Translating Elizabethan English

Translating Elizabethan English into Modern English

First, the differences are not that important!

The differences between the language in Cyrano de Bergerac and Modern French, and Shakespeare's plays and Modern English are very similar.

The plays were written to rhyme, which does not, and did not, always happen in everyday speech. The syntax was also more flexible... Like this 


Chances are you understand the meaning of the sentence, but you are stuck on 1 or 2 words.

Before you start looking up a word, try looking at different spellings, try looking at the sound... (words were adapted to rhyme!)

Broil could be replaced by Brawl, and didst is simply an archaic form of the simple past: didst leave... did leave... left 

If you still have problems, go to a Dictionary! You might encounter some problems: the words are not in this dictionary... go to another dictionary

Re-insert the translated word into the original sentence. See if it makes sense.

Find an article/study/thesis on that section of the play, and compare it to your interpretation.

Last modified: mardi, 22 août 2017, 6:41