Learning Icelandic and Old Norse

The advanced Asatru alliterative poet should also have some knowledge of the older languages, as the best exemplars of the form are in the old languages. Most important are Old Norse and Old English, although some alliterative material also exists in a few other old dialects. Today’s post, however, focuses on Old Norse and Modern Icelandic. The two are so similar (at least in the way they are written) that knowledge of one is almost the same thing as knowledge of the other. The vocabulary of the modern language is, of course, larger. The differences are relatively minor, and in comparing texts of the two, my brain doesn’t even register them as separate languages.

To really ramp up my learning of Modern Icelandic, I’m taking a trip to Reykjavík, Iceland for a four-week summer course in Modern Icelandic at the Árni Magnússon Institute. <http://arnastofnun.is/page/althjodlegt_islenskunamskeid_en>. While I’m there, my internet access will be limited, and this blog will be taking a four-week hiatus — the next post will not occur until July 31. So those who post comments may have to wait a while before they are approved.

Here’s a list of helpful resources for the poet who wants to study Modern Icelandic and/or Old Norse.

Continue reading

Advertisement