Monday, 19 January 2009

#10: Planning your holiday

It’s the middle of winter and still pretty cold. You’re fed up with the ceaseless drizzle, mizzle and other assorted precipitation. You haven’t seen the sun for weeks on end, and you’ve finally polished off the last of the Christmas food. Time to spend a few happy hours contemplating your next summer getaway. Pilgrimage is probably a safe bet – travel with a purpose and free accommodation along the way. Not bad. Home or abroad, the choice is yours. A few phrases might come in handy in the ensuing discussions...

...but Æthelmod went to Rome in 962 - ...ac Æthelmod eode to Rome [‘ack Ath-el-mod ay-oh-duh toe Roh-muh’]

Norway isn’t safe right now – Norweg is deaðbærlic todæg [‘Nor-way is day-ath-bear-litch toh-day’]

We’ll take our own turnips – We bringað ure hamnæpas [‘way bring-ath oo-rruh haam-nap-as’]

...many barbarians in that place - manigfeald hæðene men in þam stowe [‘man-ny-fay-ald hay-then-uh men in tham stow-uh’]

(this is pretty much the same as Foreign Office advice not to travel...)

The boat leaves on Friday – Scip færð on Frigedæge [‘ship fair-th on Frree-yuh-day-uh’]

There are good relics at St Alban’s - Gode reliquias æt sancte Albane [‘Goh-duh rel-ick-wee-as at sang-tuh Albaan-uh’]

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Speak like an Anglo-Saxon #9: Winter

So, it's the coldest day of the year and our boiler has broken, threatening to explode at any moment if we so much as mention the central heating. Consequently, it's freezing. It's about time, then, for some (rather enforced) historical reenactment...

...Huddling round the fire in the hut trying to keep out of the drafts; wrapped in layer upon layer of woolly cloaks, furry hoods and unidentified bits of animal skin...

Min nebb is ceald - My nose is cold ['Min nebb iss kay-ald']

Ond mine fet sindon ceald -
And my feet are cold ['Ond mee-nuh fayt sin-don kay-ald']

þeos fyre is to lytel –
This fire is too small [‘Thay-oss foo-re iss toe lit-el’]

Hwær cwom hatnes? –
Where has the heat (or ‘hotness’) gone? [‘H-wahr kwom hat-ness?’]

Luce seo duru –
Shut the door [‘Loo-ke say-oh duh-roo’]

or...

Astelle wudu in þone pytt –
Put wood in’ hole (well, almost) [‘A-stell-uh wuh-doo in tho-nuh poot’]