Niw Englisc is a constructed Germanic language, based on Old English as if it had developed similarly to German, retaining more of its inflections, and more of its original word stock. If you are familiar with German or Dutch, then it will be easy to learn, read, and understand.
The Niw Englisc alphabet consists of 32 letters:
- Capital: A, Æ, B, C, D, Ð, E, F, G, Ȝ, H, Ƕ, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, Œ, P, Q, R, S, T, Þ, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
- Lowercase: a, æ, b, c, d, ð, e, f, g, ȝ, h, ƕ, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, œ, p, q, r, s, t, þ, u, v, w, x, y, z
- Pronunciation: ah, aesh, beh, cheh, deh, eth, eh, eff, geh, yogh, hah, hwair, ee, yot, kah, ell, em, en, oh, oethel, peh, kuu, er, ess, teh, thorn, oo, veh, twifald veh, iks, yppsilon, tsett
Note: if you do not have æ or œ on your keyboard, you can use ae/oe or ä/ö insted; th for þ, dh for ð; hw for ƕ; j for ȝ
Pronunciation of the LettersEdit
|Aa||[a] as in German Wasser, ab||[aː] as in English father|
|Ææ||[æ],[ɛ] as in English hat, German Männer||[ɛː],[eː] as in English air, German gäbe|
|Ee||[ɛ] as in English west, German Bett||[eː] as in German reh, See|
|Ii||[ɪ] as in English bit||[iː] as in German ihn|
|Oo||[ɔ] as in German Gott||[oː] as in German Bote|
|Œœ||[œ] as in German Götter||[øː] as in German schön|
|Uu||[ʊ] as in German Mutter||[uː] as in German gut, food|
|Ẏẏ||[ʏ] as in German Müller||[yː] as in German grün|
|ai, aȝ||[aɪ] as in English mine|
|æȝ||[eɪ] as in English main|
|au||[aʊ] as in English house|
|ea||[ɛː] as in English main, German gäbe|
some speakers add a slight schwa sound too
|ei, eȝ||[ɛ] as in English fine, German mein|
|eo||[eo] as in Old English deorc,|
[eːo] as in Old English fréo
|ie, iȝ||[iː] as in English mean|
|io||[i̯o] as in German Aktion, not English action|
|B||[b]||[b], [p] next to voiceless consonants|
|D||[d]||[d], [t] if not doubled in some dialects at ends of syllables|
|Ð||- this letter never occurs initially||[ð] only between vowels, alternates with þ|
|F||[f]||[v] between vowels, [f] final position|
|G||[g]||[g], [x] when alternating with ȝ after back vowels|
[ç]/[x] when alternating with ȝ after front vowels
|Ȝ||[j]||[j] between vowels, or finally|
alternates with [g] with inflections added
|H||[h]||[j] between vowels, or finally|
|J||[j]||[j] between vowels, or finally|
|L||[l] in all positions|
|M||[m] in all positions|
|N||[n] in all positions|
|P||[p] in all positions|
|Q||[kw], only in foreign words
native words use kw
|R||r, trilled as in Scottish English||[r], regular American English r, always pronounced|
|S||[s]||[z] between vowels, [s] finally|
|T||[s]||[z] between vowels, [s] finally|
|Þ||[θ] initially||[θ] finally|
alternates with ð between vowels to indicate voiced sound
|X||[z] only in foreign words||[ks]|
|Z||[ts]||[ts], between vowels or in stressed syllables, [dz]|
- 0 - null
- 1 - aan
- 2 - tweȝn, twa
- 3 - þrie, þreo
- 4 - fier
- 5 - feif
- 6 - six
- 7 - sefen
- 8 - aht
- 9 - niȝn
- 10 - tien
- 11 - endlefen
- 12 - twelf
- 13 - þrittien
- 14 - fiertien
- 15 - feiftien
- 16 - sixtien
- 17 - sefentien
- 18 - ahttien
- 19 - niȝntien
- 20 - tweȝntiȝ
- 21 - aanandtweȝntiȝ
- 22 - tweȝnandtweȝntiȝ
- 23 - þrieandtweȝntiȝ
- 24 - fierandtweȝntiȝ
- 25 - feifandtweȝntiȝ
- 26 - sixandtweȝntiȝ
- 27 - sefenandtweȝntiȝ
- 28 - ahtandtweȝntiȝ
- 29 - niȝnandtweȝntiȝ
- 30 - þrittiȝ
- 40 - fiertiȝ
- 50 - feiftiȝ
- 60 - sixtiȝ
- 70 - sefentiȝ
- 80 - ahttiȝ
- 90 - niȝntiȝ
- 100 - hundred
- 101 - hundredaan
- 110 - endlefentiȝ
- 120 - twelftiȝ
- 200 - twahundred, twahund (short form when not an even number)
- 1,000 - þusend
- 1,000,000 - ane Million
- 1,000,000,000 - ane Billion
Numbers are written together: 5,648 would be feifþusendsixhundahtandfiertiȝ. 5,600 would be feifþusendsixhundred
Notice also the numbers are formed like the rhyme "four-and-twenty blackbirds" - fierandtweȝntiȝ "four and twenty," and ahtandfiertiȝ "eight and forty."
