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Se Þræd Eald Englisċes (The Old English Thread)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:40 am
by Hrythingia
Se Þræd Eald Englisċes

Ƿes hál, hú gǽþ?
Hello and welcome to the Old English Thread! Come, get a jug (yes a jug you lightweight) of mead and join us on the hall-benches. There's always room for one more in the Lord's hall! Here is a place to discuss Old English as a language, discuss cultural aspects of Pre-Norman England and if you dare, speak the language itself. I myself can help answer questions or at least direct you to sources of information more knowledgeable than I, and I'm sure we shall attract some more Anglo-Saxonists who will be happy to help too.

Old English was a language spoken throughout much of what we would call England today and indeed parts of southern Scotland too during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It belongs to the West German language family and is most similar to Frisian but are still quite removed. Sadly, following the Norman Invasion Old English declined and became Middle English following a significant injection of Norman French. Old English was originally expressed visually by an English runic script but came to use the latin script in the advent of Christianity -though there was still much overlap for example on the Franks Casket.

Below is The Lord's Prayer in Old English:
Fæder úre þú þe eart on heofonum,
Sí þín nama ġehálgod.
Tó becume þín riċe,
Ġeƿurþe ðín ƿilla,
On eorðan sƿá sƿá on heofonum.
Urne ġedæghƿámlícan hláf syle ús tódæg,
And forġyf ús úre ġyltas,
Sƿá sƿá ƿé forġyfað úrum ġyltendum.
And ne ġelǽd þú ús on costnunġe,
Ac álýs ús of yfele sóþlíċe.
Amen


As you can see I use the acute accent rather than the macron to express stressed vowels and use the 'Wynn' symbol for 'w'.
I shall put here some useful resources for interested people:
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Clarke Hall
Wordcraft, S.Pollington
First Steps in Old English, S.Pollington
The Anglo-Saxon World Anthology, Crossley-Holland
Bosworth-Toller Digital Dictionary -very comprehensive but a mild knowledge of Latin is helpful to extract maximum utility

And for some literature:
Beowulf -obviously???
Deor
Widsith
The Wanderer
the Seafarer
The Exeter Riddles
Battle of Brunanburh
Battle of Maldon
The Ruin
Caedmon's Hymn



Please be a civilised human being and hopefully there can be a vibrant Old English community here on NSG.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:19 am
by LiberNovusAmericae
I have read the Seafarer and Beowulf in my English class, but they were translated into modern English. I can't read or speak old English, nor do I know anyone who does.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:52 am
by Hrythingia
LiberNovusAmericae wrote:I have read the Seafarer and Beowulf in my English class, but they were translated into modern English. I can't read or speak old English, nor do I know anyone who does.

There are still healthy numbers of people who have taught themselves to understand it, mainly for academic purposes such as myself. You will find that such works are much better understood and interacted with in the original language.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:33 am
by The blAAtschApen
What kind of low west germanic dialect is this :p

I understand most, but I can't write.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:43 am
by Hurdergaryp
To quote Wikipedia: Oer it algemien komt it Aldfrysk sterk oerien mei it Aldingelsk (of Angelsaksysk). Sa dielt it bygelyks yn 'e palatalisaasje fan felêre konsonanten, dy't krektlyk yn it Aldingelsk foarkomt. Dus wylst de Súdwestgermaanske talen Aldsaksysk en Aldnederlânsk it felêre bylûd oan 'e ein fan dag beholden, krige it Aldfrysk dêrfoar dei, en it Aldingelsk dæġ (útspr.: [dæj]). Assibilaasje is in oar ingveonisme, in taalkundige fernijing dy't wol yn 'e Noardwestgermaanske talen foarkamen, mar net yn 'e Heechdútske talen, en mar sporadysk yn 'e Nederfrankyske talen. Dêrtroch waard de begjinklank fan "tsjerke" yn it Aldfrysk tziurke en yn it Aldingelsk ċiriċe (útspr. [ʧiriʧe]), wylst it yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk (dat beide Nederfrankyske talen binne) kirika bleau. Fierders behold it Aldfrysk fan alle kontinintale Westgermaanske talen it langst de stimhawwende th (fan it Ingelske this) en stimleaze th (fan it Ingelske thin), oant de trettjinde of mooglik de fjirtjinde iuw ta, wylst dy klank doe yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk al lang ferskood wie ta in [d], in feroaring dy't al yn 'e njoggende iuw yn it Aldheechdútsk úteinset wie.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:45 am
by Hrythingia
The blAAtschApen wrote:What kind of low west germanic dialect is this :p

I understand most, but I can't write.

