The Greece Runestones are about 30 runestones containing information related to voyages made by Norsemen to the Byzantine Empire. They were made during the Viking Age until about 1100 and were engraved in the Old Norse language with Scandinavian runes. All the stones have been found in modern-day Sweden and most of them were inscribed in memory of members of the Varangian Guard who did not make it home.
Old Norse was a North Germanic language spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during about the 9th to 13th centuries after which Old Norse started developing into the modern North Germanic languages.
Wheim ritþr þausi stain à marki mi?!
(Who rise this stone on my land?!)
(-Where is Ragnar ?)
(-he went over the river.)
(Hilde traveld from svealand away over sea and earth. Not should she come home in all mens memories of all time.)
Ein•Jøtun•kums•fra•Jotunheim•ok•ein•þurs fra•Nifelheim*Þe•twa•wæsen•furu•øwfer• midgård•ok•lifi•vel•ub•i•bergi* goðR•festi•æt af•manus•folki*
(A Jontun came from Jontunheim and a troll from Nilfelheim. The two “creatures” went over midgard and living well up in the mountains.
There thay feast and eat of the human folk.)
Ivar spoke to you quietly the whole way. The boat ride was terrifying and you found yourself shrinking into Ivar’s side just to keep the leering vikings away. One had gotten to handsy and tried to grab you, he ended up with an axe in his side as he leered.
The first week you spent locked in Ivar’s cabin. He wanted you get used to the space. He’d follow you around, almost vibrating with nervous watchfulness, grabbing things you picked up curiously and trying to hide them.
As per your request, I will go into some detail about how to pronounce the following special characters in Old Norse: þ, ð, æ, œ, ø, ǫ, and ö.
If there are others that you would like to see discussed, please do not hesitate to let them be known.
þ (’thorn’) and ð (’eth’)
Both of these characters represent the English sound ‘th’ (a dental fricative), but ‘þ’ is unvoiced while ‘ð’ is voiced. When saying an ‘ð’, you should feel your vocal cords vibrating. Here are some English examples:
Þ, þ: thistle, cloth, thing
Ð, ð: bathe, clothe, they
In Old Norse, ‘þ’ can only appear at the beginning of a word (Þórr, þér, þing, etc.). There are, however, exceptions to this when considering compounds: Bergþórshváli = berg (rock face, geo.) + Þóra (a personal name, an gen. þórs) + hváll (hill). Yet, in this case, the proper name is actually Bergþóra (itself a compound), thus Bergthora’s Hill. Similarly, ‘ð’ never occurs at the beginning of a word, but rather in the middle or the end.
Here is a video by Dr. Jackson Crawford that may be helpful as well:
This special character sounds like the ‘a’ in the English word ‘ash’ (this, of course, can change based on dialects). Here are some other English examples:
Æ, æ: ash, nap, trap, clash, cat
Although some of the English examples above contain a short ‘a’ sound, the vowel ‘æ’ is always long in Old Norse. See the video at the end of this post for an audio example (6:12).
œ and ø
These special characters have a bit of a special relationship with one another (as well as with the special characters below).
‘ø’ is very much like the sound of ‘e’ in the English word ‘pet’, except with rounded lips. Another way to explain this special character is that it is somewhat a combination of two sounds: ‘e’ and ‘o’. Thus, it is the ‘e’ sound in ‘pet’ with the rounded lips of an ‘o’. This sound should be made towards the front of your mouth. It takes a bit of practice, but you should be able to feel the front ‘pinched’ a bit, and your throat should open up a bit more. See the video at the end of this post for an audio example (6:36).
Ø, ø: the ‘e’ in ‘pet’ with the rounded lips of an ‘o’
‘œ’ is essentially a long version of the ‘ø’ above. In certain manuscripts it is actually written as ‘ǿ’. Like most other accented vowels in Old Norse, this just lengthens the shorter sound. So, with that having been said: œ = ǿ = a long ‘ø’ = e+o. See the video at the end of this post for an audio example (7:45).
Œ, œ: ǿ
ǫ and ö
‘ǫ’ is essentially a shorter ‘á’ sound, which we have not discussed here. Nonetheless, it should sound something like this:
Ǫ, ǫ: the ‘au’ sound in ‘caught’, but with rounded lips and shorter than the ‘á’ (which is the same sound, but longer).
This is another difficult sound to get used to, but with practice it can be done. It is very similar to the ‘ø’ above, but instead of being a combination of the sounds ‘e’ and ‘o’, it is a combination of the sounds ‘a’ and ‘o’. Instead of being a front sound, it is more of a back sound (a more open throat and a less closed mouth). See the video at the end of this post for an audio example (8:08).
