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Early Modern English

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 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
17 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
Paco
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Hong Kong
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 Message 1 of 17
22 January 2014 at 1:09pm | IP Logged 
Could you recommend some materials or methods to learn Early Modern English in an
efficient way?

This question presupposes that, in the early phase of the learning of the target
language, specific "studies" would be more beneficial than going straight into bilingual
text (Early Modern English with Modern English). Or would you suggest otherwise?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Edited by Paco on 22 January 2014 at 1:10pm

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maydayayday
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 Message 2 of 17
22 January 2014 at 2:59pm | IP Logged 
I have some books in the loft. Ill dig them out this evening for titles......
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Elexi
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 Message 3 of 17
22 January 2014 at 5:49pm | IP Logged 
You don't need to learn early modern English - there are no 'bilingual' texts because
early modern English is so near to modern English. We are talking the King James Bible,
William Shakespeare and Thomas Hobbes, not Beowulf or the Pearl poet.

The best way in is to get a critical edition of the text you want to read and note any
changes in usage - most are minor.

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alang
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 Message 4 of 17
22 January 2014 at 9:40pm | IP Logged 
Elexi wrote:
You don't need to learn early modern English - there are no 'bilingual' texts because
early modern English is so near to modern English. We are talking the King James Bible,
William Shakespeare and Thomas Hobbes, not Beowulf or the Pearl poet.

The best way in is to get a critical edition of the text you want to read and note any
changes in usage - most are minor.


Are you sure there are no bilingual texts? I remember back in high school some student books of Shakespeare's plays in my class had them. We only borrowed the books, so we did not own them. The two plays I remember were "Macbeth" and "Hamlet". One side had early Modern English and the other Modern English. Bolded notes on words used as idioms or which does not occur in modern times. Unfortunately it has been close to 20 years, so I don't think the school uses the same ones still.

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ScottScheule
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 Message 5 of 17
22 January 2014 at 10:51pm | IP Logged 
alang wrote:
Are you sure there are no bilingual texts? I remember back in high school some student books of Shakespeare's plays in my class had them. We only borrowed the books, so we did not own them. The two plays I remember were "Macbeth" and "Hamlet". One side had early Modern English and the other Modern English. Bolded notes on words used as idioms or which does not occur in modern times. Unfortunately it has been close to 20 years, so I don't think the school uses the same ones still.


I'm not sure, but the Shakespeare I read had annotations on one side explaining idioms, vocabulary, and wordplay, but not translations.

There are simplifications, written in Modern English, like this http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeares-Midsummer-Nights-Dream-In essential/dp/0948662034#_

But that's different from a translation.

Edited by ScottScheule on 22 January 2014 at 10:52pm

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Elexi
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 Message 6 of 17
22 January 2014 at 11:51pm | IP Logged 
I was being dismissive. It is clear that such aberrations do exist - for example:
http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/page_2.html


. . . but what is the point?

For example 'Hover through the fog and filthy air' (original) and 'Let’s fly away
through the fog and filthy air' ('translation') are both equally comprehensible in
modern English - in the original the word 'hover' communicates far more semantic
meaning than the trite attempt of 'Let's fly away'.

To my eyes, this is not so much a 'traduction' as a 'reduction'.

If one wanted a good Shakespeare, I would recommend the Arden edition for clarity and
explanation of idiom.

Edited by Elexi on 23 January 2014 at 10:16am

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alang
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 Message 7 of 17
23 January 2014 at 6:56am | IP Logged 

I wish I could see those books again just to be sure, but it has been such a long time.
Are there good recommendations on audio cds for the dramatization of the plays in Early
Modern English?
It would be nice to have the text and hear a great recording of the play together.
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dampingwire
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 Message 8 of 17
23 January 2014 at 9:20am | IP Logged 
alang wrote:
I wish I could see those books again just to be sure, but it has been such a long time.


You can read (some of the) plays as Shakespeare wrote them here.

It's already in English so there's no need for a translation. It might be easier to read when rendered in a modern
font but that's not really a translation.




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