#NorseNews: The Norse Phrasebook

What did our Norse ancestors sound like? I needed some Norse phrases to drop into my Norse world in The Chessmen Thief. But careful: too many unfamiliar words and the story can become confusing to young readers. A little, a sprinkling of authenticity, helps to build the world. I needed some simple phrases. Here are some I found:

Old Norse speakers would have walked among the Standing Stones

Hei – Hi! (informal greeting)

Heill – Hello! (when addressing one male)
Heil – Hello! (when addressing one female)
Heilir – Hello! (when addressing a group of males)
Heilar – Hello! (when addressing a group of females)
Heil – Hello! (when addressing a group of both sexes)

Sæll – Hello! (when addressing one male)
Sæl – Hello! (when addressing one female)
Sælir – Hello! (when addressing a group of males)
Sælar – Hello! (when addressing a group of females)
Sæl – Hello! (when addressing a group of both sexes)

‘Heill’ involves wishing good health … whereas ‘Sæll’ simply wishes happiness.

Góðan dag/Góðan daginn – Good day!
Góðan morgin – Good morning!
Góðan aptan – Good afternoon!
Gott kveld – Good evening!
Góða nótt – Good night!
Sof þú vel – Good night! (sleep well)

Velkominn – Welcome! (when addressing one male)
Velkomin – Welcome! (when addressing one female)
Velkominir – Welcome! (when addressing a group of males)
Velkominar – Welcome! (when addressing a group of females)
Velkomin – Welcome! (when addressing a group of both sexes)

Hvat segir þú? – How are you? (formal)
Hversu ferr? – How are you? (informal)
Hvernug hefir þú þat? – How are you? (slang/colloquial)

Allt fínt, þakka – Fine, thanks.
Allt gott, þakka – Good, thanks.
Allt vel, þakka – Well, thanks.
Allt ágætt, þakka – Awesome, thanks.
Ágeatavel, þakka! – Excellent, thanks!

En þú? – And you?

Far vel – Goodbye
Sjáumst – See you
Vit sjáumst – See you (said between two people)
Vér sjáumst – See you (said between more than two)

Já – Yes
Nei – No

Source: https://oldnorse.forumotion.com/t8-basic-phrases

I can only imagine how the Norse warriors in The Chessmen Thief would have sounded.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s