English and its history All trough history, people from many different countries and cultures have lived together in Britain. The English language is made up of grammar and vocabulary these p
eople brought to Britain. That is why English has so many difficult rules that confuse people. Old English Old English is very different from the English we speak nowadays. In fact, we would not be able to understand it if we heard it today. Before the middle of the 5th century, people in Britain all spoke a language called Celtic .Then two Germanic groups from the European mainland—the Angles and the Saxons—occupied Britain. Old English consist of a mixture of their languages. Both the English language and the English people are named after the Angles; the word Angle was spelt Engle in Old English. Aside from place names such as London, very few Celtic words became part of Old English. At the end of the 9th century, the Vikings ,people from Northern European countries such as Denmark and Norway, began to move to Britain. They brought with them their languages, which also mixed with Old English. By the 10th century, Old English had become the official language of England. When we speak English today, we sometimes feel puzzled about which words or phrases to use. This is because English has many words or phrases from different languages, but with similar meanings. For example, the word sick came from a word once used by the Angles and Saxons, while ill come from a word once used by the Norwegians. Middle English Middle English is the name give to the English used from around the 12th to the 15th centuries. Many things played a part in the development of this new type of English. The most important contribution was from the Normans, a French-speaking people who defeated England and took control of the country in 1066. However, the Norman Conquest did not affect English as much as the Angles and the Saxons’ victory about 600 years earlier, which led to Old English replacing Celtic. Even though the Normans spoke French for the entre 250 years they ruled the England, the English language did borrow many words from French. This resulted in even more words with similar meanings, such as answer (from Old English) and reply(from Old French). It is interesting to learn how words for animals and meat developed. After the Norman Conquest, many English people worked as servants who raised animals. Therefore, the words we use for most animals raised for food, such as cow, sheep and pig, came from Old English. However, the words for the meat of these animals, which was served to the Normans, came from Old French: beef, mutton, pork and bacon. Old French made other contributions to Middle English as well. In Old English, the Germanic way of making words plural was used. For example, they said hosen instead of houses, and shoen instead of shoes. After the Normans took control, they began using the French way of making plurals, adding an –s to house and shoe. Only a few words kept their Germanic plural forms, such as man/men and child/children. After the Norman Conquest, high-class people spoke French while common people spoke English. However, by the latter half of the 14th century English had come into widespread use among all classes in England. His mother tongue was English, and he used English for all official events. Modern English Modern English appeared during the Renaissance in the 16th century. Because of this, Modern
English includes many Latin and Greek words. Pronunciation also went through huge changes during this period. Of course, this was not the end he changes in the English language. The question of weather English will keep on changing in the future is easy answer. It is certain that this process will continue, and people will keep inventing new words and new ways of saying things.
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