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The Evolution of English Language

Evolution of English Language

English language is one of the world’s predominant form of communication, which started from three small Germanic tribes. English is a complex language with a vast range. The comparison of the revolution of English language thousand years ago and today shows how it has changed tremendously and is still developing.

Old English

English is a Germanic language originated in mid of 5th to 7th century. Three German tribes (nomads), the jutes, Saxons, and angles were traveling from place to place for new lands to conquer. They crossed the North Sea known today as Denmark and Northern Germany. The Angle tribe came from the Engla-Land literally meaning “the land of angles” where they spoke Englisc and hence the word English and
England derived from Engla-Land. It is estimated that around 85% of the old English is no longer in use. The native English speakers face difficulties to understand old English. Nevertheless some of the English words we use today are from old English such as “be, strong and water”. The 10th to 11th century was considered as the end of old English language. This period ended by the invasion of Norman in England toward Early Middle English.


Early Middle English

The English language has many ups and down as the French language became dominant. The Normans seize and conquered England and bought French language along with them and from there the French language rises. They considered French as a superior language over English, which was mostly spoken between royals and English became the language of the inferior but it only remain till 14th century. In 14th century they specially focus on grammar and many changes has been made to syntax i.e. how to form well-defined-structure by combining phrases and clauses. After the Normans invasion 10,000 French words were added to Middle English, which is still very complicated to acknowledge by native speakers. During the 15th century English started to appear in official documents and books. Writers like Geoffrey Chaucer known as “the father of English literature” began to emerge. In this period pronunciation of many words has changed such as “such not switch, they're (there) not hir”. The English language started to get admired in England and the first ever English translated bible appeared in 1535 with rise of the Modern English

Late Middle English

The middle of 15th to 17th century is the era when English started to get favorable among the citizens and the commoners. Books, novels and poems began to publish in English. Books like “Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Athor (the death of Arthur)” and “the knights of the round table” gained a lot of popularity. At the start of the 17th the century one of the greatest dramatist and writer in the English language known as William Shakespeare took the world by storm. He not only write 37 plays but also created 1,500 words which are used today. Through Shakespeare English emerges as a powerful language. English started to expand to West African, Native America, and Spain during the 17th, 18th, 19th century. The English language were also introduce to India by British East India Company and added some words like shampoo, pajama and money to English.


Modern English

The expansion of the English language begins during the industrial revolution and the era of British Empire and reached its height between 18th and 20th century. The British Empire was going through a significant change and they use English language as a way to learn and hopefully benefit from overseas. They not only introduce English language to the colonies and societies but also teach them their
language and learn their culture and traditions. The discoveries and new inventions in industrial technology means a lot of new words. Many words and ideas were introduced that became the necessity in the industry. Vocabulary and grammatical rules made in this period is the main difference between old and the late modern English. Many Latin and Greek words were created such as auto, genius, paralysis, bacteria, histology, micro which are now use in English.

21st Century

The English is divided in many varieties depending on their accent and places such as American English, Australian, Canadian English, Uganda English and Indian English. Australian English diverges from British in 1820 and now developed a distinct variety of English. In the 21st century English being the 3rd most spoken and the most advance language in the world has great significance. It has become a basic
requirement of our lives. In education learning English has become the number one priority of a student. English is a door to learn about others culture, traditions and to research about literature and philosophy. In the arts of communication whether you are teaching, giving presentation or presenting at international level English is to top
priority. The ability to find a decent paying job mostly depend on our communication skills. It is considered to be the language of science, computers, internet and technology.

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Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on September 28, 2021:

I love the picture of the first page of "Beowulf" being included in this.

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