Norton Anthology

Woruldhord

Alarichall – YouTube

Beowulf by Benjamin Bagby

Beowulf by Jess Bessinger

Beowulf by Trevor Eaton

Anglo Saxon Aloud

Alexander Arguelles

EngliscHerewulf – YouTube

EOW – Old English Translator

 

 

Norton Anthology

The Norton Anthology website is extremely informative, complete with multiple audio recordings from BBC and other reputable companies. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what is Old English and what is Middle English, but luckily they have many examples of both. This is the number one place to go for professional readings of poetry and prose.

  • The Old English readings are actually filed under Middle Ages, so scroll down to number twelve to find great readings of  Caedmon’s Hymn, The Wanderer, and Wife’s Lament, among other poems.
  • There is also a great introduction to Old & Middle English, as well as some information about Beowulf, found here.

Woruldhord

Woruldhord Project is run by the University of Oxford, and contains a huge amount of user-generated content, submitted by scholars from around the world. Their audio section is huge, but also searchable. I’ve found the best way to find pertinent information is to search by Format in the “Browse Collection Keywords” section at the bottom of the homepage. There you can find videos, mp3 files, and all sorts of good information.

  • The crown jewel of the Woruldhord (in my opinion) is this collection from The Chaucer Studio, a well respected studio run out of BYU dedicated to recording medieval literature. The downloads available include sections of Judith, multiple riddles, selections from Deor, and of course, some Beowulf.
  • Among the audio files is a discussion of Thomas Birkett’s experience translating The Wanderer as well as other texts. He talks about the scansion and theories behind his translation, as well as provides audio of his own readings.

Alarichall – YouTube

YouTube user Alarichall is clearly passionate about his work. He is very energetic and personable, and does a great job of explaining everything in terms even beginners can understand. He cites Baker’s work, so you know it’s not just some guy with a camera making up the rules. Everything is laid out for you, complete with diagrams. He’s also one of the first hits that comes up when you search “old English pronunciation,” which is just another sign that he’s probably a good place to start.

Beowulf by Benjamin Bagby

While the full DVD is not available for free streaming, he does offer a clip on his website, and the beginning is worth a listen on YouTube. Benjamin Bagby is often considered the best and most entertaining performer of Old English still working today. His readings are accompanied by his beautiful harp-playing, and his pronunciation is accurate as well.

Beowulf by Jess Bessinger

Jess Bessinger may not have audio available for free online, but this CD is well worth a listen. Not only does Bessinger include readings from Beowulf, but he also includes selections from Caedmon’s HymnThe Dream of the RoodThe WandererThe Battle of Brunan Burg, and A Wife’s Lament.

Beowulf by Trevor Eaton

This CD set by Trevor Eaton is done very well, with clear pronunciation and enunciation of each word. There are samples available online, so starving students won’t have to purchase it to benefit from Eaton’s readings. Great for getting a good idea of the cadence of Beowulf.

Anglo Saxon Aloud

Michael C. Drout is a professor at Wheaton College, and his blog titled Anglo Saxon Aloud has some of the most accurate recordings available on the web. From poems, to bible passages, to obscure manuscripts, Drout has recorded it all. His podcasts are available to play in the window or to download for later listening.

Alexander Arguelles

This man is impressive. He can read in 38 different languages (including Old English!) and has an amazing resume. Arguelles’ videos include him reading a passage in Old English, while he trails the line he’s reading with his finger so the viewer can follow along. However, this may be better for more advanced students, as he uses some linguistic jargon beginners may not be familiar with.

EngliscHerewulf

This user’s first video is perhaps his most informative. He writes out the words and clearly explains the different palatalizations. However, the rest of his videos might best be left to more advanced viewers. He has a lot to say about the history of Anglo-Saxons, as well as some more pronunciation videos, but with much less explanation.

EOW – Old English Translator

This online Old English Translator is a little outdated, having been done in 2003. As a result, some of the links that take you to separate sites don’t work anymore. However, the translations are thorough, and it works for Modern English to Old English translations, as well as Old English to Modern English. Some of the search hits bring up multiple options for translation, which is helpful for figuring out the part of speech and the tense. The author does have a disclaimer on the front page, saying it was done “just for fun,” but the information is indeed accurate

 

 

As a final note, be sure to always do a little bit of digging about the websites you find whenever you use the internet for anything scholastic. It’s important that you don’t try and use the first thing you come across when doing a web search…because the song “Old English” by the illustrious rapper and linguist ‘The Game’ is the first thing Google will bring you to when searching for videos about Old English. Consider yourself warned!

 

 



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