Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pronouncing Middle English--links

First, professor Jane Zatta, Southern Illinois University, reads the General Prologue. (The audio file is broken into units of about 12 lines, but her voice is quite clear)

Next, a YouTube file containing an audio reading and a phonetic transliteration of the lines. (The audio is better than the phonetics, which don't always match what the voice is reading.) I haven't identified the voice.

A page on the Harvard (pronounced Hahvahd) web site, which contains both the original text, a line-by-line modernized version, and a sound file.

Finally, a list of several available recordings, both from the General Prologue and some of the tales, provided by the English department at Virginia Military Institute. (You need the Real Audio Player software to listen to some of these recordings).

Listen to several recordings. Notice that not all ME (Middle English) readers pronounce words the same. Still, by listening to the opening lines several times, you can get a better sense of the sound of the English language 600 years ago. Practice repeating along with the voice of the reader; the more you do so, the more quickly you will be able to memorize the material.