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Author Topic: 'Learn OE with Leofwin' & 'A User-friendly Dictionary of Old English and Reader'  (Read 8874 times)

bencaile

  • Guest
Does anyone have any experience with these titles? 

I want to resume the OE course but need a little extra help and these books look promising!

Unfortunately, my skills at learning languages are pretty limited, so I need all the help I can get!

Leofwin

Dictionary



David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 618
If you are good at picking up languages then “Learn Old English with Leofwin” is probably an excellent book for you. For myself I need more help along the way and “rules of grammar”. He is very good for everyday words but these are not the easiest words although a bit familiar for the modern English speaker. So a lot of the first verbs he uses change the vowels or consonants in their roots. Then he uses the dative and genitive which he was going to explain in the next book. It is nice that he has a word list Modern English > Old English as well as the other way round. I am disappointed that the active of hātan for the passive “to be called”. Although the active form was sometimes used for “to be called” it is disappointing that he did not use the passive form for the only verb in Old English that preserved this form. I also disagree with him that “se” meant “the” whereas “þēs” meant “this” or “that”. I thought that “þēs” only meant “this” whereas “se” meant “that” or “the”, but sometimes the “se” was omitted when it meant “the”. I think that this is very good as an alternative book but not as your main book.

On the whole I am not impressed with “A user-friendly dictionary of Old English”. It puts the words in a strange order. I can understand giving vowels and diphthongs a low priority as they have more variation but he does give the different variations. Also it is a small dictionary with a limited number of words. However the grammar can be helpful.

For dictionaries you might like to try on  line, eg
Bosworth and Toller  http://bosworth.ff.cuni.cz/
and a translator  https://www.oldenglishtranslator.co.uk/


cynewulf

  • gesith
  • **
  • Posts: 83
I thought Stephen Pollington's 'First Steps in OE' was pretty good.

cynewulf

  • gesith
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Probably the best (in my humble opinion) is Mitchell and Robinson's Guide to Old English, now in its 8th edition.

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 618
I fully agree with Stephen Pollington's book.

I am not so keen on Mitchell and Robinson's book, particularly for the beginner.

peter horn

  • Guest
For those who do not know, Leofwin (Matt Love) fared forth (passed away) in 2014
well before his time.
On our Main Website, under 'Old English Readings', Matt can be seen,
in full flow. at West Stow. The person playing the harp is me.
we had intended to do more performances, and I still cannot
believe he is no longer with us.
Peter



Phyllis

  • Administrator
  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
I take both Leofwin and Steve Pollington with me to events and visitors to the stall really like Leofwin. It's very accessible. It includes acces to readings which you can download, so you can hear the OE being spoken. SP's book is also very good, more formally structured but broken down  into small and manageable chapters - although later on they get pretty intense. My edition of SP has some errors in it which I needed some help with so take care (cross referencing and chapter order seemed awry which left me perplexed - but then I am a bear of little brain and easily confused). However, it's a very good book.

Like David I'm not so keen on Mitchell and Robinson, but every to their own. That's the beauty of the choices - finding the one that suits you. It's probably helpful to think about how you learn a language then look for a book that's using that format.

For example, I learn in the Old School way with quite a strong grammar base, declining verbs in a very traditional way: amo, amas, amat, etc. That is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, and I probably wouldn't have found Leofwin so useful if I had tried the book first. But I came to it after the Gesithas' Correspondence Course, so got more out of it.

Sorry to ramble, hope some of it might be helpful!


 
Phyllis

bencaile

  • Guest
Thanks for all the advice!

I've plumped for Leofwin and already have a copy of Mitchell & Robinson (which I hope will be useful as I gain a bit of traction!).

All I need now is some peace and quiet to study!  ;D