Having just written my first novel, in which Richard III visits the 21st century, I needed to let the reader see a contrast between him and modern people, partly in the way he spoke. I quickly found that this wasn’t as easy as I’d thought, so my Richard has a great facility for languages and soon learns to speak in modern parlance! However, I did have to use ‘Mediaeval speak’ for a few chapters and I came across a few snags.
For example, the words ‘hath’ and ‘hast’ and other verbs – do you put ‘-eth’ on the end or ‘-est’? I was fairly confident about my title (Richard Liveth Yet) as it was a quotation, so that must have been right. But some of my Mediaeval sentences didn’t flow so well and I wasn’t sure how correct they were.
And what about ‘Ye’, ‘you’, ‘thee’ and ‘thou’?
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