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Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-05-06, 23:19
by IpseDixit
The first thing that came to my mind is Il Cantico delle Creature by Saint Francis of Assisi (1200s), it is considered to be the most ancient work of literature written in Italian.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-05-09, 0:43
by Emandir
I've had hard time with Rabelais but I find Montaigne quite easy, at least easier than people generally say. That may be because the former used a lot of popular (as in "of the people") words and expressions...

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-05-22, 14:36
by Levike
[flag=]ro[/flag]
This is a part the oldest surviving text in Romanian from 1521
Scrisoarea lui Neacșu de la Câmpulung ( The letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung )

"I pak spui domniietale ca mai marele miu, de ce am înțeles și eu. Eu spui domniietale iară domniiata ești înțelept și aceste cuvinte să ții domniiata la tine, să nu știe umin mulți, și domniile vostre să vă păziți cum știți mai bine."

The only word we wouldn't understand today is "I pak", the rest in totally intelligable.
The original text was written using the cyrillic aplhabet.

[flag=]hu[/flag]
And this is a part from a Hungarian poem from the year 1192-1195
Ómagyar Mária-siralom ( Lamentations of Mary )

"Világ világa,
Virágnak virága!
Keserüen kinzatul,
Vos szegekkel veretül"

I can understand 90-95% of it if it's written with the modern alphabet.
The original text uses some kind of funny alphabet.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-07, 15:59
by languagepotato
the first i can understand in dutch is probably elckerlijc (written around 1470-1480), the first work that sounds (i.e. reads) somewhat natural to me is probably Beschryvinge van het magtig Koningryk Krinke Kesmes from the early 1700's.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-18, 18:43
by Bernard
"The Nibelungs" (13th century, Middle High German):

1. Âventiure
Uns ist in alten mæren wunders vil geseit
von helden lobebæren, von grôzer arebeit,
von fröuden, hôchgezîten, von weinen und von klagen,
von küener recken strîten muget ir nu wunder hoeren sagen.

(Full many a wonder is told us in stories old,
of heroes worthy of praise, of hardships dire,
of joy and feasting, of weeping and of wailing;
of the fighting of bold warriors, now ye may hear wonders told.
)

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-18, 20:31
by Lauren
Bernard wrote:"The Nibelungs" (13th century, Middle High German):

1. Âventiure
Uns ist in alten mæren wunders vil geseit
von helden lobebæren, von grôzer arebeit,
von fröuden, hôchgezîten, von weinen und von klagen,
von küener recken strîten muget ir nu wunder hoeren sagen.

For some reason I've always loved the rhyme and meter of Das Nibelungenlied. :D

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-22, 21:38
by johnklepac
I can understand most of Shakespeare in its original spelling.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-23, 3:03
by mōdgethanc
johnklepac wrote:I can understand most of Shakespeare in its original spelling.
How about this? I can get most of it, but I get stumped by a few words here and there.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-23, 4:42
by johnklepac
mōdgethanc wrote:
johnklepac wrote:I can understand most of Shakespeare in its original spelling.
How about this? I can get most of it, but I get stumped by a few words here and there.

Wait, what? I said "most," and this isn't even by Shakespeare. Wait, never mind; you weren't challenging me. Anyway, it is a little tricky. It's definitely in that zone in which I have to focus more on making sure that I understand and lose the air of the plot in the process.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2013-06-24, 2:02
by księżycowy
I can get the gist of The Canterbury Tales, though there is plenty to trip me up. And it's a stretch to say I can read it fluidly.

A few months back I was actually starting to read it, but I didn't make it far.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2014-03-05, 14:02
by JuxtapositionQMan
[flag=]en[/flag]I could read Shakespeare fine once I understood "wherefore", but anything before Shakespeare I have significant trouble with.
[flag=]eo[/flag]It's hardly changed since it was invented, so basically everything. :silly:

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2014-11-21, 12:03
by Ashrak
Probably this: http://books.google.de/books?id=oOU8AAA ... &q&f=false

Postilla by Jan Hus from 1414 (I'm not sure whether it had been redacted in 1866 or not), It's definitely hard to find any original Czech texts from before that time, but Czech has really changed that much since then (or rather it has been reverted back in mid 19th century)

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2014-11-21, 22:58
by loqu
Lur wrote:I can read the Cantar de mio Cid (around year 1200), sometimes slowly and carefully. I might have to look something up.

That is without any study. I'll take on Latin later. :twisted:

Same here. I can't understand previous texts; the Glosas Emilianenses are cryptic to me, even though some scholars now claim they were written in Aragonese and not Castilian.

There's also the kharjas, written in Andalusi Romance (11th-12th centuries), which I can understand to some extent, except when some word in Arabic pops up. Apart from some very common words like habib, those words get me lost.

Re: The oldest work in your first language you can understand?

Posted: 2015-03-09, 21:19
by Fabiano
Menina e Moça, by Bernardim Ribeiro. It was published in 1554, but written much earlier.

Some passages are incredibly hard to "decipher" tho.