Jakob Jakobsen

Jákup Jakobsen, actually Jakob Jakobsen ( born February 22, 1864 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, † August 15, 1918 ) was a Faroese linguist. He is considered one of the most important fathers of modern Faroese language, first editor of the Faroese fairy tales and as a savior of the last remnants of the same Norn.


Jákup was born in 1865 in Tórshavn, the son of the bookseller Hans Nicolai Jacobsen ( HN Jacobsen Bókahandil ) and Johanne Hansdatter. The age of 13 he was sent to Denmark on the Herlufsholms Skole, where he graduated in 1883. His Skandinavistikstudium for the teaching of Danish as a main subject he graduated in 1891.

Jakobsen and the Faroese

  • See main article: BRØYTING

Jakobsen profiled in 1889 in the Faroese newspaper Dimmalætting as a critic of VU Hammershaimb orthography, which seemed to him to etymologisierend. He called for a return to the noisy near- spellings of Jens Christian Svabo, Johan Henrik Schroter and others. Apparently he represented here the views of the British phonetician Henry Sweet ( 1845-1912 ). Jakobsen's best argument was that you can not educate everyone to a native speaker linguists, until he had learned Hammershaimb spelling.

There was a lively debate, which was held in, for Faroese conditions, unusual controversy. This happened in the Journal of the Føringafelag ( Färingergesellschaft ) Føringatíðini where a " 7- Commission " ( sjeymannanevndin ) was used, which included both Hammershaimb and Jakobsen.

As a compromise was reached, the so-called BRØYTING ( change ), but could not continue to catch up on a few things against Hammershaimb orthography itself. However, Jakobsen held this case in his subsequent works.

Nevertheless, Jakobsen helped Hammershaimb Færøsk Anthologi (1891 ) to make the standard work of its time, by among other things, according to written examples of the dialects provided here, but most of all a glossary of 10,000 keywords Färösch - Danish, what is the first small dictionary of neufäröischen written language represented.

Jakobsen's perhaps the most important performance describes the Greifswald Professor Christer Lindqvist 2003 is as follows:

A consequence thereof is the Faroese language policy under Icelandic model.

Also in another area Jakobsen was immortalized for his people: the publication of the Faroese folk tales and fairy tales ( Færøske Folkesagn above äventyr, 1898-1901 ). They are still installed as a school book editions.

Jakobsen and the Norn

Jakob Jakobsen had next to his merits for the Faroese also of great importance for another Norse language, namely the extinct Norn language shetländische. In the 16th century, most Shetlanders still spoke Norn, as they called it, but in the following centuries it was supplanted by Niederschottisch.

As this language became extinct at the end of the 18th century, it was at the last moment, thanks to Jakob Jakobsen's work on the local Nordic place names ( Shetlandsøernes stednavne, 1901) as well as an etymological dictionary ( Etymologisk Ordbog over det norrøne sprog på Shetland, 1908-1912 ), preserved from utter oblivion. He traveled all over the Shetland Islands, visited many residents, the language in simple words, incomprehensible series of words and rhymes found again, but rarely in longer sentences. However, he managed to find over 10,000 words.


  • The place -names of Shetland ( 2nd edition - Kirkwall. The Orcadian, 1993 - xxviii, 273 pp. )
  • An etymological dictionary of the Norn language in Shetland ( 2nd edition - Lerwick: Shetland Folk Society, 1985 - 2 Vol. )


In German

  • 2006 - " The Sage of Beinta and Peder Arrheboe ( Sagnet om Beinta og Peder Arrheboe ) " In: "From Islands I know ... " stories of the Faroe Islands. Edited by Verena Stöss Inger and Anna Katharina Dömling, Union Publishing ISBN 3-293-00366-4

Secondary literature

  • Roy Grønneberg: Jakobsen and Shetland. Lerwick: Shetland Publishing Co. Ltd., 1981 - 96 p. .
  • Marianna Dahl Debes: Endurskin av Jakupi doktara: frá brøvum, hann skrivaði til Sini 1875-1918. Tórshavn: . Fannir, 2002 - 245 pp. ( Biography by Jakobsen letters )
  • Christer Lindqvist: " Sprachideologische influences on the Faroese orthography ( Research) " In: North - Western European Language Evolution ( NOWELE ), Odense, 43:77-144 (2003)
  • Höskuldur Thrainsson, Hjalmar P. Petersen, Jógvan í Lon Jacobsen, Zakaris Svabo Hansen: Faroese. An Overview and Reference Grammar, Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag, 2004 - ISBN 99918-41-85-7 (501 pages)