I’ve written in the past about the problem with New Year’s Resolutions and won’t do so again. What I will suggest, though, is that this is the year to learn Old Norse, the Viking Language. Two years ago, Jesse Byock released the first book in the delightful Viking Language series. The first book uses a grammar-translation approach, but with an aim to reading, not situating the language in the context of the Germanic family. This requires some memorization but it is a far cry from Gordon where you’re asked to read grammar excerpts and figure out what to do with the readings when you’re done.
This December, the second book in the Viking Language series came out. It provides a series of passages for translation and helps you get a better sense for poetry. The two books together are definitely old-school. But they provide a self-contained course where you learn to read Old Norse by reading Old Norse so when you’re done, you know you can do it. And the readings for book 1 are available in MP3. So whether you’re into Asatru, a fan of the sagas or interested in Norse mythology, there’s now a manageable path into reading Old Norse and pronouncing it in a way that makes the language come alive.
How far along in Volume 1 are you? I picked up the first volume a few months ago, but the holidays sort of derailed most of my learning. I tried using Gordon’s work years ago, and it was painful.
Just finished chapter 5. Love the readings, wade through the grammar. But unlike Gordon, after half an hour I feel like I understand more Old Norse and am on the path to understanding still more.