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A New Introduction to Old Norse: I Grammar: 1 [Paperback]

Michael Barnes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 12.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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A New Introduction to Old Norse: I Grammar: 1 + A New Introduction to Old Norse: II: Reader + A New Introduction to Old Norse: Glossary and Index of Names with Two Supplements Pt. 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Society for Northern Research; 3Rev Ed edition (1 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0903521741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0903521741
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction, but not to be used alone. 22 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
I bought this book a couple of months ago and I am rather satisfied with how it has helped me in learning Old Norse (note that I am not using it in an Old Norse class). It goes through essentially all the grammar with a lot of the linguistic details. It is written basically for the beginner, although having some background knowledge on another Germanic language is helpful.

However, don't buy this book expecting readings and exercises. This book is basically a small textbook that goes through just the grammar. There is no glossary, and there are no practice or translation exercises to go through. The only practice given involves questions about solely the grammatical content. You would do well to buy this book and use it along with something like Kenneth Chapman's Graded Readings and Exercises in Old Icelandic (which is very useful for the beginner, if you can obtain it).

So, a book worth buying, although you should also buy the second book in this set (a reader) and a dictionary too. Again, do not expect a book with practice exercises and readings to translate.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 4 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're doing any Norse study, this is a great resource - yes you have websites on this subject, however this provided great reference for grammar and helps you understand how the Norse Language works. I bought this weith Zoega's Old Icelandic dictionary, which also helped quite a bit translating Old Norse into English. The author I believe explains things quite well and helped me with a University project. Considering there aren't that many books on this sort of thing, you can't really live without this book if you're trying to learn the language.
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By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
About a quarter of a century ago I bought Gordon's An Introduction to Old Norse, very old school and antiquated with a selection of readings and a grammar appendix which is terse and impenetrable to the beginner who does not have some background in linguistics.

More recently I have bought Jesse Byock's Viking Language 1 Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas (Viking Language Series) which lies very much at the opposite end of the spectrum, an ideal work for the beginner with no such background.

In between the two extremes lies this grammar, still somewhat traditional in that it bombards the reader with lots of declension tables, but compared to Gordon there is much more in the way of supporting commentary, usage and examples plus some exercises (which are general questions about the understanding of the grammar, rather than translation). This will go alongside the Byock work very well as a meatier reference work covering the grammar in more detail. This is a grammar only, and readings and vocabulary are provided in two separate companion volumes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Could be improved, but not bad still 11 Dec 2012
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let me just start with the fact that I've not gone through the book fully yet. So don't rely fully on my review.

I am also from Norway so Fluent in Norwegian, (English) and have a good understanding of New Norse, Swedish and Danish.
The reason I want to learn Old Norse is because I found I could understand a decent amount of words when coming across some texts on the net and figured it would be good to learn the language my main language is built on and also understand a little of Faroese and Icelandic as well to cover the Nordic (minus Finnish) languages.
I'm going through the book and trying to learn on my own and in my spare time and whilst traveling to work.

In the beginning of the book they go through how certain letters are pronounced when next to certain letters and how they are pronounced when next to other letters (if that makes any sense). What I find unhelpful with it is that it uses sounds of French words. I don't speak French and have little idea of how the word examples are pronounced so I may very well be getting the wrong sounds. I decided on using a more Norwegian/New Norse sound to these letters or at least the closest to the letter they resemble in the Norwegian alphabet. If you are to speak the language you learn, being able to pronounce it is important, and especially when there are letters and sounds that can change a word that looks almost the same so much.

Other than that the book does well to describe how sentences are constructed, giving sentences in Old Norse, it's translation and the meaning of it in English. All in all it's a good book to learn the grammar of Old Norse and I would recommend it to anyone who'd like to learn.
However, like I said at the top, at the time of writing this I have not finished the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 18 Nov 2011
By Bern
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is essential for anyone wishing to understand the complexities of Old Norse. It goes through all the necessary information, and is well presented and easy to use, whether read as a whole or dipped into when needed. It is meant to be used as part of the 'New Introduction to Old Norse' series.
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