Opening Lines of Beowulf In Old English

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Hillsdale College Professor of English Justin A. Jackson reads the opening lines of "Beowulf" in its original Old English. Watch Professor David M. Whalen on the liberal arts at Hillsdale College: Hillsdale College website:

Comments from Youtube

suijurisinfowarrior : English muth^$%&^$, do you speak it? Oh, you do? Carry on.

galrjkldd : Seriously? why does everyone want to set this to music? it's musical enough as it is. The added music just gets in the way.

Harjawaldar : And afterwards, he smoked his pipe

inyourface668 : time travel would be a real pain in the ass

Ash Mckinlay : it sounds so familiar yet so different. certainly parts that are understandable though, and phonetically it sounds quite similar to traditional west country English and lowland Scots, which would make sense. really well made piece, it's almost like hearing through a real time portal to ango Saxon England. I would suggest to anyone who found this interesting to research the frisian language as well as that split off at the stem of what we now call old English and as such retains features of old English that modern English has now lost/replaced.

Alondra Mares : Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon! Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum monegum mægþum meodo-setla ofteah; egsode eorl[as] syððan ærest wearð feasceaft funden; he þæs frofre gebad, weox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum þah, oðæt him æghwylc þara ymb-sittendra ofer hron-rade hyran scolde, gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs god cyning!

TK TK : jezuz you'd think you're hearing god speak himself from some of these comments.

James Hamilton : He's just reading it backwards

Shinobi V 101 : Sounds like Norwegian or Swedish and same with how it's written.

TheWhizard h : To bad we didn't keep this language. It sounds beautiful.

PitbullTerror88 : for some reason i'd like to hear him yell 'You shall not pass!' in this old english

Destiny Star : Sounds like Jon Snow if he was a sim.

Will Best : I'd never heard that before. I'll bet he had some fun learning to speak it.

MrShepperson : Now, speak it back with a French accent like you are a mercenary from Bordeaux trying to chat up a Saxon women and you basically have English...

Bel amour : I loved the sound of it all, so earthy, warm, meaty and steamy.

Spencer Branting : If you're going to read that professor, put some emphasis into it! It's an epic poem!

Jonnie Brim : I could seriously listen to this guy all day lol so freaking cool man 😎

VC YT : You can hear the rhythm of nowadays English in his reading !

T-shirt Tube : Doesn't resemble english at all in my opinion. It's probably more like GOTHIC.

Slavic Pride : its so interesting that some words are same like in Modern English :)

goatisdemen : is 'cunning' also derived from cyning?

Evannator1 : I'm moved to tears

Lil Papal State : It sounds like he is speaking English but at the same time not

Clemandax : I looked into the Canterbury Tales and was surprised how much I could understand, especially if I listened and read it at the same time, so I decided to see how much harder Beowulf is to understand, and I can’t understand a word. And people think Shakespeare’s hard.

Noss Njeppa : I watched this at 1.5 speed. It's beneficial because people always like to read Old English very slowly.

Dylan Stewart : Most languages today have more in common with contemporary English than this.

Letizia Marziali : Definitely sound like Icelandic.

ImperialistRunningDo : unlock your word hoard!

maserradillav07 sv : Respect!!!

RelTheBell : 0:44 "After Kenneth" sounds so weird in the middle of that. Is that actually what it says, though, or is it just coincidence that it sounds like that?

Derek Vanderhoff : Only at Hillsdale college

zivzan : faa wthfth firhth fth hafthhh fthfthafthhhh great. now my table is all wet.

Sprongo : If he's american then his pronunciation is excellent.

Brian Hill : did he say femidom ?

Destro Matic : It sounds French, Italian, Spanish and swedish at the same time

Return to Sender : It sounds jagged, flowery, raunchy, spicy and salty.

Bruce Johnson : is this guy drunk or something?

Marc Caomhánach : What book is he reading from?

Snail Succ : Sounds like drunk Irish

Thomas Kidd : Old English sounds like incantations or sumn

Mary Stein : I Googled the name of "Boom Boom Bessinger", a professor at NYU who was famous back in my day for his recording of these lines. I was never able to get a recording of his performance, but I wonder if any of you know it? Eventually I got a Norman Davis and Nevill Coghill tape that I was able to use, supplemented by the Caedmon Cassette "Kemp Malone on Old English Poetry." How times have changed. I'm 80 years old now, and retired, but still thrilled by the great poets and writers who used to work not only to entertain but to edify kings.

B. Xoit : To the best of my understanding, the "g" in "dægum" is pronounced like modern English "y".

Jared Lind : What edition is he reading from?

Pelinal Whitestrake : More showmanship!

theguyshadows : Completely lost.

Auburn T : Interesting. Can't understand any of it. It's like listening to a completely different language.

Juno Berries : <3 <3 <3 <3

Lord Gilbert : I hate the French :)