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languages-msg – 9/5/09


Sources for learning old languages. Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Gaelic.


NOTE: See also the files: Latin-msg, literacy-msg, universities-msg, Latin-online-art, Ital-Phrases-art, Hist-English-lnks.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From Fuzzy Sapiens by H. Beam Piper (1964)


"English is the result of Norman soldiers attempting to pick up

Anglo-Saxon barmaids, and is no more legitimate than any of the other




TO: Simon The Speaker Of N

FROM: Lord Beelzebub

SUBJECT: Re: More Gaelic Stuff


Would that be Scots Gaelic or Irish Gaelic?  There are two books

that do a decent job of teaching you Gaelic if you are phonetically


    'Teach Yourself Gaelic' by Roderick Mackinnon, M.A.. It is Scots

Gaelic.  There is also another book, same title but different author,

that teaches Irish Gaelic.  They can be found in a public library in

about the 491.xx area.  I hope that that helps a little.

* Origin: The Dragons Doom / Dumfries, VA / (703) 221-3258 (RBBS 1:265/109)



From: jaymin at maths.tcd.ie (Jo Jaquinta)

Date: 6 Nov 91 14:22:32 GMT

Organization: Dept. of Maths, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


PAMCCOY at GALLUA.BITNET ("Pat McCoy a.k.a. Bones") writes:

>Is there more than one type of Gaelic?

>What's the difference between Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic?



        [Pat, you should know better :-]

        I have answered this so many times I will have to create a file I

can automatically upload.


        There is no such language officially known as Gaelic. More property

Gaelic refers to a related group of Celtic languages. Actually there are two

sub-groups known as P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.  These can be broken up

regionally as follows:


        Ireland. The first language of this country is *Irish*. There are

different regional dialects of which the two most prevelant are Donegal

Irish and Muster Irish. I think the legal standard is Donegal Irish.


        Scotland. The language spoken there is *Scots Gaelic* (pron Ghal-lick).

As Celtic Scotland is a colony of Ireland Scots Gaelic is an offshoot of

old Irish (archaicly known as Erse). It has been influenced a lot by the

previous inhabitants (Picts?).


        Isle of Man. The language spoken here is *Manx*. It is a relatively

recent offshoot of Irish (1300s I think). It has some rather obscure words

in it (like verb: "To strike with a beetle").


        Wales: The language spoken here is *Welsh*. There is no legal

requirement is Wales to have important documents bilingual. Consequently

many Welsh are rather sensitive about their language and tear down English



        Brittany: The language spoken here is *Breton*. As in Wales the

French would rather they didn't speak it and adopt their culture but they

have their their own ideas (quite rightly).


        Cornwall: The language that used to be spoken here is *Cornish*.

The language died out but there has been some recent revival.


        I think Irish, Manx, and Scots Gaelic are P-Celtic and Welsh,

Breton and Cornish are Q-Celtic (but I may have my P's and Q's mixed).

        As you can see though there is quite a variety of flavour of Celtic

languages. They are all quite different and mutually unintelligible (I can

barely understand the Scots when they are speaking English :-).

        One sad thing is that not one of them is one of the "official"

languages of the Europen Community. Without Community funds I fear that

these languages, and that variance of the culture, will be lost. There is

an Irish saying "Ti'r gan teanga i's ti'r gan anam" -- "A country without

a language is a country without a soul".




    %           Seamus Donn, Seneschal          Sorcha Ui' Flahairteaigh

   %|%          Jo Jaquinta                     Lesley Grant, Chronicler

/\\ | //\       jaymin at lanczos.maths.tcd.ie     lgrant at lanczos.maths.tcd.ie

  =====                 49 Russell Avenue, Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, Ireland.

   /|\                  for the Shire of Lough Devnaree (Lough Damh na Ri'gh)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: nostrand at HP-UX.yorku.ca ( Barbara Nostrand)

Subject: Re: Source needed...

Organization: York University Mathematics Department

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1993 01:12:57 GMT


Noble Cousins!


Master Arval mentions the spread of litteracy as a force promoting linguistic

stability.  I believe that there are other stronger forces involved.


1) This one relates directly to what Master Arval posted. The printing press

   as it makes thousands of exact copies does promote linguistic stability in

   a way which copyists did not, regardless of the spread of litteracy.


2) Linguistic stability is also promoted by demographic stability.  Linguists

   have found that neologisms and other linguistic inventions are most common

   among immigrant populations.  There are other intersting factors involving

   the formation of trade Jargon and Pigin forms of extant languages.  The

   first involves a lingua franca which is generally an amalgam of several

   extant languages.  Pigin tends to develop when a large linguistic community

   only partially learn some other language.


Thus, a classic example is the viking incursion into England which left

traceable linguistic footprints.  Later, the normans conquored England

and for a while Norman French was the offical language in England.  Thus,

much "upper class" and "governmental" vocabulary in English can be traced

directly to Norman French.  Further, the Normans influenced both poetic

form and grammar such as pluralization.  Currently, English is undergoing

a number of linguistic changes (in this case the culprit appears to be

grammar teachers with a faulty understanding of English syntax, semantics

and linguistic history.)  There is also a special tendency to try to maintain

the number of loanwords such as "data" taken from Latin.  Try counting

1 datum, 2 data, 3 data 4, 5 data, 6 data, 7 data, more sometime.  It really

does not make sense in English.  The problem is that "data" like many other

things which are collections is uncountable and is instead measurable.  Thus,

engineers (despite the protestations of their cousins in English departments)

were actually correct when they wrote things like "... the data is ..." as

they were talking about a collective entity.  However, this linguistic

development appears to be spreading and we hear about "waters" in senses other

than "glasses of water" (old usage), "soups", "soaps", "fruits"  (old signs

read "fruit and vegetables" new signs read "fruits and vegetables" indicating

a linguistic shift).  Actually, drift due to poor education on the part of

the "educated" is one of the major vectors for linguistic drift in modern

society.  Examples are "inflamible" (originally meaning something which

can NOT burn) drifting into the meaning of something rather explosive and

the word "irregardless" often used by educated people when the historical

word is "regardless".


Another example of linguistic drift created by English teachers is the

spurious rule against the split infinitive which was derived from Latin.

In Latin, verbs conjugate into the infinitive without taking an auxiliary

word.  Thus, it is impossible to split inifinitives in Latin, but quite

it is easy and even poetic to write things such as "to boldly go" in English.


One final note.  When did standardized spelling become significant in

English?  I believe that it occured in the 19th century with the

publication of Webster's Dictionary in the United States. This dictionary

(as the name indicates) was intended as an eloquition guide and NOT as

a spelling guide.  Ironcially, it failed as an eloquition guide and

diverse dialects remain in America.  What it has become is a reference for

correct spelling and meaning.  This is probably the result of its adoption

by one room schoolhouses.  


Finally, why are English spelling and American (U.S.) spelling different?

I suspect that one of the principal factors causing this is an attempt

on the part of U.S. dictionary makers to spell words in a rather German

fashion while the U.K. dictionary makers tend to spell words in a French

fasion (especially for French loanwords.)


                                      Your Humble Servant

                                      Solveig Throndardottir

                                      Totally Ignorant



From: SADV153 at larry.HUc.uab.EDU (Jo Grove)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Old English language textbook

Date: 22 Mar 1994 16:39:02 -0500

Organization: The Internet


THL Maredudd asked if anyone could point him towards a good Anglo-

Saxon English language textbook (or words to that effect; I don't

have the original post in front of me at the moment).  I took Old

English for a quarter a few years ago, and the text we used was quite

excellent (although not for the faint of heart--OE is NOT an easy

language to pick up on one's own, unless one already has some

familiarity with language study).  Unfortunately I can't remember the

title and editor of the textbook off the top of my head (it was

something EXTREMELY simple like _Introduction_to_Old_English_ or

something like that), but I'll look it up for you when I get home and

post the information tomorrow.  One of the most helpful things about

this text, besides the lessons in each chapter and the Anglo-Saxon

prose and poetry selections it contains, is the indispensible



I'd suggest reading Anglo-Saxon prose first, then when you feel

confident with that move on to poetry.  A-S poetry can be VERY

confusing for someone struggling with the language. Several good

translations of A-S works into Modern English are available, and it's

helpful to have one on hand in case you get stuck while trying to

translate a difficult concept or turn of phrase (which happens LOTS

when you're dealing with A-S!, at least if you're a rank beginner in

the language).  The closer to a literal translation you can find, the



Hope this helps.  I'll look on my bookshelves to see what the

textbook was called, and what other books might be of interest to

you, and get back to you.


:-)  Jamelyn



From: charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.EDU.AU (charles nevile)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Old English language textbook

Date: 29 Mar 1994 07:23:24 GMT

Organization: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.


