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 today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders – mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
The Angles came from Englaland and their language was called Englisc – from which the words England and English are derived. Germanic invaders entered Britain on the east and south coasts in the 5th century. Varieties of English From around 1600, the English colonization of North America resulted in the creation of a distinct American variety of English. Some English pronunciations and words “froze” when they reached America. In some ways, American English is more like the English of Shakespeare than modern British English is.
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, loan as a verb instead of lend, and fall for autumn; another example, frame-up, was re-imported into Britain through Hollywood gangster movies). Spanish also had an influence on American English with words like canyon, ranch, stampede and vigilante being examples of Spanish words that entered English through the settlement of the American West.
French words (through Louisiana) and West African words (through the slave trade) also influenced American English (and so, to an extent, British English). Today, American English is particularly influential, due to the USA’s dominance of cinema, television, popular music, trade and technology (including the Internet). But there are many other varieties of English around the world, including for example Australian English, New Zealand English, Canadian English, South African English, Indian English and Caribbean English.
WHY IS ENGLISH SO IMPORTANT? Although a variety of languages are spoken all over the world, English is an important language to know. English is the language most international business is conducted in, it is used in more areas of the globe than any other and the only language spoken by more people is Mandarin (one of the languages in China). In many countries, the citizens have different tribal languages. Even though English is not a native language, the governments select English as an adopted national language.
The government documents and laws written in English will be less subject to interpretation than if they had to be written separately in every tribal language. All school-related and workplace connections require a solid understanding of the English language. If you are studying English at school, college or university, remember that getting an ‘A’ grade in English is almost worthless, in terms of communication, if you cannot speak the language. Spoken English is used in the best careers, the best universities, and is increasingly being used at job interviews.
REASONS TO LEARN ENGLISH 1) English is the most spoken language around the world. 1 out of 5 persons understands it! 2) Many of the most famous movies or songs are written in English! You’ll be able to understand them! 3) If you learn English, you’ll be able to visit most websites! 4) Speaking English is a tremendous asset for your professional career! 5) English is not hard to learn, compared to many other foreign languages! 6) Nowadays, we are surrounded by English (in non English speaking countries of course…). Understanding this language becomes more and more important! ) If you are a student, or just eager to learn, to understand English is almost mandatory since many publications are in English! 8) You will be able to visit the 45 countries where English is the official language! 9) But you will also be able to travel around the entire world! Even if you’re not going to an English speaking country, it is very likely that locals will understand you if you speak in English! 10) For the pleasure! Learning a language, especially English, is rewarding when you see you’re improving! Communicate with your friends in English! Dare To learn and Speak! ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE