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Re: [norse_course] Re: Jed - Boðvarr - 2nd instalm ent

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  • James R. Johnson
    We d use may have come in the present, and would have come in the past, corresponding to the Konjunktiv I and 2 of German, respectively (in translation).
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2003
      We'd use "may have come" in the present, and "would have come" in the past, corresponding to the Konjunktiv I and 2 of German, respectively (in translation).
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: xigung
      Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 2:07 PM
      Subject: [norse_course] Re: Jed - Boðvarr - 2nd instalment

      Hi Gerald,
      You wrote:
      --- In norse_course Gerald McCharg wrote:
      > Anyhow, here's the full version:
      I hope you don't mind if I add some comments.
      All in all, I think your translation looks close to perfect.
      There are only a few minor points I'd like to mention,
      not to criticize your translation, but because it might
      be of general interest.

      > Kømr nú þessi fregn fyrir Hrólf konung ok kappa hans upp í
      > News of this now came to King Hrolf and his champions up in the
      C: You say "came", but the text has kømr.

      > at maðr mikilúðligr sé kominn til hallarinnar ok hafi drepit einn
      hirðmann hans,
      > that a man of imposing appearance had come to the hall and killed
      one of his retainers,

      C: You translate 'sé kominn' by "had come".
      But 'sé' is 3rd sg. present subjunctive.
      Hence "has come" or "has allegedly come" would
      presumably be better. (I added 'allegedly' because
      English lacks the present subjunctive - or does it?
      Can you say "he have come" as an English form of
      the subjunctive?)

      > ok vildu þeir láta drepa manninn. Hrólf konungr spurðisk eptir,
      > and they wanted to have the man killed.  Kinf Hrolf enquired about
      > hvárt hirðmaðrinn hefði verit saklauss drepinn. 'Ðví var næsta'
      sogðu þeir.
      > had the retainer who was killed, been guiltless? 'It was very close
      to this' they said
      C: I find "if" for 'hvárt' in this context. Or perhaps "whether"
      is a better variant. Hence more literally: "King Hrolf enquired
      whether the man perhaps had been killed without cause".
      Here I have also added "perhaps" in order to take the subjunctive
      (hefði) into account. Also, "without cause" seems better to me
      than "innocent" or "guiltless". This is because 'sak' does not
      mean "guilt", but rather "cause" or "matter".
      'næsta' as adverb, I would translate by "almost".

      > Kómusk þá  fyrir Hrólf konung öll sannindi hér um. Hrólf konungr
      sagði þat skyldu fjarri, at drepa skyldi mannin -
      > Then all the truth concerning this came before the king. King Hrolf
      said that they should be far from this, that the man should be
      killed -
      C: I wonder what the declination of 'sannendi' is.
      It seems to be exceptional in many ways, because it
      is sometimes said to be a feminine, but more often a neutrum.
      I find forms such as 'til sannenda' and 'með sannendum'.
      Also, the forms 'kómu' and 'öll' indicate a plural.

      The next sentence is a bit difficult, although the meaning
      is clear as you have rendered it. 'þat' may be the English
      conjunction "that", but also the pronoun. What I read is
      (literally) "King Hrolf said they should far from that,
      that one should kill the man". i.e. twice "should", but
      the first time in 3rd plural, and the second time in 3rd
      singular. Somewhat strange !   I therefore went back to
      the web page, and relocated the sentence in the form:

      {Hrólfr konungr sagði þat skyldi fjarri, at drepa skyldi manninn.}

      Interestingly 'manninn' is with two n's now (cf. the text
      quoted by you above), and also, it says "þat skyldi" now,
      whereas you have "þat skyldu".

      I think perhaps twice 'skyldi' is the more correct edition?
      For now it agrees with the Danish translation:
      [Kong Rolf sagde, at det skulde være langt fra, at man skulde dræbe
      (king Hrolf said, that it should be far from, that one should kill
      the man.)
      - Amazing how well Danish fits English! You can even keep the word
      order the same. -

      And so the subjects for "should" are "it" and "one".
      (not "they" and "one")
      The problem with the ON text is that it seems to lack an infinitive
      here. I have 'vera' in mind. (= to be)
      So if a slight tentative "improvement" is allowed, it would be:
      "Hrólfr konungr sagði þat skyldi *vera* fjarri, at drepa skyldi
      manninn."  (I hope I haven't molested the ON sentence)
      Q: Is it common to drop 'vera' in sentences of this type?