Jo Grove (SADV153 at larry.HUc.uab.EDU) wrote:

: THL Maredudd asked if anyone could point him towards a good Anglo-

: Saxon English language textbook (or words to that effect; I don't

: have the original post in front of me at the moment).  I took Old

: English for a quarter a few years ago, and the text we used was quite

: excellent (although not for the faint of heart--OE is NOT an easy

: language to pick up on one's own, unless one already has some

: familiarity with language study).  Unfortunately I can't remember the

: title and editor of the textbook off the top of my head (it was

: something EXTREMELY simple like _Introduction_to_Old_English_ or

: something like that), but I'll look it up for you when I get home and

: post the information tomorrow.  One of the most helpful things about


I think the title is

A Guide To Old English - I used a book that sounded like the deleted

description, and thought it was good. Unfortunately I lent it to someone

who still has it, but has moved.


good luck


Ragnar  (Vlachernai NVG)


charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.EDU.AU



From: SADV153 at larry.HUc.uab.EDU (Jo Grove)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Old English language texts

Date: 24 Mar 1994 10:52:49 -0500

Organization: The Internet


[OOPS!!! Sorry this didn't go out the first time.  It looks like my e-

mailer must have eaten most of the original message--either that, or

something in the ether snagged it.  Let me try again....]


Unto THL Maredudd (and other interested persons), greetings once



Here are two texts that might be of some use to you in learning Old

English.  The first is a textbook that I used in an Intro to Old

English class, and the second is a more up-to-date text that was

recommended by my professor.


_Bright's_Old_English_Grammar_and_Reader_, edited by Frederic G.

Cassidy and Richard N. Ringler.  ISBN 0-03-084713-3.  c 1971 and

published by Hold, Rhinehart, and Wingler (I *think*...my prof was

reading this info to me over the phone, and I may have misheard the

publisher's name).


_A_Guide_to_Old_English_, edited by Bruce Mitchell and Fred C.

Robinson.  ISBN 0-631-13625-8.  4th Ed., c 1986


Hope this helps!


Jamelyn (who actually CAN talk about something besides sheep...and in

another language, too!)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Old English language

From: scott.fridenberg at thehub.com (Scott Fridenberg)

Date: Sun, 27 Mar 94 03:51:00 -0600

Organization: The Hub! BBS - Tulsa, OK - 918-627-0923


Someone was asking about an Anglo-Saxon textbook.  I don't know much about

that but I did find an Anglo-Saxon dictionary, in a Thrift Store of all

places.  The information is as follows:


The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon

Sweet, Henery,  M.A., Ph.D., LL.D.

Oxford University Press

Ely House, London W. I (1967)


(BTW, What is an LL.D.?)


Robert Fitzmorgan

Northkeep, Ansteorra



From: goldschm at hal.COM (Steve Goldschmidt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Old English Language Textbook

Date: 30 Mar 1994 01:00:50 GMT

Organization: HAL Computer Systems, Inc.


The best text I've seen is Mitchell and Robinson, _A Guide to Old

English_ ISBN 0-631-13625-8.  It's available in paperback, covers

everything, and has hints for folks who are teaching themselves.


Iulstan Sigewealding (Stephen Goldschmidt)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ar070 at FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Carole Fraser)

Subject: Re: Old English Language

Organization: The National Capital FreeNet

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 01:54:31 GMT


To whoever was asking about an Old English textbook, it would really

depend on what you were looking for.

If you want a good grammer and introduction text, the Mitchell and

Robinson previously mentioned is a very good start.  It was what my

professor began me with.  The introductory grammer is easy to understand

and well laid out.  The texts given are both in prose and poetry and range

from biblical passages, part of The Battle of Maldon to Beowulf.


If you are looking for Beowulf, F. Klaeber's text, probably 3rd edition is

really good.  It has the full text, an excellent glossay and a good set of

notes.  It also has some other textual fragments.  


However, probably my best suggestion for translation material is BEOWULF,

a translation by Burton Raffel.  It is a modern English poetic translation

that I have found quite satisfactory in aiding my translation work.  It

doesn't allow me to copy directly but gives me enough of an idea such that

I am not pulling my hair out in frustration at the convoluted sentence

structure.  The other good thing about Raffel is that on page xx of his

Introduction is a listing of all the sources he used: dictionaries,

supplements, grammars, sources and general introductions to the period.


Wes thu hale!



ar070 at freenet.carleton.ca



From: aj at wg.icl.co.uk (Tony Jebson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Anglo-Saxon Borrowings

Date: 22 Sep 1994 05:22:32 -0500

Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway


Dani (dani at telerama.lm.com) writes:

> For that matter, do any of the sources have anything to say about Celtic

> influences upon the English language?


I knew that historical linguistics book would come in useful one day...


Borrowings in Old English come from a number of different places, at different



1.  Borrowings from non-Germanic Indo-European (IE) into the proto-WestGermanic

    stock which evolved via Anglo-Frisian to become Old English. It is known

    that these words had already been borrowed before Old English (OE) appeared

    as a separate language because they appear, fully integrated, in the

    entire West Germanic family of languages.


These fully integrated loans are mainly from Celtic and Latin, with Latin

loans being the more important. There are very few (2-3) well attested loans:


proto-Celtic */ri:k-/ "king" appears in Old English as rice "kingdom"

             ^ the * means the word is a reconstruction


Gaulish ambactos "servant" appears in Old English as ambeht "servant"


The Latin component is much larger. Typical words borrowings are: "wine"

(Latin winum, OE win); "trade, traffic" (L caupo, OE ceapian).


[Aside: an interesting point is that wine and vine in English both have the

same root--Latin winum--but were borrowed at different times. What has

happened is that between the two borrowings the pronunciation of the Latin

changed and this is mirrored in two borrowings]


2.  Latin


Latin influence on OE is divided into two periods: early settlement (450-600),

and post-Christian (650+). Among early loans are:


stopp "stop" < stroppus  (< means derived from)

forca "fork" < furca

maegester "master" < magister.

etc, etc


Lots more loans came in during the later period, largely through the Church.

So many of these, like culpe "guilt" < culpa, are connected with Christianity

and its institutions. Yet more words were borrowed in the tenth century as a

result of the Benedictine reformation. Approx 3% of OE is borrowed from Latin

(in modern English roughly 70% of words are borrowed!).


3.  Scandinavian. Loads of loans here, Viking invasions and all that. The

identification of these is quite difficult (they are from NorthGermanic

languages which are closely related). There are about 900 attested North

Germanic loans into English, only 150 of which appear in OE sources, the

rest only manifest themselves in the 12th and 13th centuries in Middle

English even though they must have been around earlier. [before anyone

suggests it, I don't believe that the 750 or so missing words came into the

language via Norman French, they follow OE phonology and morphology too well].


3.  Celtic.


There are about 12 secure Celtic loans in OE; most of these are from Brythonic

(p) Celtic - the dialect group spoken by the larger number of British



They are: binn "bin", bannoc "bit", dunn "dun, grey", broc "badger",

bratt "cloak", carr "rock", luh "lake", torr "rock", cumb "deep valley".


A very small number came from Goidelic (q) Celtic, and are associated with

the church (apparently borrowed from Irish missionaries):


dry "magician" < Old Irish drui

ancor "hermit" < anchara

staer "story" < stoir

also cros(s) which only appears in place names. The usual OE is rod.




--- Tony Jebson     --- International Computers Limited (ICL)

--- +44 625 617193  --- +44 61 223 1301 ext 3099 (work)

--- aj at wg.icl.co.uk --- All opinions expressed here (however stupid) are my own,

----------------------- and nothing stated here is an official statement by ICL.



From: bettina.helms at 7thwave.com (Bettina Helms)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Anglo-Saxon Borrowings

Date: 23 Sep 94 01:09:00 GMT

Organization: TSUNAMI - Catch the Wave! * Ponte Vedra, FL * 904-273-9738


TJ>Borrowings in Old English come from a number of different places, at differe



TJ>1. Borrowings from non-Germanic Indo-European (IE) into the proto-WestGerma

TJ>   stock which evolved via Anglo-Frisian to become Old English. It is known

TJ>   that these words had already been borrowed before Old English (OE) appea

TJ>   as a separate language because they appear, fully integrated, in the

TJ>   entire West Germanic family of languages.


TJ>These fully integrated loans are mainly from Celtic and Latin, with

TJ>Latin loans being the more important. There are very few (2-3) well

TJ>attested loans


TJ>proto-Celtic */ri:k-/ "king" appears in Old English as rice "kingdom"

TJ>             ^ the * means the word is a reconstruction


This element, with exactly the same meaning, also occurs in Latin "rex"

and Gothic (*East* Germanic) "-ric"...and Sanskrit "rajah". Who borrowed

from whom, and in which direction(s)?



