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The Early Modern English Period Essay

1675 words - 7 pages

Early Modern English Period takes place between Middle English Period and Modern English Period. Early Modern English Period begins in the 15th century and ends in the late of 17th century. Early Modern English is used by English colonies, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. The language comes from Germanic and Anglo Frisian. In this period origins of words are Yiddish, German and Italian. William Coxton is the one of the most important man of the period because he leads in the spread of printing and making a lot of translations, he contributes communication between languages. The other important man is Shakespeare. In the 16th century reformation is occurred ...view middle of the document...

In the 17th century there is scientific movement that impresses English language.
In this study, I will try to compare Early Modern English and Modern English by analyzing The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli and its translation by W. K. Marriott.
Let’s start with the first Chapter of this work.
All the States and Governments by which men are or ever have been ruled, have been and are either Republics or Princedoms. All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities.

In the first sentence of the chapter, the writer Machiavelli and the translator Marriott have almost used the same words by changing the sequence, adding some conjunctions in the translation. When we look at the original text, it seems a bit complex with inverted sentence, while it is more understandable in the translation in Modern English (ME). The translator decided to use “powers” instead of “governments” in order to express its scope. Also, the use of “Princedom” is not common in ME, so the translator has translated this word as “principality”.
Princedoms are either hereditary, in which the sovereignty is derived through an ancient line of ancestors, or they are new. Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new.

Looking at the second sentence above, the translator has preferred to use “family” instead of “sovereignty”, and shortened the sentence by using “long” instead of “through an ancient line of ancestors”. I think, this is not enough for delivering the same meaning, because there is a loss in meaning.
New Princedoms are either wholly new, as that of Milan to Francesco Sforza; or they are like limbs joined on to the hereditary possessions of the Prince who acquires them, as the Kingdom of Naples to the dominions of the King of Spain. The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or they are, as it were, members annexed to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain.

In the above sentence, there is not much change in the use of words. The translator has changed a few words such as “wholly to entirely, limbs to members, joined to annexed”, although they are still understandable in ME. Here, you can see that it is not that difficult to understand Early Modern English. Looking at the sequence of the sentence, there is not much change again, only some additions and extractions such as relative clauses.
The States thus acquired have either been used to live under a Prince or have been free; and he who acquires them does so either by his own arms or by the arms of others, and either by good fortune or by merit. Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability.

In the above sentence, “states” has been translated as...

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