26 September 2008


I often wonder in the Cadfael series what language the characters are talking. Sometimes Ellis Peters makes it explicit as a plot point that somebody is speaking Welsh or English, but presumably Norman French and Latin are also possibilities. Could Cadfael also speak Byzantine Greek and Arabic from his time in the East?

The Language Hat alerts us to the online existence of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary or AND.

I was also pleased to see this in the introduction:

If you are, or are soon to become, a taxpayer in the UK or any other EU country, you will probably be interested to know how we spend your cash, because it is taxation, channelled our way both through the general Higher Education budget and the specific allocations made to us by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom, that pays for everything we do. When we say that our Dictionary, unlike a number of other similar on-line undertakings, is 'free', we mean that we don't charge users to access it, hence anyone can consult it wherever there is an Internet connection without needing registration, passwords or a library or credit card. But of course nothing is ever truly 'free of charge'. We don't see why taxpayers who have already funded our work should pay once again to read it, but they have indeed already paid to have it created, maintained and distributed, and we are very grateful to them for that. We hope they will also be happy that what they have paid for is also made freely available to users worldwide, if only because that way people all over the globe can see and benefit from what is internationally regarded as an outstanding example of world-class UK-based research.

OED take note.

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