#NorseNews: Language and Wisdom

When I was writing The Chessmen Thief, I knew that my young hero’s world was multilingual. French as a court language, Gaelic in the Southern islands and in most of mainland Scotland, and Norse in Norway, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

Most events, however, take place among Norse speakers. My husband gave me a three-volume introduction to Old Norse for our anniversary. I’m telling you, he’s a keeper! But I also came across a website with old Norse sayings. Enjoy! Source: https://futureofworking.com/21-great-old-norse-sayings/

Our Norse ancestors would have walked this very beach in Orkney

Altfor reint har ingen smak. – Too clean has no taste.

Árinni kennir illur ræðari. – A bad rower blames the oar.

Bara döda fiskar följer strömmen. – Only dead fish follow the stream.

Båtlaus mann er bunden til land. – Boatless man is tied to the land.

Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi. – Bare is the back of a brotherless man.

Berre bok gjer ingen klok. – Merely book makes none wise.

Bra vind i ryggen er best. – A fair wind at our back is best.

Brennt barn forðast eldinn. – A burnt child keeps away from fire.

Den hund som bieffer meget, han bider ikkun lidet. – Barking dogs seldom bite.

Det är som mörkast innan gryningen. – It is darkest before dawn.

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder. – There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Det som göms i snö, kommer fram vid tö. – What is hidden in snow, is revealed at thaw.

Du skal kravle, før du kan gå. – You have to learn to crawl before you can walk.

Enn skal lytte, når en gammel hund gjø. – One should listen when an old dog barks.

Gammel kjærleik rustar ikkje. – Old love does not corrode.

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