English language

Article

August 12, 2022

English is a West Germanic Indo-European language that emerged in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread to what would become southeastern Scotland under the influence of the medieval Anglo kingdom of Northumbria. After centuries of extensive influence from Great Britain and the United Kingdom since the 18th century, through the British Empire, and from the United States since the mid-20th century, English has been widely dispersed across the planet, becoming the main language of international discourse and a lingua franca in many regions. The language is widely learned as a second language and used as an official language by the European Union, the United Nations and many Commonwealth countries, as well as many other world organizations. It is the third most spoken language in the world as a first language, after Mandarin and Spanish. Historically, English originated from the fusion of languages ​​and dialects, now collectively called Old English, that were brought to the east coast of Great Britain. Brittany by Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) peoples in the 5th century, the word English being derived from the name of the Angles, and ultimately from their ancestral region of Angeln (in what is now Schleswig-Holstein). A significant number of English words are built on the roots of Latin, as that language was, in some way, the lingua franca of the Christian Church and European intellectual life. English was more influenced by the Old Norse language, due to Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to strong borrowings from Norman-French, and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the surface appearance of a close relationship between English and the Romance languages, what is now called Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift, which began in southern England in the 15th century, is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English. Due to the assimilation of words from many other languages ​​throughout modern history, English contains a very large vocabulary. Modern English has not only assimilated words from other European languages, but also from around the world, including words from Hindi and from African origins. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 250,000 distinct words in the language, not including many technical, scientific or slang terms.

History

English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers from various parts of what is now northwestern Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Up until this time, the native population of Roman Britain had spoken Celtic British language along with the acroletal influence of Latin, since the 400-year-old Roman occupation. to Brittany. The names england (from Engla land or "land of the Angles") and english (from Old English englisc) are derived from the name of this tribe; however Saxons, Jutes and a variety of Germanic peoples from the coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony, Sweden and South Jutland also moved to Great Britain at this time. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, the which reflects the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Great Britain, but one of these dialects, West Saxon, eventually came to dominate and it is in this that the poem Beowulf was written. Old English was later transformed by two waves of invasions. The first was by North Germanic speakers when Haldanus and Ivar the Boneless began the conquest and colonization of the northern British Isles in the 8th and 9th centuries (see Danelaw). The second was by Old Norman speakers, u