*Seo* boc — 1 year ago
If you’re not headed into a deep, technical class on Old English, this is the best book on learning Old English that I’ve seen.
Atherton has done ordinary folks a huge service with his work on this. In addition to presenting the language from the very beginning, in itself rare, he also gives a lot of cultural context. This context is critical, since you can’t visit Old England the way a student of Spanish or Danish can visit Spain or Denmark. He really takes a gentle approach to the inflection of Old English, which should aid learners who don’t know an inflected language. Of course, for those of us who do, it’s nice to have the various uses of the cases spun out one by one.
The texts selected for the book are of a wide variety and should hold your interest. If you don’t like the Joseph story from the Bible, there are snips from the anglo-Saxon Chronicle. And if you don’t like either of those, there are riddles and snips of poetry.
Another nice touch is the audio that comes with. It really makes the language come alive. As for how accurate the recordings are to how the language was spoken, I cannot say—but they breathe life into it and that’s enough for me. In any case, spend the extra for the audio.
Is the book perfect? No, but it’s so much better than everything else (not meant for graduate level classes) that there’s no reason to get anything else for a first look at Old English.