A Conversation for Anglo-Saxon (Old English)
153745 Started conversation Mar 7, 2002
Great entry, although I've personally always been a fan of the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf...
Gnomon  Posted Mar 7, 2002
I couldn't reproduce Seamus Heaney's translation here for copyright reasons.
Orcus Posted Mar 7, 2002
Fanstastic Entry Gnomon!
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 (don't suppose there's an article on ancient Sumerian coming along soon? )
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.
Gnomon  Posted Mar 8, 2002
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.
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.
Orcus Posted Mar 8, 2002
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
Woden_Allfather Posted May 12, 2007
Northern Englanders pronounce the 'H' also.
fulshie Posted Oct 1, 2010
- 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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