Niw Englisc/Level I/Hu hattest þu?

Lesson I.1: Hu hattest þu? (1. Dæl)

Niw Englisc speakers usually shake hands when they are introduced or introduce themselves.

This lesson deals with basic conversation topics such as saying hello and goodbye and asking people how they are feeling. This lesson features audio recordings by native speakers to help you with the pronunciation.


Read and listen to the following dialogue between two students: Franz and Greta. You don't have to understand anything! You should rather try to find out how each word is pronounced.

Franz Hallo, ic em Franz. Hu hattest þu?
Greta Hallo, Franz. Ic hatte Greta. Hu gæþ't?
Franz It gæþ miȝ well. Kannst þu þen Lærer?
Greta Ȝa, he hatte Herr Ƕeit.
Franz Oh, þanke, Greta. Oþ þann!
Greta Eftseen!
Problems: Listen carefully!
The Niw Englisc pronunciation of many letters is similar to the English pronunciation, but there are also many differences. Try to answer the following question by listening carefully. Write your answers on a piece of paper or in a text file before you check them.
  1. How is the "a" in "Hallo", "Franz", "Greta", "ȝa", "þanke", and "þann" pronounced?
  2. How is the "i" in "ic" pronounced?
  3. How is the "c" in "ic" pronounced?
  4. How is the "z" in "Franz" pronounced?
  5. How is the "ƕ" in "ƕeit" pronounced?
  6. How is the "u" in "þu" and "hu" pronounced?
  7. How is the "ei" in "ƕeit"pronounced?
  8. How is the "þ" in "gæþ", and "þu" pronounced?
  9. How is the "e" in "he", and "Herr" pronounced?
  10. How is the first "æ" in "Æfen", and "Dæȝ" pronounced?
  1. Similar to the "a" in "hard".
  2. Similar to the "i" in "hit".
  3. Similar to the "ch" in "child."
  4. "z" is pronounced like "ts".
  5. Similar to the some people's pronunciation of "wh" in "white". You can put the regular English "h" before "w" to say it correctly.
  6. Similar to the "oo" in "food".
  7. "ei" is pronounced like "ai" in German or like the "i" in the English word "time".
  8. "þ" is pronounced like "th" in "thin".
  9. Similar to "ai" in "air".
  10. This is similar to "a" in "at".

Now try to understand the dialogue with the help of the following list of vocabulary. (A complete translation is given in the answers to the next problems.)

English Niw Englisc
Hello! Hallo!
I ic
I am... Ic em ...
how hu
you þu
Your name is... Þu hattest ...
What is your name? Hu hattest þu?
My name is... Ic hatte ...
it it
it goes it gæþ
How is it going? Hu gæþ't? (Longer: Hu gæþ it?)
me miȝ
good god/well
I'm good. It gæþ miȝ well. (Shorter: Miȝ gæþ't well. Even shorter: Well.)
you know þu kannst
Do you know...? Kannst þu ...?
teacher Lærer
yes ȝa
he he
His name is... He hatte ...
Mr. Herr
oh oh
thanks þanke
then þann
See you! Oþ þann!
on on
again eft
(to) see seen
Goodbye! (Oþ) Eftseen!
Problems: Working with the dialogue
  1. Translate the dialogue to English with the help of the list of vocabulary. Write your translation on a piece of paper before you check it.
  2. Listen to the recording without reading and try to understand the meaning of the words. If you cannot remember some words, look them up and start again.
  3. Read the dialogue aloud. Compare your pronunciation with the pronunciation of the recording.
  4. Listen to the recording without reading and write down the dialogue in German. Pause the playback after each sentence to write down what you have heard. Repeat this exercise until you know the spelling of the German words.
  1. Translation to English:
    Franz: Hello, I am Franz. What is your name?
    Greta: Hello, Franz. My name is Greta. How is it going?
    Franz: I'm good. Do you know the teacher?
    Greta: Yes, his name is Mr. Weiß.
    Franz: Oh, thanks, Greta. See you!
    Greta: Goodbye!
  2. See the dialogue.

