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Who would like an Old Norse course on Duolingo?

I was looking through the suggested languages on lrtward's guide and I realized there was no Old Norse listed as one of the suggested languages! Old Norse is the language that Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, and Faroese all derive from! We should add this beautiful language to Duolingo! Upvote if you agree!

Edit: The ISO 639-3 code for Old Norse is non. Thank you piguy3!

August 28, 2017



Icelandic is very little changed from Old Icelandic/Norse; I believe the difference is largely a matter of vocabulary (and understanding all the tortuously-oblique kennings that Old Norse literature is full of), such that understanding the sagas for modern Icelanders is is probably no more difficult than understanding Shakespeare for an Englishman.
That being the case, having a modern Icelandic course would easily be half way there. Of course, in an ideal world there would be both, but I feel that Icelandic is considerably more likely to happen.


I would be happier with an Icelandic course, honestly.


Modern Icelandic speakers can understand Old Norse just fine; the languages are very alike. I would love an Icelandic course on Duolingo, along with Old Norse.


If we are going with a dead, Germanic Medieval language, I would prefer Old English but were an Old Norse course available, I would definitely take it. As I would with Gothic, Old Saxon, Old High German or any other such course. But Old Norse would definitely be my third choice, after OE and Gothic.


Ah, now I want to learn all of those too.

It raises an interesting point though; languages are in a constant state of evolution, so when you revive a language from the past, you're really just focusing on one snapshot in the evolution of a branch of a language tree. I don't know how you'd make an Old Norse course to make everyone happy unfortunately - do you go for Old Norse at the start of the viking age, or Old Norse when the saga's were written some 4-500 years later for example. You also have the problem that nobody knows how they were spoken.

It might be better to have mini courses dedicated to translating important texts from history?


You'd have to go for the Old Norse of the sagas, as there really isn't enough extant material from the days of Swedes and Danes taking jolly holidays to England to learn their language to a similar degree.


I thoroughly enjoy exploring medieval Germanic languages. Soon, the Teach Yourself book series will be coming out with Complete Gothic. They already have languages like Old English and even Babylonian. Very interesting.


That is indeed interesting. I have TY Old English and Babylonian (a bit disappointing as it is entirely romanised and makes no attempt to teach the script, leaving one unable to actually read any real Assyrian), but I wasn't expecting Gothic to be next.

[deactivated user]

    NB: Teach Yourself seems to have gotten their meaning of "soon" from the same dictionary as Duolingo.


    That would be awesome! I've always wanted to learn Old Norse and other "dead" languages like Latin and Old Church Slavonic.


    Yes! Duolingo needs to add some dead languages!


    The ISO 639-3 code is non. Really surprising that a request for this hadn't made it onto the list yet!


    It is surprising. I hope lrtward sees this post!

    I'll add the ISO 639-3 code to the main post. Thanks piguy3!


    I think that it would be one of the best things that Duolingo going to do. I hope we will have courses for Old Norse, Old English, Latin, Finnish, Icelandic, Lithuanian and other great languages, it doesn't matter if they are dead or not, Duolingo needs more languages anyway.


    I am wondering if Jackson Crawford is reading this :D


    That would be very awesome!


    Being that I'm not even done with German... Well I guess that would be a nice course to take in my spare time. Obviously it wouldn't be a top priority when I'd study it, but it'd be a cool thing.


    I would like to see an Old Norse language course here, but want to see the Icelandic course to be a priority.

    There are more languages that derived from Old Norse. Gutnish and Elfdalian from Sweden and Norn (extinct) from the British Isles.


    it would be amazing


    I'd love it! Or Icelandic, at least. I'm learning Norwegian, which I adore, but the French influence in Norsk is driving me nuts - I want the original, untainted language. As other people have pointed out, the closest thing to that would be Icelandic.


    I think this is a great idea.


    I agree, It would be very amazing to learn Old Norse.


    I really want an Old Norse course on Duolingo. It's a very fascinating language and a lot of literature to read in this language (the Icelandic saga's, the Edda's).

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