14 April 2016

PILA not 'pielen' (slowly) but 'pijlen' (quickly)

Every once in a while, we make a nice discovery in the OLB. Yesterday, I found an improvement to all existing Dutch translations and to the English one by Sandbach.

The only one who had it correct before me, was Hans Olav Lien, but I think he was not aware of his improvement of the existing translations, since he did not make a note of it, which he usually does. The reason why he made the only correct translation so far, is that the word still exists in Norse and, as I found, also in Afrikaans (Dutch South African). It means to rush, move quickly, flee instead of slowly (!) and is derived from (moving like a) pijl (arrow). Arrow in OLB is PIL (see here).

This is the fragment and the word is PILATH (verb):



Ottema (1876) p.177
Doch na dat wij twee dagen voort gesukkeld hadden (plodded on/along)

Overwijn (1951)
Maar nadat wij twee dagen hadden voortgesukkeld

Jensma (2006)
Maar nadat wij twee dagen voortgepield* hadden
(*apparently from Newfrisian piele = to be busy)

De Heer (2008)
Echter, nadat wij twee dagen voorts gepield hadden


Sandbach (1876) p.177
but after two days' slow sailing

Raubenheimer (2011): as Sandbach

Lien (2016)
But after we had hurried on for two days
(NORSE: Men etter at vi hadde pilt videre i to dager)


Wirth (1933): left whole part out

Menkens (2013)
Doch nachdem wir zwei Tage weiter gesegelt/gepilgert waren (sailed/ made a pilgrimage?!)


my Norse-Dutch pocket dictionary (Prisma 2010):
pile: snellen, vliegen (to rush, fly)
Also see: https://no.wiktionary.org/wiki/pile

G.J. van Wyk (2003), Etimologiewoordeboek van Afrikaans, Stellenbosch (incl. Supplement uit 2007)
pyl ww.
Reguit, vinnig beweeg. (move quickly, straight)
Uit gewestelike Ndl. pijlen. Ndl. pijlen is jonger as pijl, en die ww. sou oorspr. aangedui het dat iets so reguit en vinnig soos 'n afgeskiete pyl beweeg.


If OLB would be a forgery, why would its creator not have used a word from known Old Frisian or Old Dutch? Is it likely that he would have known the South African or Norse (Danish?) word? Of course, sceptics may say: yes he probably knew the word and used it to add to the illusion of authenticity, or: it may have been a co-incidence. But we have seen more examples of words that only in the last few years became clarified. It just makes no sense to me that someone would make such an effort, using a seemingly endless talent, to create something this complicated, without a clear goal.

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