Hellos and GoodbyesEdit

There are many ways of saying hello and goodbye in Niw Englisc; some of them are:

English Niw Englisc
Hello! Hallo!*
Servus! (used in southern areas, informal)
Morhn! (used in northern areas)
Good morning! Morn Morn! (used in northern areas)
Goden Morgen!*
Morgen! (shorter)
Good day! Goden Dæȝ!*
Dæȝ! (usedshorter)
Good evening! Goden Æfen!*
Hello! Grœt Godd!
Goodbye! Oþ Eftseen!*
Eftseen! (shorter)
Bye! Tschüss!*
Tschau! (also spelled "ciao" as in Italian)
Servus! (informal)
See you later! Oþ læter!*
See you! Bis dann!*
Oþ soon!*
See you soon! Oþ unȝare!
Good night! Gode Naht!*

*You will need to know each expression with an asterisk (*) after it. The others, of course, would be useful to know if you are traveling to regions where they are used.

The more formal phrases are goden Morgen, goden Dæȝ, and oþ Eftseen. The less formal ones are wes haal, Dæȝ, servus, and ciao. The others are somewhat neutral on the formal-informal scale.

Problems: Hellos and goodbyes
How would you say hello and goodbye in these situations:
  1. You meet a friend in the morning.
  2. You meet a teacher in the classroom in the afternoon.
  3. You meet a classmate in the evening.
  4. You talk to a shop assistant in the morning.
Avoiding local variants, these are some options:
  1. Hello: Hallo!/(Goden) Morgen!/(Guten) Dæȝ! Goodbye: Faarwell!/Oþ læter!/Oþ þann!/Oþ soon!
  2. Hello: Goden Dæȝ! Goodbye: Oþ Eftseen.
  3. Hello: Hallo!/Goden Æfen! Goodbye: Faarwell!/Oþ þann!/Oþ soon!
  4. Hello: Goden Morgen!/Goden Tag! Goodbye: (Oþ) Eftseen!

Mr. and Mrs.Edit

In Niw Englisc, Herr and Frowe are used instead of Mr. and Mrs. before a last name; e.g., Mr. SchwarzHerr Schwarz.

English Niw Englisc
Mr. Herr
Mrs. Frowe

Frowe is used for married women. You should use MissFrœwen in spoken Niw Englisc for an unmarried or younger woman.

Literally, þe Herr means the gentleman and þie Frowe means the lady. If you use these words without a last name after them, you have to use an article before them; e.g., þe Herr or þie Frau. This is actually just like in English. For example:

  • The woman's name is Mrs. Weiß – Þie Frowe hatte Frowe Weiß.

Most often you should use Lafdiȝ and Lafwerd when speaking in general terms and Herr/Frowe when speaking about a specific person.

Note also that the Niw Englisc translation of the man is þe Werr and the lady should be translated to þie Lafdiȝ. Thus, without last names you would rather use these pairs:

  • man and woman – Werr and Weif
  • men and women – Werres and Weife
  • lady and gentleman – Lafdiȝ and Lafwerd; less often: Frowe and Herr
  • ladies and gentlemen – Lafdigen and Lafwerdes; less often: Frowen and Herren

Problems: Mr. & Mrs.
Translate the following words and phrases to German:
  1. Mr. Schwarz
  2. the man
  3. The man's name is Mr. Schwarz.
  4. the woman
  5. The woman's name is Mrs. Schwarz.
  6. ladies and gentlemen
  1. Herr Schwarz
  2. þe Werr
  3. Þe Werr hatte Herr Schwarz.
  4. þat Weif
  5. Þat Weif hatte Frowe Schwarz.
  6. Lafdigen and Lafwerdes

Replies to Hu gæþ't?Edit

There are many ways to reply to the question Hu gæþ't? Here are some of them:

English Niw Englisc
How are you? Hu gæþ't? (longer: Hu gæþ it þiȝ?)*
great prima
good god
very good sweiðe god
miserable miserabel
bad traag
not (so) good niht (so) well
O.K. full well
all right It gæþ so. (Or shorter: Geht so.)

*The more formal form is Hu gæþ it þiȝ?

After replying to the question, you could continue with:

  • And how are you? — And hu gæþ it þiȝ?

Or shorter:

  • And you? — And þiȝ? (or: And self?)

