Viking vocabulary

Speak like a Norseman

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The Icelandic language has changed little in over 1,000 years, and today a modern Icelander can easily understand a text written in Old Norse. But while modern Norwegian and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible and a speaker of Norwegian (both nynorsk and bokmål) would have a difficult time reading an Old Norse text, many old high-frequency words from old Viking times remain much the same. In many cases, a relationship to modern English may also be perceived.

This article originally appeared in the July 29, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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