Olde English may be unrecognisable now but the roots of our modern language began here.
The language spoken by the first English people - the Anglo-Saxons - was mainly written phonetically, which means that almost all letters are pronounced. It also reflects the distinct dialects of the areas: Northumbrian, spoken north of the river Humber; Mercian, spoken in the midland region between the Humber and the Thames; West Saxon, spoken south and west of the Thames; and Kentish, spoken in the district around Canterbury. Of these dialects, Modern English is most nearly akin to the Mercian. However, the best known of them is the West Saxon. It was in the West Saxon dialect that King Alfred (849-901), 'Alfred the Great', wrote and spoke.
In my books I write in a very modern style but some names of people or places inevitably are Anglo-Saxon. There were also some letters that no longer exist so I have adapted these words to our modern equivalents. This very basic guide hopefully makes reading easier.
Anglo Saxon is pronounced the same as modern English with the following exceptions:
When two vowels are together the transition is smooth and produces only one syllable.
a when followed by n or m is pronounced o, as in hot.
ea as in pear.
i when long as in machine will be spelled ig but pronounced ee.
y is a vowel and is interchangeable with i.
Double consonants are pronounced twice.
c pronounced as k if before a, o or u and at the end of words with those vowels;
pronounced ch before e, i and y and at the end of words with those vowels.
cg is pronounced j.
f is unvoiced when at the beginning of a word or following double vowels;
voiced, pronounced v in all other instances.
g as in girl when before any consonant and a, o, u and y; after n; when doubled;
pronounced y if before e and i and after r and l.
h pronounced ch as in loch if after a, o and u and after consonants;
unvoiced after e, i and y.
hw similar to modern wh, as in white.
r pronounced the American way (rolled).
sc pronounced sh as in shop.
Therefore Gulfyrian is pronounced g-u-l-v-i-r-ee-o-n.