Simple arithmetic is read as follows:
- 3 + 5 = 8: þrie and/plus feif is aht
- 5 - 3 = 2: feif minus þrie is tweȝn
- 6 x 8 = 48: six mælen aht is ahtandfiertiȝ
- 8 ÷ 4 = 2: aht gedæld þurh fier is tweȝn
Niw Englisc has a few different ways to greet people, depending on whom you address.
- Hallo! - Hello! common, informal greeting amongst friends
- Wes haal! - hello! (literally, be well!) said to a single male person or a child
- Wes hale! - hello! said to a single female
- Weseþ hale! - hello! said to more than one person
- Goden Morgen! - good morning!
- Goden Dæȝ! - good day!
- Goden Æftermiddæȝ! - good afternoon!
- Gode Naht! - good night! (more often used when one is about to go to bed)
- Faar well! - goodbye! said to one person
- Fareþ well! - goodbye! said to more than one person
- Gode Naht! - good night!
- Efthieren! - Talk to you later!
- Eftseen! - See you later!
- Oþ læter - till later, see you later
- Ƕa ert þu? - Who are you? this is usually blunt and to be avoided in polite conversation
- Hu hattest þu? - What's your name? this is the most common way to ask someone for his name
- Ƕilc is þein Name? - What's your name? (literally, which is your name?); saying "Ƕat is þein Name" comes across as rude and clumsy-sounding
- Ic hatte X - My name is X this is the most common way to respond to the request for one's name
- Mein Name is X - My name is X
Common Introductory PhrasesEdit
- Ƕanen kommst þu? - Where are you coming from? Where do you come from? Whence comest thou?
- Hu gæþ it þiȝ? - how's it going for you?
- Miȝ gæþ it well/sæme/medme - it's going well/bad/average or ok.
- Ic komme of w.d. - I come from X, referencing the recent place you left
- Ic komme fram w.d. - I come from X, referencing your homeland, home city, or place of ultimate origin
- Ƕider gæst þu? - Where are you going to? Whither goest thou? note, saying "ƕær gæst þu?" means "at which place are you walking/going?" and NOT "to which place are you going?" Niw Englisc makes a distinction that is lost in modern English between location, destination to, and destination from.
- Ic gaa haam. - I'm going home.
- Ic gaa tom Market - I'm going to the market.
- Oþ læter - till later, see you later
- Hu is þeine Adresse? - What's your address? (often: Ƕilce is þeine Adresse?)
- Meine Adresse is xyz - My address is X
- Hu is þeine Handynummer? - What's your cell phone number? (or þein Ferrseimetæll)
- Meine Handynummer is xyz - My cell phone number is...
- Mein Broðer gæþ þider. - my brother's going there.
- Meine Swester kommþ þanen - my sister is coming from there.
- Mein Fader kommþ hider. - my father is coming here.
- Meine Swester gæþ hanen. - my sister is going from here.
- Person 1: Hallo!
- Person 2: Hallo! Hu hattest þu?
