Orð Víkinganna
Various modern and occasionally word-for-word translations of some Old Norse texts. I will also post some declensions and vocabulary as I have need to memorize it. I'm a former student of Old Norse at UCLA, who studied Anthropology and minored in Scandinavian Studies. Please submit any posts below! And please ask me to explain anything and feel free to correct me!

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Þórr svarar engu, setr hornit á munn sér ok hyggr , at hann skal drekka meira drykk, ok þreytir á drykkjuna, sem honum vannst til örendi, ok enn sér hann, at stikillinn hornsins vill ekki upp svá mjök sem honum líkar. Ok er hann tók hornið af munni sér ok sér í, lízt honum nú svá sem minna hafi þorrit men í inu fyrra sinni. Er gott beranda borð á horninu.

 nú - now

svá - so, such

ok - and, but (now modern Íslenska and Norsk ‘og’)

at - which, that

er - which, with regards to, who, when, until, that (also very important - a form of ‘to be’)

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hyggja (v.) - to think

Þórr svarar engu, setr hornit á munn sér ok hyggr nú, at hann skal drekka meira drykk, ok þreytir á drykkjuna, sem honum vannst til örendi, ok enn sér hann, at stikillinn hornsins vill ekki upp svá mjök sem honum líkar. Ok er hann tók hornið af munni sér ok sér í, lízt honum nú svá sem minna hafi þorrit men í inu fyrra sinni. Er nú gott beranda borð á horninu.

One of Oðins raven is named Huginn, based on this word. (The other is Muninn, meaning memory. It’s rumored that Odin fears most losing Huginn and Muninn, thought/wisdom and memory, as he ages.)

The saying from Hávamál, verse 45 says: mæla fagrt, ok hyggja flátt, meaning to speak fair but think false.

Þórr svarar engu, setr hornit á munn sér ok hyggr nú, at hann skal drekka meira drykk, ok þreytir á drykkjuna, sem honum vannst til örendi, ok enn sér hann, at stikillinn hornsins vill ekki upp svá mjök sem honum líkar. Ok er hann tók hornið af munni sér ok sér í, lízt honum nú svá sem minna hafi þorrit men í inu fyrra sinni. Er nú gott beranda borð á horninu. 

meiri is a great word ahaha it´s a comparative word that means ‘great, large, more.’ In this case, more alcohol.

mjök also means much, great, but it’s an adverb. 

unsurprisingly, mestr means ‘most’, and finally mikill is the adjective which means ‘great.’

Mead is a frustrating word, as it´s so irregular because it´s so common, so it held onto it´s strange declension (like the word ‘to be’ - am, is, are, was, were, be, been. So weird but also common.) So I´m going to add it onto this post, too. It´s called a u-stem noun, and in, like, Proto-Indo-European it had was ‘médhu’ so there is a thing called breaking, where the ending breaks the vowel in the stem. (I can explain that later in another post, when I find my notes idk.)

It goes like this: 

Nominitive (I, ek) - mjǫðr (plural: miðir)
Accusative (you, þú) - mjǫðr (pl: mjǫðu)
Genetive (posessive) - mjaðar (pl: mjaða)
Dative (to him, honum) - miði (pl: mjǫðum)

A very important word in Old Norse

It’s used in many forms and has some interesting changes when it’s used, especially in this passage. It can also be a noun, and there are many ways to drink (drekka mjök - drink fast, drekka ein af stokki - to drink one under the table, drekkr sér lítit vit - to drink away one’s reason). It can also mean to host a feast and celebrate, and to drink out of a vessel (drukku þeir af einu silfrkeri).

In the passageÞórr svarar engu, setr hornit á munn sér ok hyggr nú, at hann skal drekka meira drykk, ok þreytir á drykkjuna, sem honum vannst til örendi, ok enn sér hann, at stikillinn hornsins vill ekki upp svá mjök sem honum líkar. Ok er hann tók hornið af munni sér ok sér í, lízt honum nú svá sem minna hafi þorrit men í inu fyrra sinni. Er nú gott beranda borð á horninu.

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So I’m going to do a new thing where I pick a passage every week and pick words from that to translate each day so it actually makes sense. 

This week’s is from Gylfagynning - the story of Thor visiting Utgarda-Loki. You can look it up and stuff later, it’s really hilarious. This part takes place after Utgarda-Loki has been basically making fun of his companions’ losses in different competitions. Then he asks Thor what he is good at and Thor says he’s good at drinking, so Utgarda-Loki is going to have a drinking competition with him. 

