Three words into Old English/Anglo-Saxon?

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Three words into Old English/Anglo-Saxon?

Postby GypsyE » Sun 05 Aug 2012 7:35 pm

Hello Omniglot community!

I was wondering if anyone could please help me? I am looking for a translation of the following three words urgently:

Dream ( - as in the dreams one has while asleep, but also hopefully the dreams one has for their life/aspirations - if one word can encompass all?)

Seek ( - as in explore, strive, quest)

Compose/ Create - (HOPEFULLY I can find one word that implies composing music, and creating fiction / writing.)

So far I think these are best:

Dream - Swefn (although someone suggested Gemætan)

Seek - Asecan (someone suggested Gesecan, but I thought that meant to look for a specific object rather than explore)

I am stuck on the 'Create' 'Compose' word. Compose seems to imply arranging something which has already been written which isn't the meaning I want, and I can't find a word for create that applies to creating music AND literature. :cry:

If anyone can suggest accurate words that would be brilliant and a massive help!

In addition if anyone with such skills could find the time to possibly give me a jpg of how these would look in Caligraphy I'd be grateful too, but I realise that's a lot of effort! I know which symbols are used for which letter, but it unfortunately is one thing knowing that, and another completely to write them beautifully!

Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

Gypsy
Xx
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Re: Three words into Old English/Anglo-Saxon?

Postby linguoboy » Mon 06 Aug 2012 2:29 am

GypsyE wrote:Dream ( - as in the dreams one has while asleep, but also hopefully the dreams one has for their life/aspirations - if one word can encompass all?)

Seek ( - as in explore, strive, quest)

Compose/ Create - (HOPEFULLY I can find one word that implies composing music, and creating fiction / writing.)

So far I think these are best:

Dream - Swefn (although someone suggested Gemætan)

Swef(e)n is a noun, gemætan is a verb. From your blurb above, I'm not sure which one you're looking for.

For the noun, drēam would be a possibility as well. Although it's not attested in any Old English source, we know it must've existed because Middle English dream is clearly derived from an earlier form which developed regularly from Common Germanic *drau(g)mo-.

GypsyE wrote:Seek - Asecan (someone suggested Gesecan, but I thought that meant to look for a specific object rather than explore)

I believe you are correct.

GypsyE wrote:I am stuck on the 'Create' 'Compose' word. Compose seems to imply arranging something which has already been written which isn't the meaning I want, and I can't find a word for create that applies to creating music AND literature.

The Anglo-Saxons didn't make such a distinction. Their literature was poetry, and it was meant to be recited to musical accompaniment. The word for "poet" in Old English was scop, which is derived from the same root as Modern English shape. The corresponding Anglo-Saxon verb is scieppan, which also meant "create". (God was referred to as sē Scippend, i.e. "the Creator".)
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