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Author Topic: Rooms etc.  (Read 8399 times)

culfer

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Rooms etc.
« on: September 02, 2015, 01:19:23 PM »
Hello, I'm trying to immerse myself in Old English by labelling things like rooms and doors and windows etc. in Old English because that really helped me when I was learning Ancient Greek and Latin and foreign languages......but my Anglo Saxon dictionary and I are having imaginative trouble when it comes to working out what to call a "living room". I just wondered if there was a standard word that modern OE speakers used for it? And for any other modern things whilst thinking about it, like "television", "bicycle", "recorder" (not so modern), "cooker", "sewing machine", "car"!

David

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 08:17:09 PM »



I am not sure about this process of surrounding yourself with names of things that did not exist in old English. However you might try these
Living room                bēodærn
Television set              feorrsīenbox
Bicycle                        twīhwēol
Tape recorder             swēġeftsōna
Cooker                        cōcāl
Sewing machine          swiftsīwung
Car                              wæġn
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:18:57 PM by David »

culfer

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 08:49:13 AM »
Thank you very much, but I meant a musical instrument recorder not a tape recorder. I think it is worth doing because when I was learning other "dead" languages I found it very different to modern languages, almost more difficult, and I realised it was because I wasn't speaking them and that I was just reading them. That's why I labelled everything in my house, because then as I was thinking and doing things around the house I would say what I was doing out loud in the language and it brought it to life for me and forced me to think about grammar. It was not so much about the actual words of the things like television that didn't exist: For example I could say "The rat has gone behind the television again. He is a little bugger." If I get to the point where I can say that sentence in Old English (or Latin if I'm talking to my partner!) then it's not so much about the translation of the word "television" but more about the general immersion in the language and all the other words agreeing with each other. It just helps if the word for "television" is one that sounds more like what a time travelling Anglo Saxon might have described it as!

David

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 09:27:01 AM »





  O.K. For recorder try hwistle or pīpe. For agreement they are both feminine.

Bowerthane

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 02:40:58 PM »
Looks as if my halfpen'eth is a bit late, but here goes.  It struck me that you could get way with dæġcofa, ‘day room’ for an ordinary domestic lounge or sitting room.  I don’t see how day rooms need necessarily be parts of institutions only.  I’ve just been reading Roxy Freeman’s Little Gypsy in which her family built themselves a day room for their camp in Norfolk.  If it isn’t a standalone version of a domestic lounge or sitting room for family use, I don’t see how else you could define it.

For ‘car’ I commonly put just wæġn and leave readers at the mercy of their common sense and general knowledge.  It’s not a writer’s fault if a reader doesn’t have any.  If memory serves, the line I get out of my car in my old, Old English ( and not Gothic) rendition of Hello Earth ran Iċ forlǽte mín wæġn.  Yet do I guess that you wish to be more specific, and make clear you are speaking of a post-1900 motor-car, automobile or brum-brum? Searowæġn would be the best I can think of without taking too long, unless you happen to drive a hatchback which, I think, you can get away with transliterally: hæċċebæc, eh?  Otherwise I suppose you could just spell the make of car phonetically and bung that at the front of wæġnDrífþ þú laġlandwæġn, hondawæġn, fordwæġn oþþe hwæt?

What about hwéolhors for ‘bicycle’? Though I, too hit upon twihwéol so maybe that recommends it? 

I presumed you meant the musical instrument by ‘recorder’ and not a tape recorder.  Yet at first blush I wondered why you’re not happy with pípe, too.  But again, if exactitude is important then I should ask you, as the musician, to put your finger on the defining characteristic by which you can tell a recorder apart from just any old, or any other, wind instrument.  If a recorder is the only one that both needs fingering and originally was made only from wood, I’d suggest fingerbéam, ‘finger-wood’ by analogy with glíwbéam, ‘glee-wood’ for a harp.  Either that or choose a native species of bird whose call seems plausibly recorder-ish and call if a [that]-pípe. An úlepípe sounds fun, certainly. Or was there any specific purpose for which recorders were originally made, or characteristic parts they once played?

As with ‘car’, I’d just put ofen for ‘cooker’ and damn the dimbos.  Or do you have a hob with no oven underneath, or something?  You could call such a thing a panne-hǽta, I suppose.

If yours is a hand-operated sewing machine I’d plump for síwhwéol ( since we have spinning wheels, why not sewing wheels?) but what about a sticsáwend ‘stitch-sower’ or nædldrífend, ‘needle-driver’ for both that and an electric one?

As for the TV, what about ġesihtċiest?  A ‘looking box’ by analogy with ‘looking glass’?  Unless you have a flatscreen TV I suppose, in which case why not ġesihtbord?


