Old English
English: Old English

Old English
Ænglisc, Englisc, Anglisc
A detail of the first page of the Beowulf manuscript, showing the words "ofer hron rade", translated as "over the whale's road (sea)". It is an example of an Old English stylistic device, the kenning.
RegionEngland (except the extreme south-west and north-west), southern and eastern Scotland, and the eastern fringes of modern Wales.
Eramostly developed into Middle English and Early Scots by the 13th century
  • Kentish
  • Mercian
  • Northumbrian
  • West Saxon
Runic, later Latin (Old English alphabet).
Language codes
ISO 639-3ang
ISO 639-6ango
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The Old English language, often called Anglo-Saxon, was spoken in England from 450 AD to 1100 AD. It was spoken by the Anglo-Saxons who came to England from what is now Germany and Denmark. Different kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England spoke different dialects but a western dialect became the main literary version.

Old English is very different from Modern English; it has many more Germanic words. In early centuries it was rarely written down, and when written it was in runes. After the 9th century, the Latin alphabet was used more. Old English grammar is difficult, with complex inflections, and close to Old German. Latin was used by churchmen like the venerable Bede. Old English gradually turned into Middle English after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Beowulf is written in Old English in an alphabetic script.

Old English comparison
Old Englishæppelpæþetantidmaciancildgiefandæg
GermanApfelPfadessenZeitmachen KindgebenTag
  • other websites

Other websites

  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Old English". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Other Languages
Ænglisc: Ænglisc spræc
asturianu: Inglés antiguu
Bân-lâm-gú: Kó͘ Eng-gí
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Стараангельская мова
brezhoneg: Hensaozneg
català: Anglès antic
čeština: Staroangličtina
Cymraeg: Hen Saesneg
Deutsch: Altenglisch
English: Old English
føroyskt: Fornenskt mál
français: Vieil anglais
Frysk: Aldingelsk
한국어: 고대 영어
հայերեն: Հին անգլերեն
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Inggris Kuno
íslenska: Fornenska
latviešu: Senangļu valoda
Limburgs: Aajdingels
Lingua Franca Nova: Engles antica
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Inggeris Kuno
Nederlands: Oudengels
日本語: 古英語
norsk nynorsk: Gammalengelsk
Nouormand: Vuur aunglleis
Plattdüütsch: Angelsassische Sprake
português: Inglês antigo
slovenčina: Anglosaština
slovenščina: Stara angleščina
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Staroengleski jezik
svenska: Fornengelska
Türkçe: Eski İngilizce
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Anh cổ
West-Vlams: Oudiengels
粵語: 古英文
中文: 古英语