Colonial House Picture of the colony
Meet the Colonists Behind the Scenes Interactive History Media Gallery
For Teachers

Educational Interactivity: 'Tis a Very Dirty Manner of Life
You know how people speak in the 21st century.  You probably recall how people spoke in the 20th century. What about the early 17th century?

This interactive feature will measure -- and help improve -- your ability to talk the talk with the colonists. -- Instructions

From the time of the earliest European colonists, the English language -- as spoken in North America -- has been constantly growing and changing. The New England colonists of the 1620s used many words and phrases largely forgotten or unfamiliar now. Keep in mind that Shakespeare's plays were contemporary for many early colonists!

In this activity, your task is to "translate" 17th-century language into 21st-century language. During the filming of COLONIAL HOUSE, the colonists had access to video cameras with which to record a diary of their experiences. Eight of these diaries have been changed into 17th-century language. In order to complete the activity, you must match the 17th-century text to the appropriate 21st-century video clip. Follow these steps:

READ the 17th-century "Mystery Diary" entry on each screen, and try to determine what the colonist is saying. Some of the 17th-century terms are defined in a glossary if you need help.

WATCH (or read) the colonists' video diaries by clicking on their photos on the top of the page, and determine which video diary clip is the 21st-century version of the "Mystery Diary" entry. You will need RealPlayer to view the video diaries. Transcripts for the 21st-century diaries are available via the video pages.

SELECT the colonist to whom the "Mystery Diary" entry belongs by answering the "Who Said It?" question at the bottom of the screen.

If select the correct answer, you'll move on to the next "Mystery Diary." If you are incorrect, we'll ask you to try again. Good luck!

Watch video -- diaries of the colonisits ... and find new meaning to their words.
Requires Real Player.

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