Old Norse for Beginners - Lesson Tenby Haukur orgeirsson and skar Gulaugsson

1. Grammar
1.1 Dative Case: with Adjectives
1.2 Possessive Pronouns
1.3 Locative Adverbs

2. Vocabulary  
2.1 Nouns 
2.2 Pronouns
2.3 Adjectives 
2.4 Verbs
2.5 Adverbs
2.6 Prepositions
2.7 Conjunctions 
2.8 Phrases

3. Exercises
3.1 Translate the phrases into English
3.2 Translate the phrases into Old Norse
3.3 Translate the text into English
3.4 Translate the text into Old Norse

1. Grammar

1.1 Dative Case: with Adjectives
In English, the dative case is sometimes used in conjunction with adjectives:
"He's good to her.""Be nice to me.""That is good news to me."
The exact same thing is common in Old Norse:"Hann er hnum gr.""Ver mr gr."
"Fiskr er norskum mnnum gr matr."1.2 Possessive Pronouns
Possessive pronouns in English are "my", "your", "his", etc:
"My horse." 
"Their horses."
"Our horses."
In Old Norse, these must decline with the noun. Since their function is equivalent to that of an adjective, they decline like (strong) adjectives. The singular possessives all decline in the same way; we will take as their archetype "minn" (my), in masculine:
	sg		pl
	nom	min-n		mn-ir
	acc	min-n		mn-a
	dat	mn-um	mn-um
	gen	mn-s		min-na
It declines, in fact, just like the article. To explain the declension a bit:

* The -n ending in the nom sg is because of assimilation (of the traditional -r)
* The -n ending in the acc sg is because of contraction (of -an)
* The -na in the gen pl is again assimilation (of -ra)
* The long stem vowel shortens in front of the double 'nn'

Compare this to the declension of strong adjectives, masculine and neuter; and to the article declension; you should be seeing a pattern by now.

"inn" (from "", = your) and "sinn" (from "sik", = his own, her own, its own) both decline exactly like "minn".

Then there are the plural possessives; we start with "okkarr", masculine of the possessive of "vit":

	sg		pl
	nom	okk-ar-r	okk-r-ir
	acc	okk-r-an	okk-r-a
	dat	okk-r-um	okk-r-um
  gen	okk-ar-s	okk-ar-ra
	
Not much new in this pattern; the -ar ending gets contracted to -r if the following ending starts with a vowel (as in okk-ar-um > okk-r-um), though not in acc sg.
And the same pattern in "vrr", masculine possessive of "vr":	masculine	sg		pl
nom	vr-r		vr-iracc	vr-n		vr-adat	vr-um		vr-umgen	vr-s		vr-ra
The 2p dual, "ykkarr" declines like "okkarr" above. The 2p plural also declines like "okkarr", but with a 'v', "yvarr" (as the genitive form), which falls out along with the 'a' of the -ar ending:
	
	masculine	sg		pl
	nom	y-v-ar-r	y-r-ir
	acc	y-v-ar-n	y-r-a
	dat	y-r-um	y-r-um
  gen	y-v-ar-s	y-v-ar-ra
	
Obviously, the possessive pronouns introduce a wealth of new forms; but a thorough student should have mastered all the endings involved by now, and if he/she has, there are only the irregularities to be learned, which makes mastery of these pronouns considerably easier than one would think.
The 3rd person possessives do not decline; they are merely the genitive forms of the respective personal pronouns, i.e "hans" (masc sg), "ess" (neut sg), "hennar" (fem sg, not introduced), and "eirra" (pl for all genders).
The possessives generally postcede the word that they compliment, though they may precede them, usually for emphasis.
The article may not be attached to any word complemented by a possessive pronoun:
"Hestr minn", not *"Hestrinn minn"
(The article is attached in some of the modern languages, such as Modern Icelandic; any occurrence of that is thus, most likely, "modernicism")
Regarding the usage of these pronouns, it is bad style in ON to repeat them "unnecessarily", as one would do in English. So while English would say:
"He goes with his men and his slaves."ON would only say:
"Hann ferr me mnnum snum ok rlum."

1.3 Locative Adverbs
Adverbs indicating place, 'where', often have similar forms indicating 'whence/where from', and 'whither/where to'. The forms of some of the most common adverbs are:
hvar		where
hvaan		whence/where from
hvert		whither/where to
ar		there
aan		thence/there from
angat		thither/to there
hr		herehan		hence/here from
hingat		hither/to here
heima		at home
heiman		from home
heim		homewards/back home

2. Vocabulary

2.1 Nouns

star, staar, stair (m)	place
vegr, vegar, vegir (m)		road, way

2.2 Pronouns

2.3 Adjectives

2.4 Verbs
leita, leita + gen		search; search for
akka, akka			thank
leggja, legg			lay, put down; attempt

2.5 Adverbs

lengi		for a long time

2.6 Prepositions

fr + dat	from

2.7 Conjunctions

2.8 Phrases
"leggja af sta"		set out, start a journeyExample:

3. Exercises
3.1 Translate the phrases into English
3.2 Translate the phrases into Old Norse
3.3 Translate the text into English
3.4 Translate the text into Old Norse