By the thirteenth century, ‘ǫ’ had begun to merge with ‘ø’, producing ‘ö’. This sound was also represented by ‘au’, ‘ꜹ’, and even ‘ø’. It is not the same sound as ‘ǫ’, but it is fairly similar. The difference is that ‘ö’ is a front sound, whereas ‘ǫ’ was more of a back sound.
Ö, ö: similar to ‘ǫ’, but more like the ‘u’ in ‘cut’ with rounded lips.
‘ö’ is more commonly used for modern Icelandic, but some scholars use ‘ö’ to represent the Old Norse ‘ǫ’ (such as Jesse L. Byock). There is debate around this, but it really depends on the time period of the text being looked at, as well as the orthography associated with it. Dr. Jackson Crawford notes that ‘ǫ’ is the standard for Old Norse. Go to 8:38 of this video for some audio examples from Dr. Jackson Crawford:
Here is another video by Dr. Jackson Crawford that may be helpful for better understanding these characters and their pronunciations. Go to the timestamps mentioned above for the pronunciation of æ (6:12), ø (6:36), œ (7:45), and ǫ (8:08) in particular.
[His video has been deleted, it seems. I will revise this post in the near future with updated videos and resources – my apologies for the inconvenience this may cause in the meantime]
Bonjour tout le monde! 😊 Some of you know this, but the main languages I’m studying are French and Norwegian and in school I did a year each of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German- I have a healthy respect for languages, you might say 😜 So for this post, I’m going to go through all the language masterposts and cool resources I have saved and collect them all into one post, no matter the language! (This may take a while…)
Ek = I
Thu = you
Mi = My
Vel = well, good
Un = not
Gingu = go\walk
Ginga = Went\ walkt
Lif = life
Skogh = forest
Widu = Wood
Laguz = water
Stain = rock
That = that
Thaousi = thees, those
Er = are
Folkir = people
Okk = and
Ek er ( name ) fra ( place ) = I am ( name ) from ( place )
“Ek er Ludvig fra Neriki”
That er un vel = that is not good.
That er skogh Mi = thats My forest.
Thaousi er un stainir Mi = those are not My rocks.
Whilst SKAM undoubtedly had a great impact internationally, most notably within the LGBTQ+ communities, I’d like to take a moment to thank Julie Andem for creating a show that brought Scandinavia together.
If you don’t know much about Scandinavian history, here’s a short briefing: we used to be kinda one country, either ruled by Denmark or Sweden (there were a lot of wars), we shared a language (now into 3 languages, but still very similar to each other) and culture. The last time any of the countries were the same country was back in 1905 when Norway asked to be its own country and Sweden said yes.
The older generations have thus quite a bit of understanding of the other Scandinavian languages and it’s not uncommon to see a Swede and a Dane talking together in their respective languages. However, for us younger folks, especially in Sweden (where I’m from), we’ve been exposed a lot less to the other languages. I know that in Norway they watch a lot more Swedish television that what we watch Norwegian, esp children’s shows and films (Pippi for example), but there’s still a lot of Scandi youths who don’t understand each other. Part of the school curriculum is to learn about Scandinavian languages and learn a bit of Norwegian and Danish, but it’s not much.
With SKAM, all of that changed. Suddenly you could hear Swedes and Danes saying Norwegian words in the school corridors - Norwegian was the new English in terms of a second language. (almost)
And it wasn’t just the show itself, but the community that was created. Here we suddenly had the Kosegruppa Facebook groups, where I, myself was part of both the Swedish and Danish one. Fans over Scandinavia discussed the show in their own languages and suddenly we were exposed to them like never before. The (few) interviews with the actors were with journalists from all three Scandi countries, all speaking their own languages.
Last year, the show even won a Nordic prize, praising it for the spreading of Nordic languages and the understanding. (quickly: Nordic countries also include Finland and Iceland - Finnish is completely different but many speak Swedish, and Iceland, while it may look completely different, it’s close to the old Norse language that the Scandi languages come from)
It may be hard for a non-Scandi (or at least non-Nordic) person to understand what an impact SKAM had on our languages, communication and the sense of belonging to something bigger than just your own country. While people compare for example Spanish with being similar to Portuguese and Italian, it’s not even close to the Scandinavian languages.
I’m not only proud to be Swedish, but to be Scandinavian now, and thank you SKAM for this.
