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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - Vikings - Languages - #TidbitThursday

Howdy! Last week we learned how Iceland was discovered and settled by Vikings. This week we're taking a closer look at the languages the Vikings spoke and wrote. Hope you enjoy digging in!

A lot of information about Vikings come from carved runes and sagas that were repeated down through generations.

Vikings originated from Scandinavia and spoke a dialect that linguists now label as "Common Scandinavian" from which modern Scandinavian is derived. By the end of the Viking Age, this "Common Scandinavian" evolved into clear dialects, notably the dialect of West Norse spoke in the Atlantic colonies and East Norse spoken in Denmark and Sweden.

Vikings are frequently associated with the Old Norse language, but as we can see, Vikings spoke other languages as well. Old Norse came from this West Norse dialect and is also known as Old Icelandic.

Old Norwegian also developed from West Norse.

Old Swedish developed from East Norse.

Even more interesting, the dialect spoken in Scotland's Orkney and Shetland Islands is called Norn, a Scandinavian derivative very similar to Old Norse. Norn survived until 1750, when English fully replaced this language.

Toward the end of the Viking Age, a lot of languages became mixed with other languages/cultures or were replaced by other languages (such as British English). Languages in isolated locations (such as Iceland) survived longer.

Picture References:
Runestone - Swedish History Museum - https://www.flickr.com/photos/historiska/6915476249/in/album-72157629415384737/


"Everyday Life in Viking Times" by Michael Gibson, ISBN#0-7500-1472-5

Cultural Atlas of the Viking World American Archaeology Uncovers the Vikings
What Life Was Like When Longships Sailed: Vikings Ad 800-1100 National Geographic Kids Everything Vikings: All the Incredible Facts and Fierce Fun You Can Plunder
Leif Eriksson: Viking Explorer of the New World (Great Explorers of the World) The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
The World of the Vikings Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age
The Vikings: Voyagers of Discovery and Plunder (General Military) The Vikings (Journey into civilization)
Vikings, a Dark History Vikings: Warriors, Raiders, and Masters of the Sea (Oxford People)
The Vikings  

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