Problems: Hu gæþ't?
Fill in the blanks:
  1. _______ gæþ't?
  2. Prima. _______ þiȝ?
  3. It _______ so.
  4. Hu gæþ't _______ þiȝ?
  5. Sweiðe _______. _______ self?
  6. Full _______, þanke.
  1. Hu gæþ't?
  2. Prima. And þiȝ?
  3. It gæþ so.
  4. Hu gæþ it þiȝ?
  5. Sweiðe well. And self?
  6. Full well, þanke.


The test consists of three parts: pronunciation, vocabulary, and translation. As always, you should write down your answers before you check them. (Writing the Niw Englisc words is in fact a great way to practice the spelling of Niw Englisc words.) The vocabulary and translation problems are all from English to Niw Englisc because this is what you have to learn if you want to communicate in Niw Englisc. Once you are able to translate an English word to the corresponding Niw Englisc word, it won't be any problem to translate the Niw Englisc word back to English.

Problems: Pronunciation
  1. How do you pronounce "Ic hatte ..."?
  2. How do you pronounce "Franz"?
  3. How do you pronounce "Eftseen"?
  1. "i" as in "hit", "c" as in "itch", "h" as in "hotel", "a" as the "o" in "bot", "t" is pronounced just like English "t", last "e" as in "pet"
  2. "f", "r", "n" similar to the English pronunciation of these letters, "a" as in "hard", "z" like "ts".
  3. "f" as the "f" in "fat", "ee" as the "ay" in "say" and "n" as "en" the letter, the other letters are pronounced similarly in English.

Problems: Vocabulary
Translate from English to Niw Englisc:
  1. Mr.
  2. Good evening!
  3. how
  4. Good morning!
  5. teacher
  6. (the) man
  7. Good night!
  8. you
  9. (the) woman
  10. Bye!
  11. How are you?
  12. thanks
  13. bad
  14. Good day!
  15. I
  16. Goodbye!
  17. he
  18. See you later!
  19. Hello!
  20. very good
  21. Mrs.
  22. yes
  23. not (so) good
  1. Herr
  2. Goden Æfen!
  3. hu
  4. Goden Morgen!
  5. Lærer
  6. (þe) Werr
  7. Gode Naht!
  8. þu
  9. (þat) Weif
  10. Faarwell!
  11. Hu gæþ't?
  12. þanke
  13. traag
  14. Goden Dæȝ!
  15. ic
  16. Eftseen!
  17. he
  18. Oþ læter!
  19. Hallo!
  20. sweiðe well
  21. (þie) Frowe
  22. ȝa
  23. niht (so) god

Problems: Translation
Translate from English to Niw Englisc:
  1. Hello! I'm Susanne. What's your name?
  2. Good morning, Susanne. My name is Andreas.
  3. Good day, Andreas. How are you?
  4. Very good. Thanks, Susanne. And you? How are you?
  5. Great, thanks. See you later, Andreas!
  6. Goodbye!
  1. Hallo! Ic em Susanne. Hu hattest þu?
  2. Goden Morgen, Susanne. Ich hatte Andreas.
  3. Goden Dæȝ, Andreas. Hu gæþ't?
  4. Sweiðe well. Þanke, Susanne. Und þiȝ? Hu gæþ't þiȝ?
  5. Prima, þanke. Oþ læter, Andreas!
  6. Eftseen!

(edit template)   Level I Lessons (discussion)

  I.0 Introduction

Section I.A:   I.1 Hu hattest þu? (1. Dæl)  I.2 Hu hattest þu? (2. Dæl)  I.3 Bidde bokstafe þu  Review Section I.A

Section I.B:   I.4 Freeteid  I.5 Gebyrddæȝ  I.6 Etten  Review Section I.B

Section I.C:   I.7 Kleidung  I.8 Kynn and und Nationalität  I.9 Skole  Review Section I.C

Section I.D:   I.10 Þat Fest  I.11 Sunderfreedom and Geandwyrdung  I.12 Weddr  Review Section I.D

Section I.E:   I.13 Æt Huse Etten  I.14 Filme  I.15 Þat Huus  Review Section I.E