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Njal 43 Patricia's Translation

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  • Patricia Wilson
    43. kafli Took extra time with this one ran across some new words, En er sendimaður kom til þings að segja Gunnari vígið þá mælti Gunnar: Þetta er
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 30, 2007
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      43. kafli

      Took extra time with this one ran across some new words,

      En er sendimaður kom til þings að segja Gunnari vígið þá mælti Gunnar:
      "Þetta er illa orðið og eigi kæmu þau tíðindi til eyrna mér að mér þættu
      verri.

      When the messenger came to Thing to tell Gunnar of the death, then Gunnar spoke " This is evil/terrible news have come these tidings the worse they could be

      En þó skulum vér nú fara þegar að finna Njál og væntir mig að honum
      fari enn vel þó að hann sé mjög að þreyttur."

      Now we go at once to see Njal, I am certain he will see us well though to him (it is) a great trial/tragedy

      Gengu þeir þá á fund Njáls og kölluðu hann til máls við sig.

      They went to see Njal and called him (out) to speak with him

      Hann gekk þegar
      til fundar við Gunnar. Þeir töluðu og var ekki manna við fyrst nema
      Kolskeggur.

      He came at once to meeting with Gunnar. They discussed and (at the time) was no man present  at first but Kolskegg

      "Hörð tíðindi hefi eg að segja þér," segir Gunnar, "víg Þórðar
      leysingjasonar. Vil eg bjóða þér sjálfdæmi fyrir vígið."

      "Hard tidings have I to tell you" says Gunnar "the death of Þorð Freedmansson. I wish to offer to you self-judgement for the death.

      Njáll þagði nokkurt skeið og mælti síðan: "Vel er slíkt boðið," segir hann,

      Njal was quiet a while and spoke  then "well is such given/offered" says he (Generous)

      "og mun eg það taka. En þó er eigi örvænt að eg hafi ámæli af konu minni eða
      sonum mínum fyrir þetta því að þeim mun mjög mislíka.

      "and I shall take (accept) that" But even though  I am certain to have words from my wife and my sons for this  as they will have much dislike/disapproval

      En þó mun eg á það
      hætta því að eg veit að eg á við dreng um. Vil eg og eigi að af mér standi
      afbrigð okkarrar vináttu."

      And thought I may risk it, I am dealing with a man of nobility/honour. I will not want it to be to me (on my behalf) a breach in our friendship

      "Vilt þú nokkuð sonu þína við láta vera?" segir Gunnar.

      "Will you want any one of your sons to be present" says Gunnar

      "Ekki," segir Njáll, "því að eigi munu þeir rjúfa þá sátt er eg geri. En ef
      þeir eru við staddir þá munu þeir ekki saman draga."

      "No" says Njal "They will not break any settlement I make but if they were here present they would not take part"

      "Svo mun vera," segir Gunnar. "Sjá þú einn fyrir."

      "So shall it be" says Gunnar " "see you singly forward" (do this by yourself)

      Þeir tókust þá í hendur og sættust vel og skjótt.

      The took hands and (between them) settled it well and promptly.

      Þá mælti Njáll: "Tvö hundruð silfurs geri eg og mun þér mikið þykja."

      Then spoke Njal "Two hundred silvers I judge it and you may/will think that high"

      "Eigi þykir mér þetta of mikið," segir Gunnar og gekk heim til búðar sinnar.

      "I do not think myself that it is (too) great" says Gunnar and goes back to His Booth

      Synir Njáls komu heim til búðar og spurði Skarphéðinn hvaðan fé það hið
      mikla og hið góða kæmi er faðir hans hélt á.

      Njal's sons came back into the booth and Skarphedin inquired - whence this money (that was much and good came to be held by his father) Whence came all that good silver that his father was holding

      Njáll mælti: "Eg segi yður víg Þórðar fóstra yðvars og höfum við Gunnar nú
      sæst á málið og hefir hann tvennum manngjöldum bætt hann."

      Njal spoke " I tell you of the death of Þorð your (pl) foster-father and with gunnar we (?) have made a settlement, and twice the manngeld he has paid

      "Hverjir hafa vegið hann?" segir Skarphéðinn.

      "Who has killed him" says Skarpheðin.

      "Sigmundur og Skjöldur en Þráinn var þó nær staddur," segir Njáll.

      "Sigmund and Skjold - but Thrainn was standing near" says Njal

      "Mikils þótti þeim við þurfa," segir Skarphéðinn, "en hvar skal þá komið er
      vér skulum handa hefja?"

      "Great they thought the risk" says Skarpheðin (sarcastically AIUI) *but where - (to what point) shall this come that we can have a hand" (i.e. How much more must we take)

      "Skammt mun til þess," segir Njáll, "og munt þú þá eigi þess lattur en þó
      þykir mér mikið undir að þér rjúfið eigi þessa sætt."

      "Shortly will to this" (very soon) says Njal  "and nothing will prevent you, but though (just the same) I think it great to me (it is important) you do not break this settlement"

      "Svo munum vér þá gera," segir Skarphéðinn, "en ef til verður nokkuð með oss
      þá munum vér minnast á hinn forna fjandskap."

