Talk the Talk

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Need a little help speaking Olde English?

Here are some audio samples to get you started!

Smile, and just repeat after us:

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Yes, it’s good to see you.  Make yourself welcome!

Aye, it bae goot to sae thee, bae righeet wahlcum

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You look lovely / You are so handsome.

Thou lookest loovly, and thou art so handsume!

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You are cheating!  All of you are cheating!

Thou doost chite!  Thee ole lot or ya bae chiters!

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You just sit down and be quiet!

Aye, joost sit thee upon thy back sigheed unt bae quieet!  (or:  …bae thou sighloont!)

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Wash your dirty hands and come eat.  The table is set.

Woosh thy grooby ands un cume ayt.  The table bae saet!

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Authenticity notice: The audios above are not based solely on historical research.  I (Carrie Franzwa, aka, Addilay) used a late 16th century cookbook, the King James Bible, and a not-so-authentic book called The Pirate Primer, to come up with these phrases.  When you’re first learning to speak Olde English don’t stress too much about being authentic.  Every Renaissance reenactor will tell you they’re just fakin’ it to the best of their ability!  So just have fun trying to speak the archaic English – pretty soon you’ll get your groove on and no one will be able to decipher the difference!

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Want to Learn Some Wampanoag Phrases, Too?

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We haven’t mastered Olde English, let alone Wampanoag, so we don’t have audio samples of Wampanoag speech for you yet!  But, there is a small list of words and phrases in The American Patriot’s Treasury of Historical Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, plus a reference to a period authentic dictionary of Wampanoag words and phrases that was used specifically by English persons crossing over to New England in the early 1600′s.

Want a fun challenge for speaking English like most Wampanoag persons would have attempted in 1621 Plimoth?  On top of the brevity one would expect, add the Olde English flair!  Although Squanto was probably an exception since he learned to speak Olde English while he was five years captive in Europe, most Native persons who could speak some English would have done so in a “broken” fashion.  We learn that Samoset, for example, learned what he could from English explorers and fishermen up north of Plimoth.  His Olde English vocabulary was more limited than Squanto’s, and he most likely spoke in shorter sentences.

Keep in mind these men were not learning challenged!  The English sounded every bit as ridiculous trying to speak Wampanoag, as the Wampanoag may have sounded trying to speak English!

Just have some fun trying to imagine the reality :-)

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