Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

Old English as it would have sounded

Discuss various aspects of natural language.

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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#21  Postby Shrunk » Jan 09, 2013 1:51 pm

Jumbo wrote:
Shrunk wrote:My daughter's high school class is studying Beowulf. The husband of one of the teachers is doing his PhD in classics and will be reading part of it for them in the original Old English. That should be quite a treat.


Reading that reminds me of this:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y13cES7MMd8[/youtube]

You can pick out the occasion bit here and there as similar to either modern English or German.


I love how forceful and direct the poetic language is here. e.g. "That was a good king!"

Seamus Heaney translates the exclamation that begins the poem (given as "Listen!" in the video) as "So!". The effect is that of someone grabbing you by the lapels in a bar and saying "I have something to tell you!"
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#22  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 09, 2013 2:02 pm

Thousands of years of perfecting these scaldic arts. Is it any wonder we're suckers for a tale told with authority?
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#23  Postby JoeB » Jan 09, 2013 2:03 pm

Atheistoclast wrote:I found a recital of the Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon on Youtube:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blDM-ibezJQ[/youtube]

I managed to discern some of the words, but it does sound more like Dutch than English. The Anglo-Saxons, after all, were kinsmen of the Frisians who today inhabit part of the Netherlands and northwest Germany.

Anyway, it is interesting how the English language has changed over 1500 years and how much has also remained the same.

Pretty cool, here's a Dutch version, although I find the Anglo-Saxons version sounds a lot more Scandinavian than Dutch to be honest.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmhoIWd3maI[/youtube]
(Beware, cheesy religious over-pronounciation... :lol: )
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#24  Postby Saim » Jan 13, 2013 4:20 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
The language is all reconstructed from those other languages and the occasional similarities in vocabulary between such disparate places as India and Spain (through Sanskrit and Basque) and the very occasional piece of archaeological evidence.

Huh? Basque is famously non-IE, as it's roots (unlike Finno-Ugric and Turkic, which came after IE) lie in pre-IE Europe. Surely you mean Latin and Ancient Greek.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#25  Postby thaesofereode » Jan 13, 2013 4:48 pm

All the pronunciations we're hearing are of course completely extrapolated, since it's a language that no one's ever heard spoken.

Spent a month's term back in college translating Old English and loved it. Was VERY chagrined the first day, however, when my professor told me that there'd be no study of conversational Anglo Saxon in our sessions. :waah:

Still have my copies of Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer and Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse as well as my handy Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. It's a "one-way" dictionary, however: Anglo-Saxon --> modern English, and not the other way around.

Had some fun last year in D.C. when visiting the exhibit of the Staffordshire Hoard. They had a display on the language that included the first few lines of The Dream of the Rood, which I had translated all those years ago as an exercise, and was able to read aloud (in extrapolated pronunciation, as I hastened to point out) to my companion.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#26  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jan 13, 2013 4:52 pm

thaesofereode wrote:All the pronunciations we're hearing are of course completely extrapolated, since it's a language that no one's ever heard spoken.

Ah that's too bad. It's like when you hear a recording of found transcriptions of medieval music...it sounds so good, it sounds so right, but it's probably not :sigh:
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#27  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 13, 2013 4:57 pm

Saim wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
The language is all reconstructed from those other languages and the occasional similarities in vocabulary between such disparate places as India and Spain (through Sanskrit and Basque) and the very occasional piece of archaeological evidence.

Huh? Basque is famously non-IE, as it's roots (unlike Finno-Ugric and Turkic, which came after IE) lie in pre-IE Europe. Surely you mean Latin and Ancient Greek.


:doh:

That was a dopey hiccup on my account. If I remember correctly, I had written a sentence that listed the non-PIE derived languages that still exist, i.e. language isolate, then deleted that sentence and clearly deleted the wrong bits.

Well spotted and apologies for my mistake! :thumbup:
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#28  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 13, 2013 4:58 pm

thaesofereode wrote:All the pronunciations we're hearing are of course completely extrapolated, since it's a language that no one's ever heard spoken.

Spent a month's term back in college translating Old English and loved it. Was VERY chagrined the first day, however, when my professor told me that there'd be no study of conversational Anglo Saxon in our sessions. :waah:

Still have my copies of Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer and Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse as well as my handy Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. It's a "one-way" dictionary, however: Anglo-Saxon --> modern English, and not the other way around.

Had some fun last year in D.C. when visiting the exhibit of the Staffordshire Hoard. They had a display on the language that included the first few lines of The Dream of the Rood, which I had translated all those years ago as an exercise, and was able to read aloud (in extrapolated pronunciation, as I hastened to point out) to my companion.



i think the reconstructions are very reasonable though. Things like puns and rhymes provide some level of verification.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#29  Postby Zwaarddijk » Jan 13, 2013 5:00 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Onyx8 wrote:Question to make me less dumb: PIE?


Proto-indo-european.

Basically, the nomadic tribal hordes from steppes north of the Caucasus descended in successive waves on the early European agriculturalists (and into Western & Central Asia, and S. Siberia) some time around the middle to late Neolithic, conquering and ultimately settling down and interbreeding. They brought saddles with them and er sheep, lots of sheep, and various other proto-technologies I can't think of right now :lol: , but also left traces in the descendent languages that spread throughout Europe.