It is part of the family though quite an isolated branch of it. Stephen Oppenheimer in his book 'The Origins of the British' has an interesting take. It probably also looks quite strange but if you were to fiddle a wee bit with the spelling you might recognise it better.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:45 am
by The Multiverse of Holly Starlight
Oooh, yes! The language that I pretty much love and desire to speak one day. :P

The lack of sources are a little bit of a problem, but if Wikipedia can put up a page about Computers in Old English, then I think it's fair game that I can learn it too from somewhere.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:00 am
by Hrythingia
Hurdergaryp wrote:To quote Wikipedia: Oer it algemien komt it Aldfrysk sterk oerien mei it Aldingelsk (of Angelsaksysk). Sa dielt it bygelyks yn 'e palatalisaasje fan felêre konsonanten, dy't krektlyk yn it Aldingelsk foarkomt. Dus wylst de Súdwestgermaanske talen Aldsaksysk en Aldnederlânsk it felêre bylûd oan 'e ein fan dag beholden, krige it Aldfrysk dêrfoar dei, en it Aldingelsk dæġ (útspr.: [dæj]). Assibilaasje is in oar ingveonisme, in taalkundige fernijing dy't wol yn 'e Noardwestgermaanske talen foarkamen, mar net yn 'e Heechdútske talen, en mar sporadysk yn 'e Nederfrankyske talen. Dêrtroch waard de begjinklank fan "tsjerke" yn it Aldfrysk tziurke en yn it Aldingelsk ċiriċe (útspr. [ʧiriʧe]), wylst it yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk (dat beide Nederfrankyske talen binne) kirika bleau. Fierders behold it Aldfrysk fan alle kontinintale Westgermaanske talen it langst de stimhawwende th (fan it Ingelske this) en stimleaze th (fan it Ingelske thin), oant de trettjinde of mooglik de fjirtjinde iuw ta, wylst dy klank doe yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk al lang ferskood wie ta in [d], in feroaring dy't al yn 'e njoggende iuw yn it Aldheechdútsk úteinset wie.

Quite a peculiar language that.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:03 am
by Cetacea
Hrythingia wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:What kind of low west germanic dialect is this :p

I understand most, but I can't write.

It is part of the family though quite an isolated branch of it. Stephen Oppenheimer in his book 'The Origins of the British' has an interesting take. It probably also looks quite strange but if you were to fiddle a wee bit with the spelling you might recognise it better.


As I understand it Old English belongs to the same West Germanic family as Old Saxon and Old Frisian, which in medieval times were part of a continuum with old Dutch. The now extinct language of the Jutes may have been closer to English specifically, however the direct language from which English originated is now lost.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:05 am
by The blAAtschApen
Hrythingia wrote:
Hurdergaryp wrote:To quote Wikipedia: Oer it algemien komt it Aldfrysk sterk oerien mei it Aldingelsk (of Angelsaksysk). Sa dielt it bygelyks yn 'e palatalisaasje fan felêre konsonanten, dy't krektlyk yn it Aldingelsk foarkomt. Dus wylst de Súdwestgermaanske talen Aldsaksysk en Aldnederlânsk it felêre bylûd oan 'e ein fan dag beholden, krige it Aldfrysk dêrfoar dei, en it Aldingelsk dæġ (útspr.: [dæj]). Assibilaasje is in oar ingveonisme, in taalkundige fernijing dy't wol yn 'e Noardwestgermaanske talen foarkamen, mar net yn 'e Heechdútske talen, en mar sporadysk yn 'e Nederfrankyske talen. Dêrtroch waard de begjinklank fan "tsjerke" yn it Aldfrysk tziurke en yn it Aldingelsk ċiriċe (útspr. [ʧiriʧe]), wylst it yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk (dat beide Nederfrankyske talen binne) kirika bleau. Fierders behold it Aldfrysk fan alle kontinintale Westgermaanske talen it langst de stimhawwende th (fan it Ingelske this) en stimleaze th (fan it Ingelske thin), oant de trettjinde of mooglik de fjirtjinde iuw ta, wylst dy klank doe yn it Aldsaksysk en it Aldnederlânsk al lang ferskood wie ta in [d], in feroaring dy't al yn 'e njoggende iuw yn it Aldheechdútsk úteinset wie.

