October 18, 2021
The English language (in English, English, pronounced / ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ /) is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread to the North in what would become southeastern Scotland, under the influence of the Kingdom of Northumbria. English is the most widely spoken language in the world by total number of speakers, with more than 1,350 million people who have it as their first or second language.  If we only consider the people for whom it is their native language (about 375 million) , is in third position after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish (or fourth, if Hindi and Urdu are counted as a single language, since then their speakers outnumber those of Spanish.)   It is estimated that by the year 2050 the English language will have 2,500 million speakers, and that by the year 2100 it will have 3,200 million speakers.  Due to the political, economic, military, scientific and cultural influence of Great Britain and the United Kingdom since the 18th century, through the British Empire and the United States of America since the middle of the 20th century,     English has spread widely throughout the world. It is the language most people study, the official language of many Commonwealth countries, one of the official languages (if not the only one) in almost 60 sovereign states.  and one of those of the European Union and of numerous organizations worldwide. It has become a lingua franca in many regions,   that is, it is widely used among speakers of different languages in most parts of the world. It has also become the de facto language of science, as Latin was in Newton's time. Historically, modern English originated from the evolution of various Germanic dialects, now collectively called Anglo-Saxon, which were brought to the east coast of Great Britain by Germanic colonizers, the Anglo-Saxons, around the 5th century AD. The word English derives from the term ænglisc applied to the Angles.  The English language was later influenced by Old Norse due to the Viking invasions of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries. Instead most English words derive from Latin roots, as this was the lingua franca of Christianity and European intellectual life for centuries.  Furthermore, the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century led to important linguistic borrowings from the Norman language (Latin root), and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give a superficial appearance of proximity to the Romance languages,   to what had by then become English half. The great vowel shift that began in southern England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that characterizes the emergence of modern English from Middle English. Due to the significant incorporation of words from various European languages throughout history, modern English contains a very large vocabulary. The Oxford English Dictionary contains more than 250,000 different words, not including many technical, scientific and jargon terms.