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2016-08-22, 12:06   #67
xilman
Bamboozled!

"𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭"
May 2003
Down not across

2×5×1,013 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dubslow I can read Cyrillic easier than I can properly-written old English, though surely 10 minutes of effort would level the playing field (and I'm certain I could make more sense of the old English than the Russian, though my own non native linguistics experience is primarily of the Romance variety rather than Germanic , so still probably quite difficult).
In that case I strongly urge you to read the OE wikipedia. It's much easier to read typescript than handwriting so a large part of your difficulty goes away immediately. About all you need to learn are the four letters (given as upper / lower case below)

Æ / æ --- aesc (or ash) pronounced as a flat-a vowel

Ƿ / ƿ --- wen or wynn, pronounced as the Modern English unaspirated w in water.

Ð / ð --- eth, a voiced th as in Modern English these

Þ / þ --- thorn, an unvoiced th as in Modern English thin.

To make life even easier, remember that spelling may change but words often sound much the same; vowels tend to be shorter in Modern English, t and d are often interchanged while p/b are often aspirated to f/v or vice versa; g tends to disappear in modern English. If you know some German life is much easier as that language tends to preserve more of the old Germanic structure, in speech and in grammar.

Examples:

English penny / German pfennig / OE penig

English day / German Tag / OE dæg (though the vowel has lengthened in Modern English!)

English fowl / German Vogel / OE fugol

It helps enormously if you have a good working English vocabulary and etymology. For instance, a bishopric is the domain ruled by a Bishop. Compare the German word for an empire, Reich, and notice the shortening of the vowel in modern English. The OE is rice (long-i as in German, hard c as in Modern English and German but not aspirated as in the latter).

Another classic example comes from the first three words of Beowulf:

Hwæt We Gardena
or
So! The spear-Danes

The first word is literally "what" in modern English but is used in the poem as a call to attention. The -dena portion is still recognizable as modern Dane. Gar also survives in Modern English in the word garlic. The -lic portion is the same as "leek" (note shortened vowel!) and means onion. A clove of garlic has a spear-head shape...

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2016-08-22 at 12:14 Reason: Expand Reich example

 2016-08-22, 15:19 #68 jwaltos     Apr 2012 35010 Posts The linguistic turn twigged a response from me, sorry for the tangent. As well, this post can be readily buried elsewhere.. Once upon a time I had to use Morse Code regularly as a means of communication. The base language was my second language. Beyond this one had to implement various codes and concatenations as required which all then had to be encrypted on the fly usually under less than ideal circumstances. When communicating with one's counterparts of other nationalities as well as intercepting and deciphering Morse communications, whatever the medium, whatever the country and whatever the language (including dialects) you had to be atuned to the mode of thought as well as the logic of the intent and purpose of communicating. Besides, these transmissions were made as quickly as possible so that you would not be detected. Everything communicates with everything else, usually openly and transparently; smiles are universal as is the affection shown by animals re-uniting with their owners. Photons from a distant galaxy; Aramaic, Mayan or Runic scripts; Uniquely oral languages passed down through generations. And now, the development of thinking machines. Dialog can only happen between animate and aware entities? Is attempting to communicate with the universe at large nonsensical? Perception, awareness, comprehension and transmission/communication requires interaction. Being self-aware is an important attribute. Mathematics, using this word in its full generality, is something which seems codify everything and we have found a means of approximating aspects of it which may loosely be described as a language. Yet, for many people this language does not seem to translate nor communicate well. (Try framing the Cyrillic translation of the Canterbury Tales within the context of information theory.) Hmm. Last fiddled with by jwaltos on 2016-08-22 at 15:25 Reason: CtCT addition.
 2016-08-22, 19:43 #69 jwaltos     Apr 2012 2·52·7 Posts As an addendum, I was unable to provide an example of old Cyrillic literature which I would have liked to do. Older works in Arabic or Oriental scripts are well known and we can only admire those anonymous people that had toiled over the original translations and their desire to disseminate them. Last fiddled with by jwaltos on 2016-08-22 at 19:46
2016-08-23, 14:14   #70
Xyzzy

"Mike"
Aug 2002

22×3×643 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jwaltos Once upon a time I had to use Morse Code regularly as a means of communication.
Were you a radio operator or signal analyst in the military?

 2016-08-24, 03:30 #71 jwaltos     Apr 2012 2×52×7 Posts A mule.
 2016-08-27, 09:49 #72 only_human     "Gang aft agley" Sep 2002 3,581 Posts
 2016-08-31, 05:35 #74 only_human     "Gang aft agley" Sep 2002 3,581 Posts Duolingo Greek is now in beta for public use as of a few hours ago. (I suppose I'm talking to myself here) It's hard to say why I like the Duolingo website. They ask for name and address when you sign up and that is a no go zone for many people. Maybe they've changed that policy, I don't know but children in classes now use the site and personal information is much more sensitive for them so maybe they don't inquire as deeply now; that might be a teacher-school-interface - I don't know. The site sends reminders to visit and gamifies things a bit - this might help with motivation. The data is not as concentrated as grammar tables but is more phrase oriented than mind numbingly boring word drills. Sentence user comments, where people help each other, are nice too. People who do use anaki or memrise to memorize word lists must be more motivated than me. LaurV has said here that Memrise's own German word lessons are very good. To me word lists are just too grueling when I don't even have a direct use for my hobby studying. A few people on Duolingo mention another language word list memorization site: https://babadum.com/ This does it in games and the main word recognition game is multiple choice without typing so it is fairly fast and perhaps is tablet friendly. Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-08-31 at 05:40
 2016-08-31, 08:25 #76 only_human     "Gang aft agley" Sep 2002 67758 Posts Maybe it was the couses I previously chose on Memrise. I just now looked at the German level one course by Memrise themselves and the second entry already was a phrase. I'm sorry that I've kept calling their courses word lists. I swear that all the courses I selected previously really felt like word lists
 2016-08-31, 13:41 #77 Xyzzy     "Mike" Aug 2002 22×3×643 Posts . Attached Thumbnails