Although interlinear glosses theoretically involve providing the most exact native equivalent for each foreign item in the text (cf., e.g. Nida 2004: 161), they often prove to be much more than a mechanical process of creating lexical correspondences. One of the best examples of glossing which is a “conscious, occasionally very careful “interpretative translation”” (Nagucka 1997: 180), is the collection of 10th century glosses added by Aldred to the Latin text of the
Lindisfarne Gospels. This oldest existing translation of the Gospels into English consists not only of a word‑for‑word renderings, since Aldred also used multiple glosses, marginal notes, and occasionally left the words unglossed. Thus, particular Latin words are often translated in several different ways.
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The present study focuses on words denoting objects and phenomena which were presumably unfamiliar or obscure to the Anglo‑Saxon audience. Those include items specific to the society, culture, as well as fauna and flora. The study shows various methods employed by the glossator to familiarise the concepts to the readers.