Old Norse for Modern Times by Ian Stuart Sharpe

Never be lost for words again…with this book of lost words. 

Have you ever wanted to wield the silver tongue of Loki, or to hammer home your point like a Thundergod? Old Norse is the language of legends and the stuff of sagas, the inspiration for Tolkien and Marvel, for award-winning manga and epic videogames. It is the language of cleverly crafted kennings, blood-curdling curses, and pithy retorts to Ragnarök. 

Old Norse for Modern Times gives you the perfect phrase for every contemporary situation–
Memorable movie quotes (“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Þurfa munu vér skip stærra) 
Battle-cries to yell on Discord (“Do I look to be in a gaming mood?” Sýnisk þér ek vera í skapi til leika?)
Mead hall musings (“This drink, I like it! ANOTHER!” Líkar mér drykkr þessi! ANNAN!) 
Tried-and-tested pickup lines (“Nice tattoo!” Fagrt er húðflúrið”).With over 500 phrases inside, it is the perfect guide for Vikings fans, whether they are re-enactors, role-players, or simply in love with Ragnar.

Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Old Norse for Modern Times is available now.

I kept trying to come up with pithy one-liners to describe my thoughts, but all I can manage is: this book is a blast! Old Norse for Modern Times is the English-to-Old Norse guidebook I never knew I needed. I have no idea when I’ll be able to work “I am your All-Father” into conversation, but darned if I’m not going to try every chance I get. This might take me from socially awkward to barred from all parties, but it’s a small price to pay.

If you are looking for an exhaustive tome on all things Viking-related, this won’t scratch that itch. Rather, it is a punny book that focuses fondly on a subject both fun and interesting. With phrases such as “It takes a Viking to raze a village” and “Did you see my heroic pose on Instagram”, this is the funniest book I’ve read in quite a while.

I think an audiobook would elevate this to the next level, although there are pronunciation guides and helpful tips throughout. And honestly, how many people can tell me with any authority that my pronunciation is terrible?

I loved the choice of phrases found in Old Norse for Modern Times. It was a fabulous mix of pop culture references and facetious twists on phrases found in the usual guidebook (“Sorry, my Old English is a little rusty”). While this books is humorous, it is quite obvious that there is some expert knowledge being used to thoroughly entertain. After all, while there might not be a pressing need for me to know how to pronounce Old Norse, the pronunciation guide is there.

Old Norse for Modern Times was a highly diverting read and one I would recommend to Viking fantasy or Norse history fans who also have a sense of humor.

You can find Old Norse for Modern Times on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Old Norse for Modern Times by Ian Stuart Sharpe

      1. I think so. It is amusing, but it’s also (as I recall) pretty technical. Beard was actually trying to educate would-be Latin students. I remember a lot of, “Would you just get to the good stuff?” But the good stuff is pretty good…(this is 1990/1991 when I read these for the first time. Now I just cherry pick the things I want to look at)

        Liked by 1 person

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