English language

English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria. Following the economic, political, military, scientific, cultural, and colonial influence of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from the 18th century, via the British Empire, and of the United States since the mid-20th century,[5][6][7][8] it has been widely dispersed around the world, become the leading language of international discourse, and has acquired use as lingua franca in many regions.[9][10] It is widely learned as a second language and used as an official language of the European Union and many Commonwealth countries, as well as in many world organizations. It is the third most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.[11] Historically, English originated from the fusion of languages and dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) settlers by the 5th century – with the word English being derived from the name of the Angles.[12] A significant number of English words are constructed based on roots from Latin, because Latin in some form was the lingua franca of the Christian Church and of European intellectual life.[13] The language was further influenced by the Old Norse language due to Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman-French, and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the superficial appearance of a close relationship with Romance languages[14][15] to what had now become Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English. Owing to the significant assimilation of various European languages throughout history, modern English contains a very large vocabulary. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 250,000 distinct words, not including many technical or slang terms, or words that belong to multiple word classes.[16][17

What is English?

History of the English Language
A short history of the origins and development of English
The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what

Germanic invaders entered Britain on the east and south coasts in the 5th century. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. The Angles came from Englaland and their language was called Englisc . But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders .today is Denmark and northern Germany. .from which the words England and English are derived. Scotland and Ireland.mainly into what is now Wales.

derive from Old English. For a period there was a kind of An example of Middle English by Chaucer. The new conquerors (called the Normans) brought with them a kind of French. From the 16th century the British had contact with many peoples from around the world. and the Renaissance of Classical learning. . The invention of printing also meant that there was now a common language in print. a poem written in Old English have Old English roots. Old English was spoken until around 1100. and the ruling and business classes. the Duke of Normandy (part of modern France). Native English speakers now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. but it would still be difficult for native English speakers to understand today. This language is called Middle English. The words be. became the standard. strong English. with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter.Old English (450-1100 AD) The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages. which in Britain developed into what we now call Old English. linguistic class division. where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French. and the dialect of written in Early Modern English by Shakespeare. and water. invaded and conquered England. This. Books became cheaper and more people learned to read. but with many French words added. Middle English (1100-1500) In 1066 William the Conqueror. Modern English Early Modern English (1500-1800) Towards the end of Middle English. Spelling and grammar became fixed. where most publishing houses were. which became the language of the Royal Court. meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. English. a sudden and distinct change in pronunciation (the Great Vowel Shift) started. about half of the most commonly used words in Modern Part of Beowulf. or not to be" lines. for example. In 1604 the first English dictionary was published. Printing also brought standardization to Hamlet's famous "To be. Old English did not sound or look like English today. In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again. London. It was the language of the great poet Chaucer (c1340-1400). Nevertheless.

American English is more like the English of Shakespeare than modern British English is. ranch.Late Modern English (1800-Present) The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary. arising from two principal factors: firstly. New Zealand English. and tourism. Late Modern English has many more words. Spanish also had an influence on American English (and subsequently British English). secondly. Varieties of English From around 1600. Canada. loan as a verb instead of lend. New Zealand and other former British colonies. due to the USA's dominance of cinema. the English colonization of North America resulted in the creation of a distinct American variety of English. was re-imported into Britain through Hollywood gangster movies). Today. Indian English and Caribbean English. diplomacy. the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface. many Commonwealth nations including Australia. The first was by speakers of languages in the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic family. stampede and vigilante being examples of Spanish words that entered English through the settlement of the American West. It is the second most spoken language in the world. the United States. Majority English speaking populations are shown in bold. English Language English is a West Germanic language which is the dominant language in the United Kingdom. to an extent. aviation. In some ways. frame-up. • • • • • • • • Antigua Australia Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda Botswana Brunei (with Malay) • • • • • • • • New Zealand Nigeria Pakistan (with Urdu) Papua New Guinea Philippines (with Tagalog) Puerto Rico (with Spanish) St Christopher and Nevis St Lucia . Canadian English. It is estimated that there are 380 million native speakers and 300 million who use English as a second language and a further 100 million use it as a foreign language. French words (through Louisiana) and West African words (through the slave trade) also influenced American English (and so. trade and technology (including the Internet). It is the language of science. Keep reading to learn more. English plays a part in the cultural. South African English. who colonised parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries. popular music. Some English pronunciations and words "froze" when they reached America. computing. political or economic life of the following countries. British English). It is listed as the official or co-official language of over 45 countries and is spoken extensively in other countries where it has no official status. including for example Australian English. But there are many other varieties of English around the world. English is an Anglo-Frisian language brought to Britain in the 5th Century AD by Germanic settlers from various parts of northwest Germany. with words like canyon. and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries. American English is particularly influential. Some expressions that the British call "Americanisms" are in fact original British expressions that were preserved in the colonies while lost for a time in Britain (for example trash for rubbish. and fall for autumn. television. The original Old English language was subsequently influenced by two successive waves of invasion. another example. the Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words.

