is Anglo-Saxon spoken today?

Keira   Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:51 am GMT
Is Anglo-Saxon language still spoken in Britain? I can remember that I heard of a minority outside Birmingham........
Benjamin   Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:17 pm GMT
Anglo-Saxon (Old English) basically evolved into Modern English over time with significant influence from French. The form of the language spoken before about 1200 or so is not spoken today.

However, some dialects of English are more heavily influenced by Anglo-Saxon than others — mine, for example, is more heavily influenced by French, and there are others which are more heavily influenced by Nordic or possibly some other languages. I was reading 'The Adventure of English' by Melvyn Bragg the other day — he gave an example of how he used to speak as a child in Cumbria in the 1940s:

"Deke's you gladji ower yonder wid't dukal an't baary mort gaan t'beck."

He argued that that might be more readily understandable by speakers of Nordic languages than by speakers of Received Pronunciation. But I feel that many of these regional dialects/languages have been lost in recent years.
Fredrik from Norway   Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:57 pm GMT
My guess:
"Deke's you gladji ower yonder wid't dukal an't baary mort gaan t'beck."
= Det er'ke du glad over under ved det ??? og det båra må gå til bekk. =
It isn't you glad over under at that ??? and the barrow must go to brook.

Correct me if I'm wrong....:-)
Brennus   Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:58 pm GMT
Anglo-Saxon evolved into Middle English around the year 1100 A.D.
although the North American English dialects of Appalachia and the Canadian Maritimes may still be the closest to the original Anglo-Saxon if there is such a thing. For example, West Virginian "dohg" for 'dog' (A.S. docga) and "burr-ee" for 'bury' (M.E. burien; A.S. byrgan) definitely reflect older English pronunciation as opposed to the General American pronunciations "dahg" and "bair-ee." No type of English spoken today however has the gutteral or umlaut sounds that existed in Anglo-Saxon.
Jim C, Eofforwic   Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:21 pm GMT
"Deke's you gladji ower yonder wid't dukal an't baary mort gaan t'beck."
Part of my family is from Cumbria, my uncle speaks like that, I understand what he says, but I can only pick out a few words from that sentance. We use Yonder often in my family, and it is used in Yorkshire as "in the distance". the beck, is turned into t'beck here aswell, an't is hasn't here, wid't is with, ower is that is very much something my family says if I heard it spoken I'de get the gist, my nan and grandad would understand all of it, they often speak like that. Im Yorkshire so we speak different to Cumbrian lot. Talking about Canadian etc. the "EH" at the end of sentances is very much my uncle's style, something is see the piss taken out of on American tv about Canadians.

I met Melvyn Bragg at a family wedding once, I was very little, he said I was a bonnie lad, my grandad knows his mother aswell, he's from the same town as my family.

Dialects arn't as dead as you think, the problem is they are used only for ceremonial situations now ;)

Fredrik from Norway, check out

Ide love to hear what you think of our dialect, Ive spoken to a Danish mate of mine, and there is alot of similarities, especialy with Bairn, Neive, and Dale, all being nearly identicle.
Jim C, Eofforwic   Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:26 pm GMT
Wid't is "With the" rather
Fredrik from Norway   Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:38 pm GMT
Interesting samples, but I already knew the Yorkshire dialect pretty well, as "Heartbeat" has been a hit on Norwegian telly for years...

sit yourself down....sette deg selv ned....a direct Scandinavism......
Jim C, Eofforwic   Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:46 pm GMT
Really? one of my favourite sayins. Ive alway felt Heartbeat was a watered down version of the North Riding accent, better than that shown on Emerdale.

Actualy "settle your self down" is what I use, strange eh.
Guest   Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:59 pm GMT
Brennus wrote >>For example, West Virginian "dohg" for 'dog' (A.S. docga) and "burr-ee" for 'bury' (M.E. burien; A.S. byrgan)<<

I assume by "oh" you mean a diphthong and by "burr" you mean it to rhyme with "her". Anyway, "dohg" and "burr-ee" are recent innovations of pronunciation in the timeline relatve to 1100 AD.

If you go back to 1100 AD, "dog" would probably have been pronounced [dOg] (no diphthong) and "bury" [bur\i]. The [u] is the vowel sound in "two".
Jim C, Jorvikskyr   Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:09 am GMT
Ooooh its taking a while for my mind to remember my family's queer sayins! The first half has just come to me, Ill gues the rest..

"Deke's you gladji ower yonder wid't dukal an't baary mort gaan t'beck."
"Did/(Could?) you take a look over there with the lad // and fix the broken bridge on the Beck/stream" ??

Now. I'm not too sure about the second half, but Bridge comes to mind, Dukal means a labouring lad I think. I'm delving into my childhood, and my memory isn't so good at the best of times so Ill most likely be completly wrong. But Its a bit of fun to while away the late hours.
Jim C, Jorvikskyr   Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:12 am GMT
Maybe "fix the fence on the other side of the beck, over the bridge"

or maybe the bridge bit is in my imagination. or all of it ;)

I hope Benjamin puts me out of my missery soon! lol
Travis   Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:21 am GMT
>>sit yourself down....sette deg selv ned....a direct Scandinavism......<<

I think I have heard that form around here (in the Milwaukee area) myself, even though I do not really use it myself.
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:13 am GMT
There is a mixture of accents on Emmerdale. From what I can see (or rather hear) on Emmerdale none of them seem to sound much like the general Yorkshire accents I heard when I was at Leeds. I know that Leeds is a large city and quite cosmo. Some of them on E'dale sound almost Cockney. I reckon the actors come from all over the UK and they're not really Yorkshire people...or North Yorkshire to be precise.
Jim C, Jorvikskyr   Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:20 pm GMT
Deke's is Look, and Baary is good apparently. Ive just asked my mam, going to have to ask my grandad for a propper translatin though lol.
Benjamin   Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:34 pm GMT
According to Melvyn Bragg, the translation is as follows:

'Look at that man over there with the dog and the sexy girl going down to the river.'