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  #1  
Old June 25th, 2008, 1:49 pm
abelkoh7  Male.gif abelkoh7 is offline
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Old and Middle English

yes, you might 'ave thought "eh, a blighty fool put up a typo"

Apparently to spoil your fun, No it is NOT a typo

and yes this is a thread about Old English (englisc)

I 'ave been studying and listening to stuff form Oxford , to cut the story short, I fell in love with the language of the Anglo-saxons.

Since 'arry Potter is from England so i guess this thread would be rather relevant.

westu hal !


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  #2  
Old June 25th, 2008, 4:06 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

I am afraid my Middle/Old English is minimal... just wndering.... might a certain former Oxford Professor of Old English (who also happened to write a book or four) have anything to do with your interest? If so, I hope you know how to find the relevant social group


Westu hal! (and that's how far my Anglo-Saxon will go, I am afraid)


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Old June 25th, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

I studied Middle English this year in uni. For me, the way the language changed was more interesting than the actual language itself.


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Old June 25th, 2008, 7:39 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

It must be really interesting... I always enjoy it when I come across Anglo-Saxon or Middle English. If I put my mind to it I can understand a lot (although I have never learned it) - and if I have a translation I can start to work out where all the words come from. The development of English (especially before the Normans came) is great fun if you are a German speaker!


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Old June 25th, 2008, 9:45 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

My high school Brit Lit teacher had us memorize the opening paragraph of the Prologue of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English.

Whan that Aprill with his shores sote
The droght of March hath perced to the rote
And bathed ev'ry veyne with swich licour
Of which vertue engendred is the fleur
Whan Zephyrus eke with his swete breath
Inspired hath in ev'ry holt and heath
The tendre croppes and the younge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve course y-ronne
And smalle fowles machen melodye
(That slepen all the night with open eye)
So pricketh hem natur in hir corages
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmers for to seken strange strondes
To ferne halwes couth in sondry londes
And specially, from ev'ry shires ende
Of Engelond to Canterbury they wende
The holy blissful martyr for to seke
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seke

(Not sure if I remembered the spelling correctly...not that it really matters too much, though, since they didn't exactly have standardised spelling back then )


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Old June 27th, 2008, 3:42 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

Well yes I did get inspired by a professor at Oxford in Old Englisc. However I don't really know which college he is from. If i remember correctly he is
Prof. S.D Lee. Anyway, 'ere's a short part of Beowulf.

Com on warne niht scrithan sceadugenga. Sceotend swaefon, tha thaet hornreced healdan scoldon ealle buton anum thaet waes yldum cuth thaet hie ne moste, tha metod nolde se scynscatha under sceadu bregan-

hoping to get into University Oxford, Magdalen college...


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Old June 27th, 2008, 3:50 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

I had to read Ivanhoe in English, now English not being my first language made it a challenge. I know Ivanhoe does not count as fully old or middle English , yet one cannot say it is modern English . It was fun. I had to read every paragraph like three times to fully get it , but after two or three chapters I got used to the words that were different,and understood pretty nicely. Of course I am aware this is not remotely old english , but for me , it was a challenge.


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Old June 27th, 2008, 5:51 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Apparently the language that layman may percieve as old english i.e Shakespearean, (to much of your surprise) is actually Mordern English (Ivanhoe was written in 1819). Since the time of Henry VII, There was a shift from middle English to mordern English. Middle english (1100-1500 AD) looks something like this:

'Oure fadir at art in heuenes halwid be i name;
i reume or kyngdom come to be. Be i wille don in here as it is dounin heuene.
yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
And foryeue to us oure dettis at is oure synnys as we foryeuen to oure dettouris at is to men at han synned in us.
And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.'

to Early Modern English i.e Shakespeare (1500-1800 AD)

'Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debters.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'

which is the common laguage we use today.

Ah, How ever Old English which dates from approx. 450-1100 AD looks like this:

Fder ure ue eart on heofonum
si in nama gehalgod tobecume in rice gewure in willa on eoran swa swa on heofonum
urne gedghwamlican hlaf syle us to dg
and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfa urum gyltendum
and ne geld u us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele solice.'

Yes rather unbelievable that the very language that you speak actually looked like that on paper about a thousand years ago.

By calling those times that Old Englisc was used as the so unaptly named 'dark ages' is rather ignorant of the fact that this, so named dark ages apparently covers a period which is a third of the entire time that English has been used on this Earth. Many works of literature , The Wanderer, Seafarer, The Ruin, the Wife's Lament, Dream of the rood,Beowulf and many many other countless poems and prose , was written during this period. So, how can one bear to label this age of enlightenment as something so crude and unthinking as 'the dark ages'. At the same time it also inspired one of the finest author's in the 20th century Mr. J.R.R Tolkien which sold many copies of his novel, The Lord of the Rings.

Yes pardon me for the long post but i just wanted to clear things up between what is old, middle and mordern english.

Westu hal !



