"En varg"

Translation:A wolf

November 19, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Tolkien showing his language expertise again.


It’s a bit funny. In English, the word is wolf and the LotR creatures are called wargs, based on Old Norse or Old English. In the Swedish translation it’s reversed, so the normal word is varg and the LotR creatures are instead called ulvar which is the same word as ’wolf’ in English, but is archaic in Swedish.


There are two words in Old Norse, The varg variant is almost exclusively used for wicked/evil beasts and insults: 'vargraekr' is an adjective meaning 'one who is to be hunted down like a wolf'; ulfr on the other hand is often a perfectly good personal name and does not have the same negative connotations. Hence Tolkien went for the former...


Thats so interesting, because in Norwegian we have the exact same words, but 'ulv' is normal and 'varg' is not.


In fact, it's like this: the proper word used to be "ulv", but it was considered very dangerous to pronounce that word, because then the wolf would come (just like they say in English: never cry wolf). So, people switched to varg, a word the wolf is not familiar with.


It's more like "speak of the devil, and he shall appear" - if you said the name of a thing there was a superstition that you would summon it. That's why there are so many names for the norse gods, as well - Odin was called grey beard, and one eye, etc.

Ulf is the old word for wolf, but people avoided saying it, as that might summon it, so they said other things instead - gråben (grey legs), and varg. Varg originally meant something like perpetrator, or one that does misdeeds.

The names went back and forth for a while, as, eventually, a word would stop sounding like a euphemism for wolf, and instead simply be the word for wolf, and they would move on to another one (or back to an old one).

When the language was standardized, we were in a period where the word Varg was used, and so here we are.


In Russian we i think we have the same with the bear. Originally the animal was called Bear (бэр) like in other european , but not to summon/call him people used медведь (one who knows where's the honey)


How do you pronounce this? Does the robot pronounce it correctly?


Yes. It's pronounced 'VARG', with the 'g' like the 'y' in 'yolk'. They say it at 00:09 :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70GGwGU52xo=8=PLD7oHB1NRm4AQw84FYJrdM6IM911aflFo


Seeing what the video was made me laugh. hahaha. Thanks


What would be Swedish for "dire wolf"?


The word itself seems to be jättevarg in Swedish, but I don't remember how they translate it in GoT. Edit: I googled a bit and in the books they seem to be called skräckvarg. In the subtitles to the TV series they're maybe just vargar?


The North Remembers


Thanks for looking!


Ain't vargar a werewolf?


a werewolf is en varulv


In farsi we have gorg for this word. I don't know if there is an ethymological relation between them. Does somebody know about this?


I've found the etymology of the word on project runeberg. A good read! But it doesn't answer your question: runeberg.org/svetym/1183.html But then I looked up in Ali Nourai's etymological dictionary and found "Gurô" which is related to "ğorridan" to growl, hence the words "crow", "crack", "cur" and "crane".


Ofcourse in ild iranian language we have "varg" for wolf.


Sorry .. old iranian i meant


Im finding that the swedish "g* is pronounced closely like the english "y". Sort of a mixture of the two letters.


Says i typed the answer in english whike it was misspelled swedish


You have to spell it correctly or it will do that.


The tts devoices the G and also partially the R. Does this actually happen in "human" swedish?


The letter combination -rg is pronounced as if it were spelled -rj.


Boy, do I love Swedish's (ever so slightly outdated) spelling system!

Although I can't really speak, coming from an Anglophone...


Does this remind you all of a children's story?


I accidentally put "En Väry" and it still counted it as correct?


Yes, it should normally be marked as a typo, but it will still be correct, because you can have two typos as far as i know. (I think because typing on a phone is shit, so they included that)


A yes, the Thulean perspective


Suomi on maailman onnellisin maa

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