Can you write a sentence in English the way it would look now, 100 years ago, and 500 years ago?

I stand to be corrected, but here goes:


“Can you write a sentence in English the way it would look now, one hundred years ago, and five hundred years ago?”

-100y (c.1917): First World War

“Can you write a sentence in English the way it would look now, one hundred years ago, and five hundred years ago?”

-400y (c.1617): Just after the death of William Shakespeare

“Canst thou write a sentence in English, in the wise that it looketh now, and look’d an hundred years past, and yet five hundred years past?”

-500y (c.1517): Mary Tudor was one year old

“Canst thou writ a sentence yn Englissh, yn such wise as yt seemeth nou, and seemed an hundred yeeres gonne, and fiue hundred yeeres gonne?”

-600y (c.1417): A few years before the birth of William Caxton, the first Printer in England.

“Canst thou wryt ane sentence yn Englische yn this wise: that as yt semeth nouwe, and hath semed an hundred yeres ygonne, and fiue hundred yeres ygonne?”

-1000y (c.1017): Cnut is king of England, and marries Emma of Normandy

“Meaht þu writan anne cwide in Ænglisc þus, swa he nu biþ, ond swa he hundred geara ær wæs, ond swa fif hundred geara ær?”

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Can you understand the meaning of the phrase written in medieval English?

#History #language #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Deena Grady
I believe that English is basically "The Queen's English"; that being said Australian has developed its own slang and identity, Canadian has developed it's own slang and identity, American has developed it's own slang and identity. All UK colonized countries that have English as a main language have developed and evolved into its "own" English. There is one other language that hasn't changed on millenia it is Chinese.
Aug 5, 2019 6:13PM
Icelandic hasn't charged in over a thousand years making it the purest language on earth.
Aug 12, 2022 7:56PM
Deena Grady, also Icelandic.
Aug 12, 2022 7:55PM
Was thinking I'd see a "ye olde" in there somewhere or maybe a cursive f-looking "s" thrown yn for good mesure.
Apr 17, 2022 11:58AM
Susan Golebiewski
Things change each year & so does Language. New words are added as we progress in understanding.
Jul 9, 2020 9:26PM
bina sarmah
When I was young, I learned that Math doesn't change. Two plus two is four million years. But language changes every ten years. New words, new slang.
Apr 28, 2020 6:15PM
And think how many new words are added to the English language every year!!!
Jan 12, 2020 4:59PM
Norman Burgess
William 1 spoke French ( old) in 1066, of course. Remember, Georges 1 and 2 spoke only German!!
Jan 3, 2020 5:54PM
Dave Woodward
And didst thou knoweth that many of the English swear words including the 'F' word are derived from Old English. Sadly Old English as well as Old Spanish and Latin are no longer taught in schools or colleges which is a pity considering that Welsh and Gaelic are now being taught in schools in both countries.
Aug 17, 2019 7:51PM
Deena Grady
Yes, I can read some medieval English.
Aug 5, 2019 6:05PM
Susanna Viljanen
The further thou goest in history, the much it looketh and heareth like Swedish or German.
May 9, 2019 6:46AM
Ian Swindale
Anyone who reads Chaucer will know just how difficult it can be to "translate" some of the words.
Apr 4, 2019 6:43AM
Lynne Cage
Interesting thnx
Apr 2, 2019 1:49AM
Douglas Oaten
I would like to see how kids would use the -1000 one on WhatsApp today
Mar 31, 2019 7:26AM
Don Racette
Heather Bloomfield Your husband told me you currently write the same way they did a thousand years ago.
Dec 8, 2018 6:49PM

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