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Description

Flemings came to England with the army of William the Conqueror, and during the 1100s as merchants and colonists for new towns. The most famous group of colonists are the Flemings of south-west Wales (Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion). Flemings retained their identity as a group and their language for several generations until the early 1200s. By then they had transformed the character of areas of Dyfed.This example of Flemish comes from the 'Roman van Walewein'. Roman van Walewein is an Arthurian story which appears to be a Flemish invention and in which Walewein (Gawain) is the main character. The central theme in the story is the quest for a flying chess-board which appeared at Arthur's court (and disappeared again). Transcription of the audio passage:Die koninck Arthur zat t'enen male Te Carlioen in zine zale Ende hild hof na konink zede Alzo hi menigwerven dede Met een deel zire man Die ik niet wel genomen kan: Ywein ende Percevaal, Lanceloot ende Duvengaal Entie hoofse Walewein; Zijn gezelle was daar negein. Ook was daar Keye, die drussate. Daar die heren aldus zaten Na den etene ende hadden gedwegen Alzo hoge liede plegen, Hebben zi wonder groot vernomen; Een schaak ten veinstren inkomen Ende breedde hem neder uptie aarde. (...) English translation:King Arthur once was seated in Caerleon in his hall and held court as kings do and as he did frequently with a number of his men who I cannot name all. Yvain and Perceval, Lancelot and Duvengal and the courtly Walewein; who was there without peer. Also Kay was there, the steward. When these lords sat there after a meal, and had washed (their hands) as gentlemen use to do, they witnessed a great wonder: A chess-board came in through the window and alighted on the floor. (...)English translation/source: D. F. Johnson and G. H. M. Claassens (eds) 2000, Roman van Watewein. Arthurian Archives. Dutch Romances. Vol. 1 (Cambridge); Flemish reading by Lauran Toorians.

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