15 June 2017

"They aimed for the best" ~ new translation

dike-building on the Frisian island Ameland, 1913


[143/25]
MEN FRIA.S FOLK IS DIGER ÀND FLITICH.
HJA WRDON MOD NER WIRG
THRVCHDAM HJARA DOL TO THA BESTA LÉIDE.


In the first part of this fragment, the word DIGER was interpreted in various ways by the different translators. Sandbach left it out. I discussed DIGER earlier (scroll down to 7. April). It was used several times in the manuscript, with different meanings. Richthofen (1840) dictionary translated it as treu, sorgsam: loyal, careful. Modern cognates seem to be:
  • Dutch - degelijk, terdege, gedegen (solid, sound, thorough)
  • German - tüchtig (efficient, prodicient, competent)
  • Swedish/ Norse/ Danish: duktig/ dyktig/ dygtig (good, competent, skilled)
Competent fits well in the context here.
Jensma and Menkens end this part with a full stop, Lien uses a semicolon. All other translators have a comma, suggesting that what follows still is about Frya's folk. Since part one is in present tense (Frya's folk is...), and the rest is in past tense (they did not become... their aim laid...), I think the second part does not refer to Frya's folk in general, but specifically to the hard workers who restored the lands surrounding Liudweard.

1941 winner of the Frisian
Elfstedentocht, Auke Adema
In the second part, WIRG seems to have been interpreted through the context by my predecessors. In the only other occurence in the OLB*, the verb WIRGA means to strangle (Dutch/ German: wurgen/ würgen, old-Dutch: worgen). A cognate in English seems to be: weary, from Old English werig "tired, exhausted; miserable, sad". No etymologist seems to have made a link with worgen/ wurgen/ würgen yet...
Weary fits well here in the new translation.
*[136/02]
THA WRDON THA ALDER.DRISTA MÀNNISKA MITH HJARA KÉDNE WIRGAD.
Then the most rebellious were strangled with their chains.

The third part was paraphrased by Sandbach (copied by Raubenheimer), Overwijn, and Menkens. The other, more literal translations interpreted LÉIDE as the past tense of to lead (Dutch: (ge)leiden; German: führen). Elsewhere in the OLB, LÉIDE is always past of leggen (lay) or liggen (lie). Only once, as LÉITH, does it mean to lead (leads): WIS WÉSA ÀND WIS DVA ALLÉNA LÉITH TO SALICHHÉD.
For the interpretation, it does not change much, but it is a nice detail to be precise about. If they literally said "because their aim laid at the best", this feels like home to me, and can very well be paraphrased as "because they aimed for the best". I think the readers of my new translation will like this.

Here are my new provisional translation (still to be proofread by my editors) and the older ones to compare:

Ott 2017 English (provisional)
but Frya's folk is competent and diligent.
They* did not become tired or weary,

because they aimed for the best**.
(*'They' does not refer to Frya's folk, but to the people who restored the land around Liudweard; **lit.: because their aim laid at the best)

Ottema 1872 Dutch
Maar Fryas volk is wakker en vlijtig,
zij werden moede noch mat,
omdat hun doel ten beste geleidde.


Sandbach 1876 English
but Frya's people [part skipped by Sandbach]
were neither tired nor exhausted
when they had a good object in view
. [paraphrased]

Wirth 1933 German
Aber Fryas Volk ist wacker und fleißig,
sie werden weder müde noch mürbe [Dutch: murw],
weil ihr Ziel zum Besten führt.

Overwijn 1951 Dutch
Maar Frya's volk is wakker en vlijtig,
het werd moe noch mat,
omdat zijn plan het best mogelijke opleverde. [paraphrased: for its plan yielded the best possible result]

Jensma 2006 Dutch
Maar Frya's volk is oplettend en vlijtig.
Zij werden moe noch afgemat,
omdat hun doel tot het beste leidde.

De Heer 2008 Dutch
Maar Fryas volk is waardig en vlijtig,
zij werden moe noch mat,
doordat hun doel tot het beste leidde.

