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old english anglo-saxon spoken

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Kveto from Prague
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old english anglo-saxon spoken

Post by Kveto from Prague » Fri November 19th, 2010, 10:59 pm

if anybody is interested in the sound, this guy has a really interesting series. at about 3 minutes in, you can hear him reading the text aloud. clearly, we have no idea how it really sounded, but he uses his knowledge of other germanic language families.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLJGTYkEKLI

annis
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Post by annis » Fri November 19th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Spoken Anglo-Saxon is interesting to listen to - it's a bit softer and more liquid-sounding than expected and with an infuriatingly familiar echo which makes you feel that you should be able to understand it, but can't!

There's also a collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry read aloud here:
http://fred.wheatonma.edu/wordpressmu/mdrout
Last edited by annis on Fri November 19th, 2010, 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat November 20th, 2010, 2:16 am

[quote=""annis""]Spoken Anglo-Saxon is interesting to listen to - it's a bit softer and more liquid-sounding than expected and with an infuriatingly familiar echo which makes you feel that you should be able to understand it, but can't!

There's also a collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry read aloud here:
http://fred.wheatonma.edu/wordpressmu/mdrout[/quote]

It's sooooo dramatically different than what we speak now, that it's hard to imagine this is the precursor to our language. I read a book this summer about the English language and it started with Old English. After reading it a bit, I kind of started to get the "hang" of figuring it out. But hearing it spoken is another matter entirely -- I don't understand a bit of it!

As for the "familiar echo" -- could it be that it sounds faintly like a modern-day Irish accent? At least, it sounds faintly that way to me.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat November 20th, 2010, 3:05 am

Wild, isn't it? You have to wonder how we eventually came to our present day *English*.
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat November 20th, 2010, 4:05 am

If you're interested in the "evolution" of the English language -- which I definitely am -- I recommend Inventing English by Seth Lerer, the book I read this summer. For someone who has studied this in college it would probably be too basic, but for someone like me who didn't study it in college it is a great starting point. I definitely want to read more books in this vein, and have several on my wish list!

I came away from it with a good understanding (finally!) of why English isn't spelled the way it sounds (he talks about how English pronunciation and spelling became divorced from one another), and he even talks a bit about the reasons for the differences between British and American English (it's mainly because of Daniel Webster). Of course, there are chapters devoted to Chaucer, Shakespeare and Twain. And he touches on many other aspects of English, particularly how it has evolved in America and the different regionalisms that exist in the US.

For example, when your Great Aunt Edna from Arkansas says "I'm going to fix me some biscuits," you probably think she's just talking like a hick. But actually, that word usage "[verb] me" is very old, a hold-over from Old English that has managed to hang on in some dialects. :)

Language and word etymology fascinates me. I can get engrossed in a dictionary. And I'm nerd enough to admit it!
Last edited by Michy on Sat November 20th, 2010, 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sat November 20th, 2010, 11:04 am

That's pretty freaking cool. But yeah, hard to believe it can be called English at all.

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Sat November 20th, 2010, 4:05 pm

I wonder if anyone else remembers the 1980s PBS series called The Story of English, hosted by Robert MacNeil. I found it fascinating. Inspired by it, when I was an undergrad, I took a semester course in Old English. We learned to read Beowulf in the original - and, after the prof instructed us in the likely pronunciation, all the students took turns reading it aloud. Pretty wild.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Sat November 20th, 2010, 9:24 pm

[quote=""Ariadne""]I wonder if anyone else remembers the 1980s PBS series called The Story of English, hosted by Robert MacNeil.[/quote]
A few years back, he did a series on American English, traveling to different regions of the US for it.

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