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Viking Language 1 Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas (Viking Language Series) Paperback – March 18, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1480216440 ISBN-10: 1480216445 Edition: 1st

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Viking Language 1 Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas (Viking Language Series) + Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader (Viking Language Series) (Volume 2) + A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic (Dover Language Guides)
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Product Details

  • Series: Viking Language Series
  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480216445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480216440
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jesse Byock is Distinguished Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and professor at UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. He directs the Mosfell Archaeological Project in Iceland. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prof. Byock teaches Old Norse, the Icelandic sagas, Viking history and archaeology and directs the Mosfell Archaeological Project (MAP) in Iceland. He writes about Vikings, Iceland, feud, and archaeology. Jesse Byock is the author of Viking Age Iceland, and Feud in the Icelandic Saga. His translations from Old Norse include The Prose Edda, The Saga of the Volsungs, The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, and Grettir´s Saga. See www.vikingnorse.com and www.viking.ucla.edu

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
89%
4 star
6%
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See all 18 customer reviews
This is an excellent teach yourself and how to book!
Eric Swanson
It has worksheets, and a very thorough overview of the Viking language, including runes, Futhark, (sort of the same thing) and translations from the Icelandic sagas.
G. Uhl
It reminds me a great deal of Wheelock's renowned textbook for Latin in both it's structure and teaching strategies.
P. Ian McLeod

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By P. Ian McLeod on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At long last, we have a respectable modern textbook on the Old Norse Language. All previous resources were either out of print and prohibitively expensive used, or reprints of archaic grammars with outdated instruction methods. As an experienced language learner in general, I see everything here that I look for in a textbook. It reminds me a great deal of Wheelock's renowned textbook for Latin in both it's structure and teaching strategies. For those not in the know, that is a very good thing. Some will likely whine that the answer key (unreleased at time of writing) is sold separately, and I'm sure I'll find a flaw or two as I work through the book, but pickings are slim for Old Norse and such a giant leap forward in the field, by one of the world's most respected translators of Old Norse literature no less, deserves all the approbation it can get. I will likely replace this with a more thorough review once I have finished the course.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Dondershine on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edit: The answer key has now been made available on the publisher's website, so I have adjusted my rating accordingly and the review below should be considered in that light. Thank you Professor Byock!

I have been reading Professor Byock's work on the Vikings since college, so needless to say, I was delighted to see this course made available, in my case for self study. I am now two chapters into the book, and I think it incorporates a wonderful strategy and method and has tremendous potential. However, I have two criticisms that prevent this from being a 5 star purchase: the first is that the answer key really needs to be made available *now.* I understand that perhaps the book is intended for college courses and oftentimes the answer key is presented in a "teacher's only" reader, but for those of us doing self-study, it is absolutely crippling and seriously hampers the ability to use the book effectively. It's boggling to my mind that they would release this book at all without making the key available as a download on the website. I believe the intention is to have the key in Viking Reader 2, which I would be happy to buy, but it is not available and may not be for quite some time. The two books should have been published simultaneously. My advice if your are considering purchasing this book is to wait until the Viking Language 2 book comes out. My second criticism of this course is that the audio accompaniment, which you will have to pay for separately, is very fast and not terribly user friendly. It is not read in such a way that it is useful for a student unfamiliar with Icelandic and very difficult to emulate or to parse in accompaniment with the reading. All in all, this is still however the best option on the market for learning Old Norse!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tina M. Gardner on November 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
My 'husbondi" gave me this book last Yule; I am crawling through the book at a snail's pace, but enjoying every minute I spend on it. I am an enthusiastic student of languages; but I am a dilettante, not a linguist, and I just LOVE this book. A better, more serious student of language would probably like it even more than I do. Because both Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon were FULL of noun cases and adjective declensions, the bane of anyone who has struggled through German or Latin classes, it was exciting for me to realize that modern English is mostly free of of these horrors because Anglo-Saxon and Norse "knocked the edges off each other" in the Danelaw (that's not in this book, but it is a conclusion I have tentatively made after getting through the first third of this book). I think the "Most common words used in the sagas" method of teaching vocabulary is flat-out brilliant. Just to whet your appetite: land=land; egg=egg; bro(eth)r=brother; systir=sister; dottir=daughter; sonr= son; samr=same; at sja=to see; viss=wise; at hafa= to have, at lata= to let, skip=ship. Of course there are false cognates, too, and semi-cognates .... but learning a semi-cognate like "skip" is of course very cool because then you know where the word "skipper" came from.
I thought of giving it a "4" because there is no answer key, but I just enjoy the book too much. For folks like me, the fact that most of the text is in modern English is a blessing, not a problem!
I started an on-line basic Modern Icelandic course two months ago; what I had learnt from this book made it more fun rather than confusing, but many people might feel differently. I don't mind diving in and making a fool of myself in a new language, as long as the people I am trying to communicate with are good-natured.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eric Swanson on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this book. Jesse Byock answered all of my questions about how the vowel sounds were written. He also provides an excellent survey of Old Norse - and I thought Icelandic was complicated. This is an excellent teach yourself and how to book!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By G. Uhl on June 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You could a teach a class how to speak Viking with this book. It has worksheets, and a very thorough overview of the Viking language, including runes, Futhark, (sort of the same thing) and translations from the Icelandic sagas. It includes a "dictonary" of word for word translations alphabetically, including sections on the most frequently used words.

We are Viking history buffs at our house, and while I knew certain word in the English language came directly from the Vikings, I was still surprised at how many I didn't know. And some were not the same, but have a similar meaning - like in Viking, "sofa" is "sleep".

I praise the author for writing a very user friendly book. You will get as much out of it as you put into it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Jesse Byock is Prof. of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian Studies at the University of California(UCLA) and Prof. at UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. He directs the Mosfell Archaeological Project in Iceland.

He is author of: Viking Age Iceland (Penguin); Medieval Iceland (UC Press); and Feud in the Icelandic Saga (UC Press). His translations from Old Norse include The Prose Edda: Norse Mythology (Penguin), The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse epic of Sigurd (Penguin), The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki (Penguin), and Grettir´s Saga (Oxford). Download a -FREE ANSWER KEY- to Viking Language 1 learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas at www.vikinglanguage.com

The Viking Language Series is a new method for learning Old Norse, runes, and Icelandic sagas. It concentrates on the most frequent words in the sagas, and beginners to advanced learn quickly. For two MP3 download audio albums with clear pronunciation of sagas and runes, search on Amazon Jesse Byock under All Departments or MP3 Music: Viking Language 1 Audio Lessons 1-8 (Pronounce Old Norse, Runes and Icelandic Sagas)-- and -- Viking Language 1 Audio Lessons 9-15.

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Viking Language 1 Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas (Viking Language Series)
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