A Swedish translation of
"Tinnu Ólafsdóttur fæddist barn í gær."
"Åt Tinna Olavsdotter föddes ett barn i går."
I compare this to the following sentence
"Åt honom gavs en racka."
"To him a dog was given."
This means that 'föddes' in the first sentence and 'gavs' in the
second are treated in a similar way. I think the key here is
that 'föddes' here can be thought of as a giving because of the
dative, which in the Icelandic translation is manifested in 'Tinnu
Ólafsdóttur' (which, of course, also is the accusative and the
In Swedish, one must put the preposition 'åt' to get the dative, i.e.
the giving.

Another version of the first sentence is
"Henne ska födas ett barn."
Here the objective form 'henne' gives 'födas' a giving meaning. I
believe most swedes would interpret this sentence - at least after
some thinking (like me) - as
"She will give birth to a child."
but many would probably see it as
"Someone will give birth to a child for her."

In Dalska the sentence would become
"Tainu Ulåvsduotter fyöddes ien kripp."
I don't think it's the normal way of saying it :-)
[Of course, there are women with the surname Olofsdotter - i.e.
Ulåvsduotter - in Älvdalen since this Norse naming tradition is not
totally wiped out in central and northern Sweden. I don't know
where 'Tinna' comes from, but it sounds similar to 'Tina' - 'Taina'
in Dalska - so I used that name instead]


--- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "fjornir <haukurth@...>"
<haukurth@...> wrote:
> I saw a headline in a newspaper a couple of days ago that read:
> "Tinnu Ólafsdóttur fæddist barn í gær."
> I think that's a rather good example of two features of
> Icelandic grammar, the dative and the middle voice.
> Any takers? :)
> Kveðja,
> Haukur