Write Your Name in Runes: Convert Letters to Runic Symbols

The Rune Converter transforms Roman alphabet, as used in modern English, into five systems of Germanic runic writing: Elder Futhark, Anglo-Saxon runes, Long Branch Younger Futhark, Short Twig Younger Futhark and staveless runes (note that it does not translate the words themselves, it only converts letters into runes). A possibility to choose between these allows to establish a connection with a certain bloodline, tradition or historical period: for instance, if one wishes to emphasize the Viking connection, why use the Elder Futhark, if Vikings did not use it? One should choose between one of the Younger Futhark options instead.

Note that the present converter works with modern English only. Letters with Old Norse (or any other) diacritics will not be converted into runes.

Got Old Norse Word or Phrase to Convert Into Runes?

Here is the guide that will help: How to Write in Old Norse With Futhark Runes

What Types of Runes Are Supported?

  • Elder Futhark is the most ancient Germanic runic alphabet that was in use from the 2nd to 8th centuries by all Germanic tribes. This system of runic writing has a very peculiar and complex inner structure.
  • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc.
  • Long Branch variant of the Younger Futhark, also known as Danish runes, is the normal or standard representation of the Younger Futhark, which began to develop at the end of the 8th century and was accepted by the 10th century in the whole of Scandinavia.
  • Short Twig variant of the Younger Futhark is also known as Rök runes. It was used in Norway and Sweden along with the Long Branch variant that was more characteristic for Denmark.
  • Staveless or Hålsinge runes were used only in a restricted area and may be a good example of minimalism. They also may be interpreted as a secret writing system.

What To Write With Runes?

Viking runes

Perhaps the most obvious idea is to write with runes one’s own name. For more creative solutions and complex phrases one may find helpful to read about the magic runes or runic love quotes. Note that Scandinavians had a tradition to write with runes various Latin sentences.

Before You Ask a Question in the Comments Section Below

Make sure you checked the following articles:

How to Write in Norse Runes
How to Write a Name in Runes for a Tattoo
How to Translate into Runes Correctly
How to Write an Authentic Runic Inscription
Should I Write in Runes Phonetically?

Please do not post requests to translate anything into Old Norse. This page is about how to convert letters into runes, not about how to translate from English into ancient languages.

Waiver of Liability

Keep in mind that computer generated texts should be used with caution for any permanent use like tattoos or engravings. This tool is provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind.

747 comments… add one
  • ZurGaa

    Hello, and greetings from Norway. I have some suggestions for your calculator.

    First off I would like if you could copy the runes as text symbols after converting. It would make things a lot easier and go a lot quicker. I personally already know the old Futhark, but I don’t have a runic keyboard so if I wanted to write in runes digitally I would have to copy each rune one by one. Which is why I think being able to copy the runes would be a great idea. (I understand if that would be difficult. I’m not very educated on html/coding)

    Pardon my “I think/believe” approach, but as you may know it’s hard to know for certain when it comes to runes and old Norse. However, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe there is no such thing as a blank block/unit in the runic alphabet (what we call “space”). I believe punctuation like these were used to divide words: ᛫, ᛬, ᛭. (They may appear odd depending on font.) I think the last one is the christian/saxon version. If you agree that this is correct it would be cool to see them implemented in this calculator.

    I also miss the æ rune (ᛇ). I would personally write my sentence in old Norse first before using this calculator, and æ or ï is often used in old Norse. I like how th automatically becomes the one rune “thorn” (ᚦ). In that situation when writing in old Norse I could manually switch out the Latin letter for th, with th. But for the æ or ï (which uses the same rune: ᛇ) it would not be that simple.


    • Viking Rune

      Hello. Thanks for the feedback! First of all, the rune converter is not for Old Norse, it’s for modern English only, which disclaimer is written right above the form. Automated converson from Old Norse into runes is not possible, it requires a lot of research and should be done manually. The steps are described in the following tutorial: How to Write in Old Norse with Runes. And (if you ask me) it is rather strange to use the Elder Futhark for Old Norse.

      The runes are rendered as images for a reason. However, it doesn’t mean you have to copy the runes one by one (limitations may be caused by the web browser you use). Old good pen and paper work even better.

      Viking Age runic inscriptions use different word separators indeed. Often enough, they don’t use any. The converter is not so much about the separators thing, it converts letters into runes, so anyone can choose dots or crosses and add them into the inscription manually if they wish.

      • ZurGaa

        Thank you for the reply.

        I can’ recall ever saying anything about using the old Futhark for old Norse. I am fully aware that the Vikings used Younger Futhark (Long-branch), however I have not learned it yet. It’s actually the one I am studying now and trying to learn.

        And as I said converting runes from old Norse can be quite difficult and I was wondering about the letter “eth/edd” (ð). If I were to convert this letter into runes, which one would I use? I mostly care about the younger Futhark rune for eth but I am curious as to what it is for the older Futhark as well. It’s difficult to figure it out seeing as most places you’ll only find runes for the English letters.

