Old English Pronunciation Guide

for the Rohirric lyrics of the "Lord of the Rings" movies

 

Here's some basic pronunciation guides for Old English - the language used for Rohirric lyrics in TTT and ROTK.
These guides were obtained from the University of Calgary's Old English site, constructed by Murray McGillivray.

CONSONANTS:

  • b, d, k, l, m, n, p, r, t, x are pronounced in Old English in much the same way as they are in Modern English:

  • c is pronounced

    • with a k sound if it comes before a back vowel (like o or a) or another consonant.

    • usually like Modern English ch if it comes before a front vowel (like i or e), or at the end of a word following a front vowel.

  • f is pronounced

    • like Modern English f at the beginning of a word, at the end of a word, or if it is next to an unvoiced consonant within a word.

    • like Modern English v if it comes between two vowels or between a vowel and a voiced consonant within a word.

  • g is pronounced

    • with a hard g sound (i.e. the sound in the Modern English words give and grape) if it comes before a back vowel (like o or a) or another consonant.

    • usually like Modern English y in yes or yellow if it comes before a front vowel (like i or e), or at the end of a word following a front vowel.

  • h is pronounced

    • just like Modern English h if it occurs at the beginning of a word.

    • There are many variations when used within a word. For more info visit web site.

  • s is pronounced

    • like Modern English s at the beginning of a word, at the end of a word, or if it is next to an unvoiced consonant within a word.

    • like Modern English z if it comes between two vowels or between a vowel and a voiced consonant within a word.

  • OR are pronounced like Modern English th, with slight variations (These two letters are alternate writings of the same consonant sound.) Visit web site for more info.

COMBINATIONS OF CONSONANTS:

  • In combinations of consonants, all of the consonants are pronounced, so for example the word cniht starts with a k sound, followed by an n sound. Two combinations of consonant letters have special values:

    • sc should be pronounced like Modern English sh.

    • cg should be pronounced like Modern English dg in a word like judge.

  • hl, hr, hn can be pronounced a a slight breathing before the second consonant sound, or, for the linguistically adept, as an unvoicing of the following consonant. The linguistically challenged mat prefer not to attempt either.

SHORT VOWELS

  • e, i are pronounced in Old English in much the same way as they are in Modern English: (bet and bit.)

LONG VOWELS

Old English long vowels differed from the short vowels primarily because they were actually pronounced for a longer time, not, primarily, because they had a different sound than the corresponding short vowels.

  • Long is pronounced like the second a in aha, or like an extended version of the a in father.

  • Long is pronounced like an extended version of the a in name,

  • Long is pronounced like an extended version of the i in machine.

  • Long is pronounced like an extended version of the o in boat,

  • Long is pronounced like an extended version of the oo in fool.

  • Long is a high rounded front vowel. We dont have one of these in Modern English, so if you dont know other languages you may not have encountered it. (Its like the u in French tu, but extended.) To make it. For more help, go to website

  • Long is pronounced like a hard, flat American a, as in flat, man, hat, and so on.

for diphthong pronunciations visit web site
ea, a, eo, o, ie, e