How did our language sound in the Middle Ages? That is no longer a secret. From this week, the sweet sounds of medieval Dutch can be heard from your iPad.
Medieval Dutch comes back to life thanks to the work of literary writer Frits van Oostrom, affiliated with Utrecht University. "We now read the old language in books, but people have difficulty with the old spelling," he said in November Scientias.nl. "If I read an old text, people will understand it much better." It gave Van Oostrom the idea for the recently launched iPad app. An app that reads the medieval texts and at the same time displays the text, so that the listener can read along. The translation of the medieval text can also be found in the app.
Various famous medieval texts can be found in the app. Think of 'Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan' and 'Van den vos Reynaerde', but also Bible songs (listen to some previews here). We also find in the app the Old Frisian and the Limburgish of Hendrik van Veldeke.
An excerpt from the app.
The app can now be downloaded for free (currently only for iPad, other formats and operating systems may follow later). New texts and recordings will be added regularly in the coming period.