Example from the BG practice
Valeri Vankov, 11a grade
• Beowulf, the great Anglo-Saxon epic poem by an
unknown author, was composed some time
between the 8th and the 11th centuries.
• The text exists in only one manuscript which
dates from about the year 1000.
• The poem was largely unknown until the first
printed versions of the poem were published at
the end of the eighteenth century. Soon, short
English translations of various parts of the poem
began to appear, and within a few decades, in
1833, the first full-length English translation was
• Since Beowulf is written in Old English, the earliest
known form of the English language, one might
assume that it would be easy to translate, at least
easier than works printed in languages more
substantially different from modern English.
• Yet looking at the many translations of Beowulf that
are available in bookstores and libraries, it's
immediately apparent that they have important
differences in language, form, and style.
• This immediately raises the questions: Why are these
translations so different? And how can I decide which,
if any, is the "best" to read?
Hwæt. We Gardena in gear-
dagum, þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
• LITERAL - What. We of the Spear-Danes in old days of
the people-kings, power heard, how the princes brave
• R. M. LIUZZA:
Listen! We have heard of the glory in
bygone days of the folk-kings of the spear-Danes,
how those noble lords did lofty deeds.
• BURTON RAFFEL:
Hear me! We've heard of Danish heroes,
Ancient kings and the glory they cut
For themselves, swinging mighty swords!
Forgeaf þa Beowulfe brand Healfdenes
segen gyldenne sigores to leane;
hroden hildecumbor, helm ond byrnan,
mære maðþumsweord manige gesawon
beforan beorn beran.
He gave then Beowulf the sword of
golden standard [banner] victory to reward;
embroidered war-banner, helmet and armor,
famous treasure-sword many saw
before the warrior borne.
RUTH P. M. LEHMANN:
Beowulf received the brand of Halfdane,
a battle standard, broidered in gold,
warhelm and buckler, rewards for triumph,
a crowd had witnessed the costly weapon
borne before the warrior.
Diary and Notes
• This way of presenting of a popular work
helps for learning them, personally I think
that this gives us more realistic view of the
plot. The comparison between the original
and the modern version shows how the
language has developed. The combination
of video materials and text helps for easier
remembering. In my opinion this is the
best way to learn something and more
lessons must be like this.