Mandarin and Tamil) South Africa (with Afrikaans. Wales. The first was by speakers of languages in the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic family. Cornwall and Scotland. who spoke Norman (an oïl language closely related to French). Most of the Celtic speakers were pushed into Wales. whose languages survived largely in Scotland. their land of origin. who colonised parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries. The second wave was of the Normans in the 11th century.1150). including the prefixes. Their language was called Englisc from which the word. Later. The new and the earlier settlers spoke languages from different branches of the Germanic family. The Angles were named from Engle.1500). Saxons and Jutes crossed the North Sea from what is the present day Denmark and northern Germany. One group migrated to the Brittany Coast of France where their descendants still speak the Celtic Language of Breton today. The dialects spoken by the invaders formed what is now called Old English. to c. many of their lexical roots were the same or similar. Old English The invaders dominated the original Celtic-speaking inhabitants. Xhosa and Zulu) Surinam (with Dutch) Swaziland (with Swazi) Tanzania (with Swahili) Tonga (with Tongan) Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu Uganda United Kingdom and its dependecies United States of America and its dependencies Vanatu (with French) Western Samoa (with Samoan) Zambia Zimbabwe History of the English Language English is an Anglo-Frisian language brought to Britain in the 5th Century AD by Germanic settlers from various parts of northwest Germany.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Cameroon (with French) Canada (with French) Dominica Fiji Gambia Ghana Grenada Guyana India (with several Indian languages) Ireland (with Irish Gaelic) Jamaica Kenya (with Swahili) Kiribati Lesotho (with Sotho) Liberia Malawi (with Chewa) Malta (with Maltese) Mauritius Namibia (with Afrikaans) Nauru (with Nauruan) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • St Vincent Senegal (with French) Seychelles (with French) Sierra Leone Singapore (with Malay. The original Old English language was subsequently influenced by two successive waves of invasion. spoken by the Vikings who settled mainly in the north-east. English derives. The Germanic language of these Old English inhabitants of . and Cornwall. It is convenient to divide English into periods—Old English (or Anglo-Saxon. The inhabitants of Britain previously spoke a Celtic language. suffixes and inflections of many of their words. This was quickly displaced. although their grammars were more distant. and Modern English. it was strongly influenced by the North Germanic language Norse. The history of the language can be traced back to the arrival of three Germanic tribes to the British Isles during the 5th Century AD. Angles. Middle English (to c.

English spelling was also influenced by French in this period. when the language was influenced. The Old English period ended with the Norman conquest. English literature starts to reappear circa AD 1200. from a historian named Camden. by the Norman French-speaking Normans." Middle English For the 300 years following the Norman Conquest in 1066.Britain was influenced by the contact with Norse invaders. which did not exist in French. Fri. the language changed into Modern English. with the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds being spelled th rather than with the letters þ and ð. A large number of Norman words were assimilated into Old English. made it more respectable. and the decline in Anglo-Norman. sheep/mutton). Anglo-Norman remained in use in specialised circles for a while longer. to an even greater extent. (Stumpers-L. which may have been responsible for some of the morphological simplification of Old English. ox/beef. but it had ceased to be a living language. The introduction of Christianity added the first wave of Latin and Greek words to the language. Modern English can be traced back to around the time of William Shakespeare. referring to early English language or a certain dialect thereof. For example. by an unknown poet. According to Lois Fundis. when a changing political climate. Orderic Vitalis. The most well-known work from the Middle English period is Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. with some words doubling for Old English words (for instance. a historian born in 1075 and the son of a Norman knight. Middle English was transformed by the Great Vowel Shift. . Various contemporary sources suggest that within fifty years most of the Normans outside the royal court had switched to English. with the suffix "-ing". English continued to be the language of the common people. resulting in what is now referred to as Middle English. Modern English From the late 15th century. the spread of a standardised London-based dialect in government and administration. said that he only learned French as a second language. who seems to be the person most responsible for the term becoming well-known in modern times. It has been argued that the Danish contribution continued into the early Middle Ages. During the 15th century. the Norman kings and the high nobility spoke only a variety of French called Anglo-Norman. including loss of grammatical gender and explicitly marked case (with the notable exception of the pronouns). The most famous work from the Old English period is the epic poem "Beowulf". even the royal court had switched back to English. By the end of that century. most other literature from this period was in Old French or Latin. and the standardising effect of printing. comes during the reign of Elizabeth I. 14 Dec 2001) "The first citation for the second definition of 'Anglo-Saxon'. The Norman influence reinforced the continual evolution of the language over the following centuries. the "continuous" tenses. often dated from the Great Vowel Shift. with French remaining the prestige language largely out of social inertia. Among the changes was a broadening in the use of a unique aspect of English grammar. The use of Anglo-Saxon to describe a merging of Anglian and Saxon languages and cultures is a relatively modern development. While the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle continued until AD 1154.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE STATISTICS English is currently one of the most widely spoken and written languages worldwide. Some "Americanisms" are actually originally English English expressions that were preserved in the colonies while lost at home (e. Mustang. science. American English and other varieties Also significant beginning around 1600 AD was the English colonization of North America and the subsequent creation of American English.g. barbecue.English is continuously assimilating foreign words. fall as a synonym for autumn. Indian-sounding names like Idaho were sometimes created that had no native-American roots. But. The American dialect also served as the route of introduction for many native American words into the English language. notably in the West Country. although in many cases the original Indian words were mangled almost beyond recognition. names for other things besides places were also common. South Africa. but remnants of the older forms remain in a few regional dialects.. A lesser number of words have entered American English from French and West African languages. . some varieties of American English are closer to the English of Shakespeare than modern Standard English ('English English' or as it is often incorrectly termed 'British English') is. and loan as a verb instead of lend). Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema. these were place names like Mississippi. stampede. New Zealand. with some 380 million native speakers. especially Latin and Greek. music. and Iowa. Most often. trash for rubbish. canoe. In 1755 Samuel Johnson published the first significant English dictionary. ranch. broadcasting. canyon. India and many other parts of the world. savanna. causing English to have the largest vocabulary of any language in the world. and hickory have native American roots. As there are many words from different languages the risk of mispronunciation is high. Raccoon. There are distinct forms of the English language spoken in Australia. Some pronunciations and usages "froze" when they reached the American shore. English is now the most widely learned second language in the world. Likewise dialects of English have developed in many of the former colonies of the British Empire. and the Internet in recent decades. and vigilante are all examples of Spanish words that made their way into English through the settlement of the American West. tomato. In certain respects. Roanoke. Spanish has also been great influence on American English.