Quite a peculiar language that.


Modern Frisian, talking about old Frisian.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:11 am
by Hurdergaryp
The blAAtschApen wrote:
Hrythingia wrote:Quite a peculiar language that.

Modern Frisian, talking about old Frisian.

Aldfrysk it is not, but Frisian and English are pretty much siblings.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:12 am
by The Multiverse of Holly Starlight
Hurdergaryp wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:Modern Frisian, talking about old Frisian.

Aldfrysk it is not, but Frisian and English are pretty much siblings.


Frisian looks a little bit like Afrikaans, what with the usage of accents and apostrophes.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am
by Hurdergaryp
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:
Hurdergaryp wrote:Aldfrysk it is not, but Frisian and English are pretty much siblings.

Frisian looks a little bit like Afrikaans, what with the usage of accents and apostrophes.

Afrikaans, however, originates from regular Dutch, which is a Netherfrankish language.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:33 am
by The blAAtschApen
Hurdergaryp wrote:
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:Frisian looks a little bit like Afrikaans, what with the usage of accents and apostrophes.

Afrikaans, however, originates from regular Dutch, which is a Netherfrankish language.


Not entirely from regular dutch, but from Hollandic dialects(those were colonizing after all) , I met an Afrikaner and he had a hard time understanding my pronunciation, since while it is Netherfrankisch, it is not Hollandic.

Mine is Brabantic. Southern Dutch.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:34 am
by The Multiverse of Holly Starlight
The blAAtschApen wrote:
Hurdergaryp wrote:Afrikaans, however, originates from regular Dutch, which is a Netherfrankish language.


Not entirely from regular dutch, but from Hollandic dialects(those were colonizing after all) , I met an Afrikaner and he had a hard time understanding my pronunciation, since while it is Netherfrankisch, it is not Hollandic.

Mine is Brabantic. Southern Dutch.


Ahh, well, the more you know! I always am fascinated by Dutch, and even participated in the Dutch thread a few times before. :D

Out of all of them, Dutch as the largest speaker base, so naturally I got more resources.




Oh err, going back to the topic, I also noticed that Old English has similarities with Icelandic.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am
by The blAAtschApen
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:
Not entirely from regular dutch, but from Hollandic dialects(those were colonizing after all) , I met an Afrikaner and he had a hard time understanding my pronunciation, since while it is Netherfrankisch, it is not Hollandic.

Mine is Brabantic. Southern Dutch.


Ahh, well, the more you know! I always am fascinated by Dutch, and even participated in the Dutch thread a few times before. :D

Out of all of them, Dutch as the largest speaker base, so naturally I got more resources.




Oh err, going back to the topic, I also noticed that Old English has similarities with Icelandic.


A few things regarding the Dutch thread: Dutch people are likely to speak English as well, this matters because the game is in English.

We had early internet access to a broad base of the population.

https://www.nationstates.net/page=news/ ... index.html is an oticome of these facts 8)

And for a Dutch thread to truly survive : anglophones are not likely to have had two classes of our language in high school (unlike Spanish, French and German) so it wasn't ruined by the crowd of bad language speakers.

On topic: a thread on a language that is not natively spoken will get a lot of English posts. In the case of old English, it is important to show the relation to the mainland continental languages , so for me it is nice to see dutch, Frisian, German relations to the language.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:46 pm
by Rojava Free State
Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:00 pm
by The Multiverse of Holly Starlight
Rojava Free State wrote:Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.


From what I understand, this is what English was supposed to be before French and other Romance languages' loanwords take over.

So, if the Norman Conquest didn't happen, this would be the English we speak nowadays.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:33 pm
by Mardla
Rojava Free State wrote:Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.


It is very much Old English (I actually just started learning it this earlier week). The spelling is funny, but it's actually not as different as it looks from Middle English. The main stumbling block is that there a lot more word forms, because that's how grammar works in Old English. The letter þ is "th" as in loath, and ð is th as in "loathe". "Sc" is pronounced like "sh" (for example, "scip"), although otherwise "c" is pronounced like "k" or German "c" (as is "h" in some contexts). "Girnan" for example means "desire", and that might look funny, but "g" before "i" is typically pronounced "y", so you read it aloud and suddenly you see the connection. Although there are obsolete words used, for example in the above Lord's Prayer, kingdom is "rice" (pronounced ree-keh), which is obviously nearer to "reich" than current use of "kingdom", although "kingdom" itself also comes from Old English ("cyningdom").

