Angelo of Sauvage Noble has translated Hamlet’s soliloquy into Proto-Indo-European, as “H₃regs suhnus gʷʰn̥ntosyo” (The Slain King’s Son). It begins:

eg̑oh₂ h₁esoh₂? way! ne h₁esoh₂? h₁r̥h₁yoh₂er:
upo de melyos teh₂ smereses bʰeroh₂
mn̥teyi Hih₁tleh₂ dusmeneses smr̥tos,
kʷoynoybʰos wē toybʰos tl̥neh₂oh₂ h₁r̥meh₂,
h₂enti yeh₂ stisth₂ents peh₂woyh₁m̥?

Or, in what he aptly calls Old High Translationese:

Should I be? Alas! Should I not? I ask myself:
shall I, having been allotted, better suffer in (my) mind
those missiles of ill-disposed fate?
or should I raise arms to those troubles
which, standing against them, I might stop?

Very enjoyable for this Indo-Europeanist manqué!

Tip for easier reading: just ignore the various hs, which represent the laryngeals (nobody knows how to pronounce them anyway): “Eg̑o eso? way! ne eso? r̥yoer…”


  1. Obercool, thank you very much!
    I sometimes pronounce the laryngals as Arabic ع. Freaks the hell out of other Indo-Europeanists :o)

  2. I usually pronounce them like ﺡ, myself.

  3. According to Craig Melchert at a conference last weekend, the best guess is that h1 was /h/, and h2 and h3 were phayngeal fricatives.

  4. N.B.: That’s an unattested soliloquy. ;-)

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