From: aj at wg.icl.co.uk (Tony Jebson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Anglo-Saxon Borrowings

Date: 23 Sep 1994 11:40:55 -0500

Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway


bettina.helms at 7thwave.com (Bettina Helms) writes:

> This element, with exactly the same meaning, also occurs in Latin "rex"

> and Gothic (*East* Germanic) "-ric"...and Sanskrit "rajah". Who borrowed

> from whom, and in which direction(s)?


To be perfectly honest, I haven't got a clue... [thumbs through book]


Aaah! So thats how it works... [dim light dawns]


More fully, the borrowing goes like this: the Celtic root is */ri:k-/ "king".

This was borrowed into proto-Germanic before this differentiated into

separate dialects, and appears in Gothic as "reiks", Old Saxon as "-rik",

and Old Icelandic as "-rik" (the last 2 only as name-elements).


It also appears as the word "kingdom" in Gothic as "reiki", Old High German

as "rihhi", and Old English as "rice".


The Proto-Indo-European root of */ri:k-/ is apparently */re:g-/ via a well

known sound change from PIE to Celtic of */e:/ to */i:/. If the Germanic

forms were direct PIE inheritances, we would expect Gothic "reks", Old

English "rece", etc.


Thus the Latin form "rex" is a direct inheritance from PIE */re:g-s/, and I've

no idea on Sanskrit... the books I have are all aimed at OE, and I don't

really understand this sound-change malarky very well.


[Idea for new heraldic device: the FERRET -- a small mink-like creature with

its tail on fire... no offence intended, Ferret, but you do get into a lot

of Flame-wars!]


[I going to go and get quietly (noisily?) drunk now... and then tomorrow I

get to HIT people... yes, I know, I'm a stick-jock but it *is* FUN!]




--- Tony Jebson     --- International Computers Limited (ICL)

/dev/brain: Permission denied

--- aj at wg.icl.co.uk --- All opinions expressed here (however stupid) are my own,

----------------------- and nothing stated here is an official statement by ICL.



From: nostrand at mathstat.yorku.ca (Solveig Throndardottir)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Learning Latin

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 00:19:13 -0500

Organization: DeMoivre Institute of Mathematical Sciences


Noble Cousins!


The Latin language changed over time.  For those interested in learning

the classical language, I believe that the Cambridge Latin Course

Cambridge University Press (4 Vol.) may be of some help. There are also

accompanying cassette tapes (although I have not seen those stocked by



   ISBN 0 521 34379 8   Vol 1

   ISBN 0 521 34381 X   Vol 2

   ISBN 0 521 34382 8   Vol 3

   ISBN 0 521 34380 1   Vol 4


These should be volumes of the North American Thrid Edition.  I hope that

this proves useful to someone.


                                       Your Humble Servant

                                       Solvieg Throndardottir

                                       Amateur Scholar



From: dnb105 at psu.edu (Ferret)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Learning Latin

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 19:28:47 GMT

Organization: Penn State University


There is also "Calis", a computer aided teaching program for Latin from Duke






From: noramunro at aol.com (Noramunro)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Learning Latin

Date: 1 Jul 1995 10:16:33 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


There's a very nice Latin drill program (runs out of Windows, don't know

if there are other versions) called Lingua Latina.  It's almost freeware,

and I'm quite impressed with it.  Anyone's who's interested can email me

for specifics.


As for textbooks, I'd recommend getting Allen and Greenough's _New Latin

Grammar_.  Most of the classics students I know use the Collins Gem

dictionary as a pocket reference, but I've had more success with the New

College Latin-English Dictionary published by Bantam.  For medieval Latin,

Lewis and Short's dictionary is the old standby, but costs about $110 US;

if there's a university nearby, you may want to check out their library

and see if they have it.  The Oxford Latin Dictionary is also nice, but

doesn't included examples from Christian authors, so it's of limited use

in medieval Latin.


--Lady Alianora Munro

Barony of Bright Hills, Atlantia



From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Basque Names

Date: 24 Nov 1996 05:04:31 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


Lorilynn Iversen (miaminix at westworld.com) wrote:

: f339j at unb.CA (Daniel Flemming) wrote:


: > (The Basque language actually

: >predates Latin...)


: I'll say.  According to Dr. L.L. Cavalli-Sforza's new book, genetic

: evidence suggests that the Basque language might just be the only

: surviving remnant of the language of the Neolithic inhabitants of the

: region, popularly known as the Cro-Magnons!  Would that qualify as

: OOP? :)


If I may put on my historical-linguist hat for a moment ....


To say that a language "predates" another language or that a language is

"older" than another language is often extremely misleading. The version

of Basque that existed prior to the arbitrarily-defined beginning date of

what we call Latin is, no doubt, as wildly different from modern Basque as

Latin is from Modern Italian. Both of the above claims imply -- whether

intended or not -- that the modern Basque language has existed in

completely unchanging form since a very early  period, either pre-Latin or

Neolithic times. This simply isn't the case. Of _course_ the Basque

language has changed. And Latin didn't spring full-blown into existence

from Zeus's forehead (oh, 'scuse me, Jupiter's forehead). "Latin" in

_some_ sense also existed prior to Latin, and _some_ direct ancestor to

Latin existed in Neolithic times, just as _some_ ancestor of Basque

existed then. The relevant point of the "Basque as Neolithic European

language" observation is not that modern Basque speakers are speaking some

fossilized antique language, but rather that the speakers of that

long-distant ancestor of the modern Basque language appear to have been

living in modern Europe, while the contemporary speakers of the

long-distant ancestors of every other modern European language were doing

it somewhere other than Europe.


It is generally not a useful statement to say that a language is "older"

than a contemporary language. The names of languages are somewhat

arbitrary, technical labels. For example, it is not valid to say "Irish

Gaelic is older than Scots Gaelic" simply because the ancestor to both of

them is called "Old Irish" rather than "Old Scottish" or "Old Gaelic".

These are arbitrary labels, based on divisions of the language designed

for the convenience of modern linguists.


The fact that we have unrelated names for major stages in the evolution of

Latin (e.g., Umbrian > Latin > Italian -- although I should note that

Umbrian is only one of several languages that contributed to the

development of Latin) misleads us into thinking that they are more

separate in character than language stages with more similar names (e.g.,

Old German, Middle German, Modern German). If those who study the

historical development of Basque had found it convenient and logical to --

just for the sake of example -- call the period of the language from AD

1600 to the present "Basque", that from AD 1000 - 1600 "Gorblx", that from

AD 300 - 1000 "Mifner", that from 500 BC - AD 300 "Orilan" and so on (!I

made these up off the top of my head, ok?!!) then we would not be misled

into making statements like "Basque is much older than Latin". A speaker

of the ancestor of modern Basque that was current in 500 BC would no more

be understood by a modern Basque speaker than a speaker of the earliest

language-form to which we give the name "Latin" (ca. 500 BC) would be

understood by a modern Italian. That we have no distinct name in common

use for different developmental stages of the Basque language is simply a

testimony to the lack of attention it is given in the Western linguistics

community (and, quite probably, to the scarcity of surviving evidence for

those early stages).


(There, there Sappy -- or may I call you Xaboitsu? -- I know that was a

bit weighty. Here's some extra soap chips. Run along now.)


Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn



From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Survey Please help Me!

Date: 23 Apr 1997 16:30:49 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley


Michael Lindberg  <lindberg at sun2.ruf.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:

>This brings up a question I've been wondering about.  Does anyone know

>exactly when English lost its Dative case? (being now no different than

>the accusative, often merely with an added 'to') Was it about the same

>time it lost its articles when French was the 'official' language of

>England or was it later?


English still has a definite and an indefinite article ("the" and

"a/an" respectively).  We don't have grammatical gender any more--

"the" can translate as "der, die, das," which speakers of English

find terribly confusing when they learn German--which may be what

you meant.


As to the dative case, English lost most of its inflectional

endings during a period on which we have little documentation,

after the Conquest, when almost all written records were either

in Anglo-Norman French or in Latin.  But the process had begun

before the Conquest, during the period when speakers of Danish

and speakers of English in eastern England (the Danelaw) discovered

that the vocabulary of their two languages was really very similar,

it was the different inflectional endings that caused confusion--

and got into the habit of dropping them.  (T.A. Shippey describes

this process in Robert MacNeil's _The Story of English._)


(I was reading a novel recently in which the inhabitants of an

Italian village, responding to an influx of tourists who think

they speak a little Italian, start speaking slowly and carefully

and entirely in infinitives.)


The tendency in the development of English over the last thousand

years has been to drop inflection and carry the grammatical

meaning, sometimes by prepositions, but more often by word order.

Thus, "he gave the book to me" is perfectly intelligible, but so

is "he gave me the book."  The dative (but we would say simply

"indirect object") function of "me" is made plain by context.


Note however that "he threw him the book" is not the same as the

idiomatic "he threw the book at him," which means "the judge gave

the prisoner the maximum penalty permitted under the law."


