The basic premise is of the old leery carpenter who married a hot young wife only to find himself cuckolded when a young scholar comes to stay. It is a funny ridiculous ribald tale that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Carry On film, yet it is told in Middle English - the native language of the time - crucially NOT the language of literature! Before Chaucer the great writers and poets of the time wrote exclusively in French.
English as a language was considered too vulgar by the educated classes, this obviously meant that the majority of the citizens couldn’t understand the majority of poems written. As I’m sure you will appreciate your average uneducated English serf didn’t have a clue how to understand, let alone, speak or read French! Fast forward 1500 years and now it’s the “lingua franca” (you’d think we’d have a formal English equivalent for this by now!) in many part of the world, this doesn’t mean that all English speakers understand each other all the time though.
Somehow in the midst of it all I found myself thinking - this can only be a good thing for Pissheads. Geordie is after all just another variety of English, the language that itself was deemed too coarse for literature in Chaucer’s time. If people can understand South African English to the tune of around 200 million box office dollars - then I’m pretty sure they will have no problem with Geordie... The characters in “District 9” even swear as much as Pob, Staggy, Bettsy and Stu - it’s gonna be a belta!