Li Juenes Princes – in ancient french (12th century).

Old French, also known as lengue françoise, was a Romance language spoken in the northern parts of what is now modern-day France during the period from roughly the 9th to the 14th century. It emerged as a distinct language from Vulgar Latin, which was the spoken Latin of the Roman Empire. Old French played a crucial role in the development of French literature and culture and laid the foundation for the Middle French and Modern French languages we know today.

Old French emerged as the language of the northern territories of the Kingdom of the Franks, particularly in the Île-de-France region, which includes Paris. The name langue d’oïl comes from the word “oïl,” which meant “yes” in Old French, contrasting with “oc,” which meant “yes” in the southern Old Occitan dialects.

Old French underwent substantial changes in its grammar compared to Latin. It simplified its declension system and introduced a more fixed word order, moving from the more flexible Latin word order. Nouns lost their Latin case endings, and the language adopted a subject-verb-object (SVO) word order. Like other Romance languages, Old French was influenced by the Germanic languages of the invading Franks and Norse Vikings. As a result, it incorporated a significant number of Germanic words into its vocabulary.