1: "Ƿes hāl! Iċ hāte Iohannes," sæȝþ Iohannes. 2: "And þū? Hū hātest þū?" ascaþ hē ōðrum hāde. 3: "Iċ hāte Ānlāf," sæȝþ Ānlāf. 4: "Hƿæt dēst þū ȝeorne, Ānlāf?" ascaþ Iohannes. 5: "Iċ ȝeorne singe," sæȝþ Ānlāf. 6: "Ēa, sōþlīċe?" ascode Iohannes. 7: "Ȝēa, sōþlīċe," sæȝþ Ānlāf. 8: "Iċ ēac singe ȝeorne," sæȝþ Iohannes. 9: "Þus, ƿuton singan ætgædere!" sæȝþ Ānlāf. 10. "Ȝeorne," sæȝþ Iohannes.

Word listEdit

Make sure to read the section about "Grammar Jargon" in this reading, so that you can understand the special jargon (I've marked all the special jargon with an asterisk - like this: "dative*") that I write after the words (like "dative singular" and "second person singular").

  • and - and
  • Ānlāf - Olaf
  • ascaþ - asks
  • dēst - (you) do (2nd person singular*)
  • hē - he
  • hāte - am called (1st person singular*)
  • Hū hātest þū? - What is your name? (literally, "How are you called?"; 2nd person singular*)
  • Hƿæt dēst þū ȝeorne? - What do you like to do? (literally, "What do you do happily?; 2nd person singular*)
  • Iċ - I
  • Iohannes - John
  • ōðrum hāde - another person (literally, "to another person"; dative singular*)
  • sæȝþ - says
  • þū - you (2nd person singular*; it's where Shakespeare's word "thou" came from)
  • Ƿes hāl! - hello (literally, "be well"; second person singular*)
  • ƿes - be (imperative second person singular*)


Remember that there are no silent letters in Old English, so that all letters are pronounced. So when letters are doubled, you also say them twice as long as normal. Long vowels (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū) are the same (or more or less the same) as short vowels, but held for longer. All letters are pronounced the same as in Modern English, except the ones noted below:

  • Ƿ, ƿ - like "w" in "water"
  • S - make sure to pronounced it like the "s" in "silver and not the "s" in "is"
  • Ċ, ċ - like the "ch" in "child"
  • Ā, ā - like the "a" in "father", not like the "a" in "hat"
  • Nn - remember to pronounce double letters longer (like the "n n" in "sin not" and not like the "nn" in "banner")
  • Æ, æ - like the "a" in "hat" not like the "a" in "father"
  • Ȝ, ȝ - like the "y" in "yes" or "say"