It's a pretty language, I'm enjoying learning it.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:38 pm
by Mardla
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:
Rojava Free State wrote:Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.


From what I understand, this is what English was supposed to be before French and other Romance languages' loanwords take over.

So, if the Norman Conquest didn't happen, this would be the English we speak nowadays.

Mm, I don't think so, the language would still change after a thousand years (as all languages do), but the language would have changed less.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 pm
by Hrythingia
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:
Rojava Free State wrote:Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.


From what I understand, this is what English was supposed to be before French and other Romance languages' loanwords take over.

So, if the Norman Conquest didn't happen, this would be the English we speak nowadays.

Languages change over time but we'd be speaking something broadly similar.
Mardla wrote:
Rojava Free State wrote:Why is it called old english? i can understand middle english but this doesnt look english at all. It looks like some bizarre hybrid of German and Welsh.


It is very much Old English (I actually just started learning it this earlier week). The spelling is funny, but it's actually not as different as it looks from Middle English. The main stumbling block is that there a lot more word forms, because that's how grammar works in Old English. The letter þ is "th" as in loath, and ð is th as in "loathe". "Sc" is pronounced like "sh" (for example, "scip"), although otherwise "c" is pronounced like "k" or German "c" (as is "h" in some contexts). "Girnan" for example means "desire", and that might look funny, but "g" before "i" is typically pronounced "y", so you read it aloud and suddenly you see the connection. Although there are obsolete words used, for example in the above Lord's Prayer, kingdom is "rice" (pronounced ree-keh), which is obviously nearer to "reich" than current use of "kingdom", although "kingdom" itself also comes from Old English ("cyningdom").

It's a pretty language, I'm enjoying learning it.

Good luck learning it, feel free to ask for help as I do this at university so have loads of resources at my disposal.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:28 pm
by The Multiverse of Holly Starlight
Oh right, I forgot to mention that I am aware of the language's evolution throughout history, but I wonder how will English be like if it descended directly from Old English.

I assume the alphabets and accents will remain.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:44 pm
by Auze
The Multiverse of Holly Starlight wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:
Not entirely from regular dutch, but from Hollandic dialects(those were colonizing after all) , I met an Afrikaner and he had a hard time understanding my pronunciation, since while it is Netherfrankisch, it is not Hollandic.

Mine is Brabantic. Southern Dutch.


Ahh, well, the more you know! I always am fascinated by Dutch, and even participated in the Dutch thread a few times before. :D

Out of all of them, Dutch as the largest speaker base, so naturally I got more resources.




Oh err, going back to the topic, I also noticed that Old English has similarities with Icelandic.

Well, the Anglo-Saxon-Jutes came from areas between Frisia and Denmark, so Frisian and other nearby languages are pretty close. Also, the Danes had some pretty big influence on it back when they owned a decent part of England.

machine Translation: Wit, wægn [Anglo-Saxon-Jutes] heoruflâ cwōmon ongen¯æman âge betwux Frysland fullan Denemearc Denm−, adverbial phrases
Fresic ge elra stôwlic [languages] weorðlicnes prættig beclýsan. It sê [Danes] hast hwilc−hwugu getæsedon onbûtan and man bæcling ðâ ðæge pro ágen bâm ðêawlic âscyndan un−l¯æd Angelðeod.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:25 am
by The National Salvation Front for Russia
Gotta say, I respect people spending their free time to learn old languages, keeping them alive.

How hard is it to learn Old English?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:31 am
by Valentine Z
The National Salvation Front for Russia wrote:Gotta say, I respect people spending their free time to learn old languages, keeping them alive.

How hard is it to learn Old English?


Adding to what I said with my puppet nation, I'll say that it's pretty difficult, but mostly because the sources are lacking.

Unlike Latin, you don't see Old English being used in any subject or topic, save from history of linguistics classes. Latin had the pleasure of being in legal terms and whatnot, while Old English doesn't have that privilege.

Most likely you have to be self-taught with a book or two, because AFAIK there are no online courses, and the amount of people proficient enough to teach it are a rare one.