COMPARISONS of LANGUAGES INVOLVED
in the translation of the MAALAN AARUM

INTRODUCTION
3.1 Mound Land
3.1
When the waves were calm
in the land they left,
the decent people
lived together there
in strong hollow houses
with thick roofs
3.2 Freezing
3:2

They lived where it snowed.
They lived where it stormed.
They lived where it was always winter.

3.3 Dream
3:3

While still in their cold land
They remembered longingly
the mild weather,
the many deer,
and also foxes

HUNTERS GO EVERYWHERE
3.4 Split
3:4

The poor, lonely, but tough men
became hunters and
left those living
in strong houses.

3.5 Mighty Hunters
3:5

Separated from home
like breasts on the same body
the hunters became tougher
extremely good and
they reached for the sky.

3.6 Explored All
3:6

The hunters camped
in the north, east,
south and west.

CHRIST TRUMPS ODIN
3.7 Mound Man
3.7

The man, who ruled
in that old, northern land
that they all left,
was baptized to be pure.

3.8 Soccers
3.8
The discouraged people
were worried about
worn out land
they had to abandon.
The priest said,
"We decent people
should go somewhere else."

3.9 Akomen
3.9
The common people
in the east stole away
the brothers
abandoned all
with great discouragement
and again discouragement

3.10 Driven

3.10
In a short while
the weeping, weak, dirty.
needy (people from)
the burnt land
saved themselves and
rested on the other side
3.11 Free Men
3.11
After moving down
from the snowy land
and discreetly leaving
the cousins separated
through out all the land
Maalan Aarum Algonquin Old Norse

Nihillapewin
komelendam
lowaniwi
wemitten
chihillen
winaken

Nahooch bi win
kimi allumskaan
lowaney
wematin
chilhillen
wemaken

nidhr hniiga by wineu
geymi a(f) lymskaada
raa-andi
vedh-madhir
Skilja vera
hveim akran

Arrow   Arrow
Those from the north
being free, without care
from the land of snow
?Missing?
went forth
In different directions
left pointing arrow
original English
translation
right pointing arrow
translation
of Old Norse
Be dropping down from snow
discreetly stealing off
(from) freezing
plighted brothers
were separated
(through) all the land

WORD (PHRASE) BY WORD (PHRASE) DECIPHERMENT
(All references are to Sherwin’s eight volumes of the Viking and the Red Man)

Original English Those from the north  
Recorded sounds Ni hilla pe win  
Algonquin words Nahooch bi win v. 7 p. 52 & v. 4 91 &
Old Norse nidhr hniiga by wineu v. 7 p. 108
Norse/English Be dropping down from snow  
     
Original English being free, without care  
Recorded sounds kom e lendam  
Algonquin words kimi al lumskaan v. 8 p. 37 1*
Old Norse geymi a(f) lymskaada  
Norse/English discreetly stealing off  
     
Original English From the land of snow (English order changed
Recorded sounds lowaniwi to match Algonquin)
Algonquin words lowaney v. 6 p. 58 northerly
Old Norse raa-andi  
Norse/English freezing  
     
Original English ?missing?  
Recorded sounds wemitten  
Algonquin words wematin v. 1, p. 233 2*
Old Norse vedh-madhir  
Norse/English plighted brothers 3*
     
Original English went forth  
Recorded sounds chihillen  
Algonquin words chilhillen v. 1, p.38
Old Norse Skilja vera  
Norse/English were separated  
     
Original English In different directions  
Recorded sounds win aken  
Algonquin words wem aken v. 4 p. 159
Old Norse hveim akran  
Norse/English (through) all the land  
Notes
1*The Recorder had written “lendam” endings. Here the word ending had a different sound, and meaning, but he apparently spelled the ending the same way as before.

The “free, without care” probably came from the Historian who understood that slipping away would enable a person to be “free, without care.”

The “discreetly stealing off” may describe a process where people walked away from the camp ground near the boats with the full knowledge of everyone in camp that they should load the boat and sail when the time was right.

2* “Plighted brothers may refer to the sons of any Norse man.

There were other men, servants and slaves. Those men may have discreetly slipped away too. But they probably did not help write the Maalan Aarum.

3*According to Sherwin, “plighted brothers” could include up to fifth cousins. That status may have included most of the Greenland men.

General Comments

The original English and the paraphrase from the Old Norse are similar except that the Old Norse version leaves a sense that they came to stay.

The episode in verses 8 through 11 appears to be an one occurrence, but there were probably repeated episodes from 1050 to 1300. This verse about distant cousins discreetly leaving to move through out all the land implies something that happened again and again over a long time
back to top
3.12 Open Water
3.12

Where there was little
pack ice in heaped ice
with a lot of snow drifts,
the white geese ruled
and the white bear ruled

3.13 Rich Father
3.13
Floating up the streams
in their canoes,
our fathers were rich.
They were in the light
when they were at these Islands.
THE DECISION
3.14Agreement
3.14

"Head Beaver and Big Bird
said 'Let us go to Akomen'"

3.15 All Will Go
3.15

All say they will go along,
All who are free to go.

3.16North East
3.16

Those of the north agreed.
Those of the east agreed.
Over the waters
Over the frozen sea
They went to enjoy it

THE MIGRATION
3.17 Stone hard
3.17

On the wonderful slippery water,
On the stone hard water, all went
On the great tidal sea,
Over the [puckered pack ice]

3.18 Big Mob
3.18

[I tell you it was a big mob]
In the darkness,
all in one darkness
To Akomen, to the [west],
In the darkness
They walk and walk,
all of them

3.19 men
3.19

The men from the north,
the east, the south,
The eagle clan, the beaver clan
the wolf clan,
The best men, the rich men,
the head men
Those with wives,
Those with daughters,
Those with dogs

3.20 They All Come
3.20

They all come.
They tarry at the land
Of the spruce pines,
Those from the east
Some with hesitation.
Esteeming highly their
Old home at the mound land