Raubenheimer 2011 English (as Sandbach)
but Frya's people are diligent and hard working
and they do not lose heart [interpretation]
when they had a good object in view. [paraphrased]

Menkens 2013 German
Aber Fryas Volk ist tüchtig und fleißig.
Sie wurden (weder) müde noch matt,
bis daß ihr Ziel erreicht war, [paraphrased: untill they had reached their goal]

Lien 2013 Norse
Frøyas folk er dyktige og flittige;
de var (verken) trette eller slitne [both words mean tired]
fordi deres mål ledet til det beste.


translation DIGER WIRG
Ottema wakker mat
Sandbach - exhausted
Wirth wacker mürbe
Overwijn wakker mat
Jensma oplettend afgemat
De Heer waardig mat
Raubenheimer diligent -
Menkens tüchtig matt
Lien dyktige slitne
Ott competent weary

13 June 2017

"This religion..." ~ a brand new translation

Boniface Converts the Germans by Johannes Gehrts (1855-1921)*


[140/13]
THAS LÉRE HWÉRBI THA PRESTERA NÉN ORE WITSKIP HOVA
AS DROCHTLIK RÉDA. FRÁNA SKIN ÀND VNRJUCHTA PLÉGA


Ott 2017 English (provisional)
This religion, for which the priests need to have no other skills
than eloquence, hypocrisy and foul play


Ottema 1872 Dutch
Deze leer, waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap noodig hebben,
als bedriegelijk te redeneren, een vrome schijn en ongerechtigheden


Sandbach 1876 English
This doctrine, which requires the priests to possess no further knowledge
than to speak deceitfully, and to pretend to be pious while acting unjustly


Wirth 1933 German 
Diese Lehre, bei der die Priester keiner anderen Wissenschaft bedurfen,
als betrügerisch zu reden, frommen Scheines und Unrechtes zu pflegen


Overwijn 1951 Dutch 
Deze leer, waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap nodig hebben,
dan bedriegelijk redeneren, een vrome schijn ophouden en onrechtvaardige gebruiken 


Jensma 2006 Dutch 
Deze leer waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap behoeven,
dan gedrochtelijk raad te geven, vrome schijn en onrecht te plegen


De Heer 2008 Dutch 
De leer waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap behoeven,
dan bedrieglijk redeneren, vrome schijn en onrechte plichten


Raubenheimer 2011 English (as Sandbach)

Menkens 2013 German
Diese Lehre, bei der die Priester keine anderen Kenntnisse benötigen,
als betrügerisch zu reden, frommen Schein und Ungerechtigkeiten


Lien 2013 Norse
Denne læra, hvorved prestene ikke behøver noen annen viten
enn avgudelig rådgivning,
hellig ytre og urette skikker

= = = = = =

Redbad's intended baptism
(ca.1839) Johann Wilhelm Kaiser*
1. LÉRE: teaching/doctrine => religion
Leer/ Lehre/ læra (cognate: learn), meaning teaching or doctrine, may be closest to the original word, but I choose 'religion' as I think it fits better in the context.

2. WITSKIP: knowledge => skills
Wetenschap/ Wissenschaft/ viten (cognates: wit, wisdom), translated by Sandbach as 'knowledge', is problematic, since the three qualities or skills that follow can not really be described as knowledge. I think 'skills' fits better here.

3. DROCHTLIK RÉDA: to speak deceitfully => eloquence
Most translations had 'speaking deceitfully'. Jensma: 'monstrous counselling'; Lien: 'idolatrous counselling'. Although a modern cognate of DROCHTEN is 'gedrocht' (monster), elsewhere in the OLB (and still in the Middle Ages) this word means god or godhead. Even Wralda is sometimes referred to as DROCHTEN. Thus DROCHTLIK rather means 'divinely', and the skill of 'speaking divinely' can be translated as 'eloquence', which fits perfectly in the context.

4. FRÁNA SKIN: pretence of piety => hypocrisy
Dutch/ German: 'vrome schijn/ frommen Schein' (pretence of piety) is most literal, but this can more simply be interpreted as 'hypocrisy', which fits well in the context.

5. VNRJUCHTA PLÉGA: acting unjustly => foul play
VNJUCHTA is plural adjective 'unjust' and PLÉGA is plural noun 'practices'. Most translations have 'acting unjustly' or 'iniquities'. Since 'play' is a modern cognate of PLÉGA, I think 'foul play' fits well here.