It might be worth checking out how Zionists tackled these questions when they revived Biblical Hebrew.  I keep meaning to, myself.  All I know so far is that the Biblical verb for ‘descend’ is the basis for the Modern Hebrew noun for ‘parachute’ ( though apparently a loan-word from Italian is also used), that they use merkaba, the Biblical word for ‘chariot’, for ‘military tank’ ( much as I think the French recycled char) and that semantic shift has turned a Biblical word for ‘room’ into a Modern Hebrew word for ‘flat, apartment, digs; a kibbutznik’s private quarters’. 


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The moral right of the author to be identified as a great big, helpful old Hector has been asserted [ insert emoticon for the floppy-ear trick here].

PS:  On a curious side note, the word ‘saloon’ for “a car with an enclosed body and separate boot” ( OED, viz, almost all of them nowadays) entered UK English from the United States, adapted from ‘saloon’ as in ‘the sort of bar cowboys hang out in, with the tinkly piano and the good-time girls,  playing poker until the shady guy with five aces starts the gunfight’ which, in turn, the Americans borrowed from French ‘salon’, which amongst other things means ‘room’ and usually just does.  Yet it is not derived from Latin.  Oho, no.  It is derived from the Frankish dialect of Old High German and/ or an Old Franconian word related to Old English poetic sæl for ‘hall’ and sælor for ‘hall, palace’ as well as to Modern German Saal and  Modern Dutch Zaal for ‘hall, assembly room, ( large) room,’ and sundry cognates in these and other Germanic languages. 
   This is a point worth labouring when confronted with Francophiles and Classicists with a superiority complex, and/ or an attitude about “rude Saxons” and the like.

PPS:  Fans of Philip Pullman will recall the Zaal at Wisbech in the Fens, which was once a port, in which his imaginary Gyptian people gathered for their byanroping in Northern Lights before disembarking for Bolvangar ( and not just flush Lyra straight into the North Sea, as in the film).  Dutch people helped drain the Fens and settled here, where we have a few Dutch barns, windmills ( an old one was used for storage in my home village) and Spalding used to have a tulip festival, so the Dutch admixture to Pullman’s Gyptians is eminently plausible.  One of my uncles has a Dutch surname ( Addlesee) and, owing to a fitful debate in my family as to whether we have Jewish or Gypsy blood in our veins from way back ( Wisbech has a reputation as “the Gypsy capital of East Anglia” owing to all the crop-pulling, so that’s also plausible) I may be a bit of a real-life Gyptian, myself.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 11:42:35 AM by Bowerthane »

culfer

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 05:06:24 PM »
Thank you! That was an interesting read! I have lots to choose from now. :)

Eanflaed

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 10:11:24 PM »
I'd be more concerned about the rat behind the television! Bet there's an OE term for ratcatcher!

Bowerthane

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 02:56:39 PM »
It’s no use I’ve got interested and look what’s happened:

If Wikipedia can be trusted about recorders the literal meaning of its name in Spanish, Italian ( flauto dolce) and Brazilian Portuguese is ‘sweet flute’.  So I suppose swétpípe could claim to be, a) following a consensus and, b) kinda nice too, eh? 

2) Yet on a sourer note, it does say here that the recorder “is distinguished from other members of the family by having holes for seven fingers” so I suppose one could keep it plain and workmanlike as seofonhol.  But:

3) The etymology of ‘recorder’ is a throwback to Renaissance times, when the noun entered English from Italian via French, following an earlier verb ‘to record’ that then meant ‘to practise’.  So a recorder is literally a ‘practiser’ which, since it is used so widely as a beginner’s instrument ( and I wonder how many other musicians, composers and songwriters find one handy for trying out ideas?) kind of recommends itself.  Now the bad news is that I know I can’t find a word in Old English that I find both convincing and specific enough for ‘practise’ in that sense.  There’s a line in the script of Sucker Punch I’m still stuck on where Rocket says, “We practise it, practise it, practise it, and the men come and watch us perform” which so far is no more than [ practise it, practise it, practise it,] and þá weras cumaþ and waccaþ ús ġeǽfnan for that very reason, and I’ve tried Bosworth and Toller so that’s me worried.

Anyone else know of a more-or-less clear word for ‘practice’ ( or I suppose ‘rehearse’ or ‘try out’ would do) in the Old Mother Tongue?)

The good news, however, is that the ‘-cord-’ bit of ‘recorder’ is not derived from the Greek-based ‘chord’ as in ‘musical chord’ as one might have expected.  It’s from Latin corda for ‘heart’, practise being analyzed as a way of learning by heart.  So if you used the dative form of Old English heorte, Culfer, then heortanpípe or ‘by-heart pipe’ would be a nice way to speak of a recorder.  Or just a beheorte, for that matter.

