A Conversation for Anglo-Saxon (Old English)

Beowulf

Post 1

153745

Great entry, although I've personally always been a fan of the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf...


Beowulf

Post 2

Gnomon [194] gone to Greece - back in 2 weeks

I couldn't reproduce Seamus Heaney's translation here for copyright reasons.


Beowulf

Post 3

Orcus

Fanstastic Entry Gnomon! smiley - ok

One day I must actually get round to reading a Beowulf translation, it does seem to underly much of the fantasy literature I'm so fond of reading. The Gilgamesh is another on that list too smiley - erm (don't suppose there's an article on ancient Sumerian coming along soon? smiley - winkeye)

Very interseting stuff. I suppose one big trouble with language in those days is that it must have been so fragmented. There must have been wild variations in dialect around the country.


Beowulf

Post 4

Gnomon [194] gone to Greece - back in 2 weeks

Gilgamesh is certainly worth reading. It starts out very like an Irish tale about a hero who was perfect in every way, but after a while the guy gets obsessed with death and goes on a search for immortality. The saddest bit is when his best friend gets killed. smiley - cry

On the subject of fragmentation, apparently when Caxton started printing in England first, he had a big problem deciding which words to use because not only was spelling not standardised, but the words weren't either. As sure as eggs was eggs, eggs were called eien just down the road. The printing press imposed a standard language on the people, just as television is now doing to a wider audience.


Beowulf

Post 5

Orcus

One thing I think is quite fascinating is that the origins of the words 'Where' and 'When' amongst others are clearly seen in the Old English. originally the H was pronounced and came before the W. In fact my mother and father who are scottish still pronounce them like this.

Fascinating..., but then, I do need to get out more often smiley - biggrinsmiley - winkeye


Beowulf

Post 6

Woden_Allfather

Northern Englanders pronounce the 'H' also.


Beowulf

Post 7

fulshie

Woden Allfather:
- no: the 'h' in 'wh...' is not generally pronounced in northern English.
- 'where' and 'when' have you heard it being pronounced in northern England?


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