- Sigrun: Ic hatte Sigrun. Ƕilc is þein Name?
- Aaron: Mein Name is Aaron. Hu gæþ it þiȝ, Sigrun?
- Sigrun: Miȝ gæþ it well. And þiȝ?
- Aaron: Miȝ gæþ it eak well. Ƕider gæst þu?
- Sigrun: Ic gaa tom Market. Þu?
- Aaron: Ic gaa haam. Oþ læter! Faar well!
- Sigrun: Faar well!
- amerikanisc - American
- denisc - Danish
- englisc - English
- frencisc - French
Note: in Niw Englisc, nouns are capitalized, but adjectives are not, even those derived from nationalities.
- Mennscen people
- þie Frowe woman (polite word); Mrs.
- þie Kwenne woman (the more common term)
- þe Herr gentleman; Mr.
- þe Professor professor
- þe Student/Lerner student m, Studentin/Lernestre student f
- þat Handy cell phone
- þe Æfen evening
- þe Morgen morning
- þe Dæȝ day
- þat Englisc English (class, or the language)
- þat Ȝær year
- þie Adresse address
- þie E-Mail e-mail
- þie Nummer number
- þie Stræte street
- þie Telefonnummer phone number
- þat Tæll number, numeral
- ic - I
- þu - you (singular)
- mein - mine
- þein - your
- wesen to be
- 'ic em I am
- þu ert you are (thou art)
- he/scie/it is he/she/it is
- wiȝ/ȝiȝ/hje sind we/you/they are
- hu - how
- hu micel - how much?
- hu maniȝ - how many?
- ƕilc - which
- ƕat - what
Syndrige Kwidden (Special expressions)Edit
- Ic hatte... My name is
- Hu hattest þu? What's your name?
- Hu ald ert þu? How old are you?
- Hu ald is...? How old is...?
- Ic em 19 Ȝære ald. I am 19 years old.
- Hu gæþ't? How's it going?
- It gæþ. Ok. All right. Not bad.
- Onwalge god Not bad. Ok
- Ƕat is læs? What's up? What's wrong? What's the matter
- Hu is þeine Adresse? What's your address?
- Hu is þeine Telefonnummer? What's your phone number?
- Hu is þie Telefonnummer fram John? What is John's telephone number?
- Hu wreiteþ man þat? How do you spell that? (lit. How does one write that?)
Gender of NounsEdit
English has a system of natural gender. You use the pronouns he, she, and it to refer to back to male beings, female beings, and things, respectively. So:
|guy <- he||girl <- she||phone <- it|
|computer <- it|
|radio <- it|
In general, Niw Englisc has a system of natural gender for living beings. Unlike English, however, Niw Englisc makes gender distinctions in nouns that do not refer to living beings. This type of gender system is one of grammatical gender.
|þe Corl <- he||þie Bækestre <- scie||þat Cild <- it|
|þe Computer <- he||þie Lampe <- scie||þat Spikk <- it|
|þe Kaffee <- he||þie Butter <- she||þat Bier <- it|
- In Niw Englisc, there are three groups of nouns: masculine (þe-words), feminine (þie-words), and neuter (þat-words).
- The definite articles þe, þie, þat function like the English definite article the.
- Most nouns referring to male beings are þe-words (þe Werr = the man), most nouns referring to female beings are þie-words (þie Frowe = the woman), and most nouns referring to young beings are þat-words (þat Cild = the child).
- Other nouns may belong to any one of the three groups: þe Computer, þat Radio, þie Lampe.
- þe Knafe - the boy
- þat Mæȝden - the girl
- þe Werr - the man
- þat Cild - the child
- þe Mann - the person (male or female)
- þie Papiermand - wastebasket
- þe Stol - the chair
- þat Bedd - the bed
- þie Mese - the table
- þat Telefon - the telephone
- þe Buur - the room
- þat Eaȝþyrl - the window
- þat Bilþ - the picture
- þie Bokscilfe - the bookcase
- þie Plante - the plant
- þe Þoðerpinn - ballpoint pen; (colloquially, þo-pinn)