Grammar: Nouns - Pronouns - Articles - Adjectives - Numbers - Verbs - Participles - Adverbs - Conjunctions - Prepositions - Interjections - Appositives - Word Formation -
Note that italics are used on Old English words to indicate that a word is a new word, not attested in historical Old English.
Greetings and introduction[edit | edit source]
- Ƿes hāl! (to one person, possibly Anglian dialect); Ƿesað hāle (to multiple, possibly Anglian); Bēo ġesund (to one person, West Saxon dialect); Bēoð ġesunde (to multiple people, West Saxon)
- How are you doing?
- Hū meaht þū? (to one person); Hū eart þū? (to one person); Hū magon ġē? (to multiple) Hū sindon ġē? (to multiple)
- I'm well.
- Iċ mæg ƿel; Iċ eom hāl; Iċ eom ġesund
- What is your name?
- Hū hāttest þū?; Hƿǣt hāttest þū?
- My name is ______.
- Iċ hātte ______.; Mīn nama is ______.
- Þes is... ; This (a man) is...
- Þēos is... ; This (a woman) is...
- Iċ tǣċe hine/hīe þē ; I'll introduce him/her to you
- Goodbye (said by departing person)
- Bēo ġesund (to one person; West Saxon dialect); Bēoð ġesunde (to multiple; West Saxon); Ƿēs hāl (to one person; possibly Anglian dialect); Ƿesað hāle (to multiple; possibly Anglian)
- Goodbye (said by the person remaining); Far ġesund (to one person); Farað ġesunde (to multiple)
Note that greeting by time of day, e.g. "good morning", are not idiomatic or normal in Old English. There is no need to use them - use the equivalent of "hello" instead. If, for whatever reason, you insist on using them anyway, you may use the following:
- Good morning
- Hafa gōdne morgen (to one person); Habbað gōdne morgen (to multiple)
- Good day
- Hafa gōdne dæg (to one person); Habbað gōdne morgen (to multiple)
- Good evening
- Hafa gōdne ǣfen (singular); Habbað gōdne ǣfen (plural)
- Good night
- Hafa gōde nihte (singular); Habbað gōde nihte (plural)
Such a greeting is recording in very early Middle English, but not Old English. If you include the "hafa/habbað", then the greeting is at least sensical and grammatical if not idiomatic; but if the "hafa/habbað" is omitted, it is a slavish imitation of Modern German.
Etiquette[edit | edit source]
Note that it is likely that Old English speakers had somewhat different etiquette sensibilities than MnE speakers.
- Iċ bidde þē
- Thank you
- Iċ þanciġe þē (singular); Iċ þanciġe ēoƿ (plural)
- I'm sorry
- Mē ofþyncþ; Belāda mē (to one person); Belādiað mē (to multiple)
Communication[edit | edit source]
- Do you speak Old English?
- Spricst þū Englisċ?
- I don't speak Old English
- Iċ ne sprece Englisċ
- Does anyone here speak Old English?
- Spricþ hēr ǣniġ mann Englisċ?
- I don't understand
- Iċ ne understande
- What does ... mean?
- Hƿæt mǣnð ...?
- How do I say... (in Old English)?
- Hū seċġe iċ... (on Englisċ)?
- Seġe þæt on Nīƿenglisċ
- Say it in Modern English
- Seġe þæt eft
- Say it again
- Sprec þu slāƿor
- Speak more slowly
- Iċ nāt þæt ƿord
- I don't know that word
- Iċ bidde þē, āreċe mē...
- Please, explain to me...
- Hƿæt sǣde hē/hēo?
- What did he/she say?
Food and drink[edit | edit source]
- I'm hungry
- Mē hyngreð
- I'm thirsty
- Mē þyrst
- What's there to eat?
- Hƿæt is tō etenne?
- What's there to drink?
- Hƿæt is tō drincenne?
- There's still some bread/wine/water/milk
- Hlāfes/ƿīnes/ƿæteres/meolċe/æpp ġīt belīft
- Would you like an apple/beer/bread/water/milk/beer/wine?
- Ƿilt þū æppel/bēores/hlāfes/ƿæteres/meolċe/ƿīnes?
Religion[edit | edit source]
- I believe in God
- Iċ ġelīfe on gode
- I am Christian
- Iċ eom crīsten (a man)/Iċ eom crīstnu (a woman)
- I am Germanic pagan
- Iċ eom (germanisċ) hǣðen (of a man)/Iċ eom (germanisċ) hǣðnu (of a woman)
- I am not a monotheist
- Iċ eom hǣðen/Iċ ne ġelīfe on ānum gode.
Note: "hǣðen" in OE had adopted quite medieval Christian sensibilities of use, and could probably be used for everyone who was not a monotheist, including atheists, polytheists, and so forth. However, perhaps, Germanic pagans were the most obvious examples of "pagans" in the medieval Germanic Christian mindselt.
- I am Muslim
- Iċ eom muslim
- I am Buddhist
- Iċ eom budden (of a man)/Iċ eom buddnu (of a woman)
- I am Hindu
- Iċ eom indisċ hǣðen (of a man)/Iċ eom indisċ hǣðnu (of a woman)
Note: While "indisċ hǣðen" would likely be very easy for a native Old English speaker to understand, Hindus may prefer a new word like "hinden (man)/hindnu (woman)" to the historically Christianified sense of "hǣðen"
- I am Jewish
- Iċ eom iudēisċ
- I don't believe in gods
- Iċ ne ġelīfe on godum
- I am godless
- Iċ eom godlēas
- I don't know whether a god exists (or not)
- Iċ nāt hƿæðer god sī (þe nā)
- I believe in spirits
- Iċ ġelīfe on gāstum
- I believe in something
- Iċ ġelīfe on hƿǣm
- I believe in an afterlife
- Iċ ġelīfe on æfterlīfe/Iċ ġelīfe on līfe æfter dēaðe
- I believe in human virtue
- Iċ ġelīfe on manncystum
- I am secularist
- Iċ ne ġeþafie þæt ġelēafan habben ġeƿeald (literally, "I don't support faiths having (political) power")
- I don't observe religion
- Iċ ne begange nānne ġelēafan
- I'm New Age
- Iċ eom nīƿyldisċ hǣðen (of a man)/Iċ eom nīƿyldisċ hǣðnu (of a woman)