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First Steps in Old English: An Easy to Follow Language Course for the Beginner Paperback – Nov 2004

13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books; 3rd edition edition (Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898281386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898281382
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

This course has been designed to be of value to a variety of students, ranging from those who are teaching themselves at home, to undergraduates who are learning Old English as part of their Englisg degree course. Although the author is a linguist, he is aware that some individuals have little aptitude for learning languages and that many have difficulty with grammar. To overcome these problems the author has adopted a step-by-step approach which enables students of differing abilities to advance at their own pace. It includes many exercises designed to aid the learning process. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lew Archer Investigations on 11 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is currently the best introduction to Old English (though I have not yet seen McGillivray's "Gentle Introduction to Old English). Pollington has taken Mitchell & Robinson's "Guide to Old English" and greatly simplified it, making a complicated grammar easy and fun to learn. This has two benefits: it encourages the student to master the basics which are presented in a daunting manner by Mitchell & Robinson; and, when the student dips into Mitchell & Robinson (and all serious students will do so at some point), much of their book will now appear more clear thanks to Pollington's thorough explanations. Highly recommended. The only other book which comes close is Mark Atherton's "Teach Yourself Old English". This approaches the subject as if it were a modern language and is not nearly as thorough in covering the grammar.
Charlie Friel.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't think any beginner in Anglo-Saxon could do better than this book.
I've been putting some Anglo-Saxon lessons on my website, and I bought this to compare with what I've produced. After reading it, I don't think I'll be doing any more lessons - in future I'll just be redirecting my Anglo-Saxon enthusiasts to this book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Anne E. Pitcher on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting and well laid out book - as yet I am only on Ch. 3, partly because being 64 learning takes longer! I have been very surprised to find how hard it is to learn a language with no clue on pronouncing its vocabulary though, I had no idea that was such an integral part of language study. So, there is a useful section on vowel and consonant pronunciation, but I will definitely be investing in the OE cd's by Mr Pollington.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
Old English is a very difficult language to approach for the first time - to the beginner it may seem no less difficult than Latin or Greek. This guide is a very helpful companion for the student of Old English and can be used effectively to ease much of the confusion that the beginner may experience on first encountering the language. Although I believe it is a bit overpriced, if you have the money to spend, you will find this helpful.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Comet on 15 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful start point in Old English. It took me some time to find and decide on the book I wanted to start with and I am delighted with my choice.

I bought both the book and the CD and I think that the CD is critical from the point of view of pronunciation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Baker on 16 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an essential companion to Stephen Pollington's book "First Steps in Old English". It is only by hearing readings from the book (and other texts) that you will understand how Anglo-Saxon was pronounced. It's a beautiful language and hearing it spoken is a great pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RachelD on 17 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this and the accompanying CD because I wanted to learn Old English, and there is much to praise in both the book and the CD. You do have to work out for yourself where things are and how they relate between the two, but that isn't onerous, and it is really important to be able to hear as well as see the words and texts. I haven't worked through all the sections yet but felt I needed to make a comment now, on reaching sections 4 and 5, about some discrepancies and confusions. This is when it is important to have an additional source to which to refer, to clarify anything that isn't clear (and occasionally there are things that are not) and to make sure that everything is actually correct. I struggled to understand the old English numbering system, and realised in the end that there are errors that should certainly have been picked up on by the editor, and which can send the student round in circles, trying to grasp the logic, when in fact it is simply an error. This came to light as I attempted the exercises, and found that however closely I followed Pollington's explanation, I could not arrive at the answer he gave for some of them! Once I decided that the explanation itself was in error, I could get on and succeed in the exercises. But I need another source to make sure I have the correct numbers (or grammatical construction - it isn't only one or two numbers that are wrong, unfortunately) and I am currently assessing the available sources to decide on one. So - there are errors that should most certainly have been eliminated at the editing stage, and that is a great shame because it throws doubt on all the rest, which is probably otherwise completely sound.Read more ›
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