The Viking Language Series

The Best Way to Learn Old Norse

Learning or teaching Old Norse is easy with The Viking Language Series. These textbooks have everything you need to become proficient in Old Norse, including grammar, vocabulary, and exercises. Embark on a journey deep into Icelandic sagas, heroic legends, Viking runes, Old Norse mythology and history.

Everything you need to Learn Old Norse.

Viking Language 1:
Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas

“This book is a truly marvellous tool for learning Old Norse. It has it all: history lessons, maps, runic alphabet lessons and translations, the whole nine yards.”

This book is a complete introduction to Old Norse, runes, Icelandic sagas, mythological tales, and the culture of the Vikings.  Journey through Viking Age Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Britain, Russia, and Byzantium with original Old Norse readings of Vikings, Norse mythology, gods, heroes, sacral kingship, blood feuds, and daily life. The 15 graded lessons include vocabulary and grammar exercises, 35 readings, pronunciation, 15 maps, 45 illustrations, and 180 exercises.

Viking Language 2:
The Old Norse Reader

“The Dragon has landed! The long-awaited ‘Viking Language 2 – The Old Norse Reader,’ companion volume to ‘Viking Language 1,’ has, at last, arrived, and I’m in Viking Heaven!”

This reader is a stand-alone work that immerses the learner in Icelandic and Viking Age sources, including a wide selection of original texts about the Scandinavian gods and beliefs. It provides the tools necessary to read complete sagas and Norse mythic and heroic poetry. The book takes the student directly into the Viking World with introductions, history, notes, maps, and cultural discussions as well as comprehensive grammar and vocabulary sections. Where lessons contain exercises, answers given.

Viking Language 1:
Audio Lessons

““This is an absolute must have for any serious student of Old Norse. Good, clear pronunciation by a native Icelander, with plenty of readings.”

In addition to Viking Language 1 & 2,  we’ve put together two MP3 audio albums that teach the pronunciation of saga passages and runes from the Viking Language series. The audio passages are spoken by native Icelander Ása Bjarnadóttir with introductions by Jesse Byock. Also available on iTunes.

Old Norse-Old Icelandic:
Concise Introduction to the Language of the Sagas

“A book that makes learning Old Norse easy!”

Old Norse – Old Icelandic: A Concise Introduction answers the need for a modern “primer” for learning the language of the Icelandic sagas (and of runes).From the first pages, the beginner reads original Old Norse passages. This emphasis on original texts continues throughout the book with readings drawn from Icelandic sagas, Old Scandinavian myths, and Norse sources about the Viking Age. The 17 short lessons supply all necessary grammar, vocabulary, and exercises. They are designed for quick learning on one’s own or in class and lessons are carefully graded for difficulty. The primer offers a full reference grammar and a full vocabulary.

Supplementary Exercises for Old Norse-Old Icelandic

Supplementary Exercises answers the need for a modern method to learn the language of the sagas. This new primer requires no previous language knowledge, and the beginner quickly starts reading original passages from Icelandic sagas, mythological texts, and sources about the Viking Age. Designed for quick learning on one’s own or in class, the lessons supply all necessary grammar, exercises, and vocabulary.

About the Authors

Jesse Byock is Distinguished Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Studies in the Scandinavian Section at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, he is an archaeologist and specialist in Old Norse and the Viking Archaeology. In Iceland, he is professor at the University of Iceland, and Director of the Mosfell Archaeological Project (MAP). His publications include: Viking Age Iceland (Penguin), Grettir’s Saga (Oxford), The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer (Penguin), The Prose Edda: Norse Mythology (Penguin), Feud in the Icelandic Saga (UC Press), The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki (Penguin), Islande des Vikings (Aubier Flammarion) and The Viking Language Series (Jules Williams Press).

Randall Gordon is a specialist in historical linguistics of Celtic and Germanic Languages, with concentrations on the development and grammar of Old Norse and Old Irish. He received his Ph.D. in Indo-European Studies from UCLA.

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Old Norse for Beginners: The Complete Guide

Welcome to our site,! We seek to educate on Old Norse teaching Old Scandinavian language, culture, and sagas. Learn Old Norse–the language the runes and myths of the Vikings–through user-friendly textbooks, online content, and blog. Here you will find books, free content, audio resources, and a community of Old Norse students to aid teachers,…

The Viking Language Series