The language is all reconstructed from those other languages and the occasional similarities in vocabulary between such disparate places as India and Spain (through Sanskrit and Basque) and the very occasional piece of archaeological evidence.

It's a blooming fascinating time but rather murky.

Basque? Basque is defs not IE.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#30  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Zwaarddijk wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Onyx8 wrote:Question to make me less dumb: PIE?


Proto-indo-european.

Basically, the nomadic tribal hordes from steppes north of the Caucasus descended in successive waves on the early European agriculturalists (and into Western & Central Asia, and S. Siberia) some time around the middle to late Neolithic, conquering and ultimately settling down and interbreeding. They brought saddles with them and er sheep, lots of sheep, and various other proto-technologies I can't think of right now :lol: , but also left traces in the descendent languages that spread throughout Europe.

The language is all reconstructed from those other languages and the occasional similarities in vocabulary between such disparate places as India and Spain (through Sanskrit and Basque) and the very occasional piece of archaeological evidence.

It's a blooming fascinating time but rather murky.

Basque? Basque is defs not IE.


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/lingu ... l#p1595848

;)
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#31  Postby thaesofereode » Jan 13, 2013 5:57 pm

Spearthrower wrote:

i think the reconstructions are very reasonable though. Things like puns and rhymes provide some level of verification.


Yes. The reconstructions are probably about as good as they can get, and I hope they're close, as it's a joy to listen to how the language might have sounded nevertheless. Still, this leaves me wondering -- if I were to time-travel and show up in an Anglo-Saxon era village, would they understand me well enough if I tried to speak the few words I know? Or would they just think I had a very peculiar accent? Also, I think of the many who spoke this language, but never wrote in it. Literacy was not exactly widespread. Alas that so much is lost.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#32  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 13, 2013 6:26 pm

I think it would work out fine. First time I went to Italy, I knew no Italian beyond 'ciao', but managed to negotiate my way around solely on the strength of words sounding the same as English or French. I think they'd assume you were a foreigner.

It's a bit like me and ancient Greek. Oh yeah, I can probably talk for an hour... but it will all be about bulls pulling ploughs through fields and who is or isn't a farmer. They'd probably understand me, but they'd probably be fucking bored after just a couple of minutes! :D
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#33  Postby don't get me started » Jan 15, 2013 5:12 am

In Anglo-Saxon literature I always liked The Battle of Maldon. Good, griping stuff,and another heroic English failure in the same tradition as Dunkirk, Scott of the Antarctic, Maiwand and countless others...

Thought shall be the harder, the heart the keener, courage the greater, as our strength lessens.
Here lies our leader all cut down, the valiant man in the dust;
always may he mourn who now thinks to turn away from this warplay.
I am old, I will not go away, but I plan to lie down by the side of my lord, by the man so dearly loved.

I reckon it would make a great film, maybe doing the same as Mel Gibson did for The Passion and Apocalypto...keep the language authentic and have subtitles. Now that I'd pay money to see.
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Re: Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

#34  Postby Delvo » Jan 20, 2013 6:27 pm

Atheistoclast wrote:I managed to discern some of the words, but it does sound more like Dutch than English.
That reminds me of an odd phenomenon that happened to me about a year or two ago. I have never taken a class in actually speaking Old English or Middle English, but I do know, from a combination of learning German and reading books & articles on linguistics in general with English examples, the basic sound shifts & substitutions that have happened in English history and made English phonetics and usage of letters stand out from the rest of Europe's. Somehow I got the idea of trying to work out what it would sound like if I applied the conversions I knew to do, not just to individual words, but to whole sentences/lines. So I went over the intro to Canterbury Tales over and over again, trying to get up to the real speed of a conversation/poem/song instead of my original struggling-one-sound-at-a-time speed, trying to find and apply its poetic rhythm (which ended up teaching me a bit more about pronunciation). I didn't set out to make it sound like anything in particular, or even have any idea what to try to make it sound like. When I was up to speed and pretty sure I was doing it right, I thought it was pretty cool that it didn't sound like modern English, but I didn't think of anything else to say it sounded like either. The closest relative I could ever really speak is German, and I knew it didn't sound like that. Only later on did I either hear or remember a few samples of Dutch I hadn't thought of... and realize that they sounded like my personal Middle English. So I had made Middle English sound like Dutch without trying to, just by pronouncing one letter (or two letters) at a time in the old way.

Since then, I've become aware that there are a bunch of recitations of the beginning of Canterbury Tales on YouTube. But that's the no-fun way to hear it.

CdesignProponentsist wrote:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZoGfZ-3ChA[/youtube]
The Extended Edition of "The Two Towers" includes a funeral in Rohan with some of either Old English or maybe a language Tolkien made up for Rohan based on Old English. I don't think there are any spoken lines in that language, but the king's niece, who was played in the movie by a real-life opera singer, sings a dirge in it (and you can see older women behind her lip-synching with her, having been there before). The extras on the disk include a version of it with modern English subtitles, and I think also longer than the one that's in even the Extended Edition of the movie.
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