Thanks for the help. I hadn't noticed that <blindan> was accusative, so I never made it as far as the gerund. Also, I'll make the correction regarding <ís>.

Thanks again,
- sabin

On 2/16/2011 11:50 PM, Brian M. Scott wrote:

At 6:48:43 PM on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, Sabin
Densmore wrote:

> I'm working on translating the Old Norwegian rune poem,
> and I'm stuck on the ís verse:

> Ís köllum brú breiða; blindan þarf at leiða.

> I've got a passable translation for the first phrase: "Ice
> we call a broad bridge".

Note, though, that <brú breiða> is nominative, while <ís> is
accusative: '[We] call a broad bridge ice'.

> The second phrase, though, seems to me to have to be "the
> blind [man] (blindan) needs (þarf) to (at) lead (leiða,
> inf)". I've seen it translated as "... to be lead," but I
> don't know how what I'm assuming as the infinitive form
> "leiða" gives us "to be..."

It works because <blindan> is accusative, not nominative, so
it must be the object of <leiða>, not the subject; hence
'[the] blind [man] needs to [be] led'. The closest
construction in English uses a gerund instead of an
infinitive: 'The blind man needs leading'.