And that if two pronouns are used, then American and British

usage differs.  Turn everything in "the author gave the book to

your humble servant" into pronouns and the American will say "he

gave me it," the Britisher "he gave it me."  Then *all* you've

got to go on is context, and your computer-translation software

breaks down.


Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin                          Dorothy J. Heydt

Mists/Mists/West                                Albany, California

PRO DEO ET REGE                                     djheydt at uclink



Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 14:51:10 -0400 (EDT)

From: Maradin at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: old languages (was: Sealing Wax Query)


I've used three texts in learning Old English:


1)  Moore, Samuel, Thomas A. Knott, and James R. Hulbert. _The Elements of

Old English._  Ann Arbor:  The George Wahr Publishing Co., 1977.


2)  Father Klaeber.  _Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg._ Lexington, Mass.:

D.C. Heath and Company, 1950.


3)  Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson.  _A Guide to Old English._  4th

ed. New York:  Basil Blackwell Inc., 1986.


Each of these I've had assigned on different occasions to take coursework in

Old English for my own M.A.  The last is neat, because of the variety of OE

poetry and riddle verse which are included.  The first is interesting,

because early exercises are created by the authors, and so make a good model

for those who'd actually like to attempt Anglo-Saxon style literature for SCA

(i.e., how does one as a speaker of Modern English translate back to Old



I don't have the reference information handy, but there are also several

texts in working with Middle English (including a dictionary), for those

Chaucerian buffs.





Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 19:29:43 -0700

From: Robert Schweitzer <robs at ionline.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: old languages


>So where does one who wants to learn Old Norse, Old French, Old German,

>or even Old English go for study materials?  Latin is easier, there are

>regular textbooks for learning Latin available in a lot of book stores,

>but how could I get materials to learn other old languages?


If you are interested in learning Norse, there is a software company in

my area (southern Ontario), which sells software to learn old Norse (as

well as Old English and several others I don't recall)

There are also a number of people in my canton learning Norse from a lady

in a neighbouring canton.  I understand that until the 1930's, Icelandic

and old Norse remained virtually identical.


If you are interested in the computer programs, Contact Ragnar at

nnpeters at ionline.net

He should be able to provide more details.



A Saxon surrounded by the Norse



Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 19:45:17 -0400

From: Barbara Nostrand <bnostran at lynx.dac.neu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: old languages


Noble Cousins!


There is Gordon's book on Old Norse which I believe is back in print.

There is a cross-lingual book on Germanic languages which I have somewhere.

I have also seen texts on Old English.  However, the best thing to do is

to enroll in a language program at a university which teaches the language

which you are interested in.


                                                     Your Humble Servant

                                                     Solveig Throndardottir

                                                     Amateur Scholar


| Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D.             | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM         |

| de Moivre Institute                 | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est        |

| 676 Pullman Road 135                | 23 East Collings Avenue             |

| Moscow, Idaho  83843                | Collingswood, New Jersey 08108-8203 |

| mailto:bnostran at lynx.neu.edu            | (609) 854-8203                  |




Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 22:57:45 -0500 (CDT)

From: "J. Michael Shew" <jshewkc at pei.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: old languages


        As to Old Norse, my constant companion these days appears to be

An Introduction to Old Norse by E. V. Gordon, Second edition revised by A.

R. Taylor, printed by the Oxford at Clarendon press, 1990, ISBN


        It is the best way to teach yourself a language, in my opinion, to

get several good works in that language and a decent dictionary of the

tounge to bring you into it full tilt.  That is what this book is.

        I am also in one of those Norse challenged areas where a good

class on the language is not an option.




    Mikal the Ram; an annoying Bard of no redeeming qualities



Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 18:46:39 -0500

From: theodelinda at webtv.net (linda webb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: old languages  (was: Sealing Wax Query)


Having majored in Latin, and then gone on to learn medieval Latin, I

think it's easier to start with classical Latin, and then look into

medieval texts, with the help of a medieval Latin dictionary, or else

just a very complete general Latin dictionary.  This is because medieval

Latin comes in a wide range--there are some writers whose grammar and

vocabulary would have warmed the cockles of Cicero's heart, and others

whose grasp of basic Latin grammar was a bit on the shaky side, to be

kind about it.  To read medieval Latin, you would need to know the

language right to begin with--and it's easier to get the textbooks for

Classical Latin.  There are numerous books out on the market for theose

interested, including some that are good for the independent

student--Frederick Wheelock wrote a very good one, which is intended for

self-directed study by adults, rather than trapped high school students.


     I would also start studying Old French and the older forms of

German by learning the rudiments of the modern languages--it's sometimes

easier to pick up the variants on a familiar language than to start from

scratch.  However, if you'd rather go for broke, try checking out the

languages section of a university library--they usually have copies of

the most commonly used texts, as well as dictionaries, etc.  You might

also want to keep in mind that when you study Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit

etc. that you are also going to have to learn a new alphabet.  Learing a

new alphabet is easy.  Learning to think in it, well enough to read

easily, is much harder.  Well worth it, if you ask me, but harder.





Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 09:44:36 -0400 (EDT)

From: Maradin at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sanskrit


<< I'm straining here at the limits of my linguistics knowledge, but isn't

Sanskrit a "root" language for practically all European languages, like Latin

is for the Romance languages?  And is some form of Old German a root language

for the Nordics?  If you were really interested in picking up a lot of

languages, starting with the roots might be a good strategy.  On the other

hand, how close is Sanskrit to anything medieval European?

- Juan >>


With gentle correction, milord, it isn't.  Sanskrit is a child of Indic,

which in turn is a branch of Indo-Iranian, which then derives from

Proto-Indo-European.  It is PIE which is the root of all these languages.

The descendant of PIE in the Germanic languages is simply that---Germanic.

Linguists haven't labeled any root language as "Old" Germanic.  From

Germanic then branches into West, East, and North Germanic.  The East

Germanic branch then becomes the now extinct language of Gothic.  West

Germanic breaks down into Anglo-Frisian (which in turn becomes English and

Frisian, the language of Vrieseland), and Netherlandic-German.  This last

then breaks off into Low and High branches, the High consisting of Modern

Standard German ("Hochdeutsch") and Yiddish. The Low then descends into two

extinct languages, Old Low Franconian (from which we get Dutch, Afrikaans,

and Flemish), and Old Saxon (from which we get Modern Low German, or



North Germanic is broken into East and West:  East yielding Danish and

Swedish, and West giving us Icelandic, Faeroese, and Norwegian.  Faeroese,

btw, is "highly similar to Icelandic and spoken in the Faeroe Islands,

located in the North Atlantic about midway between Iceland and Great Britain"

(Pyles and Algeo 75).


For convenience sake, PIE is divided into two sections, satem and centum

languages.  These two words each mean one hundred, the first in Avestan (an

ancient Iranic language) and the second in Latin. Basically, the distinction

is due to a phonological development in PIE which I won't go into just now.


As for going to the root languages, one could, if one wishes to take the

trouble.  Understand, however, you're going back to around the time of the

Egyptian pharoahs in order to do this, and we have no extant records of these

languages---they're all reconstructions.  The reconstruction technique has

been tested to be around 95% accurate, so you could feel comfortable with the

results; but any language you attempt will be written in International

Phonetic Alphabet, each character of which represents a *specific* sound.

That, and any texts on, for example, Balto-Slavic are going to be chocked

full of linguistic notes and explanations in our peculiar formulae.  It's not

impossible; just more difficult than you might think.  :-)





From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 14:19:55 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Spanish sources

> How different is Catalan from Spanish?  (I can read Portuguese fairly

> well because of my understanding of Spanish)


I studied Spanish in high school, then translated some medieval recipes

from Spanish to English, but hadn't formally studied Catalan until I

started looking at _Sent Sovi_.  I checked out a "teach yourself

Catalan" book from the library.  I must have lucked out: the one I

found had a bunch of sample readings in the back, not only in modern

Catalan but in medieval and Renaissance Catalan too.  (The readings

were historical, not culinary, but how much can I ask for?)


It's not trivial to read Catalan with a Spanish background, but it's a

lot easier than without a Spanish background.  Some background in French

or Occitan would help too, since France (more specifically, Provence)

is just across the mountains from Catalunya.


Here's an example.  The modern Spanish word "ambos", or "both", has as

cognate the word "amb", which in modern Catalan means "with".  In

medieval Catalan, however, the "m" was often dropped, and the most

common spelling is therefore "ab", still meaning "with".