= = = = = =

*PLEASE NOTE: I have used images of the Christianisation of northern Europe. The text in the OLB is not about Christianity, however (i.m.o.), but rather an earlier version of it.

09 June 2017

Archaeology-based reconstructions of faces and clothes

Dutch archaeology museum Huis van Hilde exhibits several sculptures that are reconstructions, based on skulls, skeletons and other finds in the north-west of Holland. This may give some idea of what the people described in the Oera Linda-book would have looked like.

900 BCE, Bovenkarspel
28 CE, Velsen: Frisian
200 CE, Velsen
600 CE, Castricum
200 BCE, Uitgeest: child
28 CE, Velsen: Roman soldier
400 CE, Castricum

700 CE, Wieringen
Click for larger image:









Short Dutch documentary of the reconstruction process:


Detailed English-language instructions for skull-based facial reconstruction:


06 June 2017

RUMA RIKA ~ ROMRIKA?


[078/30]
KNÁPA THAM HJARA SELVA MITH RUMA RIKA KLÁTAR SÍRADON


Portret van Gerard Andriesz Bicker,
Bartholomeus van der Helst, ca. 1642
I wonder if RUMA RIKA actually means "ruime rijke": wide and expensive/rich, or that it could be Dutch "roemrijk"/ German "ruhmreich": glorious, or in this context flamboyant, extravagant.

All earlier translations interpreted RUMA as wide. For two other OLB-fragments with "roemrijk" (ROMRIKA, ROMRIKSTA), see below. There are more words that have an U - O variety, but I don't have many examples yet (see below).


Ottema 1872 Dutch
knapen, die zich met wijde prachtige kleederen versierden

Sandbach 1876 English
boys dressed in splendid flowing robes

Wirth 1933 German
Knaben, die sich selber mit weiten reichen Kleidern schmückten

Overwijn 1951 Dutch
knapen, die zich met wijde, prachtige kleren sierden

Jensma 2006 Dutch
knapen die zichzelf met ruime rijke kleren sierden

De Heer 2008 Dutch
knapen die zich-zelf met wijde en kostbare kleren sierden

Raubenheimer 2011 English
lads who decorated themselves with wide expensive robes

Menkens 2013 German
Knaben, die sich selbst mit weiten prächtigen/reichen Kleidern zierten

Lien 2013 Norse
gutter som pyntet seg med vide, fargerike klær


[065/29]
HO KÀLTA VSA ROMRIKA BURCH VRDÉN HÉDEhow Kelta had destroyed our glorious burg
[151/27]
TOGHATERUM THÉRA ROMRIKSTA FORSTUMdaughters of the most glorious kings


Oldest known fragment from other sources:
"Soo trocken si al ghescaert dapperlicke ten stride waert criërende blidelike: Hya, Berge romerike" (Brabant, 1430-1450)


Note on same page as "RUMA RIKA KLÁTAR":
[078/09]  
ÀND NIMMÀN NE MACHT EN HUS TO BVWANDE THÀT RUMER ÀND RIKKER WÉRE AS THÀT SINRA NÉSTUM 
and no one could build a house, larger and more luxurious than that of his neighbors


Other examples of U - O variety:

GVNGON ca. 30x ~ GUNGON 4x ~ GONGON 2x
HVNDRED ca. 20x ~ HONDRED 4x

Between Dutch and German, the O/OE - U variety is very common:
Roem ~ Ruhm
Honderd ~ Hundert
Hond ~ Hund
Moed ~ Mut
Bloed ~ Blut
Som ~ Summe
Voet ~ Fuß
etc.

27 May 2017

Swiss pile-dwellings ~ archaelogy and reconstruction

Reconstruction of the Neolithic lake dwelling site discovered in Zurich [source]



These finds have been relevant in the discussion about OLB's authenticity as they can be considered as a confirmation. Hoax-theorists, however, argued that the manuscript must have been compiled after the remains had been found and made public in 1853, which would mean that Cornelis Over de Linden (and his witnesses) must have lied about having had the manuscript in his possession since 1848.

