Friday, September 05, 2008

Learn Old English with the Wordhoard: More Pronouns

After several requests, I've decided to give supplemental podcasting a try. Below you'll see the video supplemental introducing next week's lesson. It was made with speed and convenience in mind, so the production quality is pretty low -- just my web cam with no editing. I'm hoping to get lots of good feedback so that after all is said and done, we can archive well-scripted high-quality videos on the MediEvolution site. Comments (even negative feedback) are welcome.

I decided to start it here because there isn't really all that much to explain. Right now, students should be memorizing those pronoun paradigms. All we did in class this Thursday was drill on those. Yes, it's tedious (and the single most boring part of learning OE), but I'm afraid it's necessary. If it makes you feel any better, sometimes I forget parts of these paradigms myself; teaching them helps me remember what's been caught in the cobwebs of my memory.

Don't forget to do the "First and Second Person Pronouns" sheet -- it will help you learn these. Try doing all those other exercises in the Pronouns section. It might feel kind of elementary-school to do worksheets, but they'll help you learn all this essential stuff.

Here's your vocabulary quiz for this week. As always, just highlight the selection to see the answers:

engel ... angel
heafod ... head
sawol ... soul
dæg ... day
æsc ... ash tree
geat ... gate
here ... hostile army
searu ... skill
beadu ... battle
hand ... hand
gehwa ... each, everyone
hwelc ... any, anyone
gehwelc ... each
hwæþer ... either, both
giefu ... gift
sorg ... sorrow
þes ... this, these
þis ... this, these
þeos ... this, these
þas ... this, these

Read this hidden note after you test: Hey, did you notice I basically took those last four from one of your pronoun paradigms? Of course you did! You're so smart!

For next time, read the Nouns chapters of Baker and Drout (Strong Nouns, Weak Nouns, and Minor Declensions), and focus on learning those paradigms Baker has (Drout's are just as good, but your vocab lists are keyed to Baker's paradigms).

Here is the Nouns III vocabulary list. You'll find most of these words pretty easy once you say them aloud:

sunu ... son
fæder ... father
modor ... mother
broðor ... brother
sweostor ... sister
dohtor ... daughter
lamb ... lamb
hæle ... man, warrior
mægþ ... maiden
sæ ... sea
hors ... horse
sunne ... sun

OK, that's it for this time. Let my know if the off-the-cuff podcast below was helpful, confusing, or just superfluous.


  1. PERFECT! This is EXACTLY what I had in mind! I hope that didn't take up too much of your time, but that's incredibly helpful.

  2. It was quite helpful.

    I love your blog. Very interesting.

    I wondered my many of your blogroll have unlocked! next to their name. Does this mean something I don't understand?

    You may wonder who I am? I am just a fellow Alabamian interested in old english stuff.

  3. I wondered "why" not "my"

  4. Marthaberry,

    "Unlocked" means the blog was updated in the last 24 hours.

  5. Hey, how do you do that nifty "invisible ink" trick?

  6. The "invisible ink" is easy. Just type it out normally, then change the font color to white on whatever you want to be invisible. It's still there, you just can't see white on the white background.