Beowulf sample in Middelsprake

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yesterday I got the idea that it would be interesting to see Beowulf in Middelsprake to compare it with Old English and see which is closer. Over two years ago as well I requested an article on Beowulf on the Frisian Wikipedia because I wanted to compare it to Old English as well (since Frisian is apparently the closest language to English from times of yore), and one of the users was kind enough to do a paragraph.

Middelsprake I don't know well enough to do a paragraph in Beowulf but luckily its creator obliged and has translated the first paragraph into Middelsprake. Here they are.

First modern English:

So! We Spear-Danes in days of yore
Have heard of the fame of the kings,
How those nobles did great deeds.
Then Old English:
Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Hear! Wy Wapen-Denen yn weiwoarn dagen
fan de rykskeningen har rop haw heard
hoe dy ealju eardieden ferjochten.

And finally Middelsprake:

Höre! Wi Wapen-Danische in dagge befor
have höred af de folk-köngs berömedheed
ho de edelmanne winnede eer.

or the same thing without umlauts:

Hoere! Wi Wapen-Danische in dagge befor
have hoered af de folk-kyngs beroemedheed
ho de edelmanne winnede eer.


Anonymous said...

a few of the letters in your old english there are incorrect. or perhaps it's just this language font of mine won't display properly.

as an example, in "geardagum", those aren't g's. they're actually a different symbol that sometimes sounds like a g and sometimes like a y and sometimes like a different g.

just thought i'd be a nerd and point that out.

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