View Full Version : mp3 example of spoken Anglo-Saxon

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004, 12:56 PM
Just for reference purposes, and because it seems that so few people have actually heard Old English being spoken, here is an mp3 of a section of The Battle of Maldon"

I absolutely love listening to this language being spoken! Enjoy!

http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/~Thorburn/OEspoken.mp3 (http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/%7EThorburn/OEspoken.mp3)

the Old English transcribed and Modern English version lower down

Se flod ut gewat; a flotan stodon gearowe,
wicinga fela, wiges georne.
Het a hlea hleo healdan a bricge
wigan wigheardne, se ws haten Wulfstan,
cafne mid his cynne, t ws Ceolan sunu,
e one forman man mid his francan ofsceat
e r baldlicost on a bricge stop.
r stodon mid Wulfstane wigan unforhte,
lfere and Maccus, modige twegen,
a noldon t am forda fleam gewyrcan,
ac hi fstlice wi a fynd weredon,
a hwile e hi wpna wealdan moston.
a hi t ongeaton and georne gesawon
t hi r bricgweardas bitere fundon,
ongunnon lytegian a lae gystas,
bdon t hi upgang agan moston,
ofer one ford faran, fean ldan.
a se eorl ongan for his ofermode
alyfan landes to fela laere eode.
Ongan ceallian a ofer cald wter
Byrhtelmes bearn (beornas gehlyston):
"Nu eow is gerymed, ga ricene to us,
guman to gue; god ana wat
hwa re wlstowe wealdan mote."
Wodon a wlwulfas (for wtere ne murnon),
wicinga werod, west ofer Pantan,
ofer scir wter scyldas wegon,
lidmen to lande linde bron.
r ongean gramum gearowe stodon
Byrhtno mid beornum; he mid bordum het
wyrcan one wihagan, and t werod healdan
fste wi feondum. a ws feohte neh,
tir t getohte. Ws seo tid cumen
t r fge men feallan sceoldon.
r wear hream ahafen, hremmas wundon,
earn ses georn; ws on eoran cyrm.
Hi leton a of folman feolhearde speru,
gegrundene garas fleogan;
bogan wron bysige, bord ord onfeng.

Then the tide went out. The seamen stood ready,
many Vikings eager for battle.
Then the heroes' protector ordered that the causeway be held
75 by a warrior stern -- Wulfstan was his name --
valiant with his people: that was Ceola's son,
who the first man with his spear slain
was one who boldly on the causeway stood.
There fought with Wulfstan warriors fearless,
80 Aelfere and Maccus, two great in courage,
who would not at this fjord take to flight,
but stoutly against the enemy defended themselves
while with their weapons they might wield.
Then they understood and clearly saw,
85 that this guarding of the causeway was a fierce encounter,
and so began to use guile, the hateful strangers,
asked that passage to land they might have,
to the shore and pass the fjord would this force lead.
Then the Earl permitted in his great pride
90 to allow land many of these hateful people;
and so then shouted on the shore of the cold water
Byrhtelm's child -- and the warriors listened:
"Now the way is open to you: come quickly to us
you men to battle. God alone knows
95 who on this field of honor may be allowed to be the master
Then advanced the wolves of slaughter, for water they
cared not for, this band of Vikings;
west over the Pante's
shining water shore they carried their shields,
these men of the fleet towards land advanced their linden
100 There against the enemy stood ready
Byrhtnoth with his soldiers. He with his shield commanded
to form the battle ranks and that force of men to hold fast
firmly towards the enemy. Then was the fight near,
glory in battle. The time was come
105 that these doomed men would fall in battle.
There came the loud clamor. Ravens circled around,
eagles eager for carrion. On Earth was the battlecry.
They then sent forth from their hands shafts hard as
murderously sharpened spears flew.

Monday, February 21st, 2005, 03:58 AM
Cool, you can listen to A-S poetry readings at this site as well.:thumbup http://www.kami.demon.co.uk/gesithas/readings/readings.html

Monday, February 21st, 2005, 11:36 AM
The pronunciation on that first site is pretty good. For a nice idea of how it could have been originally heard, i.e. as it was sung to music, I recommend Aelfric's galdor-craft as most successful and interesting. He also has sung in Old Saxon and Gothic. I've bought all the cd's and can vouch for them. Great stuff for practicing comprehension as well as pronunciation, and beautiful and interesting musically also. http://www.geocities.com/medieval_music/