - stærðfræði
bibliotek - bókasafn
diskusjon - samtal
debatt - umræða
argument - rök
gramatikk - málfræði
morfologi - I don't know. Ask Óskar.
resultat - niðurstaða
konklusjon - ályktun
- Hail Hawk !
Gee, you are back ! ! ! :-)
And I who really ought to be outside playing the tuba today;
I'm taking a break in the festivities to answer the tips you
gave us. I also congratulate you upon finishing your exams !
As usual with excellent results, I assume.
You have important business like university exams, and everyone
is happy to know that that is your first priority.
>All right. I'll list the Icelandic wordsMy comment is that such as the above is extremely difficult to memorize.
>for those and the others you mentioned.
>Norwegian - Icelandic
>radio - útvarp
>computer - tölva
>kommunikasjon - samskipti
>telegraf - símskeyti
>sentrum - miðbær
>meteorolog - veðurfræðingur
>historie - (mannkyns)saga
>matematikk - stærðfræði
>bibliotek - bókasafn
>diskusjon - samtal
>debatt - umræða
>argument - rök
>gramatikk - málfræði
>morfologi - I don't know. Ask Óskar.
>resultat - niðurstaða
>konklusjon - ályktun
Even for someone like me who understands other Nordic languages.
Off my sleeve, and at the risk of making a mistake, I'll add that
"fræði" can be more easily memorized if you think about the old
Danish king "Frode", whose name means "the wise one".
From the adjective "fróðr" then derives nouns like "fróðleikr"
(=wisdom, knowledge) and "froeði" (=knowledge). In other words,
the way to go seems to be through understanding, and not through
You say "samtal" = discussion.
In Norway we also have "samtale", but it means dialogue, and
not discussion. To me those two are not exactly the same concept,
since dialogue is more in the direction of a conversation, whereas
discussion is more in the direction of a debate.
Nuances like that are important, and it is by no means given
that the same word in languages as close as Icelandic and Norwegian
always catches the same nuances. Btw, I also find Icelandic
words like umræða and rökræða that have related meanings. But to become
familiar with the nuances, requires seeing the words in context.
(and if you have time to provide examples, it would be very much
radio = útvarp. I read that as something "thrown out" (the radio
waves from the antenna into space; cf. "broadcast"). Is that what
you too read into it?
I already knew that sími = telephone. But símskeyti for telegram was
new to me. I see that ON skeyti (n.) means "an arrow". Is that the right
context ? And ON sími (n.) means a rope. That would give the literal
meaning telegram = rope-arrow.
Apropos of "rök", I see that Icelandic rökfræði = "logic" (as a science).
That reminds me of the "ro,kstólar" (w. hooked 'o') that you find in
Voluspaa. Is it the same thing ? ("chairs of logic")
- Well i am a lazy person, i stopped at lesson 4 and just began to speak
with icelandic people on msn, now after half a year i am writing a
story in old norse, i am able to have small conversations with
icelandic people, i understand very much of it and i can write a good
part too =)
I am so fast at learning becuase i am danish, and can understand many
fo the words without knowing them :b
the lessons are good if you want to understand the grammar, wich is
needed! but a pen pal is the best thing you can get ^^