Old English: The Lord's Prayer from the 11th century
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Curious about what English sounded like 1,000 years ago? But, is this really English? The Lord's Prayer in Old English from the 11th century, in standardised West Saxon literary dialect of Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon).

Modern English comes from a mixture of Anglo-Saxon dialects (of Germanic origin) and Norman French (of Latin origin), roughly 50%-50% (see Old English). The language of this video is almost 1000 years old, and English has changed so much since then that modern English speakers cannot understand it at all. Anglo-Saxon is to English the same as Latin is to Italian or Spanish, only that Anglo-Saxon is 1000 years younger but yet, even harder to understand to modern English people than Latin is to modern Italians. That's because English was and is a language changing very quickly.

You can even watch a video showing the original runes /ru:nz/ in which Anglo-Saxon people wrote before they got the Latin alphabet from the Church.

You can learn more about runes here: Runes.

Here's the Lord's Prayer in modern English: The Lord's Prayer.


Fæder ure,
þu þe eart on heofonum,
si þin nama gehalgod;
tobecume þin rice;
gewurþe þin willa
on eorðan swa swa on heofonum;
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas,
swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum,
and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele.


The modern version of this prayer (though still used in a bit of an archaic language) is this:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Watch the modern Lord's Prayer with explanations.