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The story behind Elfdalian

The story behind Lisslprinsn

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The story behind Elfdalian

Sometimes mentioned as "the Viking forest language" Elfdalian, or övdalska in Elfdalian, is a less known Nordic language spoken by 2500 persons in Älvdalen, Sweden. Earlier considered merely a dialect of Swedish, nowadays many linguists agree that Elfdalian is rather an independent Nordic language than a Swedish dialect. One reason for that is that there is usually no mutual intelligibility if two persons would try to communicate in Swedish and Elfdalian (see the parallel text from Lisslprinsn below!). Speakers of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian would have an easier time understanding each other if each used their own language than if an Elfdalian speaker joined the conversation. Moreover, we, who speak Elfdalian, have a strong feeling that we speak a language that is different from Swedish, a language we are very proud of! Elfdalian, like the other Nordic languages and dialects, originates from the language spoken by the Vikings. However, Elfdalian has preserved many archaic features, such as an archaic syllable structure, nasal vowels, archaic words and a complex morphological system, that have been lost in some or all other Nordic languages. At the same time, Elfdalian has many innovative features, such as the diphthongization of some long Old Norse vowels, the monophtongization of some Old Norse diphthongs and the dropping of h. The combination of old and new in Elfdalian, in addition to some local, regional features, makes Elfdalian (especially in its "classical" version, used until the beginning of the 1900s) difficult to access for speakers of other Nordic languages.

The story behind Lisslprinsn

The Little Prince, Le petit prince in the French original, is a very popular children's book published by Antoine Saint-Exupéry in 1943. The book has since been translated into as many as 180 languages and sold in 150 million copies. The first Elfdalian edition was published in 2007 (paperback). In 2015, a second, revised, Elfdalian edition was published, this time a hardcover. The book was translated by Bo Westling and published by Tintenfass Verlag. The Elfdalian used in Lisslprinsn is the "classical" one, the one that was common until the beginning of the 1900s and that is still used by some today!

Compare the text in Elfdalian, Swedish and English!




Listen to chapter 1 and 2 of Lisslprinsn here:

Also, listen to this beautiful tradition song from Älvdalen, Limu limu laima (in Elfdalian and Swedish) here:

Order Lisslprinsn AVAILABLE!

I Sverige/In Sweden: 195 kr + frakt (Paypal) Bankgiro: Swedbank 5005-2497.

Outside Sweden (Europe): 20 euro + shipping

Outside Europe: 23 USD + shipping

Frakt tillkommer:
Inom Sverige

1 Bok/book 42 :-
2 Böcker/books 56 :-

Utrikes inom EU / Shipping within the EU

1 Bok/book 84 :-
2 Böcker/books 140 :-

Utanför Europa / Shipping outside the EU

1 Bok/book 90 :-
2 Böcker/books 170 :-


Lisslprinsn, en av världsklassikerna, nu på Älvdalska. Boken skrevs 1943 och har sedan dess tryckts på 180 olika språk och i 50 miljoner exemplar. Nu finns den alltså också på Älvdalska. Nu finns en ny inbunden upplaga, med hårda pärmar.