( Or were you having more trouble with the rat?)







« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 11:46:22 AM by Bowerthane »

David

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 06:36:08 PM »



It is not obvious what word to use for to practice. You might try ādrēogan or bebrūcan or even cunnan or cunnian.

Bowerthane

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 12:03:14 PM »
As you may have begun to suspect, Culfer, this sort of thing piques my fancy. Having rounded up some of my earlier attempts at creative anachronism, you can make what you like of this little lot:

Búrglæs               domestic mirror ( lit. ‘bower + glass’)
Coltwín               carbon fibre ( lit. ‘coal + twine’)
Cylnwaru            ceramics ( lit. ‘kiln + ware’)
Durustede            entrance, portico ( lit. ‘door + stead’)
Eleweorc             oil painting ( lit. ‘oil + work’)
Flycgeléaf            certificate ( lit. ‘fledge + leaf’)
Hærstæġ              perm ( lit. ‘hair + stay’)
Heorðbrú            mantelpiece ( lit. ‘hearth + brow’)
Húsrind              plaster or tyrolining ( lit. ‘house + rind’)
Hláfdiġebúr         boudoir ( lit. ‘lady + bower’)
Lámwaru             porcelain ( lit. ‘loam + ware’)
Hneccaspræġ      jabot ( lit. ‘neck + spray’)
Oferhosa            dessous ( lit. ‘over + hose’)
Pæþsealt              asphalt ( lit. ‘path + salt’)
Peniġwaru           coinage ( lit. ‘penny + ware’)
Pottlím                plaster ( again, lit. ‘pot + lime’)
Rinniġ déaw        condensation ( lit. ‘runny + dew’)
Spinrest               turntable ( lit. ‘spin + rest’, and by extension this will do for any record player or even sound system)
Swétæsc             caramel ( lit. ‘sweet + ash’)
Ðriupinn              electrical plug ( lit. ‘three + pin, peg’, it might have been a thruppin had it existed)
Weardnosu          deodorant ( lit. ‘ward + nose’)
Wæscsoppe          cleaning sponge ( lit. ‘wash + sop’)
Wætersoppe         cleaning sponge ( again, lit. ‘water + sop’)
Wírleoht               electrical illumination ( lit. ‘wire + light’)



---oo0oo---




Thanks David.  I don’t know whether to be relieved or more worried that my options will be as hobbled and cobbled as I feared.  Ironically, I began to wonder if I’d already solved my problem after uploading my last post.  Maybe Rocket could say: Heortan, heortan, heortan leornaþ wé hit, and þá weras cumaþ and waccaþ ús ġeǽfnan.  Yet that depends on whether the modern idiom ‘to/ by heart’ goes back that far, or whether heortan wé leornaþ would work as a nonce metaphor in Old English if it doesn’t.  So far as I’ve got trying to check, the expression to lay something to one’s heart appears in the King James Bible, which is a classy Jacobean workover of William Tyndale’s drop-dead brilliant rendition from Tudor times.  I’m fairly sure heorte was never used as any kind of verb in Old English nor, again so far as I’ve got, does it seem to be used in any figurative sense even when prescientific minds meant it that way.  Which undermines my confidence that heortan wé leornaþ would work as a nonce metaphor.

It can’t be just me who gets ensnared in all this, can it?  As with earlier exercises I’ve set myself, I’ve done all the ‘easy’ bits of my translation of Sucker Punch ( arrived at a more or less satisfactory choice of words to be going on with, then declined and conjugated the little darlings accurately enough to, again, be going on with) only to get bogged down in the semantic conundrums presented by the difference between twentieth-century idioms and Old English syntax.  And how safe it usually isn’t to render the former literally into Old English.  Always it’s idioms that trip you up!  As any English speaker found out who translated ‘I’m cold’ into German as Ich bin kalt and was left wondering what all the snorting and chuckles were about...   

Maybe I shouldn’t complain.  Re-reading plenty of original Old English texts to make sure you understood constructions like hál westu for “congratulations!” and ús  þá þréo for “the three of us” and to spot new ones like éow láf for “the rest of you”, sounds like the proper professional way of doing things, but... you can’t call it a short cut, can you!?  Alas, that’s the only remedy I know for this kind of stumblingblock.  Unless of course you, David, or anybody else out there, has come across some website or publication I don’t know about that amounts to a crib.  Bet I’m not in luck though, am I?   