 Þórr svarar engu, setr hornit á munn sér ok hyggr nú, at hann skal drekka meira drykk, ok þreytir á drykkjuna, sem honum vannst til örendi, ok enn sér hann, at stikillinn hornsins vill ekki upp svá mjök sem honum líkar. Ok er hann tók hornið af munni sér ok sér í, lízt honum nú svá sem minna hafi þorrit men í inu fyrra sinni. Er nú gott beranda borð á horninu (Chapter 46)

The phrase I highlighted translates exactly as, “set the horn on mouth his.” Often, old norse word order is not the same as English, but because of the complicated declensions and stuff, you can tell which words are related to which. In this case, sér means ‘his own’ or ‘for oneself’ and can often emphasize separate-ness. (sér hvárr þeirra - themselves each of their own self.)

Horn is the word meaning ‘horn’ and the endings -it,-ins, and -inu mean ‘the.’

á munn in this case means ‘on’ or, like, ‘to his mouth’

settr means ‘placed’ or ‘set,’ it´s the past participle form of setja and it has this weird Icelandic modern spelling in this passage but I´m not about to change it. 

Words I´ve gone over already in bold! Words similar to English sound and meaning in italics. See if you can guess some of them. Remember Þ is pronounced ‘th’ and á is pronounced sort of like in ‘sort’ or ‘fort’.

´Þar sitr Sigurðr ok steikir Fáfnis hjarta. Þat skyldi hann sjálfr eta. Þá mundi hann verða hverjum manni vitrari.’

ǫnnur segir, ‘Þar liggr Reginn ok vill véla þann sem honum trúir.’ Þá malti in þriðja,

'Hǫggvi hann þá hǫnum, ok má hann þá ráða gullinu því inu miklu einn.’

Þá mælti in fjórða, ‘Þá væri hann vitrari ef hann hefði þat sem þær hǫfðu ráðit honum, ok riði siðan til bóls Fáfnis ok toeki þat it mikla gull er þar er, ok riði siðan upp á Hindarfjall þar sem Brynhildr sefr, ok mun hann nema þar mikla speki, ok þá væri hann vitr ef han hefði yður ráð ok hygí hann um sína þurft, ok þar er mér úlfsins ván er ek eyrun sá.’ Þá mælti in fimmta,

'Eigi er hann svá horskr sem ek ætla ef hann vægir honum, en drepit áðr bróður hans.’ Þá mælti in sétta,

'Þat væri snjallræði ef hann dræpi hann ok réði einn fénu.'

Þá mælti Sigurðr, ‘Eigi munu þau óskǫp at Reginn sé minn bani, ok heldr skulu Þeir fara báðir broeðr einn veg.’

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segja (strong verb) - (present segir, past sagði, past plural sǫgðu, past participle sagt)

Konungr sagði at svá var. Hárekr segir, ‘….’ (Egils saga, Chapter 12)

King said that was so. Hárekr says, ‘….’

mæla (weak verb) - (past mæltipast participle mælt)

Þá mælti in fjórða, ‘…..’ (Volsunga saga, Chapter 20, more from this passage tomorrow, its very exciting)

Then said the fourth, ‘…..’

Simple and used often, but if someone asked me to conjugate them I don´t really want to because ugh. You start to recognize them the more you read, as they are used constantly. After you recognize them, you stop seeing them because they´re so common, in my opinion.

(present skal, past skyldi)

Þá mælti Sigurðr, ‘Eigi munu þau óskǫp at Reginn sé minn bani, ok heldr skulu þeir fara báðir broeðr einn veg.’ (Volsunga saga, Chapter 20)

Then said Sigurðr, ‘Not shall (it be my destiny?) that Reginn be my killer (bane); (it) should be better that both brothers go their own way. (I took some liberties here in translating ok).

…var þat ákveðit nær konungr skyldi þar koma.

was it the decision (I am assuming here ok) (the) king should then come near.

This is a very common verb used all the time and it´s irregular and frustrating and so I might make more posts later about it. The reason the past tense has a ‘y’ is because of i-umlaut, where the ‘i’ in the ending makes the first vowel sound closer to it. That’s a post for another day, though.

Víkingar hljópu frá skipum við óvígjan her. Sigmund konungr ok Eylimi settu up merki sín ok ver þá blásit í lúdra. (Volsunga saga, Chapter 11)

The vikings leaped from the ships in great numbers. King Sigmund and Eylimi set up something remarkable and the trumpets were blown.

2. miracle
3. standard, banner
4. remains, traces

merkiligr, merkr (adj.) - noteworthy, important

(not to be confused with merkja (n.) - a mark, sign, symbol, or merkir (v.) - denotes, indicates)

a masculine noun; when naming a king it is typical to put their name first (ie: Sigmundr konungr - King Sigmund)

Lyngvi konungr soekir nú til konungsboejarins ok ætlar at taka þar konungsdóttur, en þat brásk honum. (Volsunga saga, Chapter 12)

King (nominative form) Lyngvi visited the king’s-house (genitive form) and expected to take the king’s daughter (genitive), but in that was he thwarted. (brásk is a reflexive ‘broken’ followed by the genitive honum meaning ‘him’; it´s translated as ‘thwarted’ by R.G. Finch)

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