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Brendan’s Voyage

Brendan’s Voyage: An Immersive Environment for Medieval Language and Culture is an immersive environment designed to allow the user to see, hear, and speak the medieval French dialect of Anglo-Norman while moving through the story of Saint Brendan the Navigator. The project emphasizes the link between the spoken and written elements of medieval French in a virtual, interactive, immersive learning environment based on a foundational literary text. Informed by empirical research, modern language pedagogy offers immersive learning experiences through study abroad programs or exclusive target-language use in the classroom. These techniques are not readily available for the teaching of medieval languages. Our project addresses this problem through the creation of a virtual immersive environment that allows the user to learn medieval languages as if they were inhabiting an authentic context. Critically, medieval languages were almost exclusively oral, given the extremely low literacy rates, and many of the literary works were rhymed, making pronunciation and orality an important part of understanding medieval written texts.

Here is a link to a beta version developed in partnership with Causeway Studios with the help of an NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant II. This version is not quite ready for testing in the classroom, which will begin in Fall 2024. It runs in a browser. If you are using a Mac, you will need to adjust the sensitivity settings.

For previous instances of the project, see Project Background and Credits.

When the project is released, we will also have Student Resources and Instructor Resources available here.

While working on “Brendan’s Voyage,” we teamed up with Vanderbilt’s Data Science Institute to create an AI application to help translate back and forth from English and medieval French. Here is a link to the application they designed for us (wake it up if necessary):

API key (this key will not be active indefinitely, so you may need to get your own):


Please email feedback to Lynn Ramey if you use it—we would really appreciate knowing if it is useful.