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 OLD NORSE

The Northern branch of Germanic languages yielded the Scandinavian languages. In the Middle Ages they were divided in two very close stocks, West Scandinavian (Norway and the North Atlantic islands) and East Scandinavian (Sweden and Denmark). "Old Norse" is a not very precise term that covers the written forms of Old Scandinavian, either of all dialects, either of the Western ones, varying with authors. By far the best attested variety is Old Icelandic; "Classical" Old Norse is the language of the Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries. Tolkien delighted in this language and its literature. The "outer" names of the Dwarves, by which they are known to us, and the name of Smaug, are in Old Norse, which represents the tongue of Dale in the literary device of pseudo-translation adopted in The Lord of the Rings. The pronunciation we tried to achieve roughly reproduces 13th century Icelandic.

Faþer vár - the Pater noster in Old Norse edited by Þorvaldur Bjarnarson

Dvergatal - Reckoning of the Dwarfs, an extract of the Völuspá, from the Elder Edda, in Old Icelandic

Njörðr and Skaði - Extract from chapter 23 of the Gylfaginning, from the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, in Old Icelandic



Quotations of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Édouard Kloczko, Christopher Gilson, Patrick Wynne, Rhona Beare, Thomas Alan Shippey, Charles Kennedy, Elaine Treharne, André Crépin, Régis Boyer, François-Xavier Dillmann, Gabriel Rebourcet, Keith Bosley, Pierre-Yves Lambert, Gwyn Jones, Thomas Jones are under the copyright of their publishers.


Last update of the site : 2006, August 9th.
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