      "Then we till thus let it be" says Skarpheðin "but if there is more/further trouble to us  we shall be mindful of ALL they have done

      (And there's a threat if you like)

      "Engis mun eg þá um beiða," segir Njáll.

      "then I shall not prevent you"  says Njal

      This did seem well enough and I have tried to put in the literal bits and not to paraphrase too much because it is a damn good story

      Thanks in advance for any advice

      Kveðja

      Patricia

    • llama_nom
      ... Þetta er illa orðið og eigi kæmu þau tíðindi til eyrna mér að mér þættu verri. kæmu is the modern spelling for ON koemi , past subjunctive
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 30, 2007
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        > En er sendimaður kom til þings að segja Gunnari vígið þá mælti Gunnar:
        "Þetta er illa orðið og eigi kæmu þau tíðindi til eyrna mér að mér þættu
        verri.

        'kæmu' is the modern spelling for ON 'koemi', past subjunctive plural
        3rd person of 'koma'. Similarly 'þættu' = ON 'þoetti' (inf. ''). I
        think the subjunctive is used here to give it a hypothetical sense,
        the past to indicate unreality: "This has happened badly (this is a
        bad thing to happen), and there would not come to my ears [any]
        tidings which would seem worse to me."

        'orðið' = 'orðit', past participle, neuter, of 'verða'.

        'vænti mig' "I hope" or "I expect" (infinitive 'vænta') with
        accusative subject.

        > að honum fari enn vel þó að hann sé mjög að þreyttur.

        I think Grace has the right idea here: "he will continue to do well
        [by us], to behave decently, even though he be sorely tried" -- see
        Zoega 'fara' (10) and 'þreyttr' adj., where this example is quoted.

        > fyrst

        Yes, "at first", the strong neuter nom/acc form of the adjective used
        adverbially here.

        > víg Þórðar

        Patricia: "the death of Þorð". More specifically, "the killing of Þórð".

        > En þó er eigi örvænt að eg hafi ámæli af konu minni

        Grace: "unusual? (or unlikely?)"

        'örvænt' "unlikely, not to be expected", so 'eigi örvænt' "likely, to
        be expected". The prefix ör- is in origin the same as the preposition
        'ór', 'úr' (sometimes even 'ýr') "from, out of" -- the different forms
        are due to the effect of different degrees of stress in the period
        before writing in books began. The negative use presumably comes from
        the metaphor of something being "out of" or "away from" what might be
        expected or hoped for.

        Patricia: "But even though I am certain to have words from my wife".

        Yes, "Nevertheless it is not unlikely / it will come as no surprise if
        I have reproach from my wife"

        > En þó mun eg á það hætta því að eg veit að eg á við dreng um.

        I'm sure Patricia's "thought" is just a typo. "And yet I'm going to
        take that chance (risk that), because I know that I'm dealing with a
        man of honour" (i.e. Gunnar).

        > "Vilt þú nokkuð sonu þína við láta vera?"

        Patricia: "Will you want any one of your sons to be present?"

        I think 'nokkuð' here is being used adverbially to add a feeling of
        tentativeness to the question: "Do you perhaps want to have your sons
        present?" MM & HP translate 'nokkuð' "...at all?" Notice that it's
        neuter, rather than masculine to agree with 'sonu'.

        > En ef þeir eru við staddir þá munu þeir ekki saman draga.

        Patricia: "but if they were here present they would not take part"

        Literally "if they are present", with future meaning "if they are
        present [when we conclude this deal], then they won't be party to it."
        Does Zoega have this idiom? I could only find mention of an
        impersonal 'dregr saman (með þeim)' with the same meaning of
        concluding a deal.

        > Sjá þú einn fyrir.

        Grace: "You see one before???"

        Imperative: "(you) see to it alone", "you alone see to it". 'sjá
        fyrir e-u' "to take care of something". I wonder if there's a play on
        words here with 'sjá e-t fyrir' "to foresee"? But presumably "see to,
        take care of" is the main meaning; this seems to have been how MM & HP
        took it.

        > og höfum við Gunnar nú sæst á málið

        Patricia: and with Gunnar we (?) have made a settlement

        'við' = ON 'vit' "we two", "Gunnar and I have come-to-a-settlement
        (sæzt) regarding this case".

        > Mikils þótti þeim við þurfa

        "they thought they needed much (i.e. a lot of men to kill just one
        man). 'þurfa' "to need" takes genitive for the thing that's needed.

        > hvar skal þá komið

        "where must it have got to then" (with 'vera' understood), i.e. "how
        far must things go".

        > og munt þú þá eigi þess lattur

        "and you will not be dissuaded (held back) from that", again with
        'vera' "be" understood. Genitive of 'þat' for the thing someone is
        held back from. 'lattur' = ON 'lattr', past part. masc. nom. of 'letja'.

        > Engis mun eg þá um beiða,

        'beiða' "to ask" takes genitive for the thing which is requested (and
        either accusative or dative for the person to whom the request is
        directed), thus: "I will ask for nothing then (in that eventuality)."
        I think 'um' here = "about, in respect of" with "this matter"
        implied, unless it's just being used as often in poetry with no
        specific meaning.

        LN
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