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Old English

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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
Language family
Writing systemRunic, later Latin (Old English alphabet).
Language codes
ISO 639-2ang
ISO 639-3ang
ISO 639-6ango

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
language wordlist
English apple path eat tide make child give day
Old English æppel pæþ etan tid macian cild giefan dæg
German Apfel Pfad essen Zeit machen  Kind geben Tag

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