The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Beidler, Peter G. "Chaucer and the Trots: What to Do about Those Modern English Translations." 19 (1985): 290-301.
Modern students often succumb to the temptation to read Chaucer's works in a modern English translation instead of taking the time and effort to read his writings in Middle English. Though translations sometimes succeed in giving an accurate rendering of Chaucer's meaning, such good fortune lasts only for a few lines. Though there is no one way to encourage students to put away their modern English translations, teachers can teach their students to read Middle English and point out the places, such as those discussed here, where Chaucer's original is so much better than the modern English translation. Furthermore, many translations are downright inaccurate and misleading.
Murphy, Michael. "On Making an Edition of the Canterbury Tales in Modern Spelling." 26 (1991): 48-64.
Reading Chaucer in any transcription, whether one that reproduces Chaucer's original spelling and punctuation exactly, adding nothing, or one that modernizes spelling, rhythm, and rhyme to make his verse more accessible to the twentieth-century reader, presents difficulty in determining what was Chaucer's original text. In order fully to appreciate Chaucer's work, readers must be willing to abandon their ideas of order, form, rhyme, and rhythm and to alter their readings.