Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader: Volume 2 (Viking Language Series) Paperback – 4 Dec. 2014
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A "must have" if you have VL1.
Viking Language 2' is a literary Viking hoard of Old Norse Sagas, eddas, skaldic poetry and runic inscriptions. It can be used alongside 'Viking Language 1,' or as a stand-alone, if you already know Norse, but want some guidance on Old Norse Literature, instead of chancing a" lucky dip". The book features/includes such sagas/tales as: 'Njal's Saga,' 'The Tale Of Audun Of The West Fjords,' ('Audun And The Bear,') The Doom Of The Gods,' 'Hfrankel's Saga,' 'The Book Of The Icelanders,' 'The Saga Of Erik The Red' and 'Egil's Saga,' which also has site plans of excavations relating to Egil Skallagrimsson of 'Egil's Saga'. - Author, Professor Byock, is the Director of the Mosfell Archaeological Project in Iceland, as well as teaching at UCLA! It's exciting to be able to study the text of 'Egil's Saga' and read about the excavations. It really brings it home to you, that these were real people, not made up, and that there is archaeological evidence to back up the textual.
There are introductions to the texts, giving you an overview and background information, and short sections of texts to translate, along with helpful notes, where needed. In the first chapter, as well as getting the opportunity to have a go at translating 'Njal's Saga,' you can also see how the experts go about it, as there are four different published translations provided. Brilliant! Maybe your translation is an improvement!
Like 'Viking Language 1,' 'Viking Language 2' emphasizes the most frequent words found in the sagas, giving the learner a solid base from which to take an independent foray into Old Norse texts. And like 'VL1' it has a quick reference grammar. So handy! The book is strewn with fantastic illustrations of scenes from the sagas, artefacts, runic inscriptions, and of course, tons of maps. The whole 'Viking Language' project is very thoughtful and considered. Professor Byock is committed to giving the student of Old Norse the most enriching and intense experience, by bringing the Viking World to life. I was especially happy that he concentrates on the Viking 'Empire,' and not just Iceland, where, because of isolation, the language did not change so dramatically.
I so wish that these books had existed 30 years ago, when I was at university, where I struggled with the grammar and "dry" text-books. And if you don't know any Old Norse, or Scandinavian Languages, and would really like to learn to read the sagas and poems in the original, don't have any doubts, as having English, a related Germanic language is a big help, and using 'Viking Language 1 and 2' will set you on the right path of a fabulous journey into Viking Language, Literature, Runes, History and Mythology. And with the help of Professor Byock, you won't look back!
I really hope that this book wins some kind of award! It's ground-breaking, awesome and I'm thankful for it. I expect that there will be a great demand for it from Old Norse students , so I'd get your copy sooner, rather than later.
By the way, there are lots of goodies on the Publisher's website, including videos and reports on the Mosfell Project, so you can keep up to date with the latest Viking archaeological developments.
Good luck with your Old Norse studies! Lycka till! As they say in Sweden.
Top international reviews
De plus, ils donnent envie de retourner en Islande, pays absolument fabuleux ( on reste la bouche ouverte du matin au matin, surtout en été, puisque la nuit ne tombe pas :-)
Très satisfaite bon ouvrage...tout comme le premier, viking language 1
Je le recommande
Indispensable pour les passionnés des eddas, des sagas ou de linguistique germanique.
Now on to learning the Old Norse Language. It is very confusing and with the audio track bought through iTunes the speaker doesn’t help. The speaker speaks very faster and it’s hard to understand. I gave it 3 stars because of the history of the Old Norse Language and how the Vikings traveled from homelands to Iceland, Greenland and Vinland