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Re: The Norwegian Connection



[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@zilker.net.
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Hi Kristin,   Thanks so much for your history lessons.  I often thought that
the Norweign families that lived in our area of Saskatchewan in the mid
1950's were more like my Aboriginal Ancestors than they ever realized.  Both
groups were great hunters and trappers and at any table you would be fed
until you couldn't move.  In our area the groups visited back and forth and
got along very well, some Norse men even married our women, and another kind
of Metis was born.  My paternal Grandmother descends from Johnston.  for now,
Serena

Kristin A. Hussein wrote:

> [ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@zilker.net.
> [ For more information, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html
> -------
>
> Laurel:
>
> Before I get started I must warn you, I have a good deal of information
> here so prepare yourself. It deals mostly with the linguistic question
> you asked. I have contacted the University in Oslo regarding Scottish
> connections to Rollo/Rogenvald of Mre and Romsdal. When I hear from
> them on this, I will post it.
>
> So to begin. Most people from English-speaking backgrounds are perhaps
> only vaguely  aware of their mixed descent. You, as a reader of many
> books, may remember Tennyson's, "Saxon, Norman and Dane are we". Our
> "Saxon" ancestors were first cousins in Europe to the forbears of the
> Northmen/Norsemen ("Nordmenn" in Norwegian). The Norsemen who invaded
> and settled England after 787 AD as Vikings and after 1066 AD as Normans
> (which is where Normandy, in no. France gets it's name) were already our
> second cousins. The people's that made up the tribes of the European
> Continent went to make up (among others) the races whom we call today
> Germans, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, English, Scottish
> and others. The earliest collective name for all of these peoples was
> the Latin word "Germani". The common language of these peoples has been
> called "Primitive Germanic". However, so as not to confuse "Germani"
> with what we know today as Germany or Germans, it's probably better to
> call this collection of tribes Northwest Europeans and the language,
> Primitive Northwest European - also known as Gothonic.
>
> The speakers of Primitive N.W. European/Gothonic were linked again by
> language to a dozen or so other groups of people's speaking tongues
> which ages ago was derived from one single "parent language" (which has
> been called "Indo-European" and before the Nazi connection, "Aryan".
> Since Aryan has a racial tone, rather than a linguistic one these days,
> linguists rightly often decline from using it.). The more important of
> these groups were the Celtic, Italic, Greek, Slavonic, Baltic, Indic and
> Hittite. The Indo-European language does not exist in rock carved
> inscription or written document for the good reason that writing had not
> been invented before the original speakers split up and wandered apart
> (writing was invented, as well as the first cities built, in Mesopotamia
> (modern day Iraq) in approx. 3000 B.C., which is why Mesopotamia is
> called by most historians as the birthplace of modern civilization). How
> they spoke changed with time and with coming into contact with other
> peoples in their wanderings. Still, the parent language from which
> Primitive N.W. European, Celtic, Italic, etc. derive can be
> reconstructed because although languages change beyond all recognition,
> the change is regular and ordered and follows certain "laws".
>
> Anyway, the languages of the Saxons, Danes, Norwegians, Celts, etc. were
> very similar and originally from a similar linguistic family. These
> peoples could, in fact, understand each other fairly well when they came
> in contact with one another. Even today, there are many similarities
> between our languages and there were many more in days past before the
> languages drifted so far apart from each other. There are many words in
> modern Norwegian and modern English that are almost the same. For
> example:
>
> English:  "book"       Norwegian:  "bok"
> English:  "hammer"   Norwegian:  "hammer" (pronounced with a long A,
> rather than a short A)
> English:  "mean"       Norwegian:  "mene"  (pronounced "mayna")
> English:  "help"         Norwegian:  "hjelp"
