Sunday, July 13, 2003, 23:04 GMT
Well, I'm not quite sure whether one can call Old English really a form of English - it could equally stand for some old Norse, Icelandic or Gothic or old German. With my knowledge of German, I understand more of Old English texts than native speakers of English, i.e. one cannot call this English. Otherwise, we could call all Gothic and Frankian scripts German - which would mean that German is far older. But I think this would be wrong. German starts about the 7 th century - everything before is just some proto-german . I don't see why the fact that English might be older ahould explain the loss of this special distinction! Even if it's older, this difference is not a 1000 years!