Catalan also has some funky grammatical rules.  The most intrusive one

is that pronouns for direct and indirect objects are often reduced to

one or two letters, and attached to either the front or the back of the

relevant verb; this can make it tricky looking up the verb in a



                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                 Stephen Bloch

                                           sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu


                                        Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University



Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 10:23:03 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Modern English - OT


Celtic languages are properly divided into two families: The Goidelic

[celtic languages], being Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic or Erse, and, IIRC,

Manx. The Brythonic [celtic language] family includes Welsh, Breton, and

Cornish, and weren't there some Celts in Spain who spoke a Brythonic

language? Gallicians? Or were they Galateans? Can't recall. Brain too

old. Meep zorp flug.



troy at asan.com



Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 10:15:21 +1100 (EST)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>

Subject: SC - Modern English - OT


This seems to be a bit of an over-simplification. So here is another, but

more complex, simplified version of the story.

When the Anglo-Saxons invaded (They were a bunch of folks, from around

Northern Germany and Denmark and the Netherlands, mostly) they brought

their languages with them. These languages were germanic, and the british

language of the celts they pushed into wales and the north (welsh is an

anglo-saxon word meaning foreigner!) were displaced. Those celtic british

languages, along with Irish, go under the catch-all name Gaelic. In the

8th - 11th centuries, the Anglo-Saxon languages became closer, as England

was slowly united under the west-saxon and a few other kings. In

addition, a great deal of danish came into the language from the areas

where vikings settled. At one time, danish was a second language, and the

first lagauge of much of the north (Old Danish, this is). in 1016 King

Cnut of Denmark and Norway became king of England, following his father

Svein Forkbeards campaigns. In this situation Danish would have been

doing well, but it should be noted that old danish and anglo-saxon

languages were pretty closely related, and more or less mutually

comprehensible. Following the conquest in 1066, the language at court

became Norman French - and there followed a number of kings who could not

speak english. By the time english became a status language again it had

included lots of french words. It had also collected, from the time of

Alfred or so onwards, a grammar that was not native to the language, but

was required to translate Latin philosophical and religious works. From

this point (see for example Chaucer in, in London, or Piers Plowman in

the North) to modern English there were a whole lot of new words added -

usually derived from Latin or greek, or coined from those languages (eg

televison, depopulation) with a mixture from a fw other places (the raj,

the New World, Arabic, etc)


So it usually is possible to work out where a word comes from. Most of

our 'small words) me, him, the, and etc are Anglo-Saxon. 'It' is Norse

(so is take - the anglo-saxon 'nim' died out in the early modern period,

but most people will have seen it in cookbooks of the period) as are a

number of other words for common things, especially geography, family,

etc. Things that look like french are likely to have been brouoght into

the language in the middle-english period (~1100 - 1500), and if in doubt

about a modern word the answer is probably shakespeare (the linguistic

equivalent of heat and light in physics exams).


But note that this will not get you through more than a dinner-party exam...


Charles Ragnar



Subject: Re: ANST - Re: Thee/Thine

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 98 02:11:48 MST

From: Jodi McMaster <jmcmaste at accd.edu>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace wrote, in gracious response to my comment about

"thee" as an Anglo/Saxon's performance error:


> Sounds reasonable to me, but I'd pick up a copy of Sweet's _Anglo-Saxon

> Primer_ or Bright's _Old English Grammar and Reader_ for guidance on

> pronunciation.  The Anglo-Saxon pronouns of which you speak are not

> pronounced like their modern English equivalents.


Know offhand where I can get one? I haven't been able to find it in any

of the local bookstores, so I've been relying on some online resources

(which appear to be quite good, for example,

http://www.kami.demon.co.uk/gesithas/OEsteps/pronounc.html) My take is

that <{th}a>, the second person pronoun, is prounounced "thuh," like the

Modern English definite article.


Anyway, thank you very much for your time and response.





Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 12:56:08 -0800 (PST)

From: Vicki Strassburg <taltos at primenet.com>

Subject: Re: SC - reference help


On Mon, 30 Nov 1998, LYN M PARKINSON wrote:

> Are there any English majors out there who could privately post me

> Grimm's Consonant Shift?  I can't find my notes (shucks--only been a few



from this site, I gleaned:


The development of German was affected by several systematic shifts of

certain consonants. The so-called Germanic consonant shift distinguished

the ancient Proto-Germanic tongue from other Indo-European speech. In this

shift, which is described by Grimm's law, an Indo-European p, t, k changed

to a Germanic f, th, h, respectively; Indo-European b, d, g to Germanic p,

t, k; and similarly Indo-European bh, dh, gh, to Germanic b, d, g. After

the western Germanic dialects had developed their own distinctive traits,

the High German sound shift occurred. Datable to AD500-700, it set the

High German dialects off from other West Germanic speech. During that

period the Germanic p, when used initially, or after consonants, or when

doubled, became pf (High German Pflanze, Low German Plante,"plant"); when

used medially or finally after vowels it became ff or f (High German

hoffen, Low German hopen,"to hope"). Under the same conditions the

Germanic t became z (pronounced ts, as in Pflanze) or ss (High German

essen, Low German eten,"to eat"). After vowels, k became ch (High German

machen, Low German maken,"to make"); in all other cases k remained

unchanged except in the extreme south of Germany, where it first became

kch, and later ch. A later change, found also in Low German, is that of

the Germanic th to d (High German das, Low German dat,"that").



Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 21:01:42 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: SC - Dictionaries... wow!


Someone provided this URL a while ago, for a site with links to MANY

online dictionaries.



I dutifully bookmarked the section with the Spanish dictionaries, but

somehow never went back to look at it more closely. Tonight, I was

puzzling over two different words that both mean "cabbage", and

decided to see if something online could help.  I surfed on over, and was

floored by what I found.  The Spanish section contains the 1992 edition

of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, and a searchable

facsimile of an early 18th century Spanish dictionary. Okay, both of

these are more recent than the materials I'm trying to translate, but they

give me a *heck* of a lot more detail and context than the

Spanish/English desk dictionary I've been working with.


Some of the other languages are exciting, too.  There's a searchable

version of the 1694 edition of the dictionary of the Academie Francaise

(and two later editions).  There are dictionaries for Catalan and medieval

Latin and Gothic and Icelandic and Low German and... am I babbling?


Anyway, whoever posted that wonderful URL to this this, THANK YOU,

and may the diety of your choice shower blessings on you and yours...


Brighid, babbling and bubbling


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)



Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 13:50:30 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - language dictionaries


A catalog just came to me which has astounded me.  I

have never ordered anything from these people, but

from what they are offering, I will.


The company is:


Schoenhof's Foreign Books

76A Mount Auburn St

Cambridge MA 02138

Tel: (617) 547-8855

Fax: (617) 547-8551

e-mail: info at schoenhofs.com



and their catalog is:


The Language Catalog.


This catalog has dictionaries and grammars for 400

languages and dialects.  The catalog itself has more

than 630 pages full of dictionaries of every language

on earth and a few dead ones, too.  You name a

language, they seem to have a dictionary for it.  Some

of the language/dictionaries that have caught my




Andalusi Arabic

Aramaic/Biblical Aramaic


Old English

Middle English

Old French

Medieval French

[including a history of the french language of the

14th and 15th centuries]


Low German

Middle Low German

Old High German

Middle High German

Old Prussian


Ancient Greek

Classical Greek

Medieval Greek

Hebrew/Biblical Hebrew


Classical Latin

Medieval Latin

Old Norse


and lots more ...


Brighid, I don't know if you have these books, but

the catalog lists a dictionary of obsolete and rarely

used words, by Elvira Munoz.  ISBN 84-283-1986-3

$32.95.  and a dictionary of medieval spanish by

Martin Alonso.  ISBN 84-7299-169-5 $189.95 (2v.

1635p.)  The Origins of Spanish : Language on the

Iberian Peninsula through the 11th Century, by Ramon

Menendez Pidal.  ISBN 84-239-47521. $99.95.  There are

quite a few other dictionaries mentioned that deal

with medieval Spanish.


This place appears to be a source for anyone who wishes

to buy dictionaries to help them with their






Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 17:20:42 -0400

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: SC - language dictionaries


If you want most of these resources on line, go to:



Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio



Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 21:27:25 -0800

From: "James F. Johnson" <seumas at mind.net>

Subject: Re: SC - the length and breadth of Period - long and wide, of course


ChannonM at aol.com wrote:

> << Only the two main groups in

>  northern modern day Italy and in Aquitaine had a written language

>  (according to the Romans).  >>


> Actually there was a written language of Oghams(line markings) that were used

> by pre Roman Irish Celts. I don't know all there is to about it, but I know

> that it was used.


Use of Ogham script prior to the 4th century CE is a matter of

traditional belief, but there is no evidence of it. Hence its use is not

documentable until just before the Romans left the British Isles (406

CE), after having been there a little over four centuries. Also of note

is most ogham inscriptions are given names with patronymics, and the

Welsh inscriptions are bi-lingual, accompanied by a _Latin_ inscription.

