Icelandic: ráðit ... heldr liggja til

lifthrasir

New Member
German
Is this a set phrase and how can it be translated?

That's the whole sentence: "Nú hafðir þú þat ráðit, Þorsteinn, er helzt lá til, ok mundi eigi hlýtt hafa ella."

So far I came up with "Now you have ... , Thorstein, ... ,and it would not have been proper otherwise.”

Can you help me fill the gaps?
 
  • Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    This is from a saga isn’t it? What is the context?

    Someone has given Þorsteinn advise or maybe he translated a dream into a prophesy or I translated a verse into plain word ... The sentence is not clear on its own.

    The thing is “ráðit” is either the supine of “ráða” or “ráð” with the article. “Ráð” means advise, “ráða” means finding out, solving (f.ex. a riddle), advising or being the one to decide.
     

    lifthrasir

    New Member
    German
    This is from a saga isn’t it? What is the context?

    Someone has given Þorsteinn advise or maybe he translated a dream into a prophesy or I translated a verse into plain word ... The sentence is not clear on its own.

    The thing is “ráðit” is either the supine of “ráða” or “ráð” with the article. “Ráð” means advise, “ráða” means finding out, solving (f.ex. a riddle), advising or being the one to decide.
    Yeah, that's right. Before that comes a verse, spoken by Þorsteinn, here's the full context:
    Kumlbúa þáttur

    Which takes place in a dream indeed.

    So my best guess is: "Now you have followed the advice, Thorstein, which was mostly recommended, and it would not have been proper otherwise."
     

    Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    So in context I understand this as: “Now you have followed the best solution/course of action/advise, Þorsteinn, and nothing less would have been enough.” Because Þorsteinn doesn’t do what the ghost wants him to, he defies the ghost and says he will fight him before he gives the sword back (if I can ráðið í the poems correctly). And then the ghost and the grave disappears.
     

    lifthrasir

    New Member
    German
    So in context I understand this as: “Now you have followed the best solution/course of action/advise, Þorsteinn, and nothing less would have been enough.” Because Þorsteinn doesn’t do what the ghost wants him to, he defies the ghost and says he will fight him before he gives the sword back (if I can ráðið í the poems correctly). And then the ghost and the grave disappears.
    Thanks a lot for your interpretation!
     

    Hugstari

    New Member
    Icelandic
    Thanks a lot for your interpretation!
    The way I understand the text is like the current version on the link you posted, @lifthrasir:

    Þá svarar kumlbúinn og mælti: "Nú hafðir þú það ráð Þorsteinn er helst lá til og mundi eigi hlýtt hafa ella."

    Namely, that it means "now you have decided, Þorsteinn, on the most appropriate course of action, and I would not have obeyed otherwise."
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    The noun is 'advice', the verb is 'advise', so you can't 'follow the best advise'. A lot of Scandinavians seem to make this mistake.
     

    Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    The noun is 'advice', the verb is 'advise', so you can't 'follow the best advise'. A lot of Scandinavians seem to make this mistake.
    Thanks for the correction.

    Even if there is a pattern of Nordic people making this error I think in my case the cause is more simple. I frankly find English spelling impossible without a spell check. I do not catch things like a difference between ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ because the spell check does not register either as wrong (and I am worrying about the many much worse errors I most likely make while writing the text, which the spell check does catch). I know I should do my best to not make such mistakes (and I do try) but when it is just a forum post I am not going to get someone to read it through for me.

    I also want to say that after seeing Hugstaris interpretation of the text I think that is more correct than mine. There is an implied ‘I’ elided from the later part of the sentence, which confused me.
     
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    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    I frankly find English spelling impossible without a spell check. I do not catch things like a difference between ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ because the spell check does not register either as wrong
    I just wish the person (I presume it was a person, not a computer) who made up the grammar and spellchecker in Word would go through it and correct all the mistakes. It's not a big problem for me as a native speaker, but non-native speakers often assume that the checker is always right, and then they change their correct English to the incorrect English suggested by the checker. There are far too many examples to mention here, but one thing the checker sometimes does is to add a possessive 's where there shouldn't be one. So if you write e.g. "the participants felt that..." it may be "corrected" to "the participants' felt that..." :mad:
     

    Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    and I would not have obeyed otherwise
    I believe that is incorrect. Hlýða was not used un the sense ‘to obey’ (a person) until much later. It was used in the related sense of ‘to heed’ (an advice or the like). In some cases the distinction can appear subtle, but I don’t think it is possible to justify translating hlýða with ‘obey’ in a text from this period (which is 14th century or earlier).

    nothing less would have been enough
    Yes; I agree that the words mundi eigi hlýtt hafa ella probably mean “nothing less would have sufficed”. The sense of ‘appropriate’ or ‘proper’, also suggested above, is possible but seems less likely coming from a ghost.

    There is an implied ‘I’ elided from the later part of the sentence
    No, I don’t think there is. The first person pronoun is very rarely missing in these texts.
     
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