Mudcat Café message #3957187 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165069   Message #3957187
Posted By: Helen
17-Oct-18 - 05:40 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Caedmon's Hymn
Subject: RE: Origins: Caedmon's Hymn
Now for the fun bit:

You can read the Anglo Saxon words with a bit of help with the pronunciation.

'f' when placed between vowels can be pronounced 'v' e.g. 'haerfest' = 'harvest'. My favourite A-S word in 'hafoc' which is 'hawk' and a hawk causes havoc in the field among it's prey.

'sc' is pronounced 'sh' so 'biscop' is 'bishop', 'scyld' is 'shield'.

The vowel sounds were slightly different, but close enough, e.g. 'cealdost' = 'coldest'.

The two alpha characters in the alphabet, known as thorn and eth which you can Google ("Anglo Saxon thorn eth") have a 'th' sound.

Thorn looks like a 'p' (lower case) with the vertical stroke above and below the line. Eth (lower case) looks like a 'd' but with a left curving vertical stroke and a cross bar on it. Anywhere those two characters are shown in a word the sound is "th".

So 'eordan' (with the different d character) is 'earth', 'byd" is 'be-eth' (i.e. 'is'), 'bringed' is 'bringeth'.

'ge' is pronounced 'y' with the not-quite a vowel sound, half way between a vowel and an 'u' sound. Like the first 'o' in 'potato' if you pronounce it 'putt-a-to' with the accent on the 'a'. 'ge' before a word sort of changes it like 'weorc' = 'work' and 'geweorc' = 'workings'.

'geares' is pronounced 'years'.

'be' in front of a word is exactly the same as modern English. 'Before', 'beset', 'behind', and 'for' in front of a word, same as our words, e.g. 'forget', 'forgo, 'forswear' but 'fore' is 'in front of' so 'foreword', etc.

Some similarities to modern German language, which I only - regrettably - studied briefly at school. German 'forgessen' = 'forget', 'forgot', forgotten'.

So now you might be able to read some of the text I linked to in the sample Anglo Saxon link in my previous post.

Remember the sort of life they lived: axes, swords, earth, sky, heaven, hawk, tree, etc. Same words different spelling and pronunciation.

Go for it. Have fun!