Steve Rogers x Reader | Word Count: 3319
Warnings: Swearing, violence, Norse language which may or may not be correct
specially equipped plane was minutes out, Natasha and Clint at the controls
while Faye, with Grant at her side, stood before the Command center. Everyone was
geared up and ready, listening as she went through the plan a final time. She
held everyone’s focus, everyone’s attention except Steve’s.
his job. It was simple. He was going for his girl and no one could tell him
different. When Faye finished her recitation, he turned to Bucky and with a
short jerk of his head the two of them made their way to a quiet, private
Steve started and hesitated, hating what he was about to ask.
know, Stevie.” Smoky blue grey eyes held his unyielding.
to ask this,” he sighed, looking away. Even the thought of it made Steve’s
out, Bucky gripped Steve’s shoulder tightly. “Steve, I’ve got your back in
this. You don’t gotta ask. I’m with you til the end of the line, pal.”
his eyes to Bucky’s, Steve watched the blue slowly brighten. “Winter?”
man. I’ve got this.” The Winter Soldier looked back at him.
The storm grew bigger
with the minute, the wind was howling and the sea was hitting his water against
the cliffs your fathers kingdom was standing on. The thunder stroke down
through the sky, lightening your room within seconds. ‘Princess Y/n.’ You
startled from the voice and turned away from the window in which you could see
the raging ocean under this heavy storm. 'Do you need more candles?’ She asked
you polite. You smiled and shook your head, looking back outside. 'Isn’t it
beautiful?’ You asked, looking to the chaos. You loved the nature, you loved
its disasters and his kindness, his beauty and terror. For you it were signs of
god, little fragments that told a tail. 'It won’t be for whoever is out there.’
Kenna replied, standing still aside you at the window. You looked over the
rough sea, imagining how it would be for the ones sailing, or the farmers who
hadn’t have a proper roof over their houses. Kenna tempered that longing for adventure
a little and you just nodded, gazing in the dark. 'You go sleep, tomorrow is a
new day in witch mother nature can be kinder.’ She smiled, you looked aside and
nodded again, giving the lightning one last look before you turned to bed. But
when Kenna left you couldn’t think about something else … what if somebody was
It was early in the morning when you woke up,
ate breakfast alone and saddled a horse. 'We go for a morning walk, nothing
wrong with that.’ You said to the two servants who followed you anywhere. Kenna
frowned her eyebrows and looked aside to Elisabeth who suppressed a smile. 'And
it has nothing to do with the storm?’ 'Maybe we got a little gift out of the
sea.’ You shrugged while pulling yourself in the saddle. 'Probably wood … and
seaweed, that is what storms do.’ Kenna replied. You rolled your eyes and
looked over your shoulder to the both of them. ‘You don’t need to come, you can
stay here, clean the castle walls.’ You stated. It wasn’t a discussion they
needed to think long about, they both found their selves a horse and followed
you through the large wooden gates out. You were the princess of a king but you
father hardly cared about your whereabouts. As long as you studied alongside of
him and showed your head on a occasion he didn’t mind your adventurous soul. In
all of that you grew a princess of the people, always caring about their health
and concerns rather than the battles that needed to be fought. In a way you
would be a good queen, as long as you found yourself a husband who was with his
head battling the dangers of the lands. But even about that your father didn’t
care, for him you could be a lonely queen for the rest of your life. You
breathed the salty air in as the white mare beneath you took the path down
leading directly to the beach. She left marks in the wet sand as you leaded her
to the shoreline. Your eyes trailed down to the beach, the water, the damage
that the storm brought on shore. In comparing to this night the sun was shining
brightly, blinding you as you looked up to the blue sky. ‘It seemed somebody
was out there.’ Elisabeth stated to the wood strangled in between the seaweed.
You looked over your shoulder to them both, gazing the ocean. ‘The storm wasn’t
kind.’ You whispered while looking back in front of you. The mare underneath
you stopped abruptly as she saw something that made her restless a little. ‘What
is that?’ Kenna asked, holding her horse still aside yours. You all three
looked to what seemed like some wood tangled in fabrics, seaweed … a body. ‘It’s
a human.’ You whispered when you recognized a head between all of the damage.
You slide down from your horse and gave the reins to Kenna. ‘Y/n, what are you
doing?’ She asked tensed as you started to approach the body. ‘Looking if he is
alive.’ ‘He isn’t a soldier from here.’ ‘And because of that we should leave
him?’ You asked upset. Kenna looked nervous aside to Elisabeth and you forgot
them both while carefully walking over to the man. He had a long brown braid, a
certain style of clothing you didn’t saw before. You carefully removed the wood where he laid under, squeezing your
eyes a little when you saw the axe laying around his waist. ‘Is he dead?’
