2012-09-30, 08:42 PM
Re: Musings on Language #2
I've been working on translating Old English a bit recently, including the poem The Dream of the Rood. It has a delicious compound verb in it, ■urhdrifan, used in the phrase "■urhdrifan hi me mid deorcum nŠglum" which translates to "they drove (with) dark/black/iron-colored nails through me" - interesting because the verb in modern English requires separation to clearly express the instrumental.
But the preposition of the phrasal verb is a full part of the verb itself - it's a true compound as opposed to the modern phrasal that's taken its place - "To drive through" as opposed to "to throughdrive."
I rather like the old-fashioned verb, so I like to translate it as "they throughdrove me with blackiron nails," which gives the original compound and compounds a couple of senses of "deorcum" into the translation as well.
Basically, I love compounds. They're fun to play with.