Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

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Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby Kraut » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:57 pm

Old English Language | Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Dagt3 ... gs=pl%2Cwn
Do you understand the Old English language? In this video, American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker from Poland try to understand Old English by reading sentences written in Old English. It’s part of the Language comparison series on my channel, in which we explore the mutual intelligibility phenomenon between closely related languages


I think that a German should get one more word at least.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby DaveAgain » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:22 pm

For the second one, hale is also a cognate for hal seems a better fit than whole.

My guesses were:
1. I have six and twenty - - - house.
2. - your hand to - neck.
3. It's summer. - blooming - here.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:40 pm

As a native Swedish speaker, the least transparent word for me was "butan" (which of course is the same as Dutch "buiten"). Also, as soon as I ignored the e in "belifan" (/blifan/), that sentence became a lot easier.

I suppose there isn't any L-R material in Old English...
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:12 pm

I got the second sentence entirely correct, but 1) He said it was topical and 2) I speak German.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby gsbod » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:31 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:I got the second sentence entirely correct, but 1) He said it was topical and 2) I speak German.


I speak German too and didn't have a clue on the second sentence! Third sentence was easy, though.

On the first sentence, the realisation that Vieh in German is a cognate with fee in English has just blown my mind.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby Iversen » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:25 pm

When I had listened to the Anglosaxon test I continued to Catalan, Romanian and Sardinian, and I'll probably be listening to a few more videos of the same type before I go to sleep. I like to hear several people speaking in each their own language and still to some extent being able to understand each other in spite of not having studied the languagees of the others. But of course each video has to stay within the limits of one language family, and even then it is unclear how much the participants actually understand. However the person who poses the questions should be able to understand the languages of the others, while none of the other participants should have studied the test language - otherwise the whole thing falls apart.

EDIT: now I have added Brazilian Portuguesem Italian and Latin to the list (plus the video about the 12 year old girl who speaks 20 languages - plus whatever she has learned after the video was recorded). I also listened to the Bulgarian video, but my comprehension of spoken Slavic languages isn't perfect ... yet.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:03 am

gsbod wrote: On the first sentence, the realisation that Vieh in German is a cognate with fee in English has just blown my mind.


Wait until you hear about cattle, chattel and capital!

Cows (and slaves) were money.
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Re: Old English Language: Can American, Australian, and Non-Native English speaker understand it?

Postby Querneus » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:41 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:Wait until you hear about cattle, chattel and capital!

Cows (and slaves) were money.

See also: kith and kine 'property', which curiously includes the help of one's friends, literally "friends and cows".

Also, as famously mentioned in the movie Arrival, Sanskrit गविष्टि gáviṣṭi 'eagerness/fervour (especially for battle)', possibly just 'battle', literally "cow-wish-ness" (desire for cows). (The producers of the movie explain they stretched it to mean 'war' to improve the entertainment value, but anyway...)
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