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Complete Old English Beginner to Intermediate Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language with Teach Yourself (Complete Languages) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Atherton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £29.99
Kindle Price: £10.04 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Kindle Edition £10.04  
Paperback £20.39  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged £29.99  
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Book Description

This product is most effective when used in conjunction with the corresponding double CD.

- You can purchase the book and double CD as a pack (ISBN: 9781444104196)@font-face {

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- The double CD is also sold separately (ISBN: 9781444104202)

Learn Old English (Anglo-Saxon) with this best-selling course from Teach Yourself - the No. 1 brand in language learning. Equally suited to general reader, historian and student of literature, this new edition teaches vocabulary and grammar through original texts, with audio support, traces the roots of modern English words, and explores the Anglo-Saxon cultural context through poems, prose and historical documents.

Learn effortlessly with a new easy-to-read page design and interactive features:


One-, five- and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.


Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.


Easy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding.


Easy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for understanding.


Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.


Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of Anglo-Saxon England.

Product Description

Book Description

The complete course for a fun and effective way to learn Old English. This best-selling course comprises a book and audio support which is easy to download to your MP3 player or iPod. The book (ISBN: 9781444104189) and the audio support (ISBN: 9781444104202) are also sold individually.

About the Author

Dr Mark Atherton is Lecturer in English Language and Literature at Regent's Park College, Oxford University. A trained teacher, he has taught in Germany and Austria and has published widely in medieval studies and linguistics.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly accessible guide for beginners 19 Nov. 2010
This book provides a pleasantly easy way in to learning Old English, particularly for someone (like myself) who has never been particularly good at languages, and hasn't tried to learn one in over 15 years. It is clearly organized and attractively presented, and includes historical context as well as pointing out the links between Old English words and grammar and their modern English equivalents, which makes them easier to learn as well as being fascinating in its own right.

The book is structured into units with "test yourself" sections at the end; grammar is introduced gradually. This means one isn't overwhelmed with tables of tenses and word endings, which is a particular bonus for anyone who finds inflected languages tricky to get to grips with. On the other hand, if you're perfectly comfortable with nominatives, accusatives, genitives, and so forth, and want to learn declensions straight away, this probably isn't the book for you.

I find that this book's approach suits my learning style extremely well. For the more academically-inclined, it may be too much of a "beginner's guide". In one or two places I found myself wondering why certain endings differed long before they were explained, and I do think the book would benefit from a small series of tables of the basic endings, to go along with its list of vocabulary at the back. This is the main reason I'm giving it 4 rather than 5 stars; plus, it's on the pricey side, but then again most books on a topic of such minority interest tend to be.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good to get you started 18 Dec. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I share the other reviewer's minor reservations, but it still remains the most accessible introduction to OE for anyone who has not endured the grammar-translation approach. To complement it I also bought First Steps in Old English and I find the two books work well in tandem. It's well worth buying the book/CD set, as this gives you an accurate aural idea of the pronunciation. The source materials and the details about the history/context also give you a valuable historical/political angle.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy the one with the CD 18 Sept. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't want to discourage people from buying this introduction to Anglo-Saxon, but I do want to encourage them to get the edition with the CD, not just the paperback. The issue is with the pronunciation of the texts. The pronunciation guide in this book is inadequate. I know that it's hard to convey the sounds of one language, in print, in another language (although that shouldn't be so hard in this case, between Old and Modern English), but the problem lies in the failure to identify the correct pronunciation in tricky places, e.g. where "c" is pronounced "ch" and where "k". The vocabulary lists include pronunciation guides, but not for all words, and it's the problem words which are skated over. Just as an example: in Unit 10, we are told that Anglo-Saxon "hid" is pronounced "heed", but not how "aecer" is pronounced.

I imagine that most people reading this book have two aims: to be able to read Anglo-Saxon easily and to be able to pronounce the sounds fluently, to know how the original texts sounded. By itself, the paperback fails on the latter, but is a good guide to the former. I really can't pretend to understand the point of the introductory sections, such as "Only got five minutes?" The texts used throughout, however, are authentic; no "Cotta and Balbus are attacking the ditches" stuff here. If you don't get your interest piqued by the historical context passages in this book, then you're probably learning the wrong language.

The word index does not contain all of the words used in the texts (and I am taking into account inflections of nouns, adjectives and pronouns and conjugations of verbs).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a clever and beautiful book 8 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr. Atherton has crafted a clever and beautiful book here. From the very start you begin to read real Anglo-Saxon lifted from actual texts, the choice of text highlighting some point within the language he wishes you to grasp. Along the way insights are given to the cultural and historical background of the language and indeed to the structure of language generally. With every page I turned I found myself discovering something new and enlightening. The accompanying recordings were invaluable in getting a grasp of how the language sounded and in giving confidence to speaking it aloud oneself. I found many of the old English texts really had to be heard in this manner to be fully appreciated. As with all books of course, the teaching style may not suit everyone. As a balance I would also heartily recommend Stephen Pollington's book 'First Steps in Old English' which can be read easily in conjunction with this book and makes an excellent companion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction available today 21 April 2013
By Slim
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those of you who tried to work through the Sweets Anglo-Saxon Primer, this approach leaves you with none of the problems of the former. This course has audio material to allow for better understanding of the pronunciation of the language. After mastering this material, one can go on to use Sweet's or other grammars for a more detailed mastery of the language. This is a perfect course to get started.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly let down by the Kindle version
An excellent and challenging book. Slightly let down by the lack of audio in the Kindle version and the manuscript facsimiles are incredibly small.
Published 1 month ago by Spencer C Hadden
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book has been very helpful for me to understand the text and the way it was spoken.
Published 3 months ago by Trevor Scrivens
3.0 out of 5 stars so a waste of money unless you have a resent Kindle
Does not work on windows 8 kindle, so a waste of money unless you have a resent Kindle.
Published 4 months ago by MR JOHNSTON
3.0 out of 5 stars From "Top Notch" To "Appalling" In Ten Seconds
I loved the book and the CD- amazing delivery and packaging however:-
What I received was a Beginner to Intermediate (which on a fault of my own IS what I wanted however it is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by James Hoyle
Now works on Kindle Fire HDX 8.9! Brilliant. The male and female speakers speak clearly and at a reasonable speed. Links between units are good. Read more
Published 11 months ago by JC Penrith
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a look
I found this easy to follow but you do need the audio cd to go with it. Well worth it.
Published 13 months ago by Robert Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars total beginners old english.
This book is ideas for someone who is a total beginner in the language. You do need a bit of knowledge about vocab used to name cases etc, but anyone who's done French, German... Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. Mcewan
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read
This was bought for someone else but I know they have enjoyed the read. It has been clearly laid out .
Published 20 months ago by CJ Marchant
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a few unfortunate faults,
I love reading this and reciting snippets of Ænglisc. It's a great experience to be able to connect to your roots; especially given how pure and advanced the spelling system was at... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Twicga
5.0 out of 5 stars Good start to learn the language.
This is a really nice book on a subject that is difficult to find sources from (i.e a complete beginners guide. I would recommend that you get the CD audio guide with it.
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
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