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The Tudor Society

The History of English Part 1 – Old English

OK, so today I'm travelling back in time quite a bit further than the Tudor period with my Claire Chats video talk, but I wanted to explore the English that was spoken in the Tudor period and to be able to do that properly we really need to examine the history of the language.

Sources, Further Reading and Resources

Caedmon's Hymn:

Beowulf:

The Battle of Maldon:

The Lord's Prayer in Old English:

If you fancy learning Old English pronunciation then here's lesson 1 of a series:

and this website is useful too: http://people.umass.edu/sharris/in/gram/GrammarBook/Pronunciation.html

If you're in need of a laugh, here's "Let it Go" from the movie "Frozen" in Old English:

or how about Call Me Maybe? Warning: it's terrible!

This song is much better:

or how about "Yesterday" in Old English?

Basic phrases in Old English:

How to insult in Old English:

Other resources:

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. C /

    Brings back memories of my first year at university when I had to translate such gems as The Battle of Maldon. My Anglo-Saxon tutor would have been horrified to realise both how difficult we found it and how afraid we were of him!

    1. < / Post Author

      I never got the chance to study Old English texts but I enjoyed Chaucer and that felt foreign enough!

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The History of English Part 1 – Old English