8 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. It sounds Germanic, and my first thought was that it was Old English. Maybe something like Friesian?

  2. Now that even the speaker seems to have a problem pronouncing the words correctly, I’m quite sure that it is an extinct language and Simon should have asked: …know where it WAS spoken
    How about Old Icelandic?

  3. I’m going to put my bet on the Danish end of the Germanic spectrum, but don’t know what time to guess.

    I do wonder if the word ‘ek’ I heard in there was the language’s version of I / ic / ich / ég, and if that detail would be definitive for someone who knew the Germanic family better than I.

  4. Having been made to read this in school I can tell you that this is an excerpt from Hávamál and that therefore the language is Old Norse.

    Btw, is there a difference between Old Norse and Old Icelandic? I always just assumed that Old Icelandic, Old Swedish, Old Danish etc. referred to local dialects of Old Norse and not separate languages.

  5. Hey, the Wikipedia article on Hávamál contains the first part of the reading, which it calls “possibly the most known section of Gestaþáttr“. Grimm stuff.

  6. The language is Old Norse (Dǫnsk tunga / Norrœnt mál), a North Germanic language that was spoken in Scandinavia, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and in parts of Russia, France, the British Isles and Ireland

    The recording comes from YouTube.

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