And the fact that two characters of ogham, the 'h' and 'z' are not in

Erse (Irish Gaelic), suggesting that the ogham script/alphabet was

imported. BTW, there is an /h/ in Classical Latin, often missing in

Vulgar Latin; and some scholars think the /s/ was pronounced closer to a

lispy /z/ and is retained in easter Romance languages.





From: Wajdi <a14h at zebra.net>

To: TY at reashelm.ce.utk.edu <TY at reashelm.ce.utk.edu>

Date: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 10:40 PM

Subject: [TY] found a language tutor site w/free download


Just found a site with free downloads of their tutoring programs in Latin,

Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch,

Swedish, and ***Irish Gaelic***.  


The url is:


for those of ya'll that are interested.





Subject: Re: [SCA-U] dictionaries/grammars

Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 19:02:57 -0500

From: Stephanie Budin <sbudin at SAS.UPENN.EDU>

Reply-To: SCA Forum for Research in Medieval and Renaissance Re-enactment




        Two English-language text books are:

        W.W. Kibler.  _An introduction to Old French_.  Modern Language

Association of America.  New York.  1984.


        E. Einhorn.  _Old French: A Concise Handbook_.  Cambridge

University Press.  1974.


        Tha latter is a bit difficult to use unless you already know

either modern French or Latin or both.  The former is more of a text

book, but you still need to know quite a bit of French to get through it,

insofar as he jumps right on into the readings (and you learn the grammar

along the way, without any emphasis on vocabulary).  These are the only

two I've come across in English.


        The main Old French dictionary is:

        A.J. Greimas.  _Ancien Francais_.  Larousse.  Paris.  1980.


        It goes from Old French to Modern French, and is quite easy to

find on Bookfinder.com.   Otherwise there's:

        C.W. Aspland.  _A Medieval French Reader_.  Oxford at the

Clarendon Press.  1979.


        As it says, it's a reader, but it does have a glossery at the end

which goes from Old French to English.


        Bonne Chance!




From: "Melanie Wilson" <MelanieWilson at bigfoot.com>

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 18:48:00 -0000

Subject: [FTF] Gaelic OT


The web page:






Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 14:35:58 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>

Subject: SC - 16th century knowledge of languages & German hedgehog recipes


Diana d'Avignon said:

<< Italian, spanish and some french I can manage, but I was not able to

study German in school. >>


This is perfectly "period" (at least it would be for an English lady).

Furnivall has the following quotation about "The Ladies & men of Queen

Elizabeth's Court" from a 16th century chronicle (1577):


"And to saie how many gentlewomen and ladies there are, that beside

sound knowledge of the Gréeke and Latine toongs, are thereto no lesse

skilfull in the Spanish, Italian, and French, or in some of them, ..."

(Furnivall, Manners and Meals in Olden time, 1866, p. cxxiv).


No mention of German here!





Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 11:54:21 -0500 (EST)

From: Morgan Cain morgancain at earthlink.net

Subject: SC - Catalan


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain noted that there are no Catalan-English dictionaries on the Web.  


True, according to the listing at http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rbeard/diction3.html#catalan (although they have a Greek-Catalan one, and another that appears to be only Catalan), but if you look under "Catalan Grammars" you can pick up quite a lot


(website: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rbeard/grammars1.html#catalan)


Catalan looks like Spanish with Italian endings.  When I studied in Spain I visited friends in Barcelona, who were enjoying the ability to speak their native language again after years of oppression under the Franco regime.  Many street signs and billboards were in Catalan alone, or Catalan and Spanish.  They also gave me a book that was, IIRC (it's not handy by), bilingual in Catalan and English.  At least one of the grammar websites also contains bilingual texts.


                           ---= Morgan



Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 10:21:56 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: SC - Mediaeval cookbooks to begin with


Angie Malone wrote:

> For me, I have a very basic knowledge of any sort of history, especially

> medieval history, and as far as being able to tell old English writing from

> middle english writing(is that the right term?) I am even more clueless.


Just for an FYI then-


Old English (or Anglo-Saxon) will be barely recognizable to the layman.

The opening lines of _Beowulf_ "Hwaet! We gar-dena, in geardagum/ theod

cyninga, thrym gefrunnom/hu tha aethelingas, ellen fremedon..." (minus

the 'funny' letters of course) bear little resemblance to what we see in

the Times on our doorstep. This is what was spoken/written a millenium

ago. And honestly, I know of no (Zero, zippo, nada, zilch) cookbooks

extant in Anglo-Saxon English.


In the late 12th century was a shift (assisted by the Norman migrations,

no doubt) toward what we call Middle English (frequently abbreviated

ME). The form of ME that we are most familiar with is that used by

Master Geoffery Chaucer. Many would agree that his _Canterbury Tales_

)"Whan Aprille with its shoures sweete/ the floures hath pierced to the

roote") is much more accessible, if a bit unweildy, and an undergrad can

usually plod their way through ME with the assistance of a patient

professor and a good glossary/lexicon. Many of our primary texts are in

ME- the _Cury on Inglysch_, _Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books_, the

misc. pages in the Harleian, etc. The recipes included in Pleyn Delit

are from the ME corpus of texts.


In the late fifteenth/early sixteenth century is another shift, assisted

by the Great Vowel Shift (ha!) and we then call it Early Modern English

(or to the layman- Tudor or Elizabethan English). Shakespearean, if you

will. And most of us can get through those texts readily, if given some

flexibility for archaic spelling.


Basic clues?


Old English/Anglo-Saxon- looks like German or Norse. Weird letters. Only

a few familiar-looking words.


Middle English- a few weird letters, a handfull of German-looking words,

quite a few French-based words. An extra 'e' on the end of words. You

can read portions of it at sight.


Early Modern English- fairly easily read, especially if you read OUT

LOUD and think 'Shakespeare'. Few funky spellings, but pretty



Good translations of cookbooks are pretty easy to find (_Pleyn Delit_ is

one collection with translated recipes), so don't sweat it. The really

good ones will have the original, with the translation and the






From: Valoise Armstrong <varmstro at zipcon.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Friday, March 17, 2000 9:52 AM

Subject: Re: SC - HELP!!!Online Translator from old German to New


Ras, try this site:



It has a Mittlelhochdeutsch (old German)  to German dictionary as

well as a Latin to English that I have not tried yet.





Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 14:24:25 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - igrounden & middle english


- --- Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

> It must have been wonderful!  Has anyone ever seen


> was on PBS years ago.  Anyway, there is a segment

> about middle english.  They

> have some people reading it and it *is* very musical

> sounding.  


Yes, I have not only seen it, but I video taped it

also.  Have a copy of the book also.  It is a very

fascinating series that explains the unique history of

our language and how it came to be so complex.


One of my favorite segments is one that explains the

influences of invaders to the language.  I.e.: take

the words "husband" and "wife". Husband comes from

the ON hus bondi, meaning "householder"; wife comes

from the OE wif, meaning "wife".  This tends to show

that the Norse men came without their families and

took Anglo-Saxon wives, while in England.


Then there is the interesting juxtiposition of who

were the servants and who were the masters.


Old English             Old French


Cow                     Beef

Pig                     Pork

Sheep                   Mutton

Deer                    Venison

Chicken, duck, goose    Poultry


So after the Norman Conquest, the English became the

servants who took care of the livestock and the

Normans became the lords who ate the livestock.


Neat, huh?





Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 17:21:16 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - question: linguistics and food


<Guenevere_Nelson-Melby at needham.k12.ma.us> wrote:

> I am looking for a book that would give me the

> history of the English

> language, along with examples of the

> latin-french-anglo saxon (English)

> words for similar items/ food.

> guenevere


The best book I could recommend is:


McCrum, Robert

  The Story of English / Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil

... [et al.]  New rev. edition.  New York : Penguin

Books, 1993.

ISBN 0140154051


$19.95 (paperback) from Amazon.com





Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 21:59:19 EDT

From: Morgana Abbey <morgana.abbey at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - igrounden & middle english


I like Heinlein's definition:  English is the result of Norman soldiers

trying to get dates with Anglo-Saxon barmaids.


This is also why English nouns don't have gender. Anglo-Saxon and French

frequently clashed over the gender of the words, so it was all dropped.





Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 01:58:46 +1000

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Mark Calderwood <mark-c at acay.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pronunciations


Might I recommend for those interested a cracking book on this

subject called "The Story of English" (McCrum, Cran & MacNeil, BBC 1992),

which details the evolution of the English language and it's many variants,

including the American "reform" in the late 18th and early 19th centuries

by Noah Webster.





From: "Russell Husted" <husted at hotmail.com>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: ANST - translations

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 01:31:46 GMT


Scribes use online sources. One of our members in the scribal community has

set up a site where scribes from the known world can find people who will

translate scrolls into the 'appropriate language'. So, if you are interested

in being on the list, here is his site:




If you can speak and translate to another language, and are willing to do

so, please register yourself on his site. All languages are needed!





