What we might use this forum for?


New Member
Hi folks, two people emailed Sparrow with the same idea of setting up this forum. I can't speak for the other person, but these were my thoughts:-
1. I really enjoyed the two special lunches at the last Mythmoot for Old English and Old Norse students. I would like to keep in touch with other students interested in languages I will be continuing my study of languages independently. I'm interested to hear about what other people are doing.???? Anyone tackled Gothic ? Welsh? Breton?
2. I am interested in,(but not deeply into) Tolkien's invented languages as well. Vinya Tengwar is a bit beyond me. Anyone else interested in things Elvish or any other of Tolkien's
......what about conlanging ? philology? useful resources? sharing your thoughts? discussing new projects??
I am no expert just- fascinated by languages. What else???


Hestia of the Hearth
I've been gently learning Ghàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) for several years, and I'm envious as anything of the folks who have been able to take their Philology, A-S, Norse skills to exciting levels at Signum.

At the very first step, I need a place to say "Madainn mhath dhuibh" to folks every day ("matins good to-y'all") :)


New Member
Thanks Sparrow. Now that's a real challenge. If you don't mind telling us a little more...Have you native speakers around you? How do you keep up the momentum? What a beautiful way to greet the day.


Hestia of the Hearth
I live relatively close to Cape Breton, where there are Canadian native speakers. It's beautiful country and it's the site of The Gaelic College (Colaidse na Ghàidhlig), where my wife and I attended the summer immersion weeks back before the days when we had kids :)

I get to practice my Ghàidhlig with her and a little bit with the kids -

Feasgar math dhuibh! (afternoon)

Richard Rohlin

New Member
Wæs Þu hæl!

As everyone is probably aware, I've been involved pretty heavily in all of the Signum philology-track classes, starting with Beowulf Through Tolkien and Intro to Anglo-Saxon back in the day, and now most recently Germanic Philology I. What kinds of things have I been up to?


I still teach Latin on Saturday mornings to teenagers who come over to my house for that purpose. And I make pretty regular use of my Old English and Old Norse through regular reading and translation projects. This last semester was really great for introducing me (and my fellow students) to the other Old Germanic languages we hadn't seen yet--in Intro to Germanic Philology, you get to work with Gothic, Old Saxon (which is awesome!), Old High German, Old Low Franconian, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch--all of these as well as Middle English, Old English, and Old Norse.

I have a background in Biblical languages, but I've always wanted to do Ancient Greek (Homer's Greek), so this month I've begun working through a short grammar on the subject and found I'm not as rusty as I feared.

But my big language project right now is the creation of the Digital Hervararkviða, a project I started as an alternative to a term paper this last semester and which I hope will eventually develop into my thesis. I've started up a philology blog called (and some of you will like this) Blog on the Barrow Downs for the purpose of documenting the project. It's a pretty involved project, but I have three posts up so far which explain what it is and why I'm doing it:


Those of you who took Old Norse with me will recognize the Hervararkviða, also known as The Waking of Angantyr.

The Hervararkviða is an Old Norse poem, written in an Eddic verse form called fornyrðislag, literally "ancient-sayings-law." It tells the story of the shield-maiden Hervor's quest to wake the ghost of her famous berserker father Angantyr (and his eleven brothers) and bully him into handing over her family's cursed sword, Tyrfingr, a weapon so bloodthirsty that once drawn it cannot be sheathed again without shedding blood, even if it is the blood of a kinsman. Hervor succeeds in acquiring the sword, even though she knows it will prove the destruction of her descendants. Hervor's story is part of a larger saga known as Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks or The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise, written down in the late 13th or early 14th century, but clearly compiled from a number of much older stories.

The project is essentially to create a digital, layered, searchable, dynamic text of this poem for use as a student tool. To do that, I'm re-creating various text levels (facsimile, diplomatic, normalized, translation) in XML using schemas provided by the Text Encoding Initiative and the Medieval Nordic Text Archive. All of that, you can read about at the blog.

All this is to say that dead languages are my main thing, and I do them every day. What I'd love to do here, because I need to be better about being sociable and keeping up with my fellow polyglots, and social media has not worked super well for that (too many politics and other things), would, for starters, to get some kind of group read going. There are a number of great Old English and Old Norse readers out there, and I could make suggestions about which ones we use to start. Of course we don't have to do those languages, but they'd probably be the most readily approachable for Signum folks.

What say you all? Group read, anyone?


New Member
Thanks for joining us Richard. I would love to join in a group read, but I have to say I am starting my thesis mid January, so my contribution would have to be small to begin with. You can't keep your head in the same books all the time.