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High King Harald

Translation Question

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Jarl Daniel,

 

How do you say "In Freyja's arms we will be safe forever" in the Old Norse or a Nordic tongue.

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My Lord,

 

I assume this is a non-militaristic quote ("arms" as limbs, not weapons) since Freyja actually is a good lady :P

 

The problem with the future tense in the quote ("will be safe") is that in Swedish, at least, future tense, in this way, assumes that something will happen that is not now. To express the continuous present ("always will be") one uses the tense differently. If I translate this incorrect, you may correct me :)

 

I Frejas famn är vi alltid trygga (In Freyja's embrace are we always safe)

I Frejas famn är vi för evigt trygga (In Freyja's embrace are for ever safe)

 

For the name of the Van, a more etymologically correct version would be "Fröja" (Fröjas in the sentence) or "Fröa" (Fröas). Fröa is very dialectal and not really attested in writing more than when quoting someone. Fröja is the academically preferred and the name historically used in academy. The name Freja came with the Viking revival in the late 19th century as a transliteration of the Icelandic Freyja.

 

I used the word "famn" here. It can be translated to "bosom", "armful", "fathom" but is usually used when an English speaker would say "I want to be in your arms", the Swedish speaker would say "I want to be in your famn". Because "armar" (translation of arms) are more the physical limbs. To be in her arms would imply we're safe as parasitic bodies in her arms. Not quite sure that is the connotation you want!

 

I am not sure about the usage of arm/famn in the other Scandinavian languages, so I will just go with the Swedish, and then translate from Swedish to Bokmål, Nynorsk and Danish:

 

Bokmål:

I Frøyas favn er vi alltid trygge.

 

I am a bit unsure which word for "forever" to use. I could use words such as "evig", "ævelig", but I am unsure whether they carry prepositions. So right now, I recommend "alltid" as the sentence's grammatically correctness is easier for me to vouch for.

 

Nynorsk:

I Frøyas famn er vi for alltid trygge.

 

Regarding the adverb "eternally" ("forever", "always") I have the same trouble with prepositions here. And always have. Also, Nynorsk generally frowns upon genitive cases like this (Frøyas famn). Frankly speaking, Nynorsk doesn't like the -s genitive rather than in fixed noun phrases. So if we can change it, it would be something like:

 

I Frøya sin famn er vi for alltid trygge.

I famnen i Frøya er vi for alltid trygge.

I famnen til Frøya er vi for alltid trygge.

 

Danish

I Frejas favn er vi altid trygge.

 

In Danish, there is a similar debate as in Swedish regarding the name of the goddess. One may write Freja, but academically it is usually written Frøja.

 

Unfortunately I am not confident enough to write full sentences (especially poetic ones) in Faroese and even less so in Icelandic and Old Norse. When it comes to noun phrases and titles it is easier. I apologize.

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Perhaps I should incorporate an "Academy for the Norse languages" here in Humlebæk :D

 

That would be an excellent idea.

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Jarl Daniel,

 

How do you say "Frigga asks no questions, for she already knows the answer" in Danish or Norwegian?

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Majesty,

 

What is the style of this sentence? I mean, what will it be used for? Depending on the answer, the linguistic style could be different. For example,a literal translation wouldn't work well as a motto, but a motto thing wouldn't work as a literal translation either.

 

Depeinding on the sentence's intended use, I will know what kind of poetic licence to employ, the style of the language and other qualities I could use in the translation. Please tell me as much as you can about the sentence, and if the sentence has a story, some kind of story behind it. For example, is it a saying? An aphorism? A quote? Who said it?

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Jarl Daniel,

 

The sentence comes from this poem in the Temple of Motherhood. I intend to use the translation as the motto of the Jarldom of Frigga Island.

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Jarl Daniel,

 

The sentence comes from this poem in the Temple of Motherhood. I intend to use the translation as the motto of the Jarldom of Frigga Island.

 

Also on a future coat of arms for Frigga Island, Your Majesty?

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Your Majesty:

 

Here are the translations:

 

Norwegian (BM):

 

Frigg spør ingenting; hun vet allerede svaret.

(Frigg asks no-thing; she knows already the-answer.)

 

Norwegian (NN):

 

Frigg spør ingenting; ho veit allereie svaret.

(Frigg asks no-thing; she knows already the-answer.)

 

Danish (two alternatives):

 

Frig spørger ingenting; hun ved allerede svaret.

(Frig asks no-thing; she knows already the-answer.)

 

Frig spørger intet; hun ved allerede svaret.

(Frig asks naught; she knowns already the-answer)

 

Commentary:

 

The name of the Lady is in Norwegian "Frigg" as it is in Old Norse. In Danish, there is no "native" name still used. Sometimes "Frigg" is used (despite spelling rules prohibit double-consonants in a final provision) and sometimes the more spelling-consistent spelling "Frig" is used. I used "Frig" here. Never is the Lady known as "Frigga" in any Nordic language (this is a latinization foreign to Nordic languages), although the name is sometimes rendered "Frigge" (with an -e ending) in Småland (south Sweden), probably as a dative-nominative merger).

 

Sometimes the Lady is known as Hlin in Old Norse, but it is disputed whether this is Frigg herself or if it refers to an ásynja in her service. Hlin would be rendered Lin in the Scandinavian modern spellings.

 

The difference between the first and second Danish renderings of the quote is of the word "nothing". The first one ("ingenting") literally means "no thing" and the second one is a more archaic word meaning "naught". In practice, both words are synonyms, there are no, as I can understand differences in nuance (as in Norwegian, why I used "ingenting" exclusively in Norwegian) for the Danish. I understand that "intet" is more archaic and less used than its synonym "ingenting". I recommend the Danish "ingenting" over "intet" as I am less comfortable in making sure what the correct meaning of "intet" in this case actually is.

 

By the way, the quote would be rendered in Swedish as:

 

Frigg frågar inget; hon vet redan svaret. (inget = naught)

Frigg frågar ingenting; hon vet redan svaret. (ingenting = nothing)

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