I wonder if native english speaking people can understand ancient english language?
Generally no, modern English is very diferent to the old language.
Pavlo, can you understand this?
Jeg har lært å snakke mange språk riktig.
This is Norwegian and it's easy for an English-speaking person - ESL or not - to translate, much easier than a line from Beowulf.
No, I can not understand this at all. I am from Ukraine and Ukrainian language is a little bit different :-) or rather to say absolutely different. I wish you asked me if I can understand ancient Russian....
I'm from Hungary, so we are neighbors. hahah
And this is an interesting question. CAN you understand Russian?
You asked me a very good question. No i can not (funny isnt it), but I hoped English language is different and native speakes do understand it. Ancient Russian learn only students of russian philology. it is a dead language
I can't translate, English is my mother tongue. Guessing - Jeg (you) har (are) laert (?) a (a) snakke (snake) mange (manage) sprake (speak) riktig (?)
to Mics: a moment of truth. Can you translate this? Fyrst forth gewat. Flota waes on ythum bat under beorge. (dear moderator PLEASE do not delete this. It is not a foreign language)
No, I can't translte, but I'll have a guess at some of the words: flota (float) Fyrst (first) waes (was) bat (but) beorge (boat/barge) so, something about a boat first floating on water, but was then under something. (sank/wrecked)
Thank you Micks. You can live on translating Ancient English :-) I found this translation: Fyrst forth gewat. Flota waes on ythum bat under beorge. - "Time on departed. Floater was on waves boat under hill". Thank you again. That was interesting.
It depends on what you mean by "ancient". The language normally referred to as "Anglo-Saxon" is virtually a foreign language, although it contains the roots of much of modern English. This was the language spoken before the Norman Conquest of 1066, but that event brought French and Latin influences into English, and the "Middle English" of Chaucer's time (14th century) is much easier for for a modern reader to understand. It still takes a bit of work for most people, but a little immersion in "The Canterbury Tales" (for example) pays dividends in terms of understanding.
Thank you for an answer. Actually i thought about earlier times than the 14th century. When i was a student of Romano-German Philology we learned a big part of Beofulf by heart. I was always wondering how much english it sounds for a native speaker.
It could also depend upon whether one hears the language or has to read it.
Some English dialects and accents are closer to Old English than others so hearing the language spoken can be easier than trying to read a transliteration of a script.
As with all languages though meanings of individual words can change over time so while we may hear an Old English word today, there is no guarantee it means the same to us as it did a person 1,000 years ago.
Once I was in Yorkshire, having great difficulty understanding a Yorkshireman who was saying something about ducks and the river. My friend from Colorado did not join in the conversation at all because he thought we were speaking German.
So actually, native speakers of modern English can't even understand other native speakers of modern English. Probably Yorkshire English is closer to ancient English.
Or maybe the musical "My Fair Lady" is right in saying Americans haven't used English for years.
to tell the truth people in eastern part of Ukraine not always can understand people from western part. That became a source of inspiration for many and many linquists who write their books devoted to language analyses :-)
North Eastern English vernacular is said to be rooted in old Norse.
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