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The top ten language families :
Indo-European (Proto - language) - The Germanic languages: English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. - The Roman languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. - The Celtic languages: Welsh and Gaelic. - The Slavic languages: Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. - The Baltic languages: Lithuanian and Latvian. - The Iranian languages: Persian and Pashto. - The Indic languages: Sanskrit and Hindi. - Other miscellaneous languages; such as, Albanian and Armenian.
English father , Dutch vader, Gothic fadar, Old Norse fadir, German Vater, Greek pater, Sanskrit pitar, and Old Irish athir; English brother, Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Greek phrater, Sanskrit bhratar, Old Slavic bratu, Irish Brathair.
The Celts settled in Britain in about 500 B.C. (Gaelic and Welsh)
The most important Celtic words in modern English are names of places, especially in Scotland and Ireland. Aberdeen ( from aber – mouth) Dunbar, Dundee (from dun – a protected place) Kilkeny (from kil - church); and a few common words such as bog, crag, willow.
The Romans invaded Britain and ruled the Celts from A.D. 43-410
The Romans left behind them memories of camps, roads, and military colonies in such endings in geographical names, as -caster, -cester or -chester (from castra - camp), -coln (from colonia), the words street (from strata), mile (from millia passuum - a thousand paces)
A.D. 450-1150, Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period
West Germanic invaders from Jutland and southern Denmark: the Angles (whose name is the source of the words England and English), Saxons, and Jutes, began populating the British Isles in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.
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.
Written Old English is mainly known from this period. It was written in an alphabet called Runic, derived from the Scandinavian languages.
In A.D. 597, St. Augustine arrived in England and converted Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.
With Christianity many Latin words were introduced into English: altar, church, bishop, priest, angel, but also a number of common words, esp. names of plants, animals and food: plant, lily, cheese, and others. Roman handwriting replaced the old runic alphabet.
In A.D. 865, the Viking army invaded England
The Vikings added many Norse words: sky, egg, cake, leg, window, husband, skill, anger, flat, ugly, get, give, take, raise, call, die, they, their, them.
Today familiar English and American patronymic ending in son; such as Jackson, Robertson, Stevenson, etc. clearly are also of Scandinavian origin.
Alfred the Great, 871-899, the first king of England
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 A.D. (The Middle English period 1150—1500)
Sometimes French words replaced Old English words; crime replaced firen and uncle replaced eam.
In other times, French and Old English components combined to form a new word; such as, the French gentle and the Germanic man formed gentleman.
Sometimes, both English and French words were used alongside: French English close shut reply answer odour smell desire wish chamber room
The Germanic form of plurals (house-housen; shoe-shoen) was replaced by the French method of making plurals: adding an "s" (house-houses; shoe-shoes). Only a few words have retained their Germanic plurals: men, oxen, feet, teeth, children.
French also affected spelling greatly, for example Old English cw became qu; thus cween became queen.
Modern English: 1500 on
Old English From Beowulf, 11th century
King James Bible 1611 This translation became one of the most commonly used Christian bibles in the world.
Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, 1755, standardized the usage of the English language.
English in a Global Context More than 40 countries around the world consider English their primary language Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Micronesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Lucia, St.Vincent, Swaziland, The Grenadines, The Philippines, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
English in the World
English in the World
Standard English Standard English, also known as Received Pronunciation (RP), the Queen's English, or BBC English, is a form of British English regarded as the standard accent in the United Kingdom.