From Ottema's introduction of 1872 (translated by Sandbach):
Since the last twenty years attention has been directed to the remains of the dwellings on piles, first observed in the Swiss lakes, and afterwards in other parts of Europe. (See Dr E. Rückert, "Die Pfahlbauten;" Wurzburg, 1869. Dr T. C. Winkler, in the "Volksalmanak," t. N. v. A. 1867.) When they were found, endeavours were made to discover, by the existing fragments of arms, tools, and household articles, by whom and when these dwellings had been inhabited. There are no accounts of them in historical writers, beyond what Herodotus writes in book v. chapter 18, of the "Paeonen." The only trace that has been found is in one of the panels of Trajan's Pillar, in which the destruction of a pile village in Dacia is represented.
Doubly important, therefore, is it to learn from the writing of Apollonia that she, as "Burgtmaagd" (chief of the virgins), about 540 years before Christ, made a journey up the Rhine to Switzerland, and there became acquainted with the Lake Dwellers (Marsaten). She describes their dwellings built upon piles—the people themselves—their manners and customs. She relates that they lived by fishing and hunting, and that they prepared the skins of the animals with the bark of the birch-tree in order to sell the fare to the Rhine boatmen, who brought them into commerce. This account of the pile dwellings in the Swiss lakes can only have been written in the time when these dwellings still existed and were lived in. In the second part of the writing, Konerèd oera Linda relates that Adel, the son of Friso (± 250 years before Christ), visited the pile dwellings in Switzerland with his wife Ifkja.
Later than this account there is no mention by any writer whatever of the pile dwellings, and the subject has remained for twenty centuries utterly unknown until 1853, when an extraordinary low state of the water led to the discovery of these dwellings. Therefore no one could have invented this account in the intervening period. Although a great portion of the first part of the work—the book of Adela—belongs to the mythological period before the Trojan war, there is a striking difference between it and the Greek myths. The Myths have no dates, much less any chronology, nor any internal coherence of successive events. The untrammelled fancy develops itself in every poem separately and independently. The mythological stories contradict each other on every point. "Les Mythes ne se tiennent pas," is the only key to the Greek Mythology.

Relevant fragments in the OLB:

Appolánja's account (p. 109 of original), new provisional translation:
Above the Rhine, between the mountains, I have seen Marsata or lake dwellers. Their houses are built on poles, for protection against wild beasts and evil people. There are wolves, bears and terrible black leopards. They are also the 'Swetsar' - or neighbours - of the near Creeklanders, Kelta-followers, and the savage Twiskers, all eager to rob and plunder. The Marsata gain their livelihood by fishing and hunting. The skins are prepared with birch bark and sewn by the women. The small skins are soft like Maidens' felt. The burg-Maiden at New Fryasburg told us that they were good and simple [110] people, but without that knowledge, I would have thought they were savages rather than Fryas, judging by their brutal looks. Their skins and herbs are traded by the Rhine dwellers. and exported by the sailors.
Koneréd's account (p. 156 of original), translation Sandbach:
From Texland they went to Westflyland, and so along the cost to Walhallagara; thence they followed the Zuiderryn (the Waal), till, with great apprehension, they arrived beyond the Rhine at the Marsaten of whom our Apollonia has written.

More information:
"Neolithic lake dwelling found in Zurich reconstructed" 2017 link
"Neolithic and Bronze Age lakeside settlements in the Alpine region" 2007 link
Pfahlbau Museum

03 May 2017

KYVA, SANA, TWISTA - quarrel, nag, dispute

Basile de Loose - De Kaartspelers, 1868
Cognates:

kijven - dutch
kífa - oldnorse
kiva - swedish

sana, sannia (streiten) - oldfrisian (Richthofen dictionary)
?senna - icelandic
zanken (quarrel) - eastfrisian
sanikje (nag) - frisian
zaniken ,, - dutch

twisten - dutch
zwisten - german
tvista - swedish
twist - english
tvistra - icelandic

Occurrences in OLB (fragment nr.):

KYVA - 1
BIKÍVJA - 9

SANA - 1
SÁNADE - 5

TWIST (noun) - 2,3,4,6,7,8
TWISTA (verb) - 5,10

Related: STRID, TWISPALT, FAITHE, VNÉNES, etc.

