On 2/16/2011 11:50 PM, Brian M. Scott wrote:
At 6:48:43 PM on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, Sabin
> 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'.