Tag Archives: language

Old Norse is the language of the Vikings, sagas, runes, eddic and skaldic verse. The Norse language is still spoken by Icelanders today in a modern style. Medieval Scandinavians called their Old Norse language the ‘Danish tongue,’ dǫnsk tunga. No one is quite sure why this was so. Perhaps it was because Denmark was the first of the Scandinavian lands to become a powerful, centralized kingdom, and the speech of the influential Danish court became for a time the accepted standard. It may also have been because the Danes were closest to the Frankish Empire and the rest of Europe. Several questions concerning Old Norse arise. One is: How close was Old Norse to Old English? The answer is that Old Norse was related to, but different from, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England. With a little practice, however, Old Norse and Old English speakers could understand each other, a factor that significantly…

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