Ferdinand De Braekeleer - De echtelijke ruzie, 1870

1 [029/26]
SAHWERSA THÉR SWETHNATA ET SÉMNE KYVA ÀND SANA
VR ENZE SÉKA THA VR LÁND
If neighbours among each other quarrel and dispute
about some cause or piece of land

2 [030/06]
TILTHJU WI NAVT AN TWIST NE KVME NE MÜGE
VR SÉKA. STRIDANDE WITH VSA FRYA SÉDUM.
in order that we may not come into disputes
over causes that are in conflict with our free customs

3 [033/10]
ALSA RIST THÉR TWIST ÀND TWISPALT
there will arise quarrels and discord

4 [056/03]
BUTA ÀND BIHALVA THISSA TWIST
Besides this dispute

5 [056/10]
THAHWÍLA ALLE SÁNADE ÀND TWISTA
While all were nagging and quarrelling

6 [057/12]
THÁ HJA RÉD WÉRON KRÉJON HJA TWIST.
When they were ready they got into a dispute

7 [190/27]
AS TWIST ÀND TVÍSPALT ÀFTERNÉI INNA HÛSHALDNE GLUPTE
When, in consequence, quarrels and disputes arose in the households

8 [200/30]
ALSA WAS THRVCH THA FÍANSKIP THÉRA FÁMNA ÀND THÉRA GOLUM.
FAITHE ÀND TWIST IN OVIR THÀT BERCH.LAND KVMEN
MITH MORTH ÀND BRÔND
Due to the enmity between the Maidens and the Gols,
feud and strife had come into the mountainous land,
bringing with it murder and fire



9 [203/17]
THÀN SKILUN THA SKINNA JOWRE ÉTHLA JO KVMA WEKJA
ÀND JO BIKÍVJA VR JO LEFHÉD ÀND VNDIGERHÉD
The ghosts of your ancestors will come to wake you up
and blame you for your cowardice and carelessness

10 [209/22]
HJA SKOLDE MITH MANLIKÔTHERUM SKOLDUN TWISTA OVIR.ET MÁSTERSKIP
they would quarrel among each other about the reign

02 May 2017

BISJOWATH ~ new translation show off

When Teunis wished to return home, he went first towards Denmark; but he might not land there, ...



[056/31]
THAT HÉDE THJU MODER BISJOWATH
dat had de Moeder besteld (Dutch: Ottema, Jensma)
for so the mother had ordered (English: Sandbach, Raubenheimer)
das hatte die Mutter bestellt (German: Wirth)
dat had de Moeder geregeld (Dutch: Overwijn)
dat had de Moeder bestierd (Dutch: de Heer)
det hadde mora vurdert (Norse: Lien)
das hatte die Mutter angeordnet (German: Menkens)

(All translations being more or less the same.)

It was not hard to find a cognate, that explains this mysterious word:
Gtb (Geïntegreerde Taalbank): sjouwen
- Door middel van een sjouw ontbieden
vb:
Dat de Schipper den Zeevoogd aan boord geliefde te sjouwen, dat is, door een scheepszein aan boord te ontbieden
(1726)
Bekommering …, wat 'er dog in dat schip te doen mogt wezen, dat de Zeevoogd nog zoo laat op den dag aan 't zelve gesjouwt wierd,

- Een sjouw laten waaien, een sjouw hijschen
vb:
Tsjouwen. Een Vlag in een gerolt, een Tsjouw genaemt, achter af laten waeien, 't geen voor een merckteken streckt, om aen boort (er staat boot) te komen: oock wel een teken van noot (1671)

So in short, it means to signal at sea with flags. This makes perfect sense in the context and is not quite the same as "ordered" or "organised".

"Show" may very well be a modern cognate.
Old English sceawian "to look at, see, gaze, behold, observe; inspect, examine; look for, choose," (...) (source also of Old Saxon skauwon "to look at," Old Frisian skawia, Dutch schouwen, Old High German scouwon "to look at"), (...).

Causal meaning "let be seen; put in sight, make known" evolved c. 1200 for unknown reasons and is unique to English (German schauen still means "look at").
source

I will discuss with my proofreaders what a good translation of the fragment would be. (The Mother had had that signalled with flags?)