        • Viking Rune

          You wrote:

          I also miss the æ rune (ᛇ). I would personally write my sentence in old Norse first before using this calculator, and æ or ï is often used in old Norse.

          The Elder Futhark rune *eihwaz (as well as Latin letters æ and ï used to represent it in modern literature) have nothing to do with Old Norse. The language for which the Elder Futhark was used was Proto-Norse. Latin counterparts for the Elder Futhark runes were introduced because it was an easier solution than manufacturing a special runic font. For linguists, it was also an easier way than to memorize runic symbols that they wouldn’t need otherwise. Note that Proto-Norse did not have a tradition of writing in letters (Old Norse did). The only purpose of using letters in modern publications is to give access to early runic inscriptions to specialists who do not have motivation to study the runes. The reverse process (converting anything with letters æ or ï to the Elder Futhark runes) is senseless. Let’s consider it on a specific case. The oldest datable runic inscription is on Vimose comb (c. 160 AD). The standard representation of this inscription in letters is harja. It lets you understand what it says if you have not been studying the runic alphabet. Now let’s convert it back into the Elder Futhark runes. Every rune has lots of variants, none of which can be considered ‘standard’ or ‘right’. Does this look like the actual Vimose comb inscription?

          No it doesn’t. So why at all one might need to convert a transliteration like harja into some variants of runes (more or less standard) that have nothing to do with the actual shapes that we see on Vimose comb?

          Now to the Younger Futhark runes. No, Viking Age runic inscriptions do not have only long branch variants. Short twig forms are no less ‘Viking’. As for the letter ð, I have already referred you to a tutorial that has a table for all correspondences of Old Norse letters with the Younger Futhark runes. Here it is: How to Write in Old Norse with Runes.

          The idea of converting Old Norse ð into the Elder Futhark (again) seems rather strange to me. People who spoke Old Norse normally used the Younger Futhark (with some exceptions that will not be discussed here). Proto-Norse [ð] was an allophone of /d/. The rune corresponding to it was *þurisaz.

          • ZurGaa

            I’m still not sure as to why you think I want to convert Old Norse into Elder Futhark but ok. And about the “Harja comb” I think it was surprisingly similar in my opinion. It was hard to make out the “J” (Fourth Rune) but the other runes were almost identical. But I guess you don’t agree.

            Also I usually make cover art etc. and sometimes I write in the Elder Futhark, if it is by request or if it’s another reason. But I also sometimes write in the Younger Futhark (Mostly from a Norse quote). Which is why I was curios about the letter ð, and requested the letter æ/ï. But thank you for the help anyway. And sure I can check out your tutorial as well.

            • Viking Rune

              You request “the æ rune (ᛇ)” to write in Old Norse because “æ or ï is often used in old Norse”.

              Fact #1: The *eihwaz rune (ᛇ) is the Elder Futhark rune. There is no such rune in the Younger Futhark.
              Fact #2: The Elder Futhark *eihwaz rune (ᛇ) is transliterated as either æ or ï in modern editions.
              Fact #3: Letters æ or ï stand for Proto-Norse sounds for which the Elder Futhark *eihwaz rune (ᛇ) was used.
              Fact #4: Old Norse does not have ï at all.
              Fact #5: Old Norse does have æ. But this æ has nothing to do with æ used to transliterate the Proto-Norse sound expressed by the Elder Futhark rune *eihwaz. Old Norse æ corresponds to the Younger Futhark rune ár (rarely iss).

              Let me know if I can be of any further help.

  • .:'?/.,

    What are the rules for double letters in Futhark?
    EX. ee, oo, ii,
    Would you write the rune twice?

    also for example if I wrote ZOE
    would the “oe” be written with the rune Erda, or with the runes Othala and Ehwaz?

    • Viking Rune

      There are no rules for double letters in Futhark. People who used it did not have double vowels in their language. The only letters they knew were runes.

      What do you mean by the ‘rune Erda’?

  • Branden

    Is there any type of English to Old Norse translator? I want to take the English words written in the English havamal, convert them to Old Norse, and then have certain quotes tattooed on my body. I am choosing Old Norse for the tattoos instead of phonetic runes because I would want my Norwegian Viking ancestors to be able to read them accurately and correctly off of my body, rather than be confused about what the runes on my body signified until I explained them.

    • Viking Rune

      Hello Branden. I don’t think there is an automated solution for translating phrases into Old Norse. It still takes to study the language.

  • Carlos Ferreira

    Hi there. I want to use the words “Valhalla Awaits” in a future tattoo but I don’t know if the the conversion made by your converter is correct. I used in Elder Futhark but I’ve seen that it can be tricky writing in runes because if isn’t done right it can mean something else. Can you please show me how it is? Thanks in advance.

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