In Vikings Season 3 when they're attacking Paris, French people sometimes speak some strange language.

But it isn't French. What is it exactly: Old French or Latin?

  • It's completely a different language which is hard to understand and not even familiar, but I heard some of the French words. It was very obvious to anyone who know French language. Dec 11, 2016 at 14:19

3 Answers 3


Michael Hirst, creator and writer of Vikings, told this to Medievalists.net:

And here’s a very important thing: if you include Latin as a dead language, we have FOUR dead languages in the show. We have people speaking Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Old French (when they raid Paris, which sounds more like German than French, actually) and Latin, and can you tell me ANY other network show that has people speaking four dead languages in it? No! I mean, they don’t speak it much, but you can tell that is what they are speaking. I wanted people to hear what those languages really sounded like. It’s a very important part of the authenticity of the show.


I know this is old but I just wanted to add to the above answer where it says the French sounds more like German, I believe (despite the words of the creator since he could have easily mixed this up in speaking) they are speaking Old Frankish rather than Old French, which is actually a Germanic language so that's why it sounds German and it makes more sense for the time period.

  • 1
    And Old French dates back to 900, whereas Vikings (the show) starts of around 793, which would indeed mean that it should be Old Frankish. Of course, Old Frankish had a lot of influence on Old French...
    – BCdotWEB
    Sep 2, 2016 at 23:51

As a francophone, I can catch many of the words that the Parisians speak. Of course, the subtitles help, because the accent and grammar and morphology is very different. But, it is believably the ancestor of the French language.

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