Elisabeth yelled. You pushed your foot carefully against his side but nothing
happened. You looked up to the both of your servants before swallowing and
crouching down. You took the braid and removed it away from his face. His eyes
were shut, everything relax under his death? He laid with his chest in the sand
so you really couldn’t see him move. You carefully pushed your fingers against
his neck, looking for a heartbeat. ‘He is alive!’ You shouted, a little
relieved, maybe you weren’t that ready to see a dead man just yet. You looked
back over the man, looking for wounds aside the cut in his forehead. Kenna came
down from her horse and walked over, pulling in a breath when she saw the man. ‘He
is a pagan.’ She flinched. ‘How do you know that?’ ‘Because my village got raid
by these bastards way before I came here. We should leave him here, this is bad
news.’ Kenna explained. You looked around over the beach, looking for other
humans but it was only just him. ‘He is alone.’ You noticed. ‘Maybe the rest of
them died in the storm?’ Elisabeth suggested from far of. ‘We need to take him
with us, he is maybe wounded, he can die here.’ ‘How are you going to do that,
walk in and say; “hey father look what I found, a freaking pagan on the beach?”
This is insane Y/n.’ Kenna reacted. ‘So you going to leave him here?’ You asked
her. Elisabeth leaded the horses closer so she had a better look on the man. ‘He
is handsome.’ She noticed. You both looked her way and she blushed a little on
the observation. You looked back, not giving her wrong on that statement, he
was pretty handsome. ‘We take him. We go in on that secret passage.’ You announced
your plan. ‘You going to smuggle a pagan in? Where?’ ‘My room.’ You shrugged,
pulling the rest of the wood away from his body. You lifted his arm and felt
how heavy he already was. So you looked up to both your servants. ‘We are not
going to help you.’ Elisabeth said with a concerned look toward the unconscious
man. ‘I’m the princess, I command you to help me.’ You never used those words
before. They both rolled their eyes and Kenna helped you turning him over
before grabbing his feet. In a weird way you succeed to lay that heavy body of
him over your horse and lead him back to the castle. You even got him in your
room without anybody seeing it.
In the years from 750 to 1.050 there happened a linguistic change in the Norse language. Vocals and syllables have gone lost while new vocal sounds emerged and the destribution of consonants has changed.
The Elder Futhark became less suitable for the Norse language and therefore has undergone a reformation. One rune received several sounds. There were less runes in the New Futhark, reducing it from 24 runes to 16. The new Futhark became easier to write and there were two styles of writing depending on which region in Scandinavia.
Runes were written as short twig runes mostly in Norway and Sweden. This kind of writing was suitable for everyday communication since the italic writing made it easy to write messages quickly. The writing in long twig runes was more common in Denmark where there were also regional variants. This type of writing is more decorative and was used for official purposes or on rune stones.
Subtitle: Cats are Literally Trolls Why Do You Think They’re Such Assholes
@eclecticwixyness requested me to cover cats in Norse lore and belief. Cats show up in the eddas three times: Freya’s chariot is pulled by two cats (often stated to be gray or blue though Snorri doesn’t specify their color nor their names), Thor tries to lift a cat that is actually Jormungandr in disguise, and the sound of the footfalls of a cat are used to craft the magical chain Gleipnir. Aside from these instances, cats are mentioned sparsely in the saga: once as a troll in the form of a feline beast in “The Tale of Ormr Stdrdlfsson” and a few times they’re alluded to as catskin gloves or cat-fur lined hoods that volvas wear. They show up in folklore after Christianization, usually in conjunction with trolls or the hidden folk. They’re also tied to witches in later Scandinavian folklore. However, their mentions are still relatively sparse. Furthermore, the frequency of cats found in burial sites and Scandinavian artwork is also quite low for an animal tied to one of its foremost goddesses. Despite this, there’s enough pattern repetition within the finds to make a coherent picture of the role they played in Norse belief, though likely not a complete one.
Working on a runestone as one of my art projects for the spring exhibit. Thinking about having this on it.
Swedish: “Du ska göra konstverk och ej krig.”
Wish means in English : you will make art and not war.
Like “make art not war” but in old norse and a bit more formally built.
The direct translation of “make art not war” would be (Giara•list•un•strið*)
It’s written in a younger Futhark that was just in south of sweden and Denmark from the end of 1300 to the late 1500.
Christian munks in Skåne just it to make some of the first Scandinavian writings about Christianity.
These munks were later killed and burned along with the most of these documents seens runes were considered witchcraft. These are ergo some rare runes to find.
Note: this word comes from the Old Norse word “fjallheimr”. “heim” is an alternative and less used form of “hjem”. You can find it in city names such as Trondheim. You can also find it in some mountainous areas’s names: Trollheimen (the troll home), Jotunheimen (the jotun home) and Reinheimen (the reindeer home) and a few more!