Words matter. They're like icebergs; nine-tenths of their meaning lies beneath the surface. But that hidden meaning has mass, it has momentum. A single word can crush your pretty sentence, or paragraph or even scene, like tin. The Britain of Hild's time was a seriously multi-ethnic, multi-lingual place. She would have heard Old English of West Germanic origin (what she called Anglisc), a variety of Brythonic Celtic dialects (British), Ecclesiastical Latin (Latin), and Old Irish (Irish). Old English was foundational for me. I began by reading several different translations of the extant poetry. I also read the original/s (they come in a variety of recensions) -- though I admit my understanding of the language is pitiful. I can puzzle out a few phrases but I'm lost without the bilingual editions.