I need to level-set on what’s considered normally comprehensible English.
Here’s the question… Given the samples below, where do we reach the point where an intelligent, literate person would benefit from having a modern language paraphrase? Or, conversely, at what point would the same person have difficulties given archaicisms and technical terms that would be unfamiliar?
Say fyst this psalme with loke dyrecte to heuen
Iudica me deus with hole herte entere
Theyr conscyence purge fro the synnes seuen
Or they presume to go to the awtere
The same psalme sette in the sawtere
For a memoryall of the captyuyte
How Iherusalem stode in grete daunger
At Babylon that frowarde fell cyte.
After Ite missa est. the prest stondeith in the mydes of the Awter . and so blyssyd the people.
Then call to your remembrance thys holly medytatyon . how owr sauyour standyng in the mydes of hys disciples at the movnte of Olyveite . blyssing thaym . dyd ascend to hewyn . where he ys now resydent . and euer more schall be . syttyng on the ryght hond of hys father this Ascensyon of our Lord . ys signefyed by the wordes . which [fo. 25.b.] the prest saith at the end of the masse . that ys to say Ite missa est which wordes doith sovnd after thys Exposytyon of Doctoures . Goo and departt, for our Lord ys send and offerd vp to hys Eternall Father In oblatyon and sacryfyce.
when þo auter is al dight,
& þo preste is reuysht right,
þen he takes in bothe his hende
a clothe o-pon þo auter ende,
and comes obac a litel doune,
dos hit o-pon him al a-boune.
alle men knelen, bot he stondes,
and haldes to god vp bothe his hondes;
þere, or he þo messe bi-gynne,
wil he meke him for his synne;
til alle þo folk he shryues him þare
of alle his synnes lesse & mare:
so dos þo clerk a-gayn to him
shryuen hom þere of all hor synn,
and askes god forgyuenes,
or þai bigynne to here þo mes.
Where do things break down as far as your concerned for the average reader–so, not just did you have problems with it, but where do you think a normal college level English speaker would?