Agile Rabbit: When The British Spoke French
Front Room Phoenix
Thu 25 Jun 2020
free (advance registration necessary)
Front Room Phoenix is our way of bringing you cultural activity and events during lockdown, with activity beamed straight to your sofa. Find out more Front Room Phoenix events and activity here >>
The British are the worst language learners in Europe, according to a survey published by the European Commission. However, this was not always the case: in Medieval Britain, French was critical to work in business, law and literature. In 1300, one in five people were bilingual in English and French. More than a quarter of modern English words derive from French.
In this free-online 60 minute event with audience questions, well be looking at the UKs previous period of multilingualism, and asking what changed.
We will hear from Dr Thomas Hinton of the University of Exeter, who has been busily editing the Tretiz, a remarkable rhymed vocabulary textbook for children written in the thirteenth century by an Essex gentleman, Walter de Bibbesworth. He will explain how its seventeen surviving manuscripts shine a light onto how and why Britons learned languages in the Middle Ages.
This is a free event, hosted on Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account to take part, but registration is necessary.
Agile Rabbit is a platform that provides special events for the South-West and beyond to focus on ideas, global affairs and the natural and scientific world. The events are set in contrasting venues across the South-West to provide quirky experiences, whilst maximising participation for all communities.
Agile Rabbit is held in partnership with the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.