> English:  "land"         Norwegian:  "land"  (meaning
> "country"/"nation")
> English:  "men"         Norwegian:  "menn"
> English:  "word"       Norwegian:  "ord"
> English:  "eye"          Norwegian:  "ye"
> English:  "hope"        Norwegian:  "hpe" (pronounced exactly like the
> English "hope")
> English:  "where"      Norwegian:  "hvor"
> English:  "mine"        Norwegian:  "mine" (pronounced "meena")
> English:  "example"  Norwegian:  "eksempel"
>
> Just to name a few.
>
> Also, if you heard a Scotsman today say, "Do ya no' ken?", that means
> "Don't you know?" ("Do you not know?") and "kjenne" ("ken" - Scot) in
> Norwegian means "know". The Old English word for army was "here" - the
> modern Norwegian word for army is "hr".
>
> Just before I finish up, I would like to write out a short passage from
> the "Old English Chronicle" for the year 787 A.D. (the "Old English
> Chronicle" is the basic written authority for early English history,
> also known as the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle"):
>
> ["This year Beorhtric took to wife Eadburg daughter of King Offa. It was
> during Beorhtric's days that three ships of the Northmen first came here
> from "Horthaland" (Norw.: "Hordaland", which is, in fact, the district
> on the west coast of Norway where I lived when I first moved there -
> Hardanger is a region of Hordaland. You will see a town called "Odda" at
> the very end of the fjord on your map. The village where I lived, Grimo,
> is not far from there.) The reeve galloped to meet them, intending to
> drive them to the king's town (Dorchester, Dorset) for he did not know
> who or what they were. They killed him. These were the first ships of
> the Danes ever to seek England."]
>
> Note that the O.E. Chronicle does not use the term "Vikings" (which
> didn't come into fashion until Victorian times and comes from the Old
> Norse word "vikingr"). It uses "Northmen" and "Danes" and that they came
> from "Horthaland". No doubt that the English Dorset folk recognized that
> their assailants came in general from Scandinavia or Denmark, but for
> them to remember and for their clerks in holy orders to put on record,
> the actual name of the district from where the strangers came points out
> that the speech of both peoples was close enough for them to understand
> each other.
>
> And - if these sailors actually came from Hordaland on the west coast of
> Norway as is written in the Chronicle, then the Chronicle is right to
> refer to them as "Northmen", but not "Danes" and later Chronicle entries
> call them the "heathens" (obviously considered so by a people who had
> already been Christian for 2 centuries, while the "Northmen" were still
> worshiping a variety of pagan Norse gods).
>
> It is also interesting to note that references to Norwegians going to
> Scotland are also made in (at least) one of the ancient Icelandic Sagas
> - the Laxdla Saga. To quote the Intro: "The saga opens in Norway with a
> fleeting glimpse of the heroid period of Scandinavia. As King Harald
> Fine-Hair of Norway consolidates the power of his throne in the second
> half of the ninth century, the more independent-minded chieftains decide
> to emigrate. One of them is Ketil Flat-Nose (does his nickname suggest a
> Lappish origin?); he himself decides to settle in Scotland, but his sons
> emigrate to newly-discovered Iceland, and it is to Iceland, too, that
> his strong-willed daughter, Unn the Deep-Minded, eventually comes after
> some hazardous adventures in Scotland (Chapters 1-5). It is from one of
> Ketil's sons, Bjorn the Easterner, and from his daughter, Unn the
> Deep-Minded, that the two main streams of this family chronicle are
> descended."
>
> As to your oe or ae question with regards to .   oe is the one to use
> because if you use ae it could very easily be confused with . As to
> what ,  and  sound like - let's see.  sounds like the English ai, as
> in "hair" or "air", which is the best way I can describe it.  sounds
> like long O as in "over" and  is absolutely impossible for me to
> describe. It's a very special sound. No English equivalents.
>
> Anyway, that's it for now. I have to get back to that translation. I
> hope you didn't find it too tiring to read. How's your throat doing now
> by the way?
>
> Kristin
>
> [
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--
kinanaskomitin nim

In friendship and sharing

Serena in Whitehorse, Yukon


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