From: lordxbrew at aol.comohwell (xaviar)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: learn SCOTTISH Gaelic, and Irish, and Manx

Date: 18 Jul 2000 04:24:32 GMT


What is Gaelic and who are the Gaels?


Gaelic is an english word for any of three languages which form one half of

the Celtic language family group. These three gaelic languages are


[*]Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge)


[*]Manx Gaelic (Gailck)


[*]Scottish Gaelic (Göidhlig)


These three languages are spoken in Ireland, Man and Scotland. The Gaels

are the peoples who speak these languages or did so in the past. Gaelic was

in danger of being exterminated in many of the traditional gaelic speaking

areas, but now a gaelic renaissance has slowed this trend if not yet

reversed it.





From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: learn SCOTTISH Gaelic, and Irish, and Manx

Date: 18 Jul 2000 11:17:27 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC


I hestitate to involve myself in this childish squabble, but there is a

fact worth injecting into the thread.  


> Gaelic is an english word for any of three languages which form one half of

> the Celtic language family group. These three gaelic languages are


> [*]Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge)


> [*]Manx Gaelic (Gailck)


> [*]Scottish Gaelic (Göidhlig)


In our period, there was only one Gaelic language.  There were

dialectical difference from one country to another, and the Manx used a

very different spelling system than the Irish or Scottish Gaels, but it was

one language.  


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: learn SCOTTISH Gaelic, and Irish, and Manx

Date: 19 Jul 2000 09:50:06 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC


Greetings from Arval!


I had noted that there was only one Gaelic language in our period. Xaviar asked:

> Where is your information from?


General knowledge.  However, you can find a discussion of the development

of the Gaelic languages in Britannica On-line's article on Celtic languages.



From: lordxbrew at aol.comohwell (xaviar)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 18 Jul 2000 05:23:28 GMT

Subject: learn Welsh online





From: gunnora at realtime.net

To: gc_rhyl at another.com

Cc: stefan at texas.net

Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 08:39:59 -600

Subject: Re: transaltion


>hi my name is Gareth and i was wondering if you could

>translate the phrase "we will rock you" int latin for me


Hello, Gareth.


No, I can't translate the phrase.  Please recall that the use of "rock" as a

verb is EXTREMELY recent slang.  


Language is an interesting thing.  Did you know that every language encodes

the world-view of the people who spoke that language? That speakers of different languages not only think differently but see and understand the world differently?


Latin encodes a world-view of the Classical and Medieval worlds, and its vocabulary and slang reflect that time, not the modern day. (For more on this topic, see:

Hill, Jane. "Language, culture and world view". In F. Newman, ed. Linguistics:

The Cambridge Survey Vol IV. Cambridge University Press. 1988. pp 14-36.)


If you want to rephrase this into the type of English sentence that a grammar

teacher would have approved of, then it would be much easier to translate.





To: <spca-wascaerfrig at yahoogroups.com>

From: "Paul D. Buell" <pbuell at seanet.com>

Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 14:29:56 -0700

Subject: Re: [spca-wascaerfrig] Asdsdorted answers...


Yep. The Latin teacher (former) in me comes out on occasions.... One of the

phrases I also use too much and forget my audience is lai chao er ru gong,

"come to court and bear tribute," used whenever someone expects me to get

down on all fours when I have no intention of doing so. My family has,

however, gotten use to bingjiling (frozen whatever) for ice-cream, xigua

(western melon) for water melon, goupi (dog fart), for bull shit, or paimapi

(patting the horse's fart) for kissing arse. I guess we are a special

linguistic group on our own. And my favorite expressions are the Kazakh: it

uredi, karawan koshedi, "a dog barks, the caravan moves on," and the

Mongolian: yavsan noxoi yas barikh!, "the dog that goes [out for it] gets

the bone." No wonder I am, sob, misunderstood.... Paul


----- Original Message -----

From: "Gorgeous Muiredach" <muiredach at bmee.net>

To: <spca-wascaerfrig at yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Saturday, August 31, 2002 2:14 PM

Subject: Re: [spca-wascaerfrig] Asdsdorted answers...


> >Or is

> >that somewhat what "De gustibus non est disputandum." translates to?


> Des gouts, on ne discute pas.


> Oh, sorry, French likely doesn't help you here ;-)


> "Can't argue tastes", would be a fairly literal translation :-)


> Gorgeous Muiredach the Odd

> Clan of Odds

> Shire of Forth Castle

> Meridies

> mka

> Nicolas Steenhout



To: SPCA <spca-wascaerfrig at yahoogroups.com>

From: Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com>

Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 10:42:22 -0400

Subject: [spca-wascaerfrig] [Fwd: Publication announcement (J. Blau)]


And another that might be useful.




From: "Matthew S. Gordon" <mem-edit at mail.h-net.msu.edu>

Subject: Publication announcement (J. Blau)



From: Yohanan Friedmann

Date:  09-06-02

msyfried at mscc.huji.ac.il


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Institute of Asian and African Studies

The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation


is pleased to announce the publication of


"A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic" (260 pp.)


by Joshua Blau


In the present "Handbook of Early Middle Arabic", Professor

Joshua Blau of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the undisputed


of the study of Middle Arabic, presents a reliable and up-to-date

survey, comprehensive yet concise, of the whole field.


The Handbook contains a grammatical outline of Middle Arabic

structure, annotated examples of the main Middle Arabic varieties and

a glossary of all words occurring in the book.


An important feature of the book is the variety of texts

presented. These cover (a) Muslim, (b) Christian and (c) Jewish

Middle Arabic, each represented by typical or noteworthy examples,

some of them published here for the first time. Particularly

significant are the Jewish texts, Rabbanite and Karaite, which

have been

transmitted in different orthographical modes. Standard Judaeo-Arabic

orthography is represented by samples from Saadia Gaon, Qirqisani and

David b. Abraham al-Fasi. Linguistically more revealing are

Judaeo-Arabic writings in the earlier phonetic orthography; these are

exemplified in the Handbook by selected texts on papyrus,

by specimens of a translation of Halakhot Pesuqot and a

translation of

the Biblical book of Proverbs.


In the Appendix, two examples of vocalized Middle Arabic are

given: one written in Coptic characters, the other a Judaeo-Arabic

letter from the Cairo Geniza.


Professor Blau's "Handbook" will enable all Arabists to gain

immediate access to the world of Middle Arabic, guided in their


by the leading authority in the field. On the one hand, scholars

familiar only with the classical, literary tongue will be able to see

in what directions the language subsequently developed; on the other

hand, Arabic dialectologists will be afforded a valuable glimpse into

the history of modern colloquial forms. The "Handbook..." will thus be a

valuable tool for all who are concerned with the history of the

Arabic tongue.




The price of the volume is $47.00. Postage and handling: $2.00

for the first volume; $1.00 for each additional volume. Individual

members of the association "From Jahiliyya to Islam" pay $33 + $2.00

(members' price is valid for direct sales only, not through

booksellers). Cheques payable to the Schloessinger Memorial Foundation

should be sent to the Director of Publications, The Max

Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, Institute of Asian and African Studies,

The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Please note that we

cannot accept Eurocheques or credit cards, but personal and

institutional cheques in your currency are acceptable. Inquiries:


msjsai at pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il / Fax: +972-2-588-3658


Please send _______ copies of A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic

Name: _______________________________________________________________



____________________________________________________________ _





Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam

The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jerusalem 91905, Israel

Fax: +972-2-588-3658



From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 01:47:07 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] For the Italian scholars amongst us


A 1611 Italian/English dictionary, with a section on grammar:



Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 10:32:32 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re:[Sca-cooks] Lamb (was Re: lent, wine, indulgences, de


To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


According to "The Story of English", this

relationship between Anglo-Saxon and Norman words

shows the class distinctions after the conquest.


All the AS words [sheep, cow, pig, deer] show

that the Saxons were the caretakers of the



All the Norman words [mutton, beef, pork, venison]

show that the Normans were the eaters of the






Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 00:44:05 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Names of foods in other languages

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


--- Solveig <nostrand at acm.org> wrote:

> Greetings from Solveig!


>> This is the best place for buying _any_ foreign

>> language dictionary:

>> http://www.schoenhofs.com/


>> They are in Cambridge Massachusetts.


> Shoenhof's is a fun store, but their language selection is much more limited

> than you suggest and is heavily weighted in the direction of only a small

> handful of languages.


Maybe _in_ their store, but their catalog and

website offer hundreds and hundreds of

dictionaries, including many Medieval English,

French, German and Spanish dictionaries.


I have not ordered from them for my own personal

use, but several libraries that I have worked for

have been regular customers of them and I have

ordered for them many different dictionaries in

sometimes rather obscure languages.  They have

always filled the orders in a reasonable time

period which suggests to me that they have a

warehouse filled with these dictionaries.  I

suspect that they do better business from

catalog sales and website orders than they do

from their actual store, which may be why their

store is limited but their catalog isn't.  I

wouldn't have recommended them if I hadn't had

experience with them.





Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:39:23 -0400

From: Robin <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Daniel Myers wrote:

> Greg Lindahl's site seems to be down, so I can't check Cottgrave's

> dictionary. (I hope it's just temporary)


> - Doc


Do you know about the historic French dictionaries here?



Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 17:18:42 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A few more words on lambs

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


--- Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at videotron.ca> wrote:


> Actually, in French, Ox and Beef both translate as 'Boeuf' - there is no

> differentiation between the two terms. Same thing goes for Calf and  

> Veal, which are 'Veau'.


This reminds me of the PBS show called, "The Story of English", which pointed

out some interesting facts about the origins of the English language.


Beef is from the French/Norman

Cow is from the Anglo/Saxon


Mutton is from the French/Norman

Sheep is from the Anglo/Saxon


Pork is from the French/Norman

Pig is from the Anglo/Saxon


Venison is from French/Norman

Deer is from Anglo/Saxon


According to the show, this proved that the Normans were the conquerors and

therefore the eaters of the beasts, while the Anglo-Saxons became the caretakers

and cooks of the beasts...





From: Russel Polk <russelpolk at sbcglobal.net>

Date: August 16, 2006 11:52:53 AM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] The problems of Welsh translation


LONDON (Reuters) - Council officials in Wales were left red-faced after discovering cyclists were being confused by a road sign telling them they had a bladder problem.


Officials had translated the command "cyclists dismount" from English into Welsh for the sign between Penarth and the capital Cardiff.


However, the result had been the baffling phrase: "Llid y bledren dymchwelyd" which roughly translates as "bladder inflammation overturn".


"The root of the problem was seeking an online translation and that's where it went wrong," a council spokesman said on Wednesday. "Unfortunately on this occasion we ended up with the problem."

All signs in Wales must be written in both the local language as well as English.


"The order in which the words have been placed means the sentence makes no sense whatsoever," Welsh-language expert Owain Sgiv told the South Wales Echo newspaper.


"It certainly does not mean anything like cyclists dismount."


The council spokesman said the sign was being replaced.



Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 14:02:00 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [SCA-AS] Middle English Compendium available online FREE....

To: sca-librarians at fiedlerfamily.net,      Arts and Sciences in the SCA

        <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>


(Getting this from one of our former Kings via LiveJournal is unexpected

but lovely)



How geeky is it that this news has me thrilled?

The University of Michigan announces that under new arrangements worked

out between the University Press and the University Library, all components

of the online "Middle English Compendium," including the online version

of the Middle English Dictionary, are now freely accessible without fee,

password, or any other impediment to access:




The MED has hitherto been available only on a subscription or

password-protected basis, till the Press recouped its substantial

contribution to the original conversion costs. This has now been

accomplished, and we are grateful for their agreement that the time has

come to liberate it.


It was always our hope and intention to open the MED when we could,

both in the general interest of public access (to which as a public university

library we are dedicated), and with the expectation that open access

will facilitate eventual interlinking amongst sibling dictionaries and

between MED and other projects (e.g. online editions, which are now free

to link lexical lookups to the appropriate MED entry).


The official press release is here:



-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 23:05:13 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pie in a Pipkin

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


"Mairi Ceilidh" wrote:

> Speaking of your dictionaries. . .which ones you have found most  

> useful, especially for . . .  Catalan translations?


I only use Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana which is on line:

www.grec.net/home/cel/dicc.htm Unfortunately it is only in Catalan but I

find it the most reliable.





Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 01:16:24 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] waffles/holhippen

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


--- Terry Decker <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net> wrote:


> I also use a fairly expensive Cassell's dictionary that gives a lot  

> of usage information.

> I'm still looking for some Middle German dictionaries so I can be a  

> little more accurate.


> Bear


I use Cassell's also.  It is one of the best dictionaries around.


As for your Middle German dictionary, you may find one at



They are the best place to buy foreign language dictionaries.  They  

have tons and they usually sell to libraries and universities.





Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 08:34:18 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] waffles/holhippen

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


>> I also use a fairly expensive

>> Cassell's dictionary that gives a lot of usage information.  I'm still

>> looking for some Middle German dictionaries so I can be a little more

>> accurate.


> Which edition is that, and how expensive?  I've been using the Harper

> Collins unabridged German dictionary, checked out from the library,

> but want to get a good dictionary of my own.


I use the Cassell's German-English English-German Dictionary that was

revised by Harold T. Betteridge.  It costs about $40 new. I bought mine

used for about $10.  Over the years, I've found Cassell and Langenscheidt to

produce superior foreign language dictionaries.





Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 15:51:28 -0500

From: "Daniel  Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] waffles/holhippen

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Was written:

<<< I use the Cassell's German-English English-German Dictionary that was

revised by Harold T. Betteridge.  It costs about $40 new. I bought mine

used for about $10.  Over the years, I've found Cassell and Langenscheidt to

produce superior foreign language dictionaries. >>>


I've got a Bantam New College German and English as well as Cassell's

German, French and Spanish-English respectively and a couple of

Langenscheidt French pocket sized.  My English-Breton Dictionary is

Mouladuriou Hor Yezh which I assume is a small press.  My Portuguese-English

is from Pocket Books. My Greek-English is from David McKay Company, Inc.

Hope this helps in picking.





From: Lily Rose Sinclaire <lilyrose.sinclaire at gmail.com>

Date: June 25, 2007 10:57:50 PM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] interesting group


Here's a timeline - it illustrates the various influences on the English language. Pretty colors too.






From: "Eule" <eule at ecpi.com>

Date: February 25, 2008 5:05:12 PM CST

To: "'Barony of Bryn Gwlad'" <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN ENGLISH


On Mon, 25 Feb 2008, Eule <eule at ecpi.com> wrote:


> after looking it up on my favorite latin to english translator





Danihel "EPIC FAIL" Lindum


Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com >>>>







It swings both ways too, btw...





Unus sed Leo



Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 13:07:42 -0700 (PDT)

From: Daniel Myers <edouard_halidai at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Cookbooks and Period to modern


To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


--- jwills47933 at aol.com wrote:

> I was wondering were would be a good sources for

> period cookbooks and Period to modern glosseries.? I

> very much want to get my medieval (period) culinary

> show going as it were.


To add to the previously posted lists of links:


I have a bunch of links to various primary and

secondary online sources (all free) at



I've also got a small online glossary of Middle

English cooking terms at



On a related note, Greg Lindahl has copies of

Cotgrave's 1611 French-English dictionary and Florio's

1611 Italian-English dictionary.




- Doc



From: "sarwer1 at gmail.com" <sarwer1 at gmail.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Arabic Language Learning System

Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 08:52:46 -0800 (PST)


This is my first participation in this site. It is my pleasure to help

those who wish to learn Arabic. I know a specialized site in teaching

Arabic language for non-Arabs where you can learn Arabic characters

free and much more.






Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 13:42:00 -0400

From: "Audrey Bergeron-Morin" <audreybmorin at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Translations

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> It's going to be a long day and a night

> before they come up with an English-to-French computerized translation

> system that will make the latter happy.  As bilingual comedian Eddie

> Izzard says, "I like the French, but they can be so French!"


It's got nothing to do with French. It's true of any language. French

is much closer to English than we tend to think (partly because a lot

of French word were integrated into the English language after 1066,

and partly, I think, because they evolved close to each other for

millenia) than, say, Chinese... I'm a translator by trade. None of us

working in the field are worried about computers taking our jobs, for

this very reason. Language is simply too... human... or irrational...

to be successully translated by machines, unless you confine

yourselves to very narrow fields (for example, there are successful

automatic translation tools for weather reports).


Of course, it's much worse when you're trying to translate things that

date back a couple of centuries, when, more often than not, the

grammar/vocabulary wasn't fixed yet and varied from writer to writer

and region to region. And modern tools can't be applied to them

because of those same variations.


Even when it's a human doing the work, it's sometimes not much better

because that person can be versed, for example, in the language of the

time but know nothing about cooking, so it comes out all wrong. We've

all read some of those translations that we don't want to use because

we know they're full of inaccuracies.


As for the present debate, I think if someone is posting a recipe in

another language, if they talk about the general meaning, it's great!

I don't expect a full translation, but if they're posting on the list

asking a question about something, they'll get more useful answers if

they make sure everybody can understand. If they post it just because

they want to share, then people will do as they do with any other

thing that comes on the list: decide if it's pertinent for them, then

keep it or delete it!



Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 16:59:54 -0400

From: "Sam Wallace" <sam_wallace at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Language Resource

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I was working on an English document and went looking for a definition. I

found the following resource and thought it might be of use to others on

this list:


Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English by Thomas Wright


Vol 1 (A-F)



Vol 2 (G-Z)





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