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The Canterbury Tales


Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

2) What language is The Canterbury Tales written in?

The Canterbury Tales is written in Middle English, an early form of Modern English. Used from the Norman Conquest (1066) through the late 1400s, Middle English grew out of Old English, Germanic, and French languages. While we can recognize many Middle English words because of their similarities to Modern English, other words are uncommon or out of use. Some words are not part of Modern English at all, such as “ferne halwes,” which is usually translated as “distant shrines.”