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Is it useful to learn Old English? / Leornende Eald Englisc

Why can't Duolingo put Old English as a course? Is there a point in learning an extinct language that no one speaks? For me I personally prefer that they revive Old English and make it be taught so we can start speaking our original Anglo-Saxon version of the language.

Although it is harder than the simplified modern English, I like Old English, it sounds more Germanic, and is structurally similar to German and Dutch. Or why can't Duolingo add a Frisian course? It is the closest related language to English that is still spoken today.

August 13, 2019



I had my English class read Beowulf last year, and I taught them some Old English. I would give a resounding "Yes!" that, from a linguistics standpoint, it is important to see the evolution of words. Suggest it to Duo for incubation, but just know that they are going to put their resources first into languages that they think will be appealing to the maximum amount of people.

If you are truly passionate, start doing the legwork for them! Put together some mini-lessons using Tinycards, and post links on the forums.


It's dead but don't be discoraged, if you want to learn it then learn it, you'll have more fun if you learn a language you want to learn vs learning a language because it's "useful". Even learning old English may get you a few careers at some point. Have a great day :-)


Also, I agree that Duolingo should 100% add more dead languages (although I'm not particularly interested in any dead languages I still hope that they will for the people who want them)


Didn't they revive Hebrew , Cornish and Manx? I know some people who want to revive Old English, wanting to speak the language of their Germanic Anglo-Saxon ancestors, the french Normans invaded England and changed the language and gave it a lot of French vocabulary as it evolved into Modern English.


The Anglo-Saxons also invaded England, which previously spoke Brythonic. Why not revive that, instead, if, as you seem to be tacitly implying, age is commensurate with authenticity?


Some of the Celtic languages still exist, Welsh, Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic, they all descended from common old Brittonic, and I presume they haven't changed much.


Why does it matter that it sounds more Germanic? Unless you start talking/writing in a higher register, a huge number of words in everyday English are Germanic. Just because they don't sound like Dutch or German doesn't make them any less Germanic. There's truly no point to use Old English as an everyday language; language changes and evolves, and you have to accept it and move on.

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