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Re: Njall 97 part 2 - - Grace's translation

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  • llama_nom
    ... hingað að vér förum bónorðsför og mælum til mægða við þig Flosi en til eiginorðs við Hildigunni bróðurdóttur þína. ... is my errand
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2008
      --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Fred and Grace Hatton"
      <hatton@...> wrote:
      >
      > Þar koma niður ræður Njáls að hann segir svo: "Það er erindi mitt
      hingað að vér förum bónorðsför og mælum til mægða við þig Flosi en til
      eiginorðs við Hildigunni bróðurdóttur þína."

      > (It) comes down there to Njall's discussion that he says this, "It
      is my errand hither that we go on a wooing journey and speak ? to you
      Flosi about affinity by marriage and about marriage with Hildigunn,
      your niece.

      Notice that 'koma' is plural because the subject is 'ræður'. I think
      the idea is that he starts off with small talk, and the discussion
      moves to marriage. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson paraphrase:
      "and eventually N. said, 'The purpose of our visit is to make a
      proposal of marriage, to link our family with yours, Flosi. We are
      asking for the hand of your neice Hildigunn.'"

      > og mælum til mægða við þig Flosi

      'mæla til e-s' "to speak of" or "to express a wish for, make a request
      for".

      > "Fyrir hvers hönd?"

      "On whose behalf."

      > "Vel er slíkt stofnað," segir Flosi, "en þó hafið þér mikið í hættu
      hvorir við aðra eða hvað segir þú frá Höskuldi?"

      > "Such is well founded," says Flosi, "but still you have much risk
      each with others or what say you of Hoskuld?"

      MM & HP: "'That is a good offer,' said Flosi. 'On the other hand,
      there are dangerous flaws in your family relationships. What can you
      tell me of Hoskuld?"

      "your" = you, on the one hand, and Hoskuld on the other.

      > Hún kvaðst vera kona skapstór "og veit eg eigi hversu mér er hent
      við það, er þar eru svo menn fyrir, en það þó eigi síður að sjá maður
      hefir ekki mannaforráð. Og hefir þú það mælt að þú mundir eigi gifta
      mig goðorðslausum manni."

      "She said she was a proud woman, 'and I don't know whether this
      [offer] suits me, given that such people [as these] are here, and [I
      have my doubts] not least [given] that this man doesn't have a
      position of authority. And you've said you wouldn't give me in
      marriage to anyone who didn't have the rank of chieftain."

      MM & HP: "'I have my pride,' said H., "and I am not sure whether this
      proposal suits me, considering the kind of people involved -
      particularly since this is a man without authority. You made me a
      promise that you would naver marry me to a man without the rank of
      chieftain."

      > er þar eru svo menn fyrir

      The 'er' has the job of introducing a relevant circumstance or
      explanation, rather than being temporal, but in this case the English
      word "when" could be used, in that sense of "what with", "given that",
      "seeing as (how)", "considering that".

      > "Það er ærið eitt til," segir Flosi, "ef þú vilt eigi giftast
      Höskuldi að þá mun eg engan kost á gera."

      > "It alone is sufficient for (it)," says Flosi, "if you don't want to
      be married to Hoskuld that then I will not do that option.

      Good, that's right, except that 'þá mun eg engan kost á gera' = "then
      I will give no choice in [the matter]", i.e. "I won't offer him any
      possibility of marrying you".

      > Njáll mælti: "Þá vil eg bíða láta mín um þetta mál þrjá vetur."
      > Njall spoke, "Then I wish to ask (you) to allow me three years for
      this case."

      Yes, more literally (and in less idiomatic English): "Then I wish to
      be waited for, in this matter [of my request], for three years." The
      verbs are embedded in the following order: 'vil' is the verb in the
      main clause, its subject being 'eg'; directly subordinated to 'vil' is
      the infinitive 'láta'; and subordinated to 'láta' is the infinitive
      'bíða'. 'mín' "me" is the genitive object of 'bíða' "to wait for",
      representing what (or who) is waited for.

      > ef þessi ráð tækjust

      'ráð' can also mean specifically "marriage", as I think it does here:
      "if this marriage does take place". 'tækjust' is the modern form of
      the past subjunctive 3rd person plural, corresponsing to normalisd Old
      Norse 'toekisk'. I guess the past is used here because of 'vildi' in
      the main clause. Incidentally, I see that another version has
      'takast' instead at ths point [
      http://www.visindavefur.is/svar.php?id=2067 ]. Konráð Gíslason and
      Eiríkur Jónsson's edition reads:

      `þann hlut vilda ek til skilja' segir hildigunnr `ef þessi ráð tækiz,
      at vit værim austr hjer'.

      I suppose we could translate 'skilja' "specify" or "stipulate" here.
      MM & HP have "stipulate".

      > Njáll kvaðst það vilja skilja undir Höskuld en Höskuldur kvaðst
      mörgum vel trúa en engum betur en fóstra sínum.
      > Njall declared of himself to wish it (that) to decide (lie) with
      Hoskuld but Hoskuld said of himself to trust many well but none better
      than his father.

      Yes, that's right. MM & HP: "Njal said that he would rather leave that
      to Hoskuld to decide. Hoskuld said that he trusted many men, but none
      so well as his foster-father Njal."
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