A collection of useful phrases in Old English, the version of English that was spoken in England from about the 5th to the 11th century.
Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
|English||Ænglisc (Old English)|
|Hello (General greeting)||Wes hāl (sg)
Wesaþ hāle (pl)
Wesaþ hāla (pl/f)
|How are you?||Hú meaht þú?
Hu eart þú?
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Ic mæg wel
Ic mæg tela
Wel, þancung, and þú?
|Long time no see||Lang fierst ne beseah
Lang tīd ne beseah
|What's your name?||Hwæt hātest þū?|
|My name is ...||Ic hāte ...|
|Where are you from?||Hwanan cymst þū?
Hwiðer eart þū fram?
|I'm from ...||Ic cume of ...|
|Pleased to meet you||Mé lícaþ þé tó métanne (sg)
Mé lícaþ éow tó métanne (pl)
|Good night||Gōde nihte|
|Far gesund (sg)
Faraþ gesunde (pl)
Faraþ gesunda (pl/f)
Wes Hāl (sg)
Wesaþ hāle (pl)
Wesaþ hāla (pl/f) Wes þū hāl
God þē mid sīe ("God be with you")
|Good luck!||Gōd wyrd
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day||Hafa gōdne dæg! (sg)
Habbaþ gōdne dæg (pl)
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|I understand||Ic æt undergiete|
|I don't understand||Ic þæt ne undergiete|
|I know||Ic wāt|
|I don't know||Ic nāt|
|Please speak more slowly||Ic bidde þe mara slawlice to sprecanne|
|Please say that again||Ic bidde þē þæt to eftgianne|
|Please write it down||Ic bidde þē hit to āwrītanne|
|Do you speak Old English?||Sprece þū Englisc?
Sprecest þū Englisc?
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Speak to me in Old English||Sprec tō mē on Englice|
|How do you say ... in Old English?||Hū sægest þū ... in Ænglisc?|
|Excuse me||Forgiefe mec|
|How much is this?||Hū miccle þās is?
Hwæt ys se cēap þisses?
Ic bidde þe
Ic bidde eow
|Thank you||Ic þancie þē|
|Reply to thank you||Welcumen|
|Where's the toilet / bathroom?||Hwǣr is þæt gangern?
Hwǣr is se gangstōl?
|This gentleman will pay for everything||Se wer sceal ealum gieldan
Se hlāford sceal ealum gieldan
|This lady will pay for everything||Sēo hlǣfdīge sceal ealum gieldan|
|Would you like to dance with me?||Wilt þū mid mē sealtian?|
|I miss you||Ic langie þē (sg)
Ic langie ēow (pl)
|I love you||Ic lufie þē|
|Get well soon||Bēo gesund hraðe|
|Leave me alone!||Forlǣte mec!|
|Call the police!||Cīg þǣm weardum!|
|Christmas greetings||Blīþe Crīstes mæsse
|New Year greetings||Glæd Nīwe Gēar
Gesǣlig Nīwe Gēar
|Easter greetings||Gesǣlig Eastordæg|
|Birthday greetings||Gesǣlig Gebyrddæg|
|One language is never enough||Ān geþēode is nǣfre genōg
Ān Spræc is nǣfre genōg
|My hovercraft is full of eels||Mīn wandrian-scyf ful ǣlen is
Mīn lyfthærnflota is ful ǣla
Phrase supplied by Matthew Leigh Embleton, with corrections and additions by T. Patrick Snyder
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Other collections of Old English phrases
Afrikaans, Alsatian, American Norwegian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English (British), Faroese, Flemish (West), Frisian (North - Bökingharde), Frisian (North - Sylt), Frisian (Saterland), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Old English, Pennsylvania German/Dutch, Scots, Stellingwarfs, Swedish, Swiss German (Basel dialect), Swiss German (Chur dialect), Swiss German (Lucerne dialect), Värmlandic, Westrobothnian, Westrobothnian (Piteå), Yiddish
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