Translation in the Classroom: the Evidence of Additional 60577

Alessandra Petrina


MS Additional 60577 is a collection of didactic and scientific late-medieval literature, including love lyrics, medical recipes, a lapidarium, astrological notes, and pedagogic poems. The compilation of this volume began around 1478, but the last texts were added as late as the mid-sixteenth century. The earliest sections constitute a self-standing group, associated with William Waynflete, Headmaster of Winchester College from 1429 to 1441-2. In the present paper I analyse a collection of vulgaria in the fifteenth-century section of the manuscript. Vulgaria are collections of sentences in Latin and English intended for translation exercises, often connected to performance for didactic purposes. These vulgaria appear to present a subtler didactic agenda than the usual collections of this kind: inviting the pupils to imitate the best Latin style, they also introduce the need to find a good English style, and to use translation as a way of improving and enriching the target language.

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