Sounds of Englisc

September 20, 2005

For those who have wondered what Old English sounded like — go here. You can probably figure out what quite a few of the sentences are saying, though some are pretty tough.

Bit o’ history for those who care (and don’t already know): Old English is part of the Indo-European language family, stemming from Germanic roots. The written form that we have now (e.g., Beowulf) was created by Latin speaking monks (the Holy Roman Empire sent missionaries in large numbers beginning in 597 AD, moving from Kent on to Canterbury and elsewhere); these monks simply transliterated the Germanic sounds into the Latin alphabet, creating new characters (based on the Germanic runes) as needed.

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