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12 messages over 2 pages: 1
Johntm
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 9 of 12
15 March 2010 at 4:58am | IP Logged 
Stratosphere wrote:
How long would it take me to learn it my self if I studied for about an hour a day? How close is it to Latin?
It's not close to Latin at all, they come from different families. Obviously Latin is in the Romance family (started the Romance family) and OE is Germanic.
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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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 Message 10 of 12
15 March 2010 at 7:43pm | IP Logged 
Johntm wrote:
Stratosphere wrote:
How close is it to Latin?
It's not close to Latin at all, they come from different families. Obviously Latin is in the Romance family (started the Romance family) and OE is Germanic.


They have some similarities - Romance and Germanic languages are fairly close branches of Indo-European. They appear different enough that you won't get much transference unless you learn about sound shifts or look for similarities in grammatical patterns - their case systems have some similarities, for instance.

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NativeLanguage
Octoglot
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nativlang.com
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 Message 11 of 12
14 April 2010 at 3:38pm | IP Logged 
Stratosphere wrote:
I was wondering how hard it would be to learn to read and write Old English, not necessarily speak it.I'd like to read Beowulf in it's original language.


This depends in part on how quickly you can acquire new languages.

Beyond your ability to learn a language, the difficulty is increased by a lack of resources and exposure to the language. With most other languages, you can find a native speaker or two and a whole host of written and audio resources to help you learn. With Old English, there is definitely a lack of opportunities to read, hear and practice the language.

That said, since you have a specific goal - being able to read Beowulf in Old English - you can tailor your studies towards that end. Instead of wasting time with endless vocabulary lists about office supplies or shopping you can focus on the vocab you are likely to run into in Beowulf. Of course, there's no getting around the grammar.
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Iversen
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berejst.dk
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 Message 12 of 12
14 April 2010 at 7:00pm | IP Logged 
I wrote out the complete Beowulf thing with a translation yesterday, and I have had a look at it today. Last time I looked at it (also with a translation) I could recognize a word here and there, but this time it finally began to make sense. One sign of this is that I now can recognize many parallels to Danish words - plus of course even more parallels to Icelandic.

For instance in the very first lines:

Hwæt! Wé gárdena / in géardagum / þéodcyninga / þrým gefrúnon
Listen! We - of spear-Danes / in the days of yore / of those clan-kings /heard of their glory

"-dena" is of course '-Danes' (how could I ever miss that?), 'géardagum" is "gårsdagen" in Modern Danish (yester-dayThe) and 'þéod' is "þjoð" ('people') in Modern Icelandic. And so forth.

There are still many words I don't understand, but the whole thing doesn't really seem intimidating now, which it did last time I checked out this specific text. Maybe I'll take my time to learn Anglosaxon some day (and then Old High German afterwards, and maybe Gothic later). And then I would of course study grammar, make wordlists and all that. But not now.


Edited by Iversen on 14 April 2010 at 7:05pm



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