Essay about The History of English

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The History of English

The most commonly spoken language in our day, would be English or as

some people might call it “ The Lingua Franca “. It is a language, which is taken

almost a thousand years to evolve, mainly through its borrowings from other

languages such as French and Latin. It is actually classified as part of the

Germanic group of languages. Even though it is the most commonly spoken

language today, it is not without its faults, which would be its phonetic symbols

only, representing one sound and each sound would have its appropriate symbol.

Most European languages are very similar to those spoken in India and

Persia, assuming that most of the European peoples are descendants of the
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(Lecture notes, M. Disney)

Latin influenced English before the Anglo-Saxons arrived in England. The

Germanic tribes who later settled on the isles were in contact with small parts of

the Roman civilization. Some of the words borrowed by the Germanic groups


Mint: Minet,

Street: strata via

When the first English tribes came to settle in England they made contact

with the people that had been part of the Roman Empire which probably spoke a

form of Latin. Some of their words past in to the language of the new conquerors.

(Lecture notes, M. Disney)

In the sixth century St. Benedict reintroduced Christianity. As the religion

spread English added a large number of Latin words to itself to express new

ideas connected with the religion. However, this lead to the loss of grammatical

gender of the language and therefore mixed the vocabulary. (Internet 1)

In the eighth century the Danes made continual raids upon the English

coasts which they later settled. They were then defeated by King Alfred the

Great. A hundred years later another Danish King invaded England and

managed to get his son, Canute, was put upon the English throne. These Danish

invasions, however destructive they were, had quite a tremendous influence

upon the English language. The English borrowed words such as skin, ill, get and

leg. (Lecture notes, M. Disney)