Medieval greetings–for a good cause!

Dedicated students in Leiden University’s English programme have been busy learning how to translate and write Old and Middle English– the kinds of English people used to write long before Shakespeare’s time!

Now, we want to use our medieval English skills to help support cancer research.

A sample greeting translated into Old English


For a small minimum donation, we’ll translate your short message into a medieval variety of English.

We’ll follow historically-accurate rules of Old or Middle English grammar and syntax. See examples here.

All proceeds will be donated directly to the Dutch Cancer Society–an organisation that funds cancer research.

How does this translatathon work?

  1. You choose if you want your message translated into either
    • Middle English (minimum donation of 2.5 EUR)
    • Old English (minimum donation of 5 EUR )
  2. You select a holiday card if you like (add 3 EUR to the minimum donation, which includes the card and the mailing costs)
  3. You donate at the gofundme page, and e-mail us the message to be translated (280 characters or fewer) and how you want it delivered (no later than November 20th, 2019)
  4. Our dedicated student volunteers in Leiden’s BA and MA English programmes, working with the help of their tutors, will translate your message during our translatathon on November 22nd
  5. Your message is checked for accuracy and then mailed out
  6. You surprise your friend, partner, colleague, family–whoever–with a fun, historically accurate medieval greeting
  • Our students get practice translating Old and Middle English
  • Your friends and family get one-of-a-kind holiday greetings and
  • Together we make a small (but hopefully meaningful) difference for cancer research.

More details and request form