as a foreign language. Of the 163 member nations of the U.N. so it is no wonder that the mother tongue of the Web is English. The volume of information disseminated in that language. English is the leader by far. The main language used throughout the world on the internet is English. it is the ecumenical language of the World Council of Churches Five of the largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS. The media that make up the Internet are overwhelmingly American in origin. People who count English as their mother tongue make up less than 10% of the world's population. Indians who know English will always try to show that they know English. And there are some other facts about English you might be interested in knowing. more use English as their official language than any other. English in India Officially English has a status of assistant language. In no particular order. NBC. aviation and of Christianity. but possess over 30% of the world's economic power. English reigns supreme in all four respects.. speak English. telexes and cables are in English. It is studied as a foreign language throughout the world and employed by a majority of Internet users. reaching millions and millions of people all over the world. After Hindi it is the most commonly spoken language in India and probably the most read and written language in India. The number of users of the language 2. only surpassed in numbers. ABC. After English. Each of these three languages forms a sizable linguistic constituency on the Internet. and there are a half-million technical and scientific terms still uncatalogued? Three-quarters of the world's mail.Because a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations.N. English . 26 nations in the U. 4. The extent of its use as an official language 3. in terms of the quantity of transmitted information. Over 700 million people. but not in distribution by speakers of the many varieties of Chinese. The easiest way to calculate the economic influence of a language may be to add up the gross domestic products (GDP) of all the nations where it is spoken. cite French as their official tongue. The economic power of the language and . 21 Spanish and 17 Arabic.700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary. Did you know that of all the world's languages (over 2. and that the Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500. More than half of the world's technical and scientific periodicals are in English English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world's computers English is the language of navigation.000 words. Over 400 million people use the English vocabulary as a mother tongue. BBC and CBC) transmit in English. Therefore. Four factors determine the degree to which a given language finds use on the Internet: 1. here are some of the numbers about English: • • • • • • • • • English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language. but in fact it is the most important language of India. Today. education ministries around the world mandate the teaching of English to at least a basic level.

