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(Sum Mann)   This was English about 800 years ago. How much of it readest thou?   (gutenberg.org) divider line 28
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1215 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 22 Mar 2014 at 7:20 AM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-22 07:18:41 AM
I can read 300 year old English without any difficultly. It seems like a real change must have happened quickly before that.
 
2014-03-22 07:30:29 AM
Is this the thread where I complain about people not speaking 'Murican right?
 
2014-03-22 07:51:24 AM
 Blagged? Speak English to me, Tony. I thought this country spawned the farking language, and so far nobody seems to speak it.
 
2014-03-22 09:25:33 AM
Pretty decent amount for me

75% and up

That is due to my studies of Old English
 
2014-03-22 09:51:33 AM
Whan that Aprill in his shouers soete
The draught of March hath perced to the roote...

/something something signe of the Ram half his course yronne.
 
2014-03-22 10:15:40 AM
What gets me is that reading Dante in the original is really not much different than reading modern Italian. I could understand about 80% of it without looking at the footnotes. But Chaucer? Holi shiat! And Chaucer's later. But by the time of Shakespeare, 95% is pretty easy to figure out. Mostly you need the footnotes to understand the jokes about tennis balls and things like that. That's a lot of change in the blink of an eye linguistically speaking.
 
2014-03-22 10:19:52 AM

ginandbacon: What gets me is that reading Dante in the original is really not much different than reading modern Italian. I could understand about 80% of it without looking at the footnotes. But Chaucer? Holi shiat! And Chaucer's later. But by the time of Shakespeare, 95% is pretty easy to figure out. Mostly you need the footnotes to understand the jokes about tennis balls and things like that. That's a lot of change in the blink of an eye linguistically speaking.


Try Old English. It is insanely different from todays tongue.

I can only understand about 50% of it on a good day.
 
2014-03-22 10:23:52 AM

cman: Try Old English.


I will do no such thing on a Saturday morning. You bite your tongue ;)
 
2014-03-22 10:41:04 AM
If you take about an hour to learn the sounds behind some of the letters and you read slowly, it's not actually all that different. There are some archaic words and/or localisms (eyeren for eggs is one I recall), but by and large it's more or less the same.
 
2014-03-22 10:43:12 AM

whistleridge: If you take about an hour to learn the sounds behind some of the letters and you read slowly, it's not actually all that different. There are some archaic words and/or localisms (eyeren for eggs is one I recall), but by and large it's more or less the same.


Swa thu bist forbise wrang
 
2014-03-22 12:10:46 PM
"Him starketh his skin"

Giggity
 
2014-03-22 12:31:09 PM
Subbests maternal nest reeks of spoiled elderberries.
 
2014-03-22 01:24:43 PM

RoyHobbs22: Subbests maternal nest reeks of spoiled elderberries.


Here's a fun fact:

The word "reek" comes from Old English and its original meaning was "smoke". This is seen in modern day Dutch and German ("Rauchen" means "to smoke" in German)
 
2014-03-22 03:28:13 PM
And how many people from back then would be able to understand today's hip hop lyrics?

The actual core language itself changes very slowly. But the way the language is used by various cultures changes rapidly, almost on a yearly basis, and even depending on location. So the big difficulty with reading older writing isn't with the words themselves, it's with the idioms and dialects and references and self-referential turn of phrases that people living in the period/culture understand but people living outside the period/culture wouldn't. That's what makes Shakespeare so difficult for high school students. Not the language which is pretty much indistinguishable from today's English, but the way the language is used.

Apparently the original Hebrew Bible had the same problem: It was written very colloquially, with puns and pet phrases and other language warts that only made sense to the people writing them in the time period in which they lived (ie: 6th-3rd century BC levant). So translators had an incredibly difficult time interpreting all these inside-jokes and internal language nuggets that only made sense in Hebrew, and most just got rid of them.
 
2014-03-22 04:26:37 PM

whistleridge: If you take about an hour to learn the sounds behind some of the letters and you read slowly, it's not actually all that different. There are some archaic words and/or localisms (eyeren for eggs is one I recall), but by and large it's more or less the same.


Does this make them exactly the same, only different, or no commonality at all?
 
2014-03-22 05:04:18 PM

dprathbun: whistleridge: If you take about an hour to learn the sounds behind some of the letters and you read slowly, it's not actually all that different. There are some archaic words and/or localisms (eyeren for eggs is one I recall), but by and large it's more or less the same.

Does this make them exactly the same, only different, or no commonality at all?


90-ish percent the same? Or at least 90-ish percent readable, with some occasional puzzling over spelling and word usage?
 
2014-03-22 05:59:49 PM

ginandbacon: cman: Try Old English.

I will do no such thing on a Saturday morning. You bite your tongue ;)


Do you bite your tongue at me, Sir?
 
2014-03-22 06:10:43 PM

Ghastly: ginandbacon: cman: Try Old English.

I will do no such thing on a Saturday morning. You bite your tongue ;)

Do you bite your tongue at me, Sir?


I bit my thumb at you, Sir.
 
2014-03-22 06:26:15 PM
Also, I'm not a sir--but whatever.
 
2014-03-22 11:47:23 PM

ginandbacon: Also, I'm not a sir--but whatever.


If memory serves, Ghastly's a bit ambiguous, too.

/The law is not of thy side.
 
2014-03-23 12:51:02 AM

demaL-demaL-yeH: ginandbacon: Also, I'm not a sir--but whatever.

If memory serves, Ghastly's a bit ambiguous, too.

/The law is not of thy side.


Do you quarrel, Sir?
 
2014-03-23 12:55:51 AM

Ghastly: demaL-demaL-yeH: ginandbacon: Also, I'm not a sir--but whatever.

If memory serves, Ghastly's a bit ambiguous, too.
/The law is not of thy side.

Do you quarrel, Sir?


Quarrel? Nay.
/Nor do I bolt this thread.
 
2014-03-23 07:10:22 AM

Ghastly: demaL-demaL-yeH: ginandbacon: Also, I'm not a sir--but whatever.

If memory serves, Ghastly's a bit ambiguous, too.

/The law is not of thy side.

Do you quarrel, Sir?


Prithee brother, let me see thee dance!

/obscure?
 
2014-03-23 01:12:35 PM
www.therealstevegray.com
 
2014-03-23 04:14:53 PM
1.bp.blogspot.com

/What it may look like even though I can't quite remember.
 
2014-03-23 04:34:51 PM
Mid [ho]re messe · þine misdeden fore biddan

/Don't know what is means but it sure is fun!
 
2014-03-23 06:23:23 PM

Your Hind Brain: Mid [ho]re messe · þine misdeden fore biddan

/Don't know what is means but it sure is fun!


With an hour mass, your sins prayed for.

/Sounds like something from a medieval homily on Job.
 
2014-03-23 07:09:29 PM

demaL-demaL-yeH: Your Hind Brain: Mid [ho]re messe · þine misdeden fore biddan

/Don't know what is means but it sure is fun!

With an hour mass, your sins prayed for.

/Sounds like something from a medieval homily on Job.


I only need an hour. Probably less.
 
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