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Icelandic: Segja Frá

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by ShakeyX, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    Íslendingasögur segja frá deilum íslenskra bænda.

    The only way I can translate this sentence is... Icelandic Sagas tell of disputes of icelandic farmers.

    http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cg...ze=First+100&rgn=lemma&q1=segja&submit=Search

    The entry says that this "tells of" is in the impersonal use, but I cannot see how this sentence is impersonal[FONT=arial, verdana] due to there being a subject.


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  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    There is one listing of an impersonal usage there, but that isn't the only way you can read it.
    If you look in the 'phrases' section it gives the translation of the normal 'segja frá'. If you look at the impersonal one you will see that it's introduced by a preposition 'í sögunni' which then is impersonal because there is no nominative case. There is nominative case here which means you can look at this relevant entry:
    You've got the translation correct.
    If you did, however, want to make it the impersonal use then you could have said:

    Í Íslendingasögum segir frá deilum íslenkra bænda.

    You have no real subject here so you assume third personal singular.
     
  3. csjc New Member

    Reykjavík, Iceland
    English- Canada
    As is stated in dictionary entry B, "segja frá+dat." can be used with a subject as well as impersonally.
     

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