      > 'Hafi þit hér illan vanda upp tekit, at berja saklausa menn beinum;
      er mér í því óvirðing,
      > You two have taken up a bad practice, to strike innocent men with
      bones; there is disgrace for me in this,
      > en yðr stórr skömm, at gøra slíkt. Hefi ek jafnan rott um þetta aðr,
      > and great shame on you, to do such a thing. I have always spoken
      about this before,
      C: 'jafnan' adverb, is perhaps better translated as "regularly"
      or "often", than as "always".

      > ok hafi þit at þessu engan gaum gefit, ok hygg ek at þessi maðr
      muni ekki alllítill fyrir sér,
      > and you have given no heed to this, and I think that this man will
      not be a weakling

      C: The verb 'hafa' occurs frequently here. For my own sake,
      since I don't know it all by heart, I'll try to make a list
      of its forms:
      hafa/hef,hefr,hefr,höfum,hafið,hafa/ (pres. ind.)
          /hafa,hafir,hafi,hafim,hafið,hafi/(pres. opt.)
          /hafða,hafðir,hafði,höfðum,höfðuð,höfðu/(pret. ind.)
          /hefða,hefðir,hefði,hefðim,hefðið,hefði/(pret. opt.)
      (some of these I did not find, and so I had to construct them;
      I hope the logic is correct)
      Thus, in the above text, we now see the form "hafi þit",
      which should refer to the 2nd dualis (=you two), but why
      does it use the singular verb form 'hafi'?
      At any rate, the verb indicates a subjunctive here.
      . . . . .
      AHA! Here I found the solution to my self-posed question.
      Adolf Noreen (1884, p. 180) writes:
      "In der 2.pl. fehlt regelmässig das auslautende -ð
      der endung -eð, -ið, wenn pron. þit 'ihr zwei', þér
      'ihr' unmittelbar folgen, und auch sonst nicht selten,
      wenn das folgende wort mit þ anlautet,"...
      In other words, it *ought* to have been "ok hafið þit
      at þessu engan gaum gefit"; but then the last -ð of
      'hafið' became absorbed by the þ of the following 'þit'.

      > er þér hafið nú á leitat; ok kallið hann til mín svá at ek viti
      hverr hann er.'
      > who you have attacked; and now call him to me so that I may know
      who he is'.
      > Böðvarr gengr fyrir konung ok kveð hann kurteisliga.  Konung spyrr
      hann at nafni.
      > Bothvarr went before the king and greeted him courteously. The king
      asked him his name.
      C: He "goes before the king and greets him", present tense.
      > 'Hattargriða kalla mik hirðmenn yðar, en Böðvarr heiti ek.' 
      Konungr mælti,
      > 'Hott's Protector your retainers call me, but my name is Bothvarr.'
      The king said.

      C: I am a bit uncertain about the meaning of the English
      word "retainer". The dictionary says it means someone who
      is a servant in a household. But the way I conceive of the
      Old Norse 'hirð', I see more of a small army unit, "courtmen"
      perhaps. The word "retinue" also comes to mind, but that might
      be exactly the same as "retainers"?
      > 'Hverjar botr viltu bjóða mér fyrir hirðmann minn?' Boðvarr
      segir, 'Til þess gørði hann, sem hann fekk.'
      > 'What recompense will you offer me for my retainer?'  Bothvar
      said, ' He deserved what he got.'
      > Konungr mælti, 'Viltu vera minn maðr ok skipa rúm hans?'  Boðvarr
      > The king said, ' Will you be my man and take his place?'  Bothvar
      > 'Ekki neita ek at vera ýðar maðr, ok munu vit ekki skiljask svá
      búit, vit Höttr,
      > 'I do no not refuse to be your man, but as things are, we will not
      be parted, Hott and I,

      C: I see that you have translated 'svá búit' by "as things are",
      which corresponds well to Zoëga's "as matters stand", which is
      also what Byock uses. The Danish translation, on the other hand,
      uses a "but I will therefore in no way be separated from Hött".
      'búit' derives from 'búa'.
      To me the phrase is sufficiently vague to be of some interest,
      especially since it is used quite a few times in King Hrolf's
      Saga. Many times it is used upon departure. Perhaps a simple
      "thus" would be a more elegant translation?
      ('búa' is said to have been intended in the sense of 'to prepare'
      here) Another possible tranlation might be "like that".

