The Tower of Babel in SamSkandinavisk

Here is my first attempt at the Tower of Babel in SamSkandinavisk.

I started out this translation by researching the Tower of Babel stories for 3 Scandinavian languages (4 if you consider Nynorsk another separate language), and also the stories in Icelandic and Faeroese. I also made sure that I compared multiple versions in each language.
I've tried to make a story the contains the barest essence of the story in all the majority of them. So my rendition might be a bit bare of embellishment and poetry compared to some of the texts that I referred to. Unfortunately I'm no theologian and it's another one of those bizarre Biblical stories that to this infidel makes no sense -- Jehovah at his typical weird, arbitrary and fickle worst.
Failing to understand the motivations of Jehovah or the children Adam, makes it difficult to achieve a definitive translation. Umm why did they need to build a big tower? Wherefore did the Lord become so wroth at the idea of humanity being capable and effective when they could communicate and co-operate with each other???? There's so much repetition in the story that I wonder if the at some stage during the original transcription, that the scribe fell asleep and lost his place :-)

Some words/phrases I couldn't decide on, so I've provided alternatives in brackets. I'm also becoming increasingly enamored with my version of the SamSkandinavisk orthography that uses umlauted vowels instead of "æ" and "ø". Somehow this system looks more unified because the umlauted vowels match each other. "ä" and "ö" look like part of the same system.
I hope it looks like bad Swedish :-)

Ok hele jorden havde ett språk (tungemål) ok samme ord.
Då folket (männene) bröt upp ok drog östermot, fand de en bred dal (en slette) i landet Sjinears, ok bosatte sig där.
De sagede til hverandre, "komm, låt oss lage tegelsten ok brenne dem godt!" Ok de brukede tegel som sten ok jordbek som kalkmörtel.
Så sagede de, "komm, låt oss bygge en stad (en by) med ett torn som når upp i himmlen, ok göre (skape) oss ett namn så at vi ikke skall spredes ut (över) hele jorden."
Då steg Herren ned för at se staden (byen) ok tornet, som människerne byggde.
Ok Herren sagede, "de er ett folk ok har allesammen ett språk (tungemål). Dette er det förste som de begynne, nu skall ingenting väre umojelig, som de beslute at göre."
"Låt oss stige ned ok forvirre deres språk (tungemål), så de ikke forstår hverandres språk (tungemål)."
Så spredede Herren dem därfrå ut över hele jorden, ok de håldede upp med at bygge på staden (byen).
Därför kalles den Babel, förtvi Herren forvirrde hele jordens språket, ok därfrå spredede Herren människerne ut över hele jorden.


  1. Hi there! I'm a relatively new Interlinguaist, and was referred to your website when I asked whether any similar projects existed to extract prototypical vocabulary from other source languages. Your project seems very interesting; keep it up :)

    I'm also a Christian, and thought you might be interested to hear an answer to your question from someone who does (at least in this instance) "get" Jehovah/Yahweh/God's motivation in confusing the languages. The background to this story is, most importantly, that following the flood God instructed Noah's family to spread out and repopulate the world. However, they instead chose to gather together. There was a common view in those days that high places were holy, because they were closer to God (or gods). They built a tower because they wanted to prove that they were powerful enough to reach close to God, which is really pretty arrogant, and if you consider how futile the attempt was, what a collosal waste of time, and what an insult it is to the God who clearly was happy to "come down" to save them when they needed it only a few generations prior, you start to see why, like a loving father with children hell-bent on playing in the road, he halted the project and gave them a much needed prod to spread out, as he had originally instructed them to do.

  2. Veldig lettlest for en som bruker norsk som skriftspråk.

    Meget interessant!