You Know More Than You Think About: The Wanderer

Last month, I offered the Internet an article about the Old English poem Beowulf and how familiar, despite its antiquity, its language can become with a little linguistic guidance. I’d say the article and the idea behind it were received quite well – so, here we go again, with the same format and another OldContinue reading “You Know More Than You Think About: The Wanderer”

You Know More Than You Think About: Beowulf

As a living soul of the twenty-first century, if you take a glance at the opening lines of Beowulf, the Old English poem, the chances are that you won’t be able to understand it. If anything, you may perhaps recognise its famous first word, hƿæt. This is absolutely fine, I should add; Old English isContinue reading “You Know More Than You Think About: Beowulf”

The High German Consonant Shift and How to Use It

If you already know English and are in the process of learning German, you may be struck by how similar words in the two languages can be. It can surprise novices that English sentences like ‘I have two cats and six books‘ or ‘it drinks water‘ are so close to their German counterparts ‘ich habeContinue reading “The High German Consonant Shift and How to Use It”

Walloons, Wales and Cornish Walnuts

The Wonderful World of *Walhaz (This article is an adaptation of one I wrote for the brilliant interdisciplinary magazine Porridge, which you can find out more about at porridgemagazine.com) * I would like to tell you the tale of a headlong tumble down a rabbit hole of etymology and European history, that has at itsContinue reading “Walloons, Wales and Cornish Walnuts”