      > ok dveljask nær þér báðir, heldr en þessi hefir setit; elligar vit
      förum brott baðir.'
      > and will stay nearer to you more than this one was placed,
      otherwise we both go away.'                            
      > Konungr mælti, ''Eigi sé ek at honum somd, en ek spara ekki mat við
      > The king said, 'I see no honour in him, but I will not grudge him
      C: Here is a difficulty if one associates 'spara' with "to save"
      (something). "I will not save food for him" sounds like he'd
      come home to empty plates. But you have the right solution,
      even though "grudge" carries an aspect of resentment, which
      is not present in the ON text - I think. So I'd like to suggest
      a more neutral "keep": "I will not keep the food from him".

      I hope some of these remarks were of interest.
      Best regards

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      Homepage: http://www.hi.is/~haukurth/norse/

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    • xigung
      Hi James, Thanks for your comment. ... the past, corresponding to the Konjunktiv I and 2 of German, respectively (in translation). I read up on the German
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 2, 2003
        Hi James,
        Thanks for your comment.

        --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "James R. Johnson"
        <modean52@a...> wrote:
        > We'd use "may have come" in the present, and "would have come" in
        the past, corresponding to the Konjunktiv I and 2 of German,
        respectively (in translation).

        I read up on the German usage of the subjunctive in indirect
        speech. It turns out, according to the grammar book I
        consulted, that in official language (broadcast etc), the
        subjunctive should _always_ be used when indirectly refering
        to what others have said. Hence it appears as if the speaker
        has no choice in the matter. In that case (no choice) it seems
        reasonable to translate by what is common in English,
        i.e. "He said that it was raining" (=everything in the past
        indicative) But the consulted book also said that in common
        German speech both modes (subjunctive and indicative) are used.
        And in that case it appears to me that the speaker has a choice,
        and that this presence of choice should be taken into account
        when translating.

        The question to ask then, is whether there is a choice
        of mode available in Old Norse when speech is refered
        indirectly. I do not have the answer ready, but I know
        that a good place to look is in "Old Norse Syntax" by
        M.Nygaard. In fact, Nygaard has quite a few paragraphs
        on the uses of the subjunctive in Old Norse, and in §316
        he says that the subjunctive is used in subclauses that
        are stated as part of a subjunctional at-sentence, which
        is added to verbs that express a) opinion or supposition,
        b) statements, c) will or attempt, still d) of a comparative
        sentence after opinional verbs, e) of an interrogative
        subclause in the subjunctive, as well as f) of intentional

        As examples of point b) he has "Svá er sagt, at Einarr hafi
        verit allra manna sterkastr ok beztr bogmaðr, er verit hafi
        í Noregi" (OH 24,12). You see the subclause beginning with
        "at Einarr", and after that "hafi", which is a subjunctional
        form of "to have". (thus has been said, that Einar was the
        strongest of all and the best archer, that has ever lived
        in Norway)

        Can it be then, that ON always (=invariably) uses the
        subjunctive in indirect speech? In that case it seems
        reasonable to ignore it when translating to English.
        However, if it is not an invariable rule, then it is
        reasonable to take it into account.

        I will look for further examples, since I am not
        completely sure if Nygaard refers to an invarable
        rule here, or whether he only reports a common but
        not invariable feature og ON here.

        Best regards

        > hafa/hef,hefr,hefr,höfum,hafið,hafa/ (pres. ind.)
        > /hafa,hafir,hafi,hafim,hafið,hafi/(pres. opt.)
        > /hafða,hafðir,hafði,höfðum,höfðuð,höfðu/(pret. ind.)
        > /hefða,hefðir,hefði,hefðim,hefðið,hefði/(pret. opt.)
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