This is my excuse for fooling about with all the creative anachronisms like Iċ  eom scéawunge dæġ-steorra for “I’m the star of the show”, Héo béo on  Folkwang, ġif þú wite þe iċ ġetácniġe for “She’ll be in paradise, if you know what I mean” and I’m fairly confident that “Break it up!” holds up as ásundre hit! since it’s addressed to two girls having a scrap.  Why, if it wasn’t for the fun of puzzling out how to say ‘Rocket’ ( she’s become Fýrbolt so far, and I’m now happy with Súcelíca for Babydoll), ‘detectives’ ( I’m working on eodres ġeréfas), ‘sexy’ ( hǽmfæst?), ‘mental patient’ ( wódreda?), ‘orphanage’ ( stéophám?), ‘main attractions’ ( héahġespan?), ‘guns’ ( fýr-wǽpenu?), ‘Temple of the Sun’ ( Sunnan Hearh?), ‘postcard’ ( méting-ġewrit?). ‘master key’ ( cǽġmódor?), ‘engineer’ ( searocræftiġa?), ‘( military) bunker’ ( scield-scræf?), ‘( theatrical) stage’ ( pleġ-fléring – okay, you try), ‘lighter’ ( fýrgnásta?), ‘approach ( run)’ ( néahlædung?), ‘cheque’ ( feoh-ġewrit?), ‘office’ ( writcofa?), ‘dance card’ ( hléapbred?), ‘bomb’ ( blæst-wæpen?), ‘train’ ( stéamwæġn?), ‘mechanized gunmen’ ( bemylen sleġpíperas?), ‘deactivate’ ( wiþstyran?), ‘( a numeric) code’ ( rædels-rím?), ‘jet packs’ ( fýrfeþra ???), ‘bus’ ( folcwæġn), ‘Fort Wayne’ ( Waġnburg?) and Hartford ( Heortford surely?), why, I’d lose the will to live.

PS: the machine ignored the en-spaces between the words on some of the Old English above as well as my instructions for italics on
ús  þá  þréo and éow láf. But it clocked them when I used the 'modify' function.  Go figure.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 12:11:22 PM by Bowerthane »

Horsa

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 01:17:12 AM »
I betook myself to the thesaurus of Old English, and thence to B&T and I've found "gelómlǣcan" It's a bit of a stretch for practice, but it might work.

Bowerthane

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2015, 03:10:49 PM »
Thanks Horsa.  I’ve tracked down ġelómlǽcan in my Sweet too, clearly related to the adverb ( ġe-)lóme for ‘often’, just above it. 

I see what you mean because the next entry up is for dear old ġelóma for ‘tool, utensil, article of furniture’ from which, as every Anglo-Saxonist knows, we get the modern noun ‘loom’.  There’s no entry for anything resembling it in the List of Indogermanic Roots in my other Sweet, his Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, and the online etymological dictionary has nothing new to say about the noun ‘loom’.  So I’m left with my purely personal hunch that ġelóma is no accidental homophone but related, such that tools and utensils were analysed as in some sense oft-used things, and articles of furniture as things frequented.  Perhaps vaguely analogous to how the French speak of the familiares of a person and the habitués of a place.   

But even if it isn’t, a ġelómpípe or ‘oft-pipe’ for ‘recorder’ would certainly convey the requisite sense of a frequented pipe, and leave listeners/ readers to their common sense and general knowledge for why, and where it was all going.   

Likewise, ġelómlǽcan would at least have connotations of making familiar or habitual, which as you say is within quibbling distance of our verb ‘to practise’.  Furthermore Rocket’s talking about a dance routine to be performed regularly, so to ‘frequent-liken’ or ‘make often’ would have a kind of in-context sense to it.

Am I spoilt for choice now, or what!? ::)  I was tempted by David’s ádréogan too, but wondered whether cunnan in the sense ‘to become acquainted with’ was playing safe, since ‘conning’ something as in ‘conning tower’ preserves a sense in which one learns by application.  A conning pipe would work as a Modern English synonym for a recorder, too, wouldn’t it ( andnot get mixed up with tape recorders)?

So anyway that’s me off to ruminate.  Bad experiences have taught me to take these decisions slowly.  At first blush I liked bebrúcan best but my Sweet’s entry says it meant “practise ( virtue)” which, a) sounds like a rare and/ or specific usage that, b) could queer the semantic pitch a bit in reference to a dance routine by which some dancing girls-cum-prostitutes in a nightclub-cum-bordello are made to titillate potential customers and, c) one of my Iron Rules in translating is “If in doubt, don’t”.  Just don’t, no matter how fond I am of the verb ‘to brook’ and its derivatives.

Ooh, there’s no room for sentiment in this game...





culfer

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Re: Rooms etc.
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 10:59:04 PM »
Just to confuse things about the recorder, my friend and fellow recorder player who is also a bit of a bird expert and medievalist has always told me that the recorder is called such because it sounds like bird song, and a phrase of birds song is historically known as a "record".

Also, the rat (his name is Cerdic) still persists in trying to get behind the telly.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 11:03:46 PM by culfer »