Icelandic - 24th week of summer?


Senior Member
English, USA

I'm trying to understand the English translation of this sentence from an Icelandic murder mystery. The text is supposed to have been written in a diary during WWI:

"Heyskapur varð afar slæmur og illa hirt og gat ég hirt inn 24 vikum af sumri."

This is the English translation I have:

"The haymaking has been very poor and badly done and I was only able to bring in the hay in the 24th week of the summer."

Is it supposed to be the 24th week of the year, thus midsummer? What does "hirt" mean?

Thank you.
  • Rafeind

    Icelandic - Iceland
    “Hirt” is the past tense of “hirða”. “Að hirða inn” in this context means to take the hey into the barn after it has dried. “Að hirða” can mean to look after (livestock), to take something which otherwise would have been thrown away or to take something away.

    And no that is not the 24th week of the year, it is the 24th week of summer according to the old Icelandic calendar. The first day of summer is the first Thursday after 18th of April, which most years means it is the third Thursday in April. So the 24th week of summer is quite a bit later than midsummer.
    What Rafeind said.
    The fyrst day of summer is still celebrated today and the old calendar counted the year in weeks while splitting it into two "seasons", winter and summer. So things like "Xth week of winter" or "Xth week of summer" are things that do pop up here and there, although usually in an old timey way.

    For comparison, the first day of summer this year was the 25th of april, so today we should be in the 14th week of the summer, and the 24th week would be the 3rd to 9th of october this year.
    (If my quick math was correct that is to say)

    Edit: Another way to look at it; there were only 52 weeks in the year according to the old calendar, of which only 26 were summer ones, so the 24th week is literally the 3rd last week of the summer season, basically autumn and three weeks at most from winter.
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