better culture and higher intellect. Paragraph about English . Indians who knew good English were seen as the new elite of India. The British also had problems with that and they caused some changes in Indian words so that they could pronounce them. Until the beginning of 1990s. business – in India. Officially it was given a status of an assistant language and was supposed to terminate officially after 15 years of India’s independence. English is very important in some systems – legal. but it still remains the important language of India. better education. The British also established in India universities based on British models with emphasis on English. even though there is a trend towards Indianization. Even the Indians started using these changed words and made them part of their English. When the British started ruling India. Other than that. Australians or even the British who have their unique English words and phrases. The English Christian missionaries came to India from 1813 and they also built schools at primary level for Indians in which the language of instruction was local language.symbolizes in Indians minds. the Indian accent is sometimes difficult for non-Indians to understand. especially from Hindi. English is their first language and it is easier for them to communicate. It is also usual among Indians to abruptly move to speak fluent English in the middle of their conversations. the Indians also have their own unique English. The Indians and the Indian English language press uses many words derived from Indian languages. The British policy was to create an Indian class who should think like the British. For most of these students. in opinions and morals and intellect”. Just like the Americans. Many high caste Indians. The ‘modern’ leaders of that era in India also supported English language and claimed it to be the main key towards success. read and write in English than in Indian languages. English became the first language in Indian education. The reason Indians give such importance to English is related to the fact that India was a British colony (see Europeans in India). or as it was said then in Britain “Indians in blood and color but English in taste. including their mother tongues. educational. foreign movies in India weren’t translated or dubbed in Indian languages. Many new schools were established in which the language of instruction was English. According to the British laws the language of instruction at university level was English and therefore schools that emphasized English were preferred by ambitious Indians. especially the Brahmans worked for them. Even after India’s independence. There are some Indian pronunciations that don’t exist in non Indian languages. Even today schools in India that emphasis English are considered better schools and the same is the case at university levels. English also serves as the communicator among Indians who speak different language. financial. Two examples of such changed words are currey and sari. The British turned to high caste Indians to work for them. but were broadcast in English and were meant for English speakers only. English remained the main language of India. Indians who know English often mingle it with Indian languages in their conversations. Later on the missionaries built high schools with English as the language of instruction which obliged the Indians who wanted to study to have a good knowledge of English. they searched for Indian mediators who could help them to administer India. In the 1970s and 1980s about one third of the Indian schools had English as their first language. The British rulers began building their universities in India from 1857. These Indians also got their education in British universities.

e-commerce. English can be used as a language in any part of the world. use it in the field of education by universities and institutes and. It has become an addendum to the mastery of scientific individual stock. the English is an important requirement in most government jobs and private. They are listed below. Travel: When a person travels to another part of the world either for the sake of business or even as a tourist. In addition . Also one of reasons that contributed to the spread of English that. In these conditions. On other hand . Yes. Such as the Internet. the whole world may not be as united as it is today. books and educational institutes which spread around the world. People who know English can deal with the Internet. medicine and aviation. 2. This reasons motive the people to learn English . There are various reasons for the importance of English language. 1. It is clear that the English language has become more dominant around the world.other countries learn it as second language in their schools. where the land is so vast with people of various cultures live. The English language has become easier to learn more than ever before with the availability of many sources to help people learn very easily. but not for the same reasons as English is important. In addition. Where the people are use it in various field of life such as. English is the language of science and technology. they use it in scientific research . If not for English. One of the main reasons why the English is dominant in the present time. Though these people might not have the same accent as others. the only language that truly links the whole world together. it is the language of the modern era. It is also the language of computers that help to communicate with the people around the world through Internet technology and e-mail. It is quite clear that English has become an necessity today. It can even be said o be the single most important language. In some countries it use as the mother tongue and . English is one of the most important languages in the world. On the other hand. It is like a universal language. Same country: In countries like India. There is no doubt that. the English is language of communication between the people with different cultures . use it for communication between people around the world. which is regard information and communications revolution . We need it in different fields of life . economy. it is language of modern times.No one denies the importance of English language in the present time as global language. the languages may differ. other languages are important too. maybe. This is because at least a few people in each locality would know the language. English is the language that helps people to deal with the situation.it is the language which use in the tourism and travel. The other languages may be important for their local values and culture. many reasons which contributed to rising of English spreading . . as well as. English is important because it is. This is make English widespread. for example. the language at least will be understandable.

With Internet becoming very important in E commerce and also in education. but also for studying. English bridges this gap and connects the people. English is the mainstay of the Internet users. 5. Education / Studies: The presence of English as a universal language assumes importance in the fact that more and more people leave their countries not only for the sake of business and pleasure. 4. It is very difficult to translate each and every relevant webpage into the language of various countries. This is because the individual will not be able to learn a subject in the local language of the country. This linking factor also tells of the importance of English language. This again reinforces the fact that English language is very important. Thus the importance of English as a language is emphasized. The future of English as a language is very secure. it will not be long before English can be made as a single language of the world like the single currency and the union of various nations. Internet: In spite of the growth of Internet in various languages. . Under the circumstances. 3. People who go to another country to study can only have English as their medium of study.the languages of each part of the country also differ. Correspondence: All correspondences between offices in different countries and also between political leaders of various countries is in English. Education has increased the role of English. English language is bound to grow. This is the language in which most of the information and websites are available. In this era of consolidation and trying to unify various aspects of life. English can be the only link as people in each place will not be able to learn all the other languages to communicate with the people.

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