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2013-03-05T09:01:30+04:00

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English is a West Germanic language. Now it is the most widely used language in the world. The history of English language started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes.  They  invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes are the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But the invaders pushed most of the Celtic speakers to the west and the north. Now it is Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from "Englaland" and their language was called "Englisc" - from which the words "England" and "English" are derived. The invading Germanic tribes spoke languages, which was developed in Britain and now we called it “Old English”. Old English wasn’t like modern English. There are a lot of differences in sounds and writing. We now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. Nevertheless, a lot of the most commonly used words in Modern English came from Old English. Old English was spoken until around 1100. In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England. The Normans brought with them a kind of French.  This language became the language of the Royal Court. For this period the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French. In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but there were many French words. This language is called Middle English. And it would still be difficult for native English speakers to understand it today. In the end of Middle English, a sudden change in pronunciation started. Vowels were pronounced shorter. From the 16th century the British had contact with many peoples from around the world. So many new words and phrases entered the language. Books became cheap. People learned to read. People started printing. It also brought standardization to English. In 1604 the first English dictionary was published. The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary. The Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words; and  the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries.