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History and Origin of English Language

The origin of English language can be dated far back to the arrival of three Germanic tribes in Britain during the 5th century AD. The tribes namely Angles, Saxons and Jutes crossed the North Sea to invade Britain. Britain inhabitants spoke Celtic language at that time.

Old English (450-1100 AD) - The invading tribes spoke languages that developed into Old English during that time. Old English is quite different from modern one.

Middle One (1100-1500) - England was invaded and conquered by William the conqueror, the Duke of Normandy in 1066. He introduced French in courts and other upper classes which created a division between those who speak English - lower class and those who spoke French - upper class. But, English dominated once again in 14th century with a few French words added. This English was called the Middle One.

Modern English - Early Modern English (1500-1800) - With the Renaissance of Classical learning in place, there were many new words and phrases that were added to English language. There was a standardisation in the language with fixed rules for spelling and grammar.

Late Modern English (1800-Present) - Late Modern English included many more words and phrases than the Early mainly due to two factors: Industrial revolution and technology made a need for new words and British empire was ruling one quarter of the Earth's surface.

Today, American English is quite dominant due to USA's influence on cinema, television, trade, music etc.


By: Neha Maheshwari