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Were the runes a language? 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:23 pm
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Location: Western Australia
This may seem like a dumb question but were the runes an alphabet like Latin and all that? Can you Write sentences in runes? e.g could i translate what i am saying now into Elder/younger furthark?

Or are the runes used for magic only?


Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:02 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:59 am
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Location: Alaska
I am pretty sure the runes were the alphabet. That was one of the few things they were educated in, how to read, write, and tell runic stories. I may be wrong.


Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:59 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:23 pm
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Location: Western Australia
ah ok i thought so.
i tried looking it up but i can never seem to get a straight answer :/


Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:08 am
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Location: Alaska
I know, everything is so mixed up with other things.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:46 am
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The runes are an alphabet, but they are used for magic and divination. Technically, one may write messages with them, but why use a powerful tool for the mundane?


Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:29 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:23 pm
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Location: Western Australia
I was just Curious.
But It'd be good to learn how to write with the Runes as well as using them for magick and divination.


Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:53 am
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I understand, Griswold.

Certainly, if you engrave runes to learn about them, that is good.


Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:31 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:20 am
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I think I know what you mean, Griswold, about a straight answer to this question. From what I've read, it seems a lot of runologists try to avoid giving a simple 'yes' answer to the question of whether runes were historically used to write a language for a decent reason.

To simply say 'yes' implies that runes developed like any other alphabet, for the purposes of writing a language. However, many scholars of the runes take a different position: that the runes already existed as a magical alphabet/concept set, and that they were adapted to the use of transcribing utterances after contact with Etruscan, Greek, or Latin cultures who used their alphabets for this purpose.


Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:33 am
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:05 am
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I am currently studying Old Norse, which is the language that is written in runes (Elder Furthark). Old Norse fathered many offspring languages, starting with West Norse and East Norse. Then these two then had they're own offshoots, West became Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian, and East became Old Danish and Old Swedish. Of which we derive the modern European languages from. It's interesting to translate our ancestors words, of which I will get around to personally translating. If anyone's interested there's a comprehensive book (also not cheap, but you won't need another for a while ;) ) called An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V.Gordon.

Our ancestors magic normally included a lot of metaphors, one of my current favorites is, fiskR ORuki nuaim suemąnde, which translates directly as; fish trusty bodystream swims, The trusty fish that swims the stream of the body, which is a metaphor for the Sword.

Hope this helps


Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:22 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:02 am
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If you want to know more about runes look for FUÞARK or FUTHARK wich is the original name for the writing system. It's the same as with the alfabet (the first two characters are alfa and beta), the name futhark is derived from the first six letters: Fehu (F), Uruz (U), Þurisaz (Þ - TH), Ansuz (A), Raidho (R), Kenaz (K and C). So you definetly can write with runes, there are even futhark fonts, to write on a computer (wich I have installed on my laptop).


Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:57 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:15 am
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loptson wrote:
I am currently studying Old Norse, which is the language that is written in runes (Elder Furthark). Old Norse fathered many offspring languages, starting with West Norse and East Norse. Then these two then had they're own offshoots, West became Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian, and East became Old Danish and Old Swedish. Of which we derive the modern European languages from. It's interesting to translate our ancestors words, of which I will get around to personally translating. If anyone's interested there's a comprehensive book (also not cheap, but you won't need another for a while ;) ) called An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V.Gordon.

Our ancestors magic normally included a lot of metaphors, one of my current favorites is, fiskR ORuki nuaim suemąnde, which translates directly as; fish trusty bodystream swims, The trusty fish that swims the stream of the body, which is a metaphor for the Sword.


It must be fascinating to study Old Norse. I grew up around a lot of Danish and picked up a fair bit, but have never been fluent by any means. Now, I really want to learn a Scandinavian language and feel strongly about finally becoming fluent in Danish, but am also drawn to Norwegian. I've read that if you know Norwegian, you have the best chance of understanding most of Danish and Swedish as well, as opposed to learning one of the latter. Any suggestions? It would certainly be nice to learn the one that would be most beneficial to understanding them all.


Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:24 am
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loptson wrote:
I am currently studying Old Norse, which is the language that is written in runes (Elder Furthark). Old Norse fathered many offspring languages, starting with West Norse and East Norse. Then these two then had they're own offshoots, West became Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian, and East became Old Danish and Old Swedish. Of which we derive the modern European languages from. It's interesting to translate our ancestors words, of which I will get around to personally translating. If anyone's interested there's a comprehensive book (also not cheap, but you won't need another for a while ;) ) called An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V.Gordon.

Our ancestors magic normally included a lot of metaphors, one of my current favorites is, fiskR ORuki nuaim suemąnde, which translates directly as; fish trusty bodystream swims, The trusty fish that swims the stream of the body, which is a metaphor for the Sword.

Hope this helps


I would like your help in learning old Norse for myself.


Mon May 05, 2014 5:25 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:05 am
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I have been using "An introduction to Old Norse" by E.V Gordon. I would recommend it, as it's fully comprehensive although the structure of the book is difficult to deal with, as it has both speaking and translating aspects. What do you need help with Blodhrafn? As I am still learning the basics let alone grammar.


Mon May 19, 2014 10:38 am
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