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TRANSLATION OF BEOWULF
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The new translation provided for the new edition of Beowulf seeks a middle ground between intelligibility and literal translation. I keep each modern English half-line matched against its Old English counterpart, but the order of the words within the half-line is re-arranged, if necessary, to be more natural for the modern English-speaker. I also freely add functional words, such as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, &c. and punctuate as I see fit. Likewise, in terms of style, I seek a middle ground between sound and sense; I have not eschewed alliteration where it is naturally, but neither have I contorted sense or syntax in seeking it.
In punctuating the Old English text, I have in most places followed the edition of Mitchell & Irvine 2000.
Update: (June 2005)
I have re-edited the text and its apparatus to conform with the standard lineation of 3182, rather than Kiernan's 3184 lines. As I still agree with Kiernan about the lineation ll. 389-90 and 2228-30, this edition of the poem ends up with blank half-lines at 389b, 390a, 2228b, 2229ab, 2230a, in order to match the standard 3182-lineation. This change was partially inspired by Robert Fulk's (2003) article on the metrically necessity of the hypermetrical lines at 1163-8, 1705-7, 2995-6 (esp. Fulk 2003:10-13), as well as urging by Thomas Hart (pers. comm.).
Please email me at regarding typos, errors, questions, etc.
Many thanks to Dr. Gerald Richman for pointing out typos & corrections, and contributing other valuable feedback.
Punctuation employed in the transcription: (following Mitchell & Irvine 2000)
* NO PUNCTUATION WHERE THE SENSE IS CLEAR WITHOUT ANY
* the paragraph inset (indentation), to mark major changes of theme or argument
* the full-stop point (.), to indicate the end of a 'verse paragraph' or of a major sense unit or major shift in narrative
* the Georgian comma, or middle dot, (·), to mark off clauses -- indicating a less definite pause which may vary between a modern comma and a full stop, also employed in cases of various ambiguity in the text
* the colon (:), to introduce speeches, and in some other places where the colon is employed in modern punctuation
* the comma (,), to be used only within clauses and then only when it is needed to clarify the sense
* the 'enclosing' strokes (- -), to mark off parenthetic clauses
* the question mark (?), to mark interrogatives
* the exclamation mark (!), to be used to mark exclamations and wishes
* inverted commas (' '), to be used to mark quotations, direct speech; double inverted commas (" ") where required
|Diacritics used in
* an accent acute ( / ) is used to indicate long vowels, rather than the standard macron (-), e.g. á = long a
* the HTML standards do not currently support accented ash ( æ ): thus, long æ is represented by the digraph aé
* where a diphthong (e.g. ea ) is to be pronounced as two syllables, a umlaut ( .. ) is placed over the second vowel: thus eö is disyllabic.
* where a monothongic vowel is to be 'expanded' to a disyllable (in order to fit the metre), a umlaut ( .. ) is placed over the vowel: thus ö is disyllabic.
* svarabhakti ('parasitic') vowels are underlined (these vowels are not counted for metrical purpose), this is equivalent to the 'under-dotting' of the standard editions (also used to mark other vowels whose presence creates poor metre)
* all other diacritics as per standard usage
[Many thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Pyatt for assistance in arriving at a clear and unambiguous diacritic notation]
Converting Line numbers from standard (Klaeber) and 3184-line (Kiernan)