Agent Tomato (agent_tomato) wrote in little_details,
Agent Tomato

Comprehension of Modern French by Middle French Speaker, and Effects of Severe Eyestrain

Setting: Modern day America, but the character in question is from France in 1502. 
Searched: terms relating to Middle French.  Have found lots of interesting information, but not really what I'm looking for.  Also various terms relating to eyes and scriptoria.

Through a series of unusual and complicated circumstances, my character, a Benedictine monk from sixteenth-century France, has found himself stranded in the twenty-first century.  He is very intelligent and good with languages, and is fluent in Middle French, Early Modern English, and Latin.  The English and the Latin I can handle.  My question is, how comprehensible would he find modern French?  Could he figure out what things meant with some small effort, or is it more like the difference between Old English and Modern, where the two are virtually different languages? 

Question Two: This same character has worked in a scriptorium for the last eight years, copying and translating manuscripts in poor lighting conditions.  If he was slightly nearsighted when he started (sometime in his early teens--he doesn't know how old he is), how bad would his eyes be now after eight years of constantly straining them?
Tags: 1500-1599, france: history, ~languages: french, ~medicine: injuries: eye injuries

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