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Old English

West Germanic language, early form of English, spoken circa 450–1100

The Old English language, often called Anglo-Saxon, was spoken in England from 450 AD to 1100 AD. It was spoken by the Anglo-Saxons who came to England from what is now Germany and Denmark.

Old English
Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc
Region England (except the extreme southwest and northwest), southern and eastern Scotland, and the eastern fringes of modern Wales.
Era mostly developed into Middle English by the 13th century
Language family
Dialects
Writing system Runic, later Latin (Old English alphabet).
Language codes
ISO 639-2 ang
ISO 639-3 ang

Old English is very different from Modern English; it has many more Germanic words. It was rarely written down, and when written it was in runes. This is an alphabet completely different from the Latin alphabet used for English today. Old English grammar is difficult, and close to Old German. Latin was used by churchmen like the venerable Bede. Old English gradually turned into Middle English after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Beowulf is written in Old English in an alphabetic script.


Old English comparison
language wordlist
English apple path eat tide make child give day
Old English æppel pæþ etan tid macian cild giefan dæg
German Apfel Pfad essen Zeit machen  Kind geben Tag