The oldest runestones in Sweden are written in a language that was called Old Scandinavian (or Proto Norse). In that time the language was understtod throughout Scandinavia.
I visited one of the runestones in Järsberg, Sweden, in the summer. And I encountered a verbform that is still easily read today: ᚹᚫᚱᛁᛏᚢwritu (write). So despite the almost 1500 years there is still something very common with the language.
I visited during the summer holidays the perhaps best known runestone in Sweden. The stone is called “Rök runestone” and has both an impressive size and a lot of Runic Swedish in its inscription. Runic Swedish was the predecessor of today’s Swedish and it was spoken 1000 years ago.
I was developing years ago verb conjugation for Ancient Scandinavian, Runic Swedish, and Gothic languages.
All these ancient — now extinct — languages were written in a an ancient script more that a thousand years ago. Although the grammar books transliterated the texts to modern alphabet, I wanted to also write the verbs forms in the original script.
Years ago that was hard. Either there was no font that supported Runic or Gothic scripts. Or there was no standard for encoding them.
Fortunately things have changed, and modern webbrowsers make use of such standards as webfonts and Unicode. Thanks to that I get the Runic and Gothic texts written as they should.
A bishop called Wulfila (Ulfilas) is the man that translated the Bible to the Gothic language. Although the Gothic tribes were assimilated to other peoples and the language is no more spoken, the work of Wulfila is still very important.
The Gothic bible is the far most important written source of an East-Germanic language that got extinct more than a 1000 years ago.
The header picture on this Verb Conjugation Blog was taken last summer (2010) in Öland, Sweden.
We didn’t plan to visit Öland during our summer vacation in Sweden. But, because the weather was hot and our car had air-conditioning we decided to make a round-trip there.
Afterwards I learnt that there are lots of runes carved in stones in Öland. We should have stopped and checked them. Nevertheless, now I’ve studied the runic alphabet and Old Swedish to that degree that I’m looking forward in visiting Öland again.
Before doing that, however, I’ll study these pages: