Thomas Edison State University
Influences of the English Language
Over the years the English language has changed dramatically. The English language is an original member of the Indo-European family of languages. The Indo-European family of language is very large. This family includes most of the European languages spoken today. It includes the Slavic languages, the Baltic languages of Latvian and Lithuanian, the Celtic languages, Greek, the Germanic languages, the Indo-Iranian languages, including Hindi and Sanskrit Latin, and the modern Romance languages. Out of all of those languages none have evolved greater than the English language. It began in 500 AD. The English language is like computers; you can add new software to it and make it better than it was before.
The beginning of English started with the Scandinavian people when they landed in Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. This is, at least, the point in which we know of the English language being used. This language was Germanic and somewhat resembled Flemish, Dutch, and German. In the 8th century, there where Viking attacks, and by extension their influence, this changed the language in many ways. The new English language now had Norwegian and Danish. This influence lasted until the Norman Conquest in 1066.
The English language is a West Germanic Language that came up in the Anglo- Saxon kingdoms of England. The English language has been widely dispersed around the world and has become the leading language Internationally. English in many developed countries are being used as the official language; for example, it is used as the official language in European Union and in many commonwealth countries as well as many world organizations. It is also the third most natively spoken language in the world, after mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
Most of words in modern English come from foreign, not Old English roots. In fact, only about one sixth of the known Old English words have descendants surviving today. But this is deceptive; Old English is much more important than these statistics would indicate. About half of the most commonly used words in modern English have Old English roots. Words like be, water, and strong, for example, derive from Old English roots. They do because they came from the West Germanics during the time the language was separated into many subgroups. Old English, whose best-known existing example is the poem "Beowulf", and that lasted until about 1100 AD. This last date is rather arbitrary, or not necessary to judge, but most scholars choose it because it is shortly after the most important event in the development of the English language, the Norman Conquest.
The West Germanic invaders from Jutland and southern Denmark, were considered Angles, and they were the name, and source of the words for England and the English language. The Saxons, and Jutes, began populating the British Isles in the fifth and sixth centuries...