Pronunciation Help please

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wildlindajohnson
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Post by wildlindajohnson » September 25th, 2018, 6:07 pm

Need some advice please......I hope someone can help me to correctly speak this phrase:

"Sethe wille wyrcan wastbaere lond ateo hin of tham acre aefest sona fearn and thornas and figrsas swasame weods"
Linda Johnson

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Post by Availle » September 25th, 2018, 7:24 pm

language?

If it's not a known language, I think you're fine just winging it.
Cheers,
Ava.

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wildlindajohnson
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Post by wildlindajohnson » September 25th, 2018, 7:27 pm

Irish or Gaelic. Someone out there knows how to speak this! I really hate to botch it.
Linda Johnson

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » September 25th, 2018, 8:15 pm

Middle English, perhaps?

EDIT: I take that back; I've looked at some Middle English trascriptions on Wikipedia, and it doesn't fit.

But on further searching, it comes from the time of King Alfred (last half of the ninth century):

From The Romance of Plant Life https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=83aJCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT115&lpg=PT115&dq=wastbaere&source=bl&ots=rK3qcOKBOd&sig=twM1odR6mCu45GZD2W4jvb9F2sg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi46uvV29fdAhWpKcAKHQvHAMMQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=wastbaere&f=false
In the time of King Alfred .... we find a description of what the good farmer ought to do. We might call this the very first Government leaflet, and it has led to the Agricultural Leaflets published by the Board of Agriculture and Ireland.

"Sethe wille wyrcan wastbaere lond ateo his of tham acre aefest sona fearn and thornas and figrsas swasame weods."

He was to clear off fern, bracken, thorns, sloe, hawthorn, bramble, whin and weeds.
There probably are guides to the pronunciation, but your best bet might be to guess, and leave a note in the summary apologising for any mangling you do! If you say it aloud, you can get an idea of some of what's being said, in modern English: "fern and thorns and .... weeds"

Peter
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » September 25th, 2018, 11:15 pm

It doesn't look like Gaelic. Maybe Old English. "wastbaere lond" may be "waste bare land." And yes, you can make out fern, thorns, and weeds in there. I have a vague feeling like I ought to know that first word, but I can't quite get there. :?
Devorah Allen

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The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » September 25th, 2018, 11:50 pm

I'm actually positive it's Old English (or Anglo-Saxon). I found this Old English translator. They don't have everything, but here's what I got.
  • wille is "will" (I will do such and such)
  • wyrcan is "1. to do ; carry out 2. to make ; build 3. to cause ; achieve"
  • ateo is "1. (transitive ; literally or figuratively) to draw ; pull ; or lead (somebody or something) out or away (from ; out of ; off ; to something) (+ fram ; ūt of ; of ; tō) 2. to deal with 3. to draw to somewhere; to go or come; to make a journey"
  • his is his. That one's easy! :D
  • of could be of, out of, or with.
  • sona is "immediately ; quickly ; straight away; soon"
  • fearn is indeed fern
  • and is and. Yay an easy one!
  • weod is weed.
About halfway down this page, there is a pronunciation guide. There should be no silent letters. Old English was entirely phonetic.

One other possible complicating factor is that Old English has additional alphabetical characters that we no longer use. These include "thorn:" þ "eth:" ð (these two are basically interchangeable) and "ash:" æ (I found that info here, under "Alphabet and Pronunciation") You can see that ash is probably present in wastbaere and aefest. But it's possible that this sentence also used thorn or eth originally, and that they didn't survive into the typesetting of this book. So that may make it a bit harder to figure out the original pronunciation. But hopefully this is enough info to help you slog through the rest. And if you muddle up some of it, well... At least we know there aren't any native speakers of Anglo-Saxon who'll hear this and start judging you for it. :wink:
Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

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Post by Kitty » September 25th, 2018, 11:53 pm

yes this is definitely Old English. From what I recall from my Medieval English Studies at university, Peter is quite right, it must mean something like:

"Sethe wille wyrcan wastbaere lond ateo his of tham acre aefest sona fearn and thornas and figrsas swasame weods."
"he wants to work the wasteland and soon get rid of fearn and thorns and weedlike things." I don't know the meaning of every word but this is the gist of it.

The good thing is, there is no native speaker of Old English anymore ;) so no one will complain about your pronunciation. There are a few rules that are officially implemented by scholars, so you may want to stick to those. An important thing is the diphthongs, where you need to speak every vowel, and not constrict them like in Modern English.

For example here: "fearn" would be "feh-arn" and not "feern" / "weods" is "we-odds"

Some other rules don't apply in this sentence, so I will not bother you with them :lol: I can try to record it this evening if you wish, although I am a bit rusty after many years out of practice. I may get most of it right though.

Sonia

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Post by Kitty » September 25th, 2018, 11:54 pm

oh I see Devorah was faster :lol:

Sonia

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » September 26th, 2018, 12:01 am

Devorah Allen

Journal of Francis Asbury Traveling preacher, America
The Crook in the Lot Faith in the midst of trials
20th C. Negro Lit. Essays on African American issues
Faces in the Fire Essays on Faith

wildlindajohnson
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Post by wildlindajohnson » September 26th, 2018, 5:42 am

Many thanks to each of you who offered help here - I will forge ahead and hope not to offend! The passage is indeed in Chapter 11 of "The Romance of Plant Life" by GF Scott Elliot in case you want to hear the fruit of your efforts once the project is finished.
Linda Johnson

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