The opening to the Old English epic poem Beowulfhandwritten in half-uncial script: We of the Spear-Danes from days of yore have heard of the glory of the folk-kings
History of English This page is a short history of the origins and development of the English language The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD.
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" [sic] 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 Old English AD The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages, which in Britain developed into what we now call Old English.
Old English did not sound or look like English today. Native English speakers now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The words be, strong and water, for example, derive from Old English.
Old English was spoken until around The new conquerors called the Normans brought with them a kind of French, which became the language of the Royal Court, and the ruling and business classes. For a period there was a kind of linguistic class division, where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French.
In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but with many French words added. This language is called Middle English. It was the language of the great poet Chaucer cbut it would still be difficult for native English speakers to understand today.
From the 16th century the British had contact with many peoples from around the world. This, and the Renaissance of Classical learning, meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. The invention of printing also meant that there was now a common language in print.
Books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Printing also brought standardization to English. Spelling and grammar became fixed, and the dialect of London, where most publishing houses were, became the standard. In the first English dictionary was published.
Late Modern English has many more words, arising from two principal factors: Varieties of English From aroundthe 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. 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 and subsequently British Englishwith 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. Germanic is a branch of the Indo-European language family.English literature is the study of literature written in the English language.
The writers do not necessarily have to be from England but can be from all over the world. It includes some of history’s most famous writers: James Joyce (Ireland), William Shakespeare (England), Mark Twain (United States), Arthur Conan Doyle (Scotland), Dylan.
American English Internet English 8. When was the first e-mail sent? 9. What does BTW and FYI mean? What two meanings does LOL have? Global English. History of English This page is a short history of the origins and development of the English language The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD.
History & Biography. About this author. Books by George E. Vaillant. Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study () language.
English. Study of graduates throughout their lives. George Vaillant is a wonderful writer: I loved the actual case s Reviews.
Write review. Review will shown on site after approval. Choosing to study English in the U.K. may be most appealing to students interested in pre-modern versions of the language. That is, Chaucer, Shakespeare, or their contemporaries. At that time in history, English was only spoken in England, so there you will have better access to archives and resources that will give you a more intimate, first.
The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and Modern English.