Last edited by abelkoh7; June 27th, 2008 at 5:57 pm.
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  #9  
Old June 27th, 2008, 6:42 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Beatiful post.... thanks for the quotes in particular. It's fun comparing the different versions!


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Old August 10th, 2008, 5:10 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

I just found this handout while sifting through boxes of old notes, can't remember which class it came from...
It's not exactly Old English, but it is pretty funny, so I thought I'd share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by class handout
Though the poem was composed in the eighth century, our manuscript of it contains obvious interpolations from a later period. This passage, recounting the hero's battle with the monster Godsylla, is typical.

Meanehwl, baccat meaddehle, ___ monstr lurccen;
Fulle few too many drincce, ___ hie luccen for fyht.
en Hreorfneorhthwr, ___ son of Hrwrowheororthwl,
sccen wful jeork ___ to steop outsyd.
hud! Bashe! Crasch! Beoom! ___ e bigge gye
Eallum his bon brak, ___ byt his nose offe;
Wicced Godsylla ___ wld on his ***e.
Monstr moppe fleor wy ___ eallum men in hlle.
Beowulf in bacceroome ___ fonecall bemaccen ws;
Hearen sond of ruccus ___ sd, "Hwt e helle?"
Graben sheold strang ___ ond swich-bld scharp
Stond feorth to fyht ___ e grimlic foe.
"Me," Godsylla sd, "mac e minsemete."
Heoro cwyc geten heold ___ wi fmed half-nelson
Ond flyng him lic frisbe ___ bac to fen.
Beowulf belly up ___ to meaddehle bar,
Sd, "Ne foe beaten ___ mie frsom cung-fu."
Eorderen cocca-colha ___ yce-coeld, e reol yng.


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Old August 10th, 2008, 5:40 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

So am I right to assume that Old English is Anglo-Saxon and Middle English is Anglo-Saxon mixed with a little "French" from the Normans?


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Old August 10th, 2008, 5:45 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

Yes, Old English and Anglo-Saxon are synonymous. Middle English I would say has more than a little Norman French influence.


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Old August 10th, 2008, 6:01 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

So I guess Middle English has more French endings and spellings?


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Old August 10th, 2008, 8:32 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

Also French-influenced vocabulary.

And not so much French endings, as just gradually losing the endings.


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Old August 11th, 2008, 9:48 am
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Re: Old and Middle English

I love Middle English but never got the hang of Old English since my knowledge of Latin is basically non-existent.


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Old August 11th, 2008, 12:44 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
I love Middle English but never got the hang of Old English since my knowledge of Latin is basically non-existent.
Old English is more related to the old Norse languages than it is to latin. The grammar is very similar to the Nordic languages at the time: declensions, dual plural form and so on... the Latin influence is just from the catholic church at the time because Latin was of course lingua franca in Europe and influenced all Christian. The similarities between old Norse can actually be seen if you compare the Lord's prayer with old Norse, old English and well, just plain, modern Icelandic and maybe a dash of the Latin verse... at least, I think the similarities are obvious, but then again, Icelandic is my mother tongue...

Old english:

Fder ure u e eart on heofonum,
Si in nama gehalgod.
To becume in rice,
gewure in willa,
on eoran swa swa on heofonum.
Urne gedghwamlican hlaf syle us todg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfa urum gyltendum.
And ne geld u us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele.
Solice.


Old norse:


Faer vr es ert himenrki,
veri nafn itt hilagt.
Til kome rke itt,
vri vili in
sva a iaru sem himnum.
Gef oss dag brau vort dagligt
Ok fyr gefu oss syner rar,
sem vr fyr gefom eim er vi oss hafa misgert
Leid oss eigi freistni,
heldr leys v oss fr llu illu.

Icelandic:

Fair vor, sem ert himnum,
helgist itt nafn
veri itt rki
svo jru, sem himni.
Gef oss dag vort daglegt brau.
Fyrirgef oss vorar skuldir,
svo sem vr og fyrirgefum
vorum skuldunautum.
Og eigi lei oss freistni,
heldur frelsa oss fr illu.

Latin:
Pater noster, quī es in caelis
Sānctificētur nōmen tuum;
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fīat voluntās tua
Sīcut in caelō et in terrā
Pānem nostrum cotīdiānum dā nōbīs hodiē.
Et dīmittē nōbīs dēbita nostra,
Sīcut et nōs dīmittimus dēbitōribus nostrīs.
Et nē nōs indūcās in tentātiōnem;
Sed līberā nōs ā malō.

The Germanic heritage is still much stronger than the Latin influence in the old English as the Latin heritage is yet to commingle with the English tongue which didn't occur but after 1066 when the Norse lost their last invasion and England got rid of all these stupid vikings....


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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:37 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Quote:
Originally Posted by irpa View Post
Old English is more related to the old Norse languages than it is to latin. The grammar is very similar to the Nordic languages at the time: declensions, dual plural form and so on... the Latin influence is just from the catholic church at the time because Latin was of course lingua franca in Europe and influenced all Christian. The similarities between old Norse can actually be seen if you compare the Lord's prayer with old Norse, old English and well, just plain, modern Icelandic and maybe a dash of the Latin verse... at least, I think the similarities are obvious, but then again, Icelandic is my mother tongue...

Old english:

Fder ure u e eart on heofonum,
Si in nama gehalgod.
To becume in rice,
gewure in willa,
on eoran swa swa on heofonum.
Urne gedghwamlican hlaf syle us todg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfa urum gyltendum.
And ne geld u us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele.
Solice.


Old norse:


Faer vr es ert himenrki,
veri nafn itt hilagt.
Til kome rke itt,
vri vili in
sva a iaru sem himnum.
Gef oss dag brau vort dagligt
Ok fyr gefu oss syner rar,
sem vr fyr gefom eim er vi oss hafa misgert
Leid oss eigi freistni,
heldr leys v oss fr llu illu.

Icelandic:

Fair vor, sem ert himnum,
helgist itt nafn
veri itt rki
svo jru, sem himni.
Gef oss dag vort daglegt brau.
Fyrirgef oss vorar skuldir,
svo sem vr og fyrirgefum
vorum skuldunautum.
Og eigi lei oss freistni,
heldur frelsa oss fr illu.

Latin:
Pater noster, quī es in caelis
Sānctificētur nōmen tuum;
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fīat voluntās tua
Sīcut in caelō et in terrā
Pānem nostrum cotīdiānum dā nōbīs hodiē.
Et dīmittē nōbīs dēbita nostra,
Sīcut et nōs dīmittimus dēbitōribus nostrīs.
Et nē nōs indūcās in tentātiōnem;
Sed līberā nōs ā malō.

The Germanic heritage is still much stronger than the Latin influence in the old English as the Latin heritage is yet to commingle with the English tongue which didn't occur but after 1066 when the Norse lost their last invasion and England got rid of all these stupid vikings....
Whilst I know and agree with you on that, most written sources we have today were written by monks, so their writings are influenced by Latin quite a bit. And what made me despair were mostly grammar in general and the suffixes in particular.


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Old September 13th, 2008, 12:29 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Quote:
Posted by Moriath
And what made me despair were mostly grammar in general and the suffixes in particular.
I know what you mean. I never really bothered learning the inflections for OE or Norse, to tell you the truth, but you can still usually understand it - it's not like Latin, where word order is so random that if you don't know the word-endings you're stuffed.

I opted to do most of my degree in Old English/Norse/Middle English (largely, I am ashamed to say, for less than honourable reasons - wanting to be in the same class as my friends, fancying the teacher, sheer indolence) and really ended up liking it.

One of my teachers had been taught by both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien when she was a student, which I thought was kind of cool. (she said Lewis was a brilliant, very popular lecturer, whereas Tolkien was a terrible and very shy lecturer, who mumbled incomprehensibly into his trouser turn-ups, too intimidated to make any kind of eye-contact or raise his voice.)

I'm afraid, although I loved Beowulf and The Dream of the Rood, I did find the rest of the Old English texts we did somewhat dull, and found Norse much more exciting.

The last line of the prologue of Beowulf still sends shivers down my spine, though, when they send the ship burial out to sea:

Men ne cunnon secgan to sothe, seleraedende, haeleth under heofenum, hwa tham hlaeste onfeng

No man underthe skies, neither hall counsellor nor warrior, can say for sure who received that cargo.

Chaucer really makes me laugh out loud in places (I'm probably the only person in the history of the world to find The Book of the Duchess really amusing, but the toilet humour in the Canterbury Tales does it for me, too)


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Old August 30th, 2010, 9:10 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Right now I'm reading Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and I feel afflicted similarly to Troilus... at first I was just expecting drudgery and my teacher seemed a bit obnoxious, but then as soon as I started reading I fell in love with it immediately. I'm not sure whether it's just Chaucer's genius, or just the sonorous quality of the verse, but it's the first time in a long time I've actually been interested in my homework.

I'm not acquainted with Old English at all, but there is an Anglo-Saxon course that I aim to take next semester if I can.


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Old September 4th, 2011, 6:53 pm
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Re: Old and Middle English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Whilst I know and agree with you on that, most written sources we have today were written by monks, so their writings are influenced by Latin quite a bit.
Now that I'm somewhat more familiar with the subject, I wondered what exactly you mean by this? I think it has been mentioned, historical similarities among older Germanic languages are pretty easy to see, and influence by Latin is not readily apparent...

I mean, I understand how entirely possible what you're saying is, I'm just not sure how or to what extent it actually happened during the Anglo-Saxon period. After all the language was already changing (both by its own natural tendency and heavy Norse influence) by the time writing became more commonplace, but I think it was changing on a rather different trajectory from what Latin might have prescribed for it.


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