I'm Julia, a philologist, teacher, translator and what not...Emotion: smile I adore learning foreign languages and communicating with native speakers, but nowadays I am working in a small company with little possibilities of using my knowledge, so I try to practice languages reading books in the original and talking on different forums.

I collect idioms, proverbs, slang expressions, but I'm also interested in the theoretical side of linguistics (at the university we studied Language science, History of the language and the like, so sometimes I miss my student years...Emotion: sad

Can anybody give me the text of Chaucer's poem, which has such words: ...melodie, that slepen all the night with open eye...? I don't remember the name of the poem, but it may be from his "Canterbury Tales". I know that unlike Old English, Middle English had been much influenced by French borrowings, so the spelling is not phonetic. So, if you have its transcription, I will be very grateful.

My professor at the university read it out, and it was very beautiful and unusual (something like /melodai...neet....).

Thank you in advance,

Julia / Lost_Between_Two_Worlds/
Hi Julia, welcome to the forums,

Your list of interests seem to be so similar to mine! Anyway, there are afew online middle English libraries, maybe you can find the rest of your poem there, in case there is none here who is aware of the poet and that particular poem. Here is one of them with plenty of Chaucer's tales: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/collections/languages/english/mideng.browse.html And this is the link to download Canterbury tales: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2383

Hope you find your poem there,
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Dear Julia,

It is an interesting passage. You may find it in the «Prologue». It is here at line nine:


Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Dear LanguageLover and Goldmund,

Thank you very much, that was it! Emotion: big smile

Middle English looks so unusual, like a mixture of English, German and French. It's a pity there wasn't transcription there.

If somebody here knows German and French, look at the poem: the words sonne, longen, wenden, engelond remind of German words; vertu, licour, tendre, seson, corage are of French origin; grammar forms are English.

If possible, I would also like a translation into Modern English. I suppose that understanding this text is difficult not only for foreigners, but also for native speakers.
Here's a version with translation in Modern English alongside.


Next time you remember a line and want to find out which poem it is, just type it into Google, and you'll almost certainly get the poem
: )

By the way, I, too, am interested in learning different languages. I'm a thirteen year old student, and I'm learning on my own, from the internet (I prefer to learn that way; it allows more freedom). The only language I do speak is English. I've been learning German for a few weeks now, and I'm quite satisfied with my progress. I tried Latin last year, but well, unlike German or other modern languages, I couldn't pursue it on a conversational level, so I've postponed it for the time being. Recently I've also taken up French, Esperanto, Greek, and Spanish. I'm still concentrating mainly on German though. Thought you'd like to know...
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Julia -

It has been almost two years since you have posted this, but I caught your note because I am looking for others that are interested in Middle English. The "poem" you refer to is actually the Prologue to the "Canterbury Tales", probably part or all of the first 22 lines which are frequently read and quoted in college English classes in this country.

I have just finished reading the entire Canterbury Tales in Middle English. It is a very beautiful language in the hands of a master such as Chaucer, bringing to life a whole time that is long past and making a music that stands on its own, almost like the sound of an ancient instrument being played once again.

I hope you have found a recording of this and keep reading Chaucer. I would love to learn to speak the language,but........ There are far more useful ways to spend time I guess, huh?

Here's a